African States and Islam PPT - Phillipsburg School District

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Transcript African States and Islam PPT - Phillipsburg School District

The Growth of States in Africa


And the Spread of Islam

       Regional states and large kingdoms became increasingly prominent after 1000 CE as Bantu and other African ppls responded to population pressures and military challenges facing their societies. Increasing population growth strained resources but no new land was available so this led to conflict The organization of military forces encouraged the development of more formal structures of gov’t Districts fell under the leadership of powerful chiefs who overrode kinship networks and imposed their own authority on the territory Some conquered neighbors and consolidated lands into small kingdoms These developments occurred esp. in several regions of sub-Saharan Africa after 1000 CE. But stateless societies continued to exist in all parts of Africa


The Emergence of States in Africa

 Both Ife and Benin were kingdoms that arose in the forested regions of West Africa.

 City-States in which the court and urban residents controlled the surrounding countryside through family relationships and political alliances.

 Also produced magnificent sculptures


      Central African kingdom After 1000 small states developed. By 1200 conflict b/t them had resulted in the organization of larger regional principalities that could resist political and military pressures. One of the more prosperous of these states was the kingdom of Kongo which participated actively in trade networks involving copper, cloth, and nzimbu shells from the Atlantic Ocean.

It had a central gov’t which included the king and officials who oversaw military, judicial and financial affairs. Beneath the central gov’t were 6 provinces administered by governors who supervised several districts administered by subordinate officials. Within the districts villages ruled by chiefs provided local gov’t.

It wasn’t the only kingdom but it was the most tightly centralized of the early Bantu kingdoms The authority of the king and central gov’t was undermined by Port slave traders.


      Long-distance trade helped spur on the development of kingdoms in east and central Africa. Trade and its wealth helped establish large and powerful kingdoms Best known is Zimbabwe—the dwelling of a chief Early 13 th century interior peoples built a magnificent stone complex known as Great Zimbabwe near Nyanda. Stone walls 16 ft thick, 32 ft tall, it was a city of stone towers, palaces, & public buildings that served as the capital of a huge kingdom.

18,000 ppl may have lived in its vicinity and it stretched from Sofala deep into the interior of south-central Africa.

Kings residing in the Great Zimbabwe controlled and taxed the trade betwn the interior and coastal regions, organized the flow of gold, ivory, and slaves and local products from the sources of supply to the coast. They made alliances with local leaders and made money from the transactions The trans-Saharan trade encouraged building of states and empires in West Africa, Indian Ocean trade financed the organization of city-states along coast and large kingdoms in the interior region of east and central Africa.


       Christianity reached N. Africa in 1 st Cen. CE.

 Alexandria became one of most prominent centers of early Christianity Mid-4 th cen. Christianity estab. A foothold in Axum  1 st converts were probably local merchants who traded with Christians who came to port of Adulis on Red Sea.

 King of Axum converted around the time of Constantine Late 7 th In 12 th cen. Axum fell into decline cen. New dynasty tried to centralize and promote Christianity to unify the land.

12 th cen. Ethiopian king ordered the carving of 11 massive churches out of solid rock Ethiopian Christ. Was cut off from other Christians-so it reflects the interests of its African followers  They believe in a large host of evil spirtis populating the world and they carry amulets for protection  Rock churches link to rock shrines that were important in Ethiopian religion  Not til 16 th cen. That Ethipian Chris. Reestab. Relations with other Christians.

The Kingdom of Ethiopia: A Christian Island in a Muslim Sea    Axum began to decline Shift in trade routes and overexploited agriculture Muslim trading states on the African coast of the Red Sea transformed Axum into an isolated agricultural society   Source of ivory, resins, and slaves Attacked by Muslim state of Adal in early 14th century

Christianity in North Africa

Kingdom of Axum [300-700]

Christian Church, Lalibela [Ethiopia]

Christian Church, Lalibela [Ethiopia]

Coptic Christian Priest

Islam initially spread into North Africa under the first caliphs (bypassing the already Christian Ethiopia), spread south across the Sahara into West Africa by Berber tribes.The first West African converts were rulers of kingdoms (including Mali) which saw Islam as a valuable tool with which to increase their authority. It was also useful to impose monotheistic belief on a diverse, polytheistic population.

