Songhai

A West African Medieval Culture

Geography

The Songhai Empire was approximately as big as Western Europe. The Songhai Empire had many rivers, such as the NIger River, that were used for trading. The Songhai Empire also contained many mountains, grasslands, and deserts. The climate during the fall and winter was cool and dry, and the spring and summer were warm and wet. This made it hard to grow crops.

Sources: www.ashistory.com, History Alive Textbook

Big image

Military/Government

Songhai had a very large army. Sunni Ali led a huge army against the civilization of Mali, and eventually took over the people. Years later, Askia Mohammed Toure conquered a plot of land about the size of Western Europe. The government was a Monarchy. The heir to the throne was matrilineal.

Sources: History Alive Textbook

Big image

Economy

Songhai's major resources were gold and salt, as was their currency. Most of their trade occurred along the NIger River. The social class was based on a clan. At the top of the classes were the noblemen and direct descendants of the original Songhai people, followed by the free men and traders. At the bottom were the war captives and European slaves.

Sources: http://ancientafricae.wikispaces.com/the+reigions+of+Songhai

geography.about.com/library/cia/blcghana.htm

Big image

Religion

The traditional people of Songhai used ancestor worship. They adopted the Islamic religion. Some of their key practices and beliefs lied in ancestor worship, along with te 5 pillars of Islamic Faith. Some of the influence Islam had on Songhai was that their people began celebrating Islamic festivals.

Sources: History Alive Textbook

Big image

Cultural Customs

The people of Songhai spoke Arabic and the traditional songhai languages. They mainly ate fish and millet, as a pancake, paste, or porridge. They used kente cloth to make clothing. Their customs were a post harvest dance in which the women covered themselves in white clay. Some of their music included call and response and instruments such as the balafon, ngoni, and the kora. Some of their examples of art are terra-cotta sculptures, masks, and textiles.
Big image