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SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FROM PRE-HISTORY TO 1500 C.E.

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Title: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FROM PRE-HISTORY TO 1500 C.E.


1
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FROM PRE-HISTORY TO 1500 C.E.
2
PRE-HISTORIC AFRICA
  • Regions in Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa vs. Northern Africa (inc. Nile
    Valley)
  • The Sahara is the greatest physical and cultural
    barrier
  • North settled early by Berbers, Hamites
    (Caucasian groups)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has larger regions with many
    micro regions
  • West Africa Forest, Sahel called Sudan, Central
    Africa, East Africa, South Africa
  • Each region defined by physical geography and
    vegetation many micro cultures
  • North and East Africa saw first African
    civilizations
  • The Nile River Pharaonic Egypt Kush-Meroe
    (often called Nubia)
  • The Ethiopian Highlands Axum (Aksum) or Ethiopia
  • North Africa Carthaginian Empire, Roman and
    Greek civilizations
  • The Sudan
  • Sudanic region was sahel or plains stretching
    across Africa south of Sahara
  • 9000 B.C.E. domestication of cattle cultivation
    of sorghum, cotton
  • Became home to most Sub-Saharan civilizations
  • Small states based on tribes, clans developed
  • Religion polytheism, shamanism, placation of
    spirits, divination
  • Climatic Change
  • Prior to 5000 CE Sahara one large inland sea
    surrounded by plains

3
REGIONS IN AFRICA
4
AFRICAN CLIMATE ZONES
5
AFRICAN LANGUAGE FAMILIES
6
FIRST AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS
  • Egyptian History, c. 3100 BCE to 525 BCE
  • Pre-history dominated by small city-states along
    Nile
  • Old Kingdom
  • Menes- Narmer united Upper/Lower Egypt
  • Pyramid building era pharaohs considered divine
  • Middle Kingdom
  • 2nd Illness saw Semitic invasion Hyksos
  • New Kingdom saw rise of empire
  • 3rd Illness saw invasions by Kush, Assyrians, Sea
    Peoples
  • Eventually ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans,
    Byzantines
  • Kush in Upper Nile assimilates Egyptian culture
  • Ethnically were Black Africans
  • Adopted many of Egyptian practices religion,
    architecture
  • Ruled Egypt as 26th Dynasty
  • Famous for iron, gold trade
  • Remained independent until Muslim conquests

7
ANCIENT EGYPT
8
MAP OF ANCIENT KUSH
9
ANCIENT MAP OF AFRICA
10
NILE SOCIETIES
  • Urban elites (2) ruled over rural masses
  • Social Classes
  • Pharaoh (ruler and his immediate family)
  • Officials (Advisors, generals, soldiers, priests)
  • Merchants and artisans
  • Peasants
  • Slaves
  • Patriarchal societies with a twist
  • Women were occasionally rulers
  • Women had rights, could own lands
  • Were less than males but not oppressed

11
RELIGIONS OF THE NILE
  • Polytheism
  • Extremely complex pantheon of gods
  • Deification of nature
  • Extremely powerful, influential priesthood with
    great wealth
  • Conflict of good, evil
  • Humans judged for their actions
  • Cult of Osiris
  • Strong belief in afterlife, accountability for
    actions
  • Mummification was but one aspect of this
  • Regenerative cycle of Osiris/Ra-Re/Horus
  • Ahkenaton and Monotheism
  • Amenhotep believed there was only one God
  • Ended polytheism, opposed by priests was
    assassinated
  • Nubian Beliefs
  • Adopted many Egyptian beliefs
  • Major focus on the sun and moon

12
WRITING
  • Early Nile Writing
  • Hieroglyphics (Pictographs)
  • Merotic Writing in Nubia
  • Geez Writing in Axum
  • Education
  • Scribes had influence
  • Often attached to court or temples
  • Services rented out
  • Scribes could advance socially
  • Sub-Saharan Writing
  • Lacked alphabet, books
  • Lack due to termites, lack of durable medium
  • Developed oral traditional, tribal memories
  • West African griots
  • Memorized history by mneumonic devices
  • Kept all records for tribes, rulers
  • Islam brought first alphabet to Sub-Saharan Africa

