22 terms

Cultural Diffusion and Complex Society in Africa: 2000 BE to 500 CE

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The Bantu Migration: 2000 BCE to 500 CE: Languages,Culture, and Agriculture
Centered in Nigeria and started to spread around South Africa. Went on for a long time and spread language, culture and agricultural ideas.
Iron Working
900 - 800 BCE: they got into major iron working. Got it from the Hitties/Nubians. Started doing iron working. Lots of cultural diffusion like 400 different Bantu languages.
Villages, Chiefs, and Elders
Villages would have chiefs and councils of elders and the villages were interconnected and possibly had an inter-village council of chiefs.
Crossroads Communities: Interval Trade Routes
So many trade routes all through Africa. Places where there were different wealth status. These things can get more complex internally.
External Trade Routes
Outside people would come and trade. People caught in the crossroads would be more socially complex and have more wealth.
North Africa: Berbers
Indigenous people who were there forever. Nomads but not Steppe nomads. Had trade links. Developed trade routes across the Sahara. Really tough terrain with mountains. Life based on trade.
Carthaginian Empire
Originally Phoenicians. Had empire in Spain. Had own complex society along coast and interacted with the Berbers.
Roman Empire
Conquered Carthaginian Empire. Romanized North Africa. Tried to develop Berber trade networks.
Tran-Saharan Trade
Romans developed this. Wanted to trade to the South. Spread Roman culture everywhere.
West Africa: The Sahel/Sudan Region
Southern Sudan. Mostly grasslands. People lived there. Local way of life was interacting with the Berbers, who brought stuff from Roman Empire. Worked on getting products for trade, like salt and iron. Traded further South, for gold and ivory and hides and furs and skins. Traded with Ghana as well. Had more and more wealth and prosperity. Complex societies and government and kings. Ghana empire was the first kingdom.
East African Coast: Madagascar, Kilwa, and Sofala
Most of their orientation came from the east, since they were very big in trade with the Islamic people. Big cities on East Africa coast and very active in sea trade, particularly Muslim traders. People who were active had benefits, as they converted to Islam and became a part of the Islamic world. Places in interior had more complex society as they had more wealth.
Great Zimbabwe, 900 - 1500
Had lots of political power and a huge complex society. Got wealth and power from major trade.
West Africa Empires - Political History: Empire of Ghana, 800 - 1076
Trade picked up big time. Had a major kingdom. Controlled trade with salt and luxury goods from south to the north. Luxury goods = gold and ivory. Taxed any camel or donkey coming in or going out of their territory. This wealth attracted attackers.
Empire of Mali: 1200 - 1400, Mandinka People
Started to conquer Ghana. Hooked into trade routes. Upper Niger River. Had urban society and wealth. Took advantage of the fall of the Ghana empire. Ran the people already there.
The Dyula
Trading company under the Malis.
Sundiata: 1235 - 1260
First emperor in Mali. Conquered lots of territory.
Mansa Musa: 1312 - 1377
Another emperor in Mali. Got them into international trade.
Songhai Empire: 1376 - 1591
Took over the Mali emperor. Centered on the city of Goa. Built up power.
The Role of Islam: Empire of Ghana, Reade and Conversion
Had empire around 800. Trade was expanded. Lots of contact, lots of exposure. Traders converted to Islam. Kings did not convert. 1000s- some sub-kings converted. Not spread very far.
Empire of Mali: Imperial Islam
Sundiata converted to Islam and used it in his kingship. Used traditional African rituals and yet still practiced Islam. Buildup of trade links and political importance. Mansa Musa focused a lot of Islam and went to Mecca with 60,000 members of his court and made a huge display of his wealth. Built diplomatic links. Built universities.
Local Cultures and Islam
For women, in Africa, they had more rights. Architecture was very different. Had to incorporate traditions. Kings had to walk a tight rope. Agriculture was fundamentally important so they didn't worship Islam, just farmed. Oral historians, the Griots, quotes the stories of history and kept the kings in check and preserved African history. Often accompanied by music. Tension between country side and cities.
Decline of Trade and End of Empires
Tension between country side and cities. The farmers didn't want to be Muslim. Kings were overthrown. Had local interests and international scene. Power from trade faded away and the empires faded too, due to new trade routes.
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