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71 Cards in this Set

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-zone south of sahara desert where human habitation is possible

-farming difficult but lots of herders


-zone south of sahel

-rolling hills

-good farmland


ancient west african state: 800-1285 C.E.

located in senegal river valley

rival of ghana empire

adopted islam and sharia law around 1030


civilization in southern nigeria

1000 BCE --> 300 CE

developed first iron smelting in west africa


-founded by tuareg ppl on apex of Niger River

-produced lots of books in arabic

-did NOT have its own political power: peacefully annexed into mali, then briefly independent, then taken over by songhay

-center for Saharan trade and islamic scholarship

-it wasn't the only center for islamic scholarship...just the most famous one

niger river

biggest river in west africa

2,600 miles long

senegal river

2nd-largest river in west africa

1,110 miles long

lake chad

large inland lake in west africa

saharan trade

-revolutionized by domestication of camel in 800 CE, which gave way to HUGE trade caravans

-going south: salt from saharan mines, cowry shells

-going north: gold, cola nuts, (mostly female) slaves


trading town w/ no structured government

"by the fourteenth century, gold, kola, from the southern savanna, salt and manuscripts from the Sahara, and the staple foods of the Inland Niger Delta were bartered here in an extensive web of trade reaching as far as northern Africa and Europe."

what are the 3 biggest gold fields in subsaharan west africa?




ancient ghana (aka wagadu)

830 C.E. ---> 1235 C.E.

-oldest of the 3 big empires in "imperial tradition"

-very wealthy trade center because it stood between saharan traders and southern gold fields

-most important source of gold for north africa + Medditerannean

-gained mythic fame in europe + middle east as an "island of gold"

-no written records by ghana empire ppl; all we know of it is from Arab travelers and written in arabic



-people from southern sahara region

-moved north and brought sunni islam to northern africa, morocco, southern spain


-Muslim Mande-speaking traders in Saharan trade

-it was illegal to enslave a muslim

-usually they're from the sahara/sahel and trade w/ subsaharans


-oral historians who memorize and recite epics (like sundiata)

sundiata keita

-great epic of the founding of the mali empire

-important theme is establishment of endogamous (caste-like) social groups like smiths, farmers, herders, nobles, etc


capital city of songhay empire

koumbi saleh

capital city of Ghana empire, around 800-1300 CE

ancient mali


-rulers called "mansa"

-emperors were muslim, people were mostly not muslim

-cared more about trade than islam

-very wealthy as result of Saharan trade

-most of what we know about Mali is from oral history

mande diaspora

-diaspora of "mande" people, aka anybody who traces their ancestry to Mali or Ghana

-mande is also a west african language family


-birthplace of muhammed, important to Islam

-Mansa Musa of Mali made famous pilgrimage to Mecca in early 1300s

-many islamic leaders and scholars in w africa have "al-hajj" in their name because they made pilgrimage to mecca

songhay empire

-1395 to 1591

-3rd empire of west african imperial tradition

-Saharan trade impacted songhay way more than Ghana and Mali

-Islam used as source of political legitimacy

-Islam VERY important to songhay

-unlike Ghana and Mali, they have written records so we know about songhay from firsthand accounts

-brought down by moroccans in late 1500s, collapsed 1600ish

sonni ali ber

-first king of songhay empire, ruled 1464-1492

-sacked/conquered Gao, Jenne, and Timbuktu

-was NOT a muslim

Askiya al-hajj Muhammed Touré

-second king of songhay empire

-ruled 1493-1528

-"askiya" means king, "al-hajj" means he made the pilgrimage to mecca

-devout muslim

-waged jihad against ppl who claim to be muslim but aren't, which he found more important than converting pagans

-policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and made Islam an integral part of the empire

ahmed baba

-known as Timbuktu's greatest islamic scholar, wrote 40 books

died 1627

tarikh al-Sudan

-chronicle written in arabic by Abd al-Sadi in 1655

-most important history of songhay empire

tarikh al-Fattash

-chronicle written in arabic in late 1600s

-details later history of songhay empire

Elmina Castle

- erected 1482, oldest European building in existence below the Sahara

-initially a portuguese trade settlement (for gold-trade), later became a slave-holding depot as slaves replaced gold as w africa's primary export

cape coast

-city on coast of modern-day ghana

-major port of atlantic slave trade

akan people

-power ethnic group in west africa, dominated gold mining 1400s thru 1800s

-they waged wars on neighboring states in their geographic area to capture people and sell them as slaves to Portuguese

-supplied gold, and later slaves, to Atlantic trade

jolof (or "wolof")

-developed hierarchical system involving different classes of royal and non-royal nobles, free men, occupational castes and slaves

-Jolof Empire was organized as five coastal kingdoms from north to south

-West African state that ruled parts of Senegal from 1360 to 1549


-small state that was part of the Mali empire

-became independent at end of Mali empire


portuguese traders, traded w/ w. africans and intermarried, established portuguese as trading language at beginning of atlantic trade around 1400-1500


-mulatto french-african women traders in senegambia during 1700s + 1800s


muslim warlords who raided weak communities (that weakened after fall of Mali empire) for slaves

Ouladah Equiano

- prominent African in London, a freed slave who supported the British movement to end the slave trade

-lived 1745-1797

-autobiography, published in 1789 and attracting wide attention, was considered highly influential in gaining passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807

-from Igboland, Nigeria--enslaved, taken to barbados, eventually educated in london

ottobah cugoano

- African abolitionist from Ghana who was active in England in late 1700s

-former slave

-lived 1757-1791

samuel ajayi crowther

-first African Anglican bishop in Nigeria

-translated bible into yoruba, which was the first time yoruba was ever written down

