The chapter of Africa basically talks about the land, humanity, and the conflicts throughout the continent. Africa is the second largest in the world. Most of the continent divides into climatic zones, except the historic Nile river valley. Most of the continent is made of the savanna and the rain forest. Origin of humanity came from the savanna area. Scientist concludes that today’s people likely came from Africa.
Ardipithecines were the first family but homo habilis developed a larger brain. They used stones to make a home and build fire. African civilization is so important because Many things they started back then we still use to this day. Things like hunting and gathering, selling and trading, and ranks of power over the people. The villagers settled to become a social system based on class rank. Ancient Egypt all spoke the same relatable language that north Africa and south west Asia. Nineteenth century arguments began over the Egyptian race from the Americanized Africans and white reformers.
Over the years of the twentieth century afrocentricists and traditionalist had two different views on the race of the ancient Egyptians. Afrocenticists believed they were black civilization linked to the indigenous. Traditionalist believed the race had no relevance to ancient Egyptians, but both don’t doubt Egypt influenced Greece. The Nile once a year floods leaving behind deposits of fertile soil. It allowed them to make wheat, barley and herd goats etc. the Nile also provided transportation and communication. Egypt became a unified kingdom and expanded to the region of south west Asia.
After 1100 bce had lots of invasions starting with alexander the great army. The fact that Egypts population was so large they did things like use military power to take whole colonies like nubia and ontrol things like copper and gold mines. They also required Nubian men to live in Egypt as hostages. But with egypts decline nubia became independent and remained that way for another thousand years but known as kush. Egypt’s army destroyed kerma which was the capital of kush so they moved the capitol to meroe. The new capitol was very wealthy which only ment one thing, powerful enemies, and the new capitol was eventually destroyed by the warriors of axum.
Now west Africa was made up of two parts the savanna and the forest. It is diverse just like Africa physically, culturally, and ethnically. West Africans started crops and other things like tending domesticated animals between 1000 BCE and 200 CE, those who lived in the savannah where more adapted quicker than those who live in the forest. Early farmers produced grains, rice, and sorghum, while tending to the goats. Ghana was the first kingdom in western sudan. It was basically built off of war because they had possession of big weapons. Ghana traded, exported, and their slaves were normally war captive they were very successful. They were so productive they had 20,000 people with stone houses and tombs.
By retaliation the Almoravids eventually conquered Ghana. Now under the legendary leader Sundiata defeated the sosso at the battle of kirnia, he than forged the empire of Mali. Mali was socially and economically like Ghana but way bigger and very wealthier. The city had many mosques, 150 Islamic schools, a law school, and many book dealers. Mali enslaved war captives and traded slaves. When Musa passed away Mali declined in 1468. The Songhai captured Timbuktu and the leaders.
West African empire was founded by Sunni ali. The empire of Songhai were great traders and warriors. 1375 Songhai succeeded form Mali. Sunni ali made conquered people pay tribute. Sunni ali wasn’t alive long he died by drowning allowing askia Muhammad toure. He leads a success revolt to become king of Songhai against Sunni ali son. Askia replaced local chiefs with his family members. He used his power to spread influences of Islam in the empire. The Songhai empire started a trading system seeking gold. The king of morocco wanted to regain access to the gold. So, he sent an army of 4,000 with advanced weapons but only a 1,000 made it through the desert. Songhai was no match for morocco army. The empire of Songhai collapsed.
Other empire was more interested in trading humans. Kongo and Angola were very like west Africa in many ways. They divided labor, lived in villages of extended families. They also had control over a river system for things like farming, fishing, and trading. There were two types of families in west Africa one known as nuclear and the other known as polygynous. With the extended families they were so big they might have lived in different homes, but the elders had the power of the social an economic life of their members. But in general, the men over ranked like if they lived in separate houses he would get the bigger one. In west Africa there, slaves were war captives meaning women men and children. But in the Islamic region they had obligations to their slaves.
There were two different types of religion back than in the 15th century which was Islamic an indigenous. As in other parts of the world their beliefs and creativity influenced the west African art. They made wooden mask which represented in highly stylized manners ancestral spirits and gods. They had many musical instruments that we have today like drums, bells, flutes, etc. they used these to connect it to religion and rituals.
West Africans use poems to recall history. Women use folk literature, while men did the performance of the songs. West African technology shaped life in the region. Their technology produced tools for agriculture and hunting. The technology started the buildup of the region cities. West Africans legacies continue to shape everyday life in the world.