West African Kingdoms

ghana 11th century, Mali 14th, Songhai 15th century

Ghana 11th century

The kingdom of Ghana started in the grasslands north of the Niger river. The rules of succession in the kingdom of Ghana were matrilineal, the new king was the son of the old kings sister. The prosperity of Ghana was explained by a myth that has survived in different forms. Climate change and struggles with Berber groups led to the downfall of the Ghanaian kingdom. They traded gold and salt, which put them in contact with people & other countries thousands of miles away. Ghanaians used iron to make weapons as well as tools & art.

Mali 14th century

The kingdom of Mali started farther east & farther south than the kingdom of Ghana. The kingdom of Mali grew by conquering areas to & north , in total the Mali controlled 400 cities. The founder of the Mali was a man named Sundiata Kieta , most of Mali were Muslims .

Songhai 15th century

Songhai was the largest empire of the three west African empires. The founder of the Songhai empire Sunni ali the great . Many of the Songhai people practiced both Islam and traditional spiritual beliefs but the kings were Muslims. Songhai society was male dominate and patrilineal , it was also a hierarchical. Songhai empire suffered from many battles over succession