His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Andre Gabrielli, National Geographic Society, Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society

When the Sosso king Sumanguru (aka Sumaoro Kante, r. from c. 1200 CE), imposed trade restrictions on the Mali region, the native Malinke (Mandingo) tribe rose in rebellion. Mosques were built such as Timbuktu’s ‘Great mosque’ (aka Djinguereber or Jingereber), and Koranic schools and universities were established which quickly gained an international reputation. The tide that had carried Mali to success, however, impelled it ineluctably to decline. The Niger River provided ready access to Africa’s interior and Atlantic coast, while the Berber-controlled camel caravans that crossed the Sahara desert ensured valuable commodities came from the north. These conflicts were often spearheaded by some of the fiercest leaders in history, like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Kahn. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted.

Following Mansa Musa’s death around 1337, the empire fell victim to declining influence around Africa. The reign of Mansa Musa I (1312-1337 CE) saw the empire reach new heights in terms of territory controlled, cultural fluorescence, and the staggering wealth brought through Mali’s control of regional trade routes. The empire outgrew its political and military strength: Gao rebelled (c. 1400); the Tuareg seized Walata and Timbuktu (1431); the peoples of Takrur and their neighbours (notably the Wolof) threw off their subjection; and the Mossi (in what is now Burkina Faso) began to harass their Mali overlord. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... An illustrated map from the 1300s showing Mūsā (lower right), emperor of Mali, seated on his throne. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Mali included the city of Timbuktu, which became known as an important center of knowledge.

A kingdom is a piece of land that is ruled by a king or a queen. We have already noted that the Malinke had a rich tradition of recounting legends and community histories orally by specialised story-tellers know as griots. In extending Mali’s rule beyond Kangaba’s narrow confines, Sundiata set a precedent for successive emperors. Sundiata unified the Manding people and led a revolt against the Sosso kingdom of Kaniaga around 1234. Additional guarantees of loyalty included taking royal hostages and keeping them at the capital. Islamic learning centers, schools, and universities, and the grandest library in all of Africa were a direct result of Mansa Musa’s rule and made Mali into a multilingual and multiethnic kingdom.
European explorers would spend the next five centuries trying to locate the source of this gold and the fabled trading city of Timbuktu. The Mali Empire would reach a height of strength during the reign of Mansa Musa I. Territorial expansion coincided with cultural advancements, particularly in architecture, and the empire flourished. ), Mali rose to the apogee of its power. The Niger River regularly flooded parts of this dry grassland and savannah, which provided fertile land for agriculture beginning at least 3,500 years ago, an endeavour greatly helped by the region’s adequate annual rainfall.

Corrections? Sundiata formed a powerful alliance of other disgruntled chiefs tired of Sumanguru's harsh rule and defeated the Sosso in a decisive battle at Krina (aka Kirina) in 1235 CE.

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Web. sorghum and millet), spices, stone beads, craft products, and slaves. Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th... Gus Casely-Hayford: The powerful stories that shaped Africa, Here's what it was like to be Mansa Musa, thought to be the richest person in history, Timbuktu: The Sahara's Fabled City of Gold. The Mali Empire thus came to include many different religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups.

Sundiata Keita was the first ruler of the Mali Empire in the 13th century C.E. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Arab chroniclers describe another type of domestic building, which was constructed using beaten earth bricks and with ceilings made of wooden beams and reeds, the whole formed into a conical roof. After seizing the former capital of the Ghana Empire in 1240, Sundiata and his men consolidated control while continuing to expand the Mali Empire. IV, Abridged Edition: Africa... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Students study a map to gain familiarity with the Babylonian and Neo-Babylonian empires and those that came between them. In Spain c. 1375 CE, a mapmaker was inspired to create Europe’s first detailed map of West Africa, part of the Catalan Atlas.
Like its political predecessors, the Mali Empire prospered thanks to trade and its prime location, situated between the rain forests of southern West Africa and the powerful Muslim caliphates of North Africa. In 1240 CE Sundiata captured the old Ghana capital. Then, as trade routes opened up elsewhere, several rival kingdoms developed to the west, notably the Songhai. In Morocco, Egypt, and elsewhere he sent ambassadors and imperial agents and on his return from a pilgrimage to Mecca (1324) established Egyptian scholars in both Timbuktu and Gao. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. He laid the foundation for a powerful and wealthy African empire and proclaimed the first charter of human rights, the Manden Charter. Cartwright, Mark. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Timbuktu, founded c. 1100 CE by the nomadic Tuaregs, was a semi-independent trade port which had the double advantage of being on the Niger River bend and the starting point for the trans-Saharan caravans. Gao & the Niger Riverby UN Photo/Harandane Dicko (CC BY-NC-ND). Protected by a well-trained, imperial army and benefiting from being in the middle of trade routes, Mali expanded its territory, influence, and culture over the course of four centuries. by UN Photo/Harandane Dicko (CC BY-NC-ND). Even the Islam that did take hold in Mali was a particular variation of that practised in the Arab world, perhaps because Mali rulers could not afford to completely dismiss the indigenous religious practices and beliefs that the majority of their people clung on to.

Sundiata … The rise of the Mali Empire can be traced back to Sundiata, or the “Lion King,” as some called him. All rights reserved. The Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) of West Africa was founded by Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255 CE) following his victory over the kingdom of Sosso (c. 1180-1235 CE). What follows is a geographical and historical treatment of Mali, including maps and statistics as well as a survey of its people, economy, and government. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa I. Similarly, gold was probably locally mined or panned and then traded, but concrete evidence from this period is lacking. Wood and brass were other popular materials for sculpture and, to a lesser degree, stone. He controlled lands up to the Gambia and lower Senegal in the west; in the north, tribes were subdued along the whole length of the Western Sahara border region; in the east, control spread up to Gao on the Niger River and, to the south, the Bure region and the forests of what became known as the Gold Coast came under Mali oversight. The buildings of the Mali Empire, some of which like the Sankore mosque in Timbuktu still stand, are one of the most recognisable features of the region and have become international symbols of Africa’s rich pre-colonial history. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. The Mali Empire collapsed in the 1460s CE following civil wars, the opening up of trade routes elsewhere, and the rise of the neighbouring Songhai Empire, but it did continue to control a small part of the western empire into the 17th century CE.

substance that causes or quickens a chemical reaction, without being affected by it.

He extended the eastern boundaries of his empire as far as the Hausa people, and to the west he invaded Takrur and the lands of the Fulani and Tukulor peoples. (The name Mali absorbed the name Kangaba at about this time.). Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. It was also decreed that all future kings would be selected from the Keita clan, although the title was not necessarily given to the eldest son of a ruler, which sometimes led to fierce disputes among candidates. Books Decoration is typically incised, painted, or achieved by adding three-dimensional pieces. It was protected by mountains and was close to the two key sources of trade goods: forests and waterways. No person had the right to be in the king’s presence when he ate, for example, and all visitors before him had to be barefoot and bow down and pour dust over their heads.