Ghana History of West Africa Songhai

The Mali Empire, 13th to 16th century

In 1240, King SUNDIATA of Mali conquered the Empire of Ghana. The Empire of Mali, dominated by the MALINKE CLAN, was now the dominant force in the upper Niger basin.
Mali continued to trade with the Maghrib via trans-Saharan caravan routes; in contrast to Ghana, Mali was a Muslim Empire. Mali was regarded one of the world's chief gold suppliers; Mali had conquered some of the gold-producing countries to the south and acquired more gold by trade.
Mali's most famous ruler was MANSA MUSA (1312-1337), who went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and was widely admired for his wealth and generosity.
Mali's function as gold supplier of Morocco was greatly damaged by the Portuguese discovery of the sea route to West Africa's coast (15th century). In the 16th century, Mali declined, lost territory to SONGHAI and suffered from Moroccan raids; the Moroccans took TIMBUKTU (lost to the Tuareg in the mid 15th century) and held on to it for centuries.

Mali, History of, from Infoplease and from Africa South of the Sahara Chronology
Timbuktu, from Infoplease
Mali : Major Rulers, from rynospud
DOCUMENTS Illustration of Mansa Musa, from the Catalan Atlas, from BNF (Bibliotheque Nationale Francaise)
Part of Catalan Atlas featuring Mansa Musa's Mali, from CUNY

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 6th 2004

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