13
ECONOMICS OF NILE
  • Economic Specialization and Trade
  • Bronze Age arose around 17th century B.C.E.
  • Iron Age begins around 1,000 B.C.
  • Transportation
  • Largely waterborne little need for roads
  • Out of Nile Valley, camels and horses were common
  • Trade
  • Egypt was largely self-sufficient, autarkic
  • Net exporter of grains, foodstuffs, luxuries,
    paper, medicines
  • Most trade was based on luxury products
  • Papyrus, paper, medicines, herbs, finished
    products especially silver
  • Imports tended to be wood, gold, finished
    products
  • Kush-Meroe specialized in iron, gold workings
  • Trade Routes
  • Up Nile to Kush-Meroe
  • Across Sinai to Fertile Cresent
  • Down Red Sea to East Africa, Southern Arabia
  • Across Mediterranean to Greece, Phoenicia
  • Little contact with interior of
    Africa                            

14
THE NOK CULTURE
  • Discovered 1928 in Northern Nigeria
  • Was it a civilization or advanced culture?
  • Flourished 900 BCE to 200 CE on Niger-Benue River
  • Clearly first Sub-Saharan civilization/culture
  • Precursor of Bantu, West African forest peoples
  • Knowledge is based on archeology
  • Iron makers and sculptors
  • Animals and humans made from fired clay
  • Figures of animals, peoples including leaders
  • Seem to have been pastoralists, farmers
  • Could smelt iron
  • Have found iron tools, weapons probably also
    used wood
  • Seemed to have skipped copper, bronze ages
  • Indigenous or borrowed from North Africa, Nile
    River?

15
GHANA 1ST SUB-SAHARAN CIVILIZATION
  • Camels
  • Camels came to Egypt from Arabia, 7th century
    B.C.E.
  • Romans introduced them to North Africa, patrolled
    desert
  • After 500 C.E. camels replaced horses, donkeys as
    transport animals
  • Camels' arrival quickened pace of communication
    across the Sahara
  • Islamic merchants crossed the desert to trade in
    West Africa
  • Established relations with sub-Saharan West
    Africa by 8th century
  • The kingdom of Ghana
  • Kings maintained a large army of two hundred
    thousand warriors
  • A principal state of west Africa, not related to
    modern state of Ghana
  • Became the most important commercial site in west
    Africa
  • Controlled gold mines, exchanged it with nomads
    for salt
  • Provided gold, ivory, and slaves
  • Wanted horses, cloth, manufactured goods
  • Koumbi-Saleh
  • Capital city
  • Thriving commercial center

16
ARRIVAL OF ISLAM IN AFRICA
  • Islam in Africa
  • North Africa
  • Arab armies conquered region by early 8th
    Century pushed up Nile
  • Mass conversions of local inhabitants due to tax
    incentives
  • West Africa
  • Introduced by Trans-Saharan Trade route
  • Merchants were greatest contact with Islam
  • Local rulers, elites converted by 10th century
  • Gave elites control of trade, many benefits
  • Allowed people to observe traditional beliefs
  • Nomadic Berbers in North Africa
  • Berbers and Arabs were bitter rivals
  • Arabs settled coastlands, cities
  • Berbers lived in deserts, mountains
  • Berbers became puritanical Muslim, Shia
  • Berber fanatics invaded Ghana, Morocco
  • Ghana weakened, fell 10th century CE
  • Elite religion vs. common practices
  • Most people remained polytheists especially
    outside of cities, towns

