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African Kingdoms


Animism It is the belief in the presence of animal spirits in nature
Axsum A kingdom in east Africa (modern day Ethiopia) that thrived on trade. Originally, they believed in animism, but converted to Christianity. One of the few African kingdoms that did not convert to Islam.
Ghana The kingdom in West Africa that prospered because of trans-Saharan trade especially in gold; this kingdom was around at the time of Muslim control in North Africa.
Mali The kingdom in West Africa that followed the Kingdom of Ghana; its wealth is also based on trans-Saharan trade; this kingdom encouraged the spread of Islam.
Mansa Musa Ruler of Mali who made a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca. On the way back, he brought education and Islamic culture.
Sahel The African region along the southern border of the Sahara
Savannah A flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions
Songhai A West African kingdom that conquered Mali. They built up an army and extended their territory to the Niger River near Gao which became the capital of their empire.
Timbuktu A trade city in ancient Mali that became a center of wealth and learning
Trans-Saharan It means across the Sahara
Zimbabwe South African kingdom that was well known for their stone buildings and the gold trade. It was located between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. The capital was Great Zimbabwe.
Created by: knowlesjd