Chapter 8 African civilization and the spread of Islam Do now

Report
What is a stateless society?
People controlled by lineage or other forms of
obligation
What is lacking in a stateless society?
Concentration of political power and authority
associated with states
What most significantly impacted sub-Saharan
Africa?
The arrival of Islam (pg 174)
2.
What was the function of secret societies in African
culture
Because their membership cut across lineage divisions,
they acted to maintain stability within the
community and diminish clan feuds (pg 175)
3.
What was the indigenous religion of much of subSaharan Africa
Animistic religion, belief in the power of natural forces
personified as deities (pg 175)
1.
Below the Sahara only limited contact with civs.
of Mediterranean and Asia
 Between 800 and 1500 CE social, religious and
technological changes influenced African life
 The spread of Islam in Africa linked its regions
 State building in Africa was influenced by both
indigenous and Islamic inspiration
 States like Mali and Songhay built on military
power and dynastic alliances
 City-states in western and eastern Africa were
tied to larger trading networks

 Political
forms varied from hierarchical
states to “stateless” societies
 Both centralized and decentralized forms
existed side by side and both were of varying
size
 Christianity and Islam sometimes influenced
political and cultural development
 In
west African forest secret societies were
important in social life and could limit a
ruler’s authority
 Main weakness was their delayed ability to
respond to outside pressures, mobilize for
war, undertake large building projects or
create stability for long-distance trade
 Migration
of Bantu speakers provided a
common linguistic base
 Animistic religion
 Religion provided a cosmology and guide to
ethical behavior
 North Africa was integrated into the world
economy
 Settled agriculture and ironworking were
present
 International trade increased in some
regions, mainly toward the Islamic world
North Africa was integral in the classical
Mediterranean civilization
 Mid 7th century, Muslim armies pushed westward
from Egypt across the regions called Ifriqiya by
the Romans and the Maghrib by the Arabs
 By 711 they crossed into Spain
 Conversion was rapid but initial unity divided
north Africa into competing Muslim states
 In the 11th century the Almoravids of western
Sahara controlled the lands expanding from the
southern Savanna and into Spain
 12th century another group the Almohadis
succeeded the Almoravids

 Christian
kingdoms were present in north
Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia before Islam
 Egyptian Christians or Copts had a rich and
independent tradition
 Coptic influence spread into Nubia (Kush)
 Nubians resisted Muslim incursions until the
13th century
 The Ethiopian successors to Christian Axum
formed their state the 13th and 14th century
 King Lalibela in the 13th century built great
rock churches
 Islam
spread peacefully into sub-Saharan
Africa
 Merchants followed caravan routes across the
Sahara to regions where Sudanic states, such
as Ghana, had flourished by the 8th century
 By the 13th century, new states, Mali,
Songhay and Hausa were becoming important
 The
states were often led by a patriarch or
council of elders from a family
 Based on a ethnic core and conquered
neighboring peoples
 Rulers were sacred individuals and separated
from their subjects by rituals
 Two of the most important states were Mali
and Songhay
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Mali, located along the Senegal and Niger river was formed
by the Malinke people
They broke away from Ghana in the 13th century
Ruler authority was strengthened by Islam
Agriculture, combined with the gold trade was the
economic base of the state
Sundiata receives credit for Malinke expansion and for
governing a system based on clan structure
Sundiata’s successors extended Mali’s control through most
of the Niger valley to near the Atlantic ocean
Mansa Kankan Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca during the 14th
century became legendary because of wealth distributed
along the way
Ishak al-Sahili was a architect that returned with Mansa
Kankan Musa, who created a distinctive Sudanic
architecture using beaten clay
 Western
Sudan had distinctive regional towns
such as Jenne and Timbuktu, whose residents
included scholars, craft merchants and
foreign merchants
 Timbuktu was famous for its library and
universities
 Most of Mali’s population lived in villages and
were agriculturalist
 Despite poor soil, primitive tech, droughts,
insect pest and storage problems the farmers
managed to support themselves and the
imperial states
 Songhay
became independent in the 7th
century
 By 1010 the rules were Muslim and they had
a capital at Gao
 1370s Songhay wins freedom from Mali and
prospered a trading state
 Sunni Ali formed a empire which extended
over the entire middle Niger valley
 Sunni Ali developed a system of provincial
admin. to secure the conquests
 Ali’s successors were Muslim rulers with title
of askia
 Islamic
and indigenous traditions combined
 Men and women mixed freely ; women went
unveiled
 Songhay was dominate until defeated by
Moroccans in 1591
 The Hausa of northern Nigeria also combined
cultures
 14th century the first Muslim ruler Kano made
the Hausa city a center of Islamic learning
Larger states were ruled by a dominant group
 Islam provided a universal faith and a fixed law
that served the common interest
 Rulers reinforced authority through Muslim
officials and ideology
 Existing traditions continued to be vital as well
because many of the subjects were not Muslim
 The fusion of traditions showed in the status of
women
 Many Sudanic societies were matrilineal and did
not seclude women
 The slave trade to the Islamic world had a major
effect on women and children


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