17
KINGDOM OF MALI
  • Mandike Peoples
  • Ghana was established by Mandika
  • After fall of Ghana, Mandika established many
    small states
  • Most people were not Muslims but merchants were
  • Sundiata
  • After Ghana dissolved, political leadership
    shifted to Mali empire, a Mandika state
  • The lion prince Sundiata (reigned 1230-55) built
    the Mali empire
  • Ruling elites, families converted to Islam after
    his death
  • The Mali empire and trade
  • Controlled gold, salt taxed almost all trade
    passing through west Africa
  • Enormous caravans linked Mali to north Africa
  • Besides Niani, many prosperous cities on caravan
    routes
  • Mansa Musa
  • Sundiata's grand nephew, reigned from 1312 to
    1337
  • Made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324-1325
  • Gargantuan caravan of thousand soldiers and
    attendants
  • Gold devalued 25 in Cairo during his visit
  • Mansa Musa and Islam
  • Upon return to Mali, built mosques

18
SONGHAI EMPIRE
  • Origins
  • Sorko fishermen of Niger became merchants
  • Joined Gao state (part of Malian Empire)
  • Mali could never collect taxes from Gao
  • Rise
  • Sonni Ali the Great build cavalry, war fleet
  • Disputed Mali, conquer Timbuktu
  • Anti-Muslim saw them as a threat
  • Zenith
  • Askia Muhammad seized power after Sonnis death
  • Devout Muslim, promoted Islam launched jihads
  • Visited Cairo, Mecca promoted Songhai to Muslims
  • Declared Caliph of the Sudan
  • Built centralized state using Muslim jurists as
    advisors
  • Tradition and Trade
  • Maintained tribal rituals of sacred drum, sacred
    fire, dress
  • Privileged caste craftsmen slaves important in
    agriculture
  • Traded kola nuts, gold, slaves for horses, salt,
    luxuries, finished goods
  • Fall

19
KANEM-BORNU
  • Origins
  • Situated north east of Lake Chad.
  • In 11th century, Sefawa dynasty was established
  • Shift in lifestyle
  • From entirely nomadic to pastoralist way of life
    with agriculture
  • State became more centralized with capital at
    Njimi maintained large cavalry
  • Islam and Trade
  • Kanem converted to Islam under Hu or Hawwa
    (1067-71).
  • Faith was not widely embraced until the 13th
    century.
  • Muslim traders played a role in bringing Islam to
    Kanem
  • Wealth of Kanem derived from ability of rulers to
    control trade
  • Main exports were ostrich feathers, slaves and
    ivory imported horses, luxuries
  • Exports were crucial to their power, ability to
    dominate neighbors
  • A Change
  • Combination of overgrazing, dynastic
    uncertainties, attacks from neighbors
  • Rulers of Kanem to move to Borno, state now
    referred to as Kanem-Borno
  • New contacts with Hausa of Nigeria capital
    becomes center of knowledge, trade
  • Army modernized by trade with Muslim, Turks
    acquired firearms
  • Decline was long, gradual and peaceful fell in
    the 19th century

20
THE BANTU
  • The Bantu peoples
  • Originated in the region around modern
    Nigeria/Cameroon
  • Influenced by Nok iron making, herding,
    agriculture
  • Population pressure drove migrations, 2000 BCE
    700 BCE
  • Two major movements to south and to east and
    then south
  • Languages split into about 500 distinct but
    related tongues
  • Bantu agriculture and herding
  • Early Bantu relied on agriculture slash-burn,
    shifting
  • Pastoralists, semi-nomadic due to agriculture,
    cattle
  • Iron metallurgy
  • Iron appeared during the 7th and 6th centuries
    B.C.E.
  • Iron made agriculture more productive
  • Expanded divisions of labor, specialization in
    Bantu societies
  • Population Pressures
  • Iron technologies produced population upsurge
  • Large populations forced migration of Bantu

21
THE BANTU MIGRATION
  • The Bantu Migration
  • Population pressure led to migration, c. 2000
    B.C.E.
  • Movement to South, along Southeast and Southwest
    coasts
  • Languages differentiated into about 500 distinct
    but related tongues
  • Occupied most of sub-Saharan (except West) Africa
    by 1000 C.E.
  • Split into groups as they migrated Eastern,
    Central, Southern
  • Bantu spread iron, herding technologies as they
    moved
  • Bananas
  • Between 300/500 C.E., Malay seafarers reached
    Africa
  • Settled in Madagascar, visited East African coast
  • Brought with them pigs, taro, and banana
    cultivation
  • Bananas became well-established in Africa by 500
    C.E.
  • Bantu learned to cultivate bananas from Malagasy
  • Bananas caused second population spurt,
    migration surge
  • Reached South Africa in 16th century CE
  • Population growth
  • 3.5 million people by 400 B.C.E.
  • 11 million by the beginning of the millennium
  • 17 million by 800 C.E.

