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Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa PowerPoint Presentation
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Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa

Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa

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Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa

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  1. Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa

  2. 12.2 Geography and Trade • The northern border of West Africa is the Sahara Desert • The Atlantic Ocean makes up the western and southern borders • The eastern edge is made up of mountains.

  3. The Sahara Desert is about 3.5 million square miles and is about the size of the United States • It is very dry and not suitable for large settlements

  4. The sahel (semi-desert) is further to the south- It has enough water for some grasslands, short bushes, and a few trees

  5. The sahel becomes savanna, an area of tall grasslands and some scattered trees • Long rainy season produces good farmland and grazing for cattle

  6. The savanna becomes forest further to the south • Woodland forest provides different kinds of trees • Rainforest dominates the southern-most region

  7. Trade connected the different West African regions • Rivers were used to trade for highly sought-after goods

  8. II. Early Communities and Villages

  9. Earliest farm communities consisted of extended families • They produced most of their needs • Traded with other families for goods they could not produce themselves

  10. Farming communities settled south of the Sahara Desert • Communities joined together to form larger villages

  11. Development of Towns and Cities - Ironworking and trade fueled the growth of cities • The Nok tribesmen made iron tools by 500 B.C.E. • They used charcoal-fired ovens to melt the steel • Blacksmiths shaped it into tools

  12. Iron tools improved farming techniques, helping to create a demand for the tools • Better farming from tools led to a food surplus, which stimulated trade • More trade led to the growth of large towns and cities

  13. City of Jenne-jeno, built in 300 B.C.E., was excavated in 1977, proving that cities existed in Africa long before the arrival of Europeans 1. Built at the junction of the Bani & Niger Rivers 2. Good location for fishing, farming, & trade a. Traded catfish, fish oil, onions, & rice in exchange for salt, iron, copper, & gold

  14. Craftsmen included potters, metal smiths, weavers, leather workers, and bead makers • Blacksmiths were most admired, as iron was a prized item in West Africa • Many blacksmiths were also leaders of their community or village

  15. IV. The Rise of Kingdoms and Empires • Rulers of trading centers grew wealthy from taxes on traded goods • They used the wealth to raise and equip an army to conquer other regions • They also collected tribute from the conquered peoples • West African rulers were both political leaders and religious leaders • They performed religious ceremonies to please the gods

  16. Between 500 and 1600 C.E. three great kingdoms arose in West Africa south of the Sahara Desert: - Ghana - Mali - Songhai

  17. The king might send a governor to rule a newly-conquered region • If they were cooperative, the king might allow self-rule 2 pictures of the great Mali King Mansa Musa

  18. Advantages and disadvantages of being part of an empire Advantages Disadvantages Had to pay tribute to the king Had to serve in the king’s army • King provided protection • Armies kept trade routes safe • Wars between cities came to an end