The lands of Bambougou, Jalo (Fouta Djallon), and Kaabu were added into Mali by Fakoli Koroma (Nkrumah in Ghana, Kurumah in the Gambia, Colley in Casamance, Senegal),[70] Fran Kamara (Camara) and Tiramakhan Traore (Tarawelley in the Gambia),[77] respectively Among the many different ethnic groups surrounding Manden were Pulaar speaking groups in Macina, Tekrur and Fouta Djallon. Musa's reign is often regarded as the zenith of Mali's power and prestige. The next great unit of exchange in the Mali Empire was salt. Under Mansa Ms, Timbuktu grew to be a very important commercial city having caravan connections with Egypt and with all other important trade centres in North Africa. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. After the victory, King Soumaoro disappeared, and the Mandinka stormed the last of the Sosso cities. Sandaki likely means High Counsellor or Supreme Counsellor, from san or sanon (meaning "high") and adegue (meaning counsellor). Salt was as valuable, if not more valuable, than gold in sub-Saharan Africa. Mansa Musa's reign itself was 25 years long. Free warriors from the south came armed with bows and poisonous arrows. At its peak, Mali was the largest empire in West Africa, widely influencing the culture of the region through the spread of its language, laws and customs. He ruled between 707-732/737 according to the Islamic calendar (AH), which translates to 1307-1332/1337 CE. Musa Keita I (c. 1280 - c. 1337), or Mansa Musa, was the ninth Mansa of the Mali Empire, one of the most powerful West African states. [16] However, al-Umari gives Mali as the name of the capital province and Ibn Khaldun refers to Mali as a people, with each giving different names for the capital city itself. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The Joma area, governed from Siguiri, controlled the central region, which encompassed Niani. The family tree of Mansa Musa. Certainly, his descendants were Muslim, and many went on pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), and Keita's most famous descendent, Mansa Musa, dazzled Egypt and the Islamic world on his lavish pilgrimage east. His reign is associated with numerous construction projects, including part of Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu. The other characteristic of this era is the gradual loss of its northern and eastern possessions to the rising Songhai Empire and the movement of the Mali's economic focus from the trans-Saharan trade routes to the burgeoning commerce along the coast. [24] The empire's total area included nearly all the land between the Sahara Desert and coastal forests. The Manding languages were spoken in the empire. The conquest of Sosso in c. 1235 gave the Mali Empire access to the trans-Saharan trade routes. The Camara (or Kamara) are said to be the first family to have lived in Manding, after having left, due to the drought, Ouallata, a region of Wagadou, in the south-east of present-day Mauritania. Mansa means (King or Emperor) and he was ruling the Mali kingdom from C.E 1312 to 1337 for around 25 years. The Songhai kingdom measured several hundreds of miles across, so that the conquest meant the acquisition of a vast territory. [131] Mansa Musa placed a heavy tax on all objects that went through Timbuktu. Musa is known for his wealth and generosity. Masuta the Descended is a miniboss in The Shadow Reef. Malink, also known as Mande, Mali, or Melle, was founded around 1200 CE, and under Mansa Musa's reign . The Songhai Empire had fallen to the Saadi Sultanate of Morocco eight years earlier, and Mahmud sought to take advantage of their defeat by trying to capture Jenne. Combined in the rapidly spoken language of the Mandinka, the names formed Sondjata, Sundjata or Sundiata Keita. His equipment furnishings were carried by 12.000 private slave women (Wasaif) wearing gown and brocade (dibaj) and Yemeni silk []. [42] Another source of income for Mali during Musa's reign was taxation of the copper trade. This is the first account of a West African kingdom made directly by an eyewitness; the others are usually second-hand. There is some ambiguity over the identity of the mansa responsible for the voyages. 1996 - 2023 National Geographic Society. [93] Mansa Maghan Keita I spent wastefully and was the first lacklustre emperor since Khalifa Keita. The growing trade in Mali's western provinces with Portugal witnessed the exchange of envoys between the two nations. [40], Musa was a young man when he became mansa, possibly in his early twenties. [citation needed]. [76] The latter possibility is corroborated by Ibn Khaldun calling Suleyman Musa's son in that passage, suggesting he may have confused Musa's brother Suleyman with Musa's son Maghan. The empire he founded became one of the richest in the world, and his descendants included one of the richest individuals to ever live, Mansa Musa. The kingdom of Mali reached its greatest extent around the same time, a bustling, wealthy kingdom thanks to Mansa Musas expansion and administration.Mansa Musa died in 1337 and was succeeded by his sons. [45] Those animals included 80 camels which each carried 23136kg (50300lb) of gold