22
MAP OF THE BANTU MIGRATIONS
23
BANTU LANGUAGES
24
BANTU POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS
  • Stateless societies
  • Early Bantu societies did not depend on elaborate
    bureaucracy
  • Societies governed through family and kinship
    groups
  • Village council, consisted of male family heads
  • Chief of a village was from the most prominent
    family heads
  • A group of villages constituted a district
  • Villages chiefs negotiated intervillage affairs
  • Chiefdoms
  • Population growth strained resources, increased
    conflict
  • Some communities began to organize military
    forces, 1000 C.E.
  • Powerful chiefs overrode kinship networks and
    imposed authority
  • Some chiefs conquered their neighbors
  • Kingdom of Kongo
  • Villages formed small states along the Congo
    River, 1000 C.E.
  • Small states formed several larger
    principalities, 1200 C.E.
  • One of the principalities conquered neighbors,
    built kingdom of Kongo
  • Maintained a centralized government with a royal
    currency system
  • Provided effective organization until the
    mid-17th century

25
SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS
  • Diversity of African societies in Sub-Saharan
    Africa
  • Complex societies developed into kingdoms,
    empires, and city-states
  • Coexisted with small states and stateless
    societies
  • Lineages consisted of all members descended from
    a common ancestor
  • Kinship groups of stateless societies
  • Extended families and clans as social and
    economic organizations
  • Communities claimed rights to land, no private
    property
  • Village council allocated land to clan members
  • Sex and gender relations
  • Men undertook heavy labor, herding,
  • Women were responsible for child rearing,
    domestic chores, farming
  • Men monopolized public authority but women could
    be leaders
  • Women enjoyed high honor as the source of life
  • Many societies were matrilineal aristocratic
    women influenced public affairs
  • Women merchants commonly traded at markets
  • Sometimes women organized all-female military
    units
  • Islam did little to curtail women's opportunities
    in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Age grades
  • Publicly recognized "age grades" or "age sets"

26
SLAVERY
  • Slavery in Africa
  • Most slaves were captives of war, debtors,
    criminals
  • Kept for local use or sold in slave markets
  • Often used as domestic laborers especially
    agricultural workers
  • Generally not a social stigma attached
  • Slaves could receive freedom, become part of
    family, tribe
  • Children born to slaves were not slaves
  • Slave trading
  • Slave trade increased after the 11th century CE
  • Primary markets
  • Across Sahara to North Africa and Egypt and
    ultimately Arabia
  • Out of East Africa to Arabia and Middle East
  • In some years, 10 to 12 thousand slaves shipped
    out of Africa
  • Males preferred, could also act as carriers of
    trade goods
  • 10 million slaves transported by Islamic trade
    between 750/1500
  • Demand for slaves outstripped supply from eastern
    Europe
  • Original slaves preferred in Muslim world were
    Caucasian Slavs
  • Word slave comes from Slav
  • Slave raids against smaller states, stateless
    societies

27
EARLY AFRICAN RELIGION
  • Creator god
  • Recognized by almost all African peoples
  • Created the earth and humankind, source of world
    order
  • Lesser gods and spirits
  • Often associated with natural features, forces in
    world
  • Participated actively in the workings of the
    world
  • Believed in ancestors' souls influencing material
    world
  • Diviners
  • Mediated between humanity and supernatural beings
  • Called shamans and inappropriately witch
    doctors
  • Interpreted the cause of the people's misfortune
  • Used medicine or rituals to eliminate problems
  • African religion was not theological, but
    practical
  • Religion to placate the gods, ask for assistance,
    cures, fertility
  • Public celebrations inc. dancing, singing formed
    community
  • Genders honored different deities, had separate
    ceremonies