Conversion by the masses was more gradual and rarely

eliminated all Animist rituals/beliefs.

West African kingdoms were increasingly connected to the outside world through trade and the Hajj.

The Spread of Islam

 African Religious Beliefs before Islam  Common beliefs  Single creator god     Sometimes accompanied by a pantheon of lesser gods Most believed in an afterlife in which ancestral souls floated in the atmosphere through eternity Closely connected to importance of ancestors and lineage Rituals very important  Challenged by Islam but not always replaced; synthesized and supplemented  Ex. Africans still took protective measures against evil spirits and participated in rituals to please nature dieties and spirits of departed ancestors.

The Coming of Islam

Islam Spreads to North Africa and Spain

North Africa  Arab forces seized the Nile delta of Egypt in 641   New capital at Cairo Arabs were welcomed due to high taxes and periodic persecution of Coptic Christians by Byzantines     Arabs seized Carthage in 690, called Al Maghrib Berbers resisted for many years .From the mid-seventh century, Muslim armies pushed westward from Egypt across the region called Ifriqiya by the Romans and the Maghrib (the West) by the Arabs.

By 711 they crossed into Spain. Conversion was rapid, but initial unity was soon lost as North Africa divided into competing Muslim states. The indigenous Berbers were an integral part of the process.

   Would have spread into Europe but were stopped in 732 by Charles Martel in Poitiers at the Battle of Tours.

In the eleventh century, reforming Muslim Berbers, the Almoravids of the western Sahara, controlled lands extending from the southern savanna and into Spain. They wanted to purify Islam.

In the twelfth century another group, the Almohadis, succeeded them.

 Abbasid caliphate lasted 750- 1258  But as it declined the caliphs failed to keep control of all the territory  Independent Muslim states sprang up and local leaders dominated many smaller regions  An example was the Fatimid dynasty, named after Muhammad’s daughter Fatima  Began in North Africa and spread to western Arabia and Syria

Fatimid Dynasty

        Although they were politically divided, the Abbasid Empire and smaller powers stayed unified through religion, language, trade, and the economy An important part of the Muslim world was al-Andalus Spain. A mixture of Muslims, Christians and Jews created a cosmopolitan atmosphere in its capital city of Cordoba City attracted poets, philosophers, scientists and doctors City became the center of Muslim culture with 70 libraries, 700 mosques and 27 free schools Period of achievements in the arts and sciences followed By 10 th century it was a place of harmony & tolerance b/t the various religious groups But the golden age was short-lived. By 11 ground. (ended in 1492)- th & 12 th cen. conflict and intolerance and prejudice increased as the Christian reconquest gained The Nasrids were the last Islamic dynasty in the West (Spain) Significance of Muslim Spain was its role in making the heritage of Islamic learning available to Christian Europe and played a role in the making of a new European civilization in the 13 th cen and later.


Great Mosque Interior


Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra

Court of Lions, Alhambra palace

Granada mid 14th century

 Islam caused Arab peoples to unite through their faith  This cultural growth spawned growth of a new artistic culture  Works of monumental sculpture resulted, as well as book arts (calligraphy, illustration)

The Religious Culture of Islam

 Mosque: from Arabic


place for bowing down  Arcades: Rows of arches  Minaret: Square tower  Mihrab: Empty niche  Qibla: Wall, indicating the direction of Mecca  Iwan: An entry to a royal reception hall  Muqarnas: A characteristic Islamic architectural ornament, niche like “scoops” in entryways, etc.

Islamic Architectural Vocabulary

 Islamic scholars typically memorize the Qur’an  Writing out the Qur’an is considered an act of prayer  Because of this, calligraphy became the most highly regarded art in Islamic lands - calligraphers were honored much like painters and sculptors in Europe  The Qur’an was never illustrated with images of animate beings - the reason for the existing geometric patterns, stylized organic forms  Baghdad was a major center for book production and scholarship

Book Arts The Qur’an

Page, copy of Qur’an

Ahmad al-Suhrawardi, calligrapher Baghdad, 1307 20 x 14” ink, color & gold on paper

