States and Societies of Sub

Before We Begin
 May be helpful to review Chapter 3 to refresh your
thinking about Africa.
 Period of 1000-1500 CE is often a time frame used in
the essay portion of the national exam, as there are
numerous comparison/contrast or changes and
continuities question possibilities.
Effects of Early African Migrations
 African migrations began around 3000 BCE with the
intermittent and incremental Bantu migration and
were generally complete by 1000 CE as Bantu-speaking
people came to occupy most of Africa south of the
Effects of Early African Migrations
 Agriculture and Population Growth
 Bantu peoples established agricultural societies and
displaced indigenous hunters and gatherers in almost all
parts of Africa.
 Grew yams, millet, and sorghum.
 Indian ocean merchants eventually bring taro, chicken,
and bananas to places like Madagascar.
 Bananas enriched diets and led to population growth.
Effects of Early African Migrations
 African Political Organization
 Though kin-based societies survived in much of subSaharan Africa until the mid-nineteenth century, after
the first millennium regional states and kingdoms
became increasingly prominent.
 By 1000 CE, African migration slowed and Bantu
societies governed themselves mostly through family
and kinship groups rather than relying on elaborate
bureaucracies. (Village Chiefs, etc…)
Effects of Early African Migrations
 African Political Organization after 1000 CE
 Population growth made it difficult to maintain kin-based
 Bantu communities began to formally organize militaries and
 City States formed in West Africa
Ife and Benin in West Africa
Kingdom of Kongo
 Most tightly centralized and prosperous Bantu Kingdom
 Trading hub
 King and officials administered judicial, political, and military
 Ruled for nearly 400 years.
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 Merchants brought Islam to sub-Saharan Africa – over
land along the camel routes to west Africa and across
the sea lanes to east Africa.
 Islam would profoundly influence religious, cultural,
political, social, and economic development
throughout the continent.
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 Trans-Saharan Trade and Islamic States in West Africa
 Camels – Important to trade because prior to their
introduction and the development of the saddle the
Sahara was almost impossible to trade across.
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 Islamic States in West Africa
 Ghana developed as a strong regional state during the
fourth and fifth centuries CE as a result of trade.
By the late eighth century CE Muslim merchants arrived and
Ghana became a trading hub, which led to increased wealth
and power in Ghana
Ghana controlled trade and taxes on gold used in trade,
allowing Ghanaian kings to build financial wealth and strong
militaries to protect their empires.
Ghanaian Kings adopted Islam, but did not force it on their
Ghana collapsed under perpetual attack from northern
nomadic invaders.
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 Islamic States in West Africa
 Mali
Emerges as Ghana collapses around 1230 CE.
Their legendary “lion” prince Sundiata expanded the Mali
kingdom to encompass Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Mauritania,
Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
Benefited from trans-Saharan trade.
Became strong Islamic realm under Mansa Musa (nephew of
 Established mosques and Islamic schools throughout Mali
after 1325.
 Overrun by the Songhai empire in fifteenth century
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 The Indian Ocean Trade and Islamic States in East
 Wealth generated by the Indian Ocean trade financed
the coastal city-states and interior kingdoms of east
 Tenth Century CE – Islamic merchants began regular,
sustained interaction with the indigenous Bantu people
in eastern Africa.
The coastal dwellers formed the basis of the new Swahili
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 The Indian Ocean Trade and Islamic States in East
 Swahili – Refers to the people who lived along the east
African coast. Over time they developed a unique
language and culture that mixed Bantu and Arabic
 Swahili traded gold, slaves, and ivory from the African
interior for textiles brought to Africa from Persia, India,
and China by Muslim merchants
Trading economy lead to great material wealth for Swahili
coastal city states
Islamic Kingdoms and Empires
 Islam States in East Africa
 Zimbabwe – Central African Kingdom influenced by the
wealth from east African trade
 Became increasing wealthy, complex, and organized
society by the fifteenth century.
 Controlled and taxed trade between the interior and the
coast and organized the flow of gold, slaves, and local
 As in West Africa, wealthy merchants converted to Islam
while holding onto some traditional beliefs.
Gave them legitimacy and recognition from Islamic states in
African Society and Cultural
 The diversity of African society by the eleventh century
C.E. makes generalities difficult.
 There are some social forms and cultural patterns
which appear widely, however.
African Society and Cultural
 Social Classes
 Societies in kingdoms, empires, and city states like Mali
resembled the social structures in the settled,
agricultural lands of Eurasia.
 In the smaller states and kin-based societies, however,
kinship, sex and gender expectations, and age groupings
determined social position.
 Slaves and slave trading – Source of wealth as it led to
greater agricultural production.
Eventually larger African societies began raiding other smaller
societies and selling them into slavery in the Islamic World…
This laid the foundation for the Atlantic Slave Trade.
African Society and Cultural
 African Religion
 Varied greatly among the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa
 Traditional African Beliefs
Practical rather than theological
Focused on morality and ethics
Mostly monotheistic recognizing a divine male force generally
regarded as omniscient and omnipotent
Diviners consulted oracles for answers to life’s questions /
Some adopted Christianity and Islam, but maintained some of
their traditional beliefs (syncretic faith)

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