Important People By Samantha
- Mansa Musa ruled AD 1312-1337.
- He ruled West Africa empire of Mali.
- Mali became a great center of education commerce and the arts under his rule.
- Bragged he had such a vast empire that it would take a year to get from one end to the other.
- Even though Mali had enormous size and wealth, the kingdom was not well known, so Mansa Musa had a pilgrimage to Makkah in 1324 to announce his wealth and riches.
- He was joined by many people including 8,000 enslaved people, 100 camels, and 24,000 pounds of gold.
- He spent so much gold in Cairo that the value of gold in Cairo dropped and did not recover for 12 years.
- Mansa Musa's famous pilgrimage brought attention to his kingdom, and Mali was put on the maps by 1339.
- Many other kingdoms in Africa and the Middle East wished to establish trade connections with Mali.
- Ibn Battuta lived AD 1307-1377; he was a young Arab lawyer who set out to see the Muslim world.
- He traveled for almost 30 yrs. and covered more than 73,000 miles of land.
- When he arrived in West Africa in 1352, Islam had been practiced for hundreds of years, but not everyone followed Islam.
- People in the countryside still followed traditional African religions.
- Ibn Battuta found many things in West Africa that surprised him.
- Sunni Ali ruled AD 1464-1492; he was the leader of Songhai.
- He drove out the Berbers that came into Timbuktu after Mansa Musa died.
- He seized the control of river trade of the Niger River by sending out war canoes.
- His armies went westward in the Sahara Dessert; this is where he took control of the Berber salt mines.
- By the time of his death in 1492 he had built the largest empire in Africa.
- Queen Nzinga ruled AD 1623-1663.
- She was known for her military leadership, and she was the daughter of the king of Ndongo.
- She was very good at archery and hunting.
- She was intelligent and a natural athlete.
- The king failed to notice his daughter because he was to busy defending the kingdom from the Portuguese that wanted to buy enslaved Africans and ship them overseas.
- Nzinga knew she would be a good leader.
- Even though didn't want to she learned the enemy's language, she did because it would soon benefit her.
- She became queen in 1623 and declared her territory free territory.
- For 30 years she led her people in battles against the Portuguese.
- She allied with other African kingdoms to seal trade routes that are used to ship enslaved Africans.
- In 1662 she negotiated a peace agreement with the Portuguese.
- She died a year later at age 81.