African Civilizations

Created by mspeckham Teacher

45 terms · Parker 9th

Aksum

A kingdom in northwestern Ethiopia that was a sizable trading state and the center of Christian culture.

Bantu

The people living in Africa south of the Congo River who speak a Bantu language.

Berbers

North African peoples who were the first to develop saddles for use on the camel.

Ethiopia

The first black African society that can be studied from written records; it was the site of the kingdom of Axum.

Ghana

The name of a great African kingdom inhabited by the Soninke people.

ghana

The name used by the Soninke people for their ruler.

Great Zimbabwe

A ruined African city discovered by a German explorer in 1871; it is considered the most powerful monument south of the Nile Valley and Ethiopian highlands.

Kilwa

The most powerful city of the coast of Africa by the late thirteenth century.

Kumbi

The city where the king of Ghana held his court.

Mogadishu

A Muslim port city founded between the eighth and tenth centuries; today it is the capital of Somalia.

stateless societies

African societies bound together by ethnic or blood ties rather than political states.

Sudan

The African region surrounded by the Sahara, the Gulf of Guinea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the mountains of Ethiopia.

Swahili

The East African coastal culture, named after a Bantu language whose vocabulary and poetic forms exhibit strong Arabic influences.

Timbuktu

Originally a campsite for desert nomads, it grew into a thriving city under Mansa Musa.

The Land and Peoples of Africa

The continent of Africa, which is the world's second largest, is divided into five climate zones, ranging from the fertile coastal lands to vast deserts and dense rain forests.

Egypt, Africa, and Race

The peoples of North Africa are a mix of native Berber and Mediterranean peoples, while black Africans are the dominant group of the regions south of the Sahara.

Early African Societies

Africa is one of the places where knowledge of agriculture began. Gradually, agriculture and a settled way of life spread over the continent. Over the centuries, Africa supported a variety of civilizations and societies, one of earliest centered at Nok where terra-cotta sculpture achieved great refinement.

Bantu Migrations

By 200 B.C.E., the Bantu migrations had brought the knowledge of ironworking to much of the continent. A Bantu language is spoken today by a majority of the 70 million people living south of the Congo River.

Kingdoms of the Western Sudan, ca. 1000 B.C.E.-1500 C.E.

Between 1000 B.C.E. and 200 C.E., other societies developed in the rich savannah regions of the Sudan. The basic social unit of these city-states was the extended family. Religions were animistic and polytheistic.

The Trans-Saharan Trade

A network of caravan routes connected the Mediterranean coast with the Sudan, stimulating gold mining, the slave trade, and urbanization.

African Kingdoms and Empires (ca. 800-1450)

This period saw the flowering of several powerful African states.

The Kingdom of Ghana (ca. 900-1100)

The kingdom of Ghana emerged as one of Africa's richest and most powerful states by virtue of its control of the southern end of the caravan route and its strong agricultural base.

The Kingdom of Mali (ca. 1200-1450)

Another powerful state, Mali, carried on a brisk trade in salt, gold, and slaves. As in much of Africa, commerce along the trade routes introduced Africans to Islam. In western Africa Islam was carried south by Berber merchants converted during the Arab conquests of the eighth century. This diffusion of religious ideas led, in turn, to the conversion of rulers, the growth of intellectual centers such as Timbuktu, and the strong influence of Muslim ulemas.

Ethiopia

The Christian Kingdom of Axum: Although the most important foreign influence on Africa was Islam, Ethiopia was a center of Christian civilization. Ruled from Axum by kings, early Christian Ethiopia became a major trading empire. Muslim conquest of northern Ethiopia weakened Axum's power and prompted the inwardness that characterized subsequent Ethiopian civilization. During that period Ethiopian national identity formed around the mythic origins of the Solomonic ruling house.

The East African City-States

In eastern Africa, trading city-states such as Kilwa developed along the coast, linking the interior of the continent to the Indian Ocean trade routes. The East African coastal culture was called Swahili.

Southern Africa

In southern Africa, peoples descended from Bantu immigrants built societies based on the polygamous nuclear family and thrived on agriculture and gold mining. Among the most notable of these societies was the gold-trading state centered at Great Zimbabwe.

What values do Africans' art, architecture, and religions express?

The student beginning the study of African history should bear in mind the enormous diversity of African peoples and cultures, diversity both within and across regions. It is, therefore, difficult and often dangerous to b=make broad generalizations about African life. African peoples are not now and never have been

How were societies and ethnic groups during the 15th century in Africa?

In the fifteenth century, the African continent contained a number of very different societies and civilizations and many diverse ethnic groups.

What kind of goods did people trade in the country of Mali?

In West Africa, Mali continued the brisk trade in salt, gold, and slaves that had originated many centuries earlier.

What patterns of social organization prevailed among the people of Africa?

By virtue of their claim to Solomonic blood and by force of arms, kings of Ethiopia ruled a uniquely Christian state.

What patterns of social order prevailed among the people of Africa?

Flourishing trade with Egypt, Arabia, and East African city-states gave Aksum cultural access to much of southwestern Asia. The impact of the Islamic faith was also felt in East Africa, whose bustling port cities were in touch with the cultures of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

What types of commerce did African's engage in?

Islam, which had spread to sub-Saharan Africa through caravan trade, had a tremendous influence on the peoples of western Sudan, their governmental bureaucracies, and their vibrant urban centers.

What types of commerce did African's engage in?

Flourishing trade with Egypt, Arabia, and East African city-states gave Aksum cultural access to much of southwestern Asia. The impact of the Islamic faith was also felt in East Africa, whose bustling port cities were in touch with the cultures of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

What types of political organization prevailed among the people of Africa?

Between the first and eighth centuries, Christianity had penetrated through the mountainous kingdom of Aksum, beginning an enduring identification of the Ethiopian kingdom with the Judeo- Christian tradition.

What types of commerce did African's engage in?

Flourishing trade with Egypt, Arabia, and East African city-states gave Aksum cultural access to much of southwestern Asia.

What types of political organization prevailed among the people of Africa?

While the city-states along the eastern coast- Kilwa, Mombasa, and Mogadishu conducted complicated mercantile activities with foreign societies, and mountain protected kingdom of Ethiopia increasingly led an isolated inward looking existence. In southern Africa, the vast empire of Great Zimbabwe was yielding to yet another kingdom whose power was based on precious gold.

People of western Sudan

made a huge shift from nomadic hunting to settled agriculture

Basic social unit

extended family

African religions

animistic and polytheistic

invention of the saddle

gave Berbers maneuverability and thus a powerful political and military advantage

Berbers developed a network of caravan routes

between Mediterranean coast and Sudan

Slaves

were west Africa's second most valuable export [after gold]

Trans-Saharan trade

stimulated the development

Influential consequence of Trans-Saharan trade

Introduction of Islam

Mogadishu

Mulsim port city

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