28
EARLY EAST AFRICAN HISTORY
  • Early visitors to east Africa
  • Egyptians visited, traded with area
  • Famous expedition of Hatshepshut to Punt
  • Indian, Persian visited after 500 B.C.E.
  • Greeks, Romans called area Azania
  • Malays established colonies on Madagascar
  • Kingdom of Axum (Aksum)
  • Sabeans of Yemen created Axum
  • Arose in highlands of Ethiopia
  • Trading state across Bab el Mandeb straits
  • Tribute empire on land trade gold, frankincense,
    myrrh, food, ivory
  • Built stone structures, issued own coins
  • Eventually became Monophysite Christian
  • King Ezana converted and court followed in early
    4th century
  • Developed Geez language, writing in association
    with Christianity
  • Maintained strong contacts with Egypt
  • Traded with Romans, Byzantines, Persians,
    Indians, Arabs
  • By 2nd century Bantus populated much of East
    Africa
  • By 7th century Arab merchants begin to visit

29
THE SWAHILI CITY-STATES
  • Intermarriage of the Bantu and the Arab produced
    Swahili
  • An Arabic term, meaning "coasters"
  • Dominated east African coast from Mogadishu to
    Sofala
  • Swahili is a Bantu language mixed with Arabic
  • The Swahili city-states
  • Chiefs gained power through taxing trade on ports
  • Developed into city-states ruled by kings,
    11th-12th centuries
  • Controlled trade from interior slaves, gold,
    ivory, spices
  • Exchanged goods for finished goods, cloths, dyes,
    luxuries
  • Craftsmen, artisans, clerks were Muslims
  • Slaves used for domestic, agriculture
  • Zanzibar clove plantations needed slaves
  • Kilwa
  • One of the busiest city-states
  • Multistory stone buildings, mosques, schools
  • Issued copper coins from the 13th century
  • By 15th century, exported ton of gold per year
  • Merchants from India, China, Arabia visited
  • Islam in East Africa

30
ZIMBABWE
  • South Central Africa
  • Wooded and grass savannahs
  • Rich in minerals especially copper, gold
  • Bantu herders, ironsmiths found it wonderful
  • Zimbabwe
  • A powerful kingdom of Central Africa arose in
    13th century
  • From 5th centuries C.E. built wooden residences
    known as zimbabwe
  • By the 9th century began to build stone zimbabwe
  • Magnificent stone complex known as Great
    Zimbabwe, the 12th century
  • 18,000 people lived in Great Zimbabwe in the late
    15th century
  • Kings and wealth
  • Organized flow of gold, ivory
  • Trade include slaves
  • Counted wealth in cattle, too
  • Traded with Swahili city-states

31
CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA
  • Early Christianity in North Africa
  • Christianity reached Africa during 1st century
    C.E.
  • St. Mark converted Egypt, spread up Nile
  • Romans introduced faith to North Africa
  • North Africa was home to many heresies
  • Arianism Jesus was human
  • Monophysites Jesus had one nature
  • Donatists Apostate Christians could not return
  • Vandal German settlers were Arian Christians
  • Byzantine conquest returned north to Catholics
  • Region had no influence on sub-Saharan African
  • Monophysite Christianity along the Nile
  • Believed Christ had one nature, largely divine
  • Persecuted declared heresy by Chalcedon
  • The Christian kingdoms of Nubia and Axum
  • 1st Christian kingdom, 4th century C.E.,
  • Nubians of Kush also became Christian
  • Both adopted Monophysite form of Christianity
  • Ethiopian and Nubian Christianity

32
MOVEMENT IN AFRICAN HISTORY
33
ECONOMIC REGIONS OF AFRICA
34
HISTORIC AFRICA IN REVIEW
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