dust. Dates: 4001591 C. E.", "Is Mansa Musa the richest man who ever lived? Mansa Musa came from his country with 80 loads of gold dust (tibr), each load weighing three qintars. [43] Perhaps because of this, Musa's early reign was spent in continuous military conflict with neighboring non-Muslim societies. [136] One particular source of salt in the Mali Empire was salt-mining sites located in Taghaza. The Cairo that Mansa Ms visited was ruled by one of the greatest of the Mamlk sultans, Al-Malik al-Nir. Why did Ms I make a pilgrimage to Mecca? Well after his death, Mansa Musa remained engrained in the imagination of the world as a symbol of fabulous wealth. Arab writers from the time said that he travelled with an entourage of tens of thousands of people and dozens of camels, each carrying 136 kilograms (300 pounds) of gold. Mali Emperors Family Tree | Mansa Musa - The Richest Man in World History 71,113 views Nov 27, 2019 1.8K Dislike Share Save UsefulCharts 1.08M subscribers Watch the map animation on From. The post of a farba was very prestigious, and his descendants could inherit it with the mansa's approval. The ton-tigi belonged to an elite force of cavalry commanders called the farari ("brave men"). [18], In the Songhai language, rulers of Mali such as Musa were known as the Mali-koi, koi being a title that conveyed authority over a region: in other words, the "ruler of Mali". Mansa Musa was immensely wealthy (whether he can be regarded as personally wealthy or wealthy because he controlled the gold mines of Mali is, of course, a . Musa made his pilgrimage between 1324 and 1325 spanning 2,700 miles. Oral tradition states that he had three sons who fought over Manden's remains. He sought closer ties with the rest of the Muslim world, particularly the Mamluk and Marinid Sultanates. It was cut into pieces and spent on goods with close to equal buying power throughout the empire. Furthermore, his hajj in 1324 was in some ways an act of solidarity that showed his connection to other rulers and peoples throughout the Islamic world. [93] Gold mines in Boure, which is located in present-day Guinea, were discovered sometime near the end of the 12th century. The organization and smooth administration of a purely African empire, the founding of the University of Sankore, the expansion of trade in Timbuktu, the architectural innovations in Gao, Timbuktu, and Niani and, indeed, throughout the whole of Mali and in the subsequent Songhai empire are all testimony to Mansa Mss superior administrative gifts. Consequently, the name of Mali and Timbuktu appeared on 14th century world maps. It was this pilgrimage that awakened the world to the stupendous wealth of Mali. The architectural crafts in Granada had reached their zenith by the fourteenth century, and its extremely unlikely that a cultured and wealthy poet would have had anything more than a dilettante's knowledge of the intricacies of contemporary architectural practice. Provinces picked their own governors via their own custom (election, inheritance, etc.). [29] Al-Umari, who visited Cairo shortly after Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca, noted that it was "a lavish display of power, wealth, and unprecedented by its size and pageantry". [72], According to Niane's version of the epic, during the rise of Kaniaga, Sundiata of the Keita clan was born in the early 13th century. Musa took out large loans from money lenders in Cairo before beginning his journey home. Intro music: "Lord of the Land" by Kevin MacLeod and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license 4.0. Maghan Sundiata was declared "faama of faamas" and received the title "mansa", which translates as "king". Mali was thriving for a long time, but like other west African kingdoms, Mali began to fall. Robert Smith, "The Canoe in West African History", harvnb error: no target: CITEREFBourgeois1987 (, Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Kitab al-Masalik wa al-Mamalik (Book of Highways and Kingdoms) Ab Ubayd Al-Bakri, "The Empire of Mali, In Our Time BBC Radio 4", "Tracing History in Dia, in the Inland Niger Delta of Mali -Archaeology, Oral Traditions and Written Sources". During the peak of the kingdom, Mali was extremely wealthy. Captivation History summarizes Mansa Musa's story from his ancestors to his descendants as they reigned over the Mali Empire beginning in the 1300s. After unsuccessful attempts by Mansa Mama Maghan to conquer Bamana, the Bamana in 1670 sacked and burned the capital, and the Mali Empire rapidly disintegrated and ceased to exist, being replaced by independent chiefdoms. [60] She was a hunchback from the land of Do, south of Mali. The Keitas retreated to the town of Kangaba, where they became provincial chiefs. The Black emperors great civility notwithstanding, the meeting between the two rulers might have ended in a serious diplomatic incident, for so absorbed was Mansa Ms in his religious observances that he was only with difficulty persuaded to pay a formal visit to the sultan. Mansa Musa was the great-great-grandson of Sunjata, who was the founder of the empire of Mali. They also used flaming arrows for siege warfