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the most widely spoken Bantu languages


a city that is also a separate independent state


A journey to a place considered sacred for religious purposes.


the holiest city of Islam; Muhammad's birthplace


a city in Mali near the Niger River; also spelled Timbuktu

Mansa Musa

ruled Mali from 1312 to 1332; spread interest in Mali as he journeyed to Mecca

West African Kingdoms

All successful because of the salt for gold trade


Empire created by indigenous Muslims in western Sudan of West Africa from the thirteenth to fifteenth century. It was famous for its role in the trans-Saharan gold trade.


the first West African kingdom based on the gold and salt trade


A West African empire that conquered Mali and controlled trade from the 1400s to 1591.

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