…Princess in the Black Pavilion

Hatifi’s Haft Manzar Bukhara, 1538

Islam in Africa

 3 important coasts of contact: Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and savanna   Sahel-area between the western forests and the northern desert. Here is where the merchants came to trade. Camels brought from Asia couldn’t survive the humid regions of the forests. So the grasslands is where merchants came to trade. Therefore, cities were established. In the 3 rd century Ghana developed. By the 10 th was in its hayday! Rulers had also converted to Islam century it  However, they declined due to attacks by the Almoravid armies 1076  Mali would replace it

 There were many kingdoms active in Africa  Sudanic states often had a patriarch or council of elders of a family that ruled  Terriortial core of similar peoples with conquered extension that paid taxes or tribute  Ghana, Mali, and Songhay powerful examples  Rules considered scared  Islam accepted and people mixed Islam with their culture

Sudanic States

Mali and Sundiata

 Malinke people broke away from Ghana in the 13 th century to create Mali  Islamic  Agricultural and merchant state   Juula-Malinke merchants Malinke expansion under Sundiata (Sunjata). He became the Mansa or emperor  Divided the kingdom into social order, created political institutions, and stationed garrisons. Made trade safe.

 Sundiata died in 1260  Mansa Kankan Musa –later successor (hajj 1324)

Cities and Villages in Sudan

       Mix of Islamic and Sudanese Examples: Jenne and Timbuktu Town were commercial with specialists and foreign residents. Scholars and theologians attracted. Strong military to protect merchants Libraries and universities developed. Books trade very lucrative here!

For most people life was centered around village life and agriculture. 80% of villagers lived by farming. Farms were small due to lack of tools. A large farm was only about 10 acres. Polygamy practiced here…why?

Rice, millet, sorghum, wheat, fruits, and veggies

Wheat Sorghum-grain or livestock food Millet

Songhay Kingdom

  Formed as Mali was declining within part of Mali. People of Songhay were from the middle area in the Niger Valley. Made up of farmers, herders, and fisherman By the 7 th territory century started to form a independent   By 1010 capital established at Gao along the Niger River. Rulers were Muslims. By 1370’s Songhay reestablished itself as an independent kingdom again from Mali  Under Sunni Ali (1464-1492) Songhay became an empire!


       Sunni Ali was a great military commander who extended the empire and took over Jenne and Timbuktu. Set up provincial administrations to deliver his rule Muslim scholars not his biggest fans. They questioned his authority! Ruler who succeeded him took on the military title askia.

Muhammad the Great extended the Songhay boundaries so that by the mid-16 th century Songhay dominated the Sudan!

Overall problem between Muslim scholars and African converts b/c they mixed Islam with their local pagan beliefs. Men and women mixed freely and women went unveiled.

Remained the dominate power until 1591 when a Muslim army from Morocco attacked. They had muskets!

Rise of the Hausa states in N. Nigeria

Sudanic States: politics and social life

 State structure allowed for many diverse people to coexist  Universal faith-Islam which also provided common laws  Rulers-emir or caliph (to reinforce authority) Mixed pagan and Muslim beliefs  Women enjoyed more freedom, no veils, free in markets, some groups traced linage through mother (matrilineal).  Slavery: existed before Muslims came, but they developed it on a larger scale. Muslims viewed slavery as a stage in conversion. Slaves: domestic servants, soldiers, administrators, eunuchs, concubines. Focus on child and female slaves. Trade caravans transported many slaves across the Sahara to ports in the Indian Ocean. Trade extended for over 700 years. Think back to Nubia!

Swahili Coast-East Africa

       Islam spread along Eastern coast and merchant activity spread and Muslim ports where established along the Indian Ocean Bantu-speaking people migrated here along with refugees from Oman By 13 th century African trading ports developed along the coast. These towns shared common Bantu-based and Arabic-influenced Swahili (meaning coastal) language and other traits.

Ruled by separate Muslim ruling families Trade in ivory, gold, slaves, iron, and exotic animals for silks and porcelain Kilwa most powerful of these port cities Some Chinese sent good directly to these ports. As late as 1417 and 1431 large state sponsored expeditions sailing from China to Africa occurred.

Swahili, Land of Zenj

 Port cities developed into city-states with their own local governments. Rulers interested in controlling slave trade and not making territorial conquests.

 Palace in Kilwa  Cultural hybrid -Between Arabic and African Swahili –bantu and Arabic words -Many in-land Africans not Muslim -1500 Portuguese