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the movement from one country or region to settle in another


a large group of central and southern Africans who speak related languages


an area of grasslands with scattered trees and bushes


a huge desert stretching across most of North Africa

oral history

accounts of the past that people pass down by word of mouth


a group of families who trace their roots to the same ancestor

Mansa Musa

a king of Mali in the 1300s


a rich kingdom of the West African savanna


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


a powerful kingdom of the West African savanna


the capital of a kingdom of the West African rain forest


a kingdom of the West African rainforest


one of many trading cities on the East African coast; its location on the coast made it a prosperous trading center


an important East African center of trade and Christianity


a city that is also a seperate, independent state


a Bantu language with Arabic words, spoken along the East African coast

Great Zimbabwe

a powerful southeast African city that controlled gold mines

Where are Africa's tropical rain forests located?

On either side of the Equator.

What are some important features of Africa's savanna?

Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees and bushes.

In whay ways are Africa's rain forests and savannas alike? In what ways are they different?

Africa's rain forests are both capable of sustaining vegetation, but the rain forests are hot and moist whereas its savannas are drier and cooler.

Name two things that have helped modern historians study the history of Africa south of the Sahara.

Studying sub-saharan Africa is like solving a puzzle. One reason is because the wood, clay, and iron used for building has now disintegrated. Historians and scientists are now using modern techniques to uncover new information and oral history to help piece together these clues.

When and why did African Muslims fight the rulers of Aksam? Why was this important?

African Muslims fought the rulers of Aksum in the A.D. 600s for control of the Red Sea trade routes. This is important because it led to further development of trade on the eastern coast of Africa.

In which two rain forest kingdoms did artists make bronze sculptures?

Ile-Ife and Benin

Why might an artist depict a powerful king in thier work?

To pay tribute to the king.

Where and why did Mansa Musa and his caravan stop in July 1324?

In Cairo to rest and trade for food and supplies.

The Bantu migrations lasted for...

about 1,000 years.

Historians study the Bantu migrations by examining...

stories told by traditional African storytellers.

The two most important products that were traded in West Africa were...

gold and salt.

Muslim scholars in the empire of Mali taught students...

religion, matematics, medicine and law.

______ was one of the most important kingdoms of the West African forests.


The port cities of East Africa traded with...

China, India, and Southwest Asia.

The people who finally drove the rulers of Aksum from the coast of Africa were...

Muslim traders.

Cut off from the rest of the world, the Ethiopians developed their own form of...


What is the largest desert in Africa and in the world?

The Sahara

The Bantu-speaking people migrated because they were looking for...

better farmland and better grazing.

What did the Bantu-speaking people spread across Africa as they migrated?

bronze-making skills.

What item did the people of west Africa usually trade to get salt?


What did Sundiata accomplish?

He made Mali the most powerful kingdom in West Africa.

Mansa Musa wanted Mail to be a leading center of...

Muslim learning.

Most of the gold that was brought to the Swahili city-states of the East African coast came from...

Great Zimbabwe.

Explain how the geography of Africa affected people's ways of life.

Africa's physical geography affected its people's ways of life. For example, there is little farming in Africa's deserts because their is too little water. People herd cattle on the savannas, but cattle cannot survive in the rain forests. Flies and other pests in the rain forests carry diseases that are deadly for cattle.

Explain why the Bantu migrations are an important part of African history.

The Bantu migrations are an important part of African history because they are among the largest population movements in all of human history and their culture has affected large parts of Africa.

Name the three major kingdoms of the West African savanna and explain how trade made these three kingdoms wealthy.

The three major kingdoms of the West African savanna were Ghana, Mail and Songhai. All of these kingdoms used their acess to salt and gold to grow rich from trade.

Give two reasons for the collapse of Great Zimbabwe.

Great Zimbabwe might have collapsed because trade routes moved, making other trade cities more important, or farmers may have overused their soil.

Describe the main physical features of Africa.

Africa has tropical rain forests with thick vegetation and plenty of rainfall that are located on either side of the equator. Africa has savanna areas further away from the equator and may include lush, tall grass or short, sparse grass with some trees and bushes. Lastly Africa has desert areas to the north and south of the savannas. They have sand dunes, rocky mountains, oases, and high temperatures.


center of Muslim learning!

East African Port Cities

visited by traders from China, India and Southwest Asia

Ethiopian Christianity

unique because they were isolated for such a long period of time

Bantu people

spread their language and culture

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