-lived 1809-1891

-yoruba, enslaved age 12, but his slave ship was intercepted by British navy

-he was then taken to Freetown, Sierra Leone

E.W. Blyden

-lived 1832-1912

-educator, writer, diplomat, and politician primarily in Liberia, born (to free, Igbo parents) in the West Indies

-sought out to disprove stereotype of black inferiority

Ouidah (or "Whydah")

city on coast of benin, HUGE slaving port


-coastal city in nigeria, another major slave port

between 1841-1846, lagos exported MILLIONS of slaves to brazil

Freetown, Sierra Leone

-haven for "recaptured" slaves (enslaved ppl whose ships were intercepted by british navy off the coast of africa because slave trade was illegal after 1807)

-also haven for black loyalists from British colonies

-hub of christian missionary activity

-christian schools taught english, bible, farming, industrial training


-african ethnic group from sahelian nigeria/niger

- In 1810, the Fulani, another Islamic African ethnic group that spanned West Africa and shared the area with the Hausa, invaded the Hausa states, starting with Gobir under the leadership of Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio

Fulani (or "fulbe")

-african ethnic group, present basically all over sub saharan west africa

-uthman dan fodio was a Fulani and his Fulani army conquered a shitton of ppl in the early 1800s (hausa, for example) and created sokoto caliphate

Uthman d. Fodio

lived 1754-1817

-muslim sahelian scholar

-founder of sokoto caliphate

-his ethnicity was fulani

-between 1804-1808, he used his fulani armies to conquer hausa city states and make them into a model of islamic society in muhammed's time

-"do not innovate"

sheikh al-kanemi

-an Islamic scholar, teacher, religious and political leader

-ruled Bornu empire

-fought against sokoto caliphate because fulani jihadists (led by sokoto caliphate ruler uthman dan fodio) tried to take over bornu

-died 1835

Nana Asma'u

-daughter of uthman dan fodio, princess of sokoto caliphate

-promoted education of women under islam "women should only leave the house to go to market and to school"

-so...kinda feministy

-died 1864

Muhammadu Bello

-uthman dan fodio's son

-second Sultan of Sokoto

-ruled 1817-1837

Sokoto Caliphate

lasted from 1804-1903

-powerful islamic state in w africa

-founded by uthman dan fodio

-slave economy; however, did not export slaves, just used them internally


-absorbed into Sokoto caliphate after uthman dan fodio took it over

-largest province of sokoto caliphate

-slave economy, but didn't export many slaves, just used slaves internally


-state in northeastern nigeria

-Uthman dan fodio tried to absorb it into sokoto caliphate but failed

Futa Toro


-pre-colonial West African theocratic Islamic state

Futa Jallon

-West African theocratic state based in the Futa Jallon highlands of modern Guinea

-governed under strict Islamic Law

al-hajj Umar Tal

-died 1864

-West African political leader, Islamic scholar + military commander who founded short-lived Toucouleur Empire

-1848, invaded several neighboring, non-Muslim, Malinké regions and met with immediate success

Ahmadu Tal (or "Ahmad al-Kabir)

-ruled Toucouleur Empire 1864-1893

-the Toucouleur took over segou/bambara/bamana


Louis Faidherbe

-white French general and colonial administrator

-war with Toucouleur empire around 1860

-died 1889

Mamari Biton Coulibaly

-died 1755

-founded the Bambara Empire


gum arabic

-resin used to keep dye from coming out of clothes

-could be *tapped?? from trees in southern woodlands

-one of west africa's new 'legitimate trade' exports

-*tapped using slave labor? free labor???

legitimate trade

-trade of items that aren't slaves after 1807 outlaw of slave trade

-palm oil, gum arabic became major exports

-ironically named because palm


-short-lived bambara/bamana/segou kingdom in modern-day western mali

Segu (or "ségou") Empire (also "bamana empire" and "bambara")

- large West African muslim state based at town of Ségou, now in Mali

-big raider/exporter of slaves to atlantic trade

-existed between 1712-1861, when it was taken over by the toucelour


-demand for slaves then led to further fighting, leaving the Bambara in a perpetual state of war with their neighbors

masina empire

-was an early nineteenth-century Fulbe Jihad statecentered in the Inner Niger Delta

-conquered by El Hadj Umar Tall of Toucouleur in 1862

lat dior

-king of a wolof state in what is now southern Senegal

-ally of the Toucouleur empire's El Hadj Umar Tall


- King of the Kingdom of Dahomey, in present-day Benin, from 1818 until 1858

soninke people

-mande people

-founders of ancient empire of ghana

slavery in saharan trade

-according to islam, slavery = will of God

-more women enslaved in saharan trade than men

what is a "slave mode of production"

a society that DEPENDS on slavery to exist

Saro and Agudah

-afro-brazilian freemen who migrated from brazil back to lagos/ouidah

-middle class skilled craftsmen

-spoke portuguese + were catholic

-used western clothing, western architecture

-gradually began to reject british values as they were forced out of positions in british colonial government

berlin conference

-occured in berlin, 1884

-french, brits, portuguese, boer, german, spanish, belgian all met to divide subsaharan africa

-not about political control, about establishing trade monopolies to dampen economic competition between these european countries


dahomey kingdom

- African kingdom (in the present-day country of Benin) which lasted from about 1600 until 1900

-slave mode of production; MAJOR exporter of slaves to atlantic trade


-elite local representatives of foreign interests

-compradorial elites are like the middle class afro-brazilian saro/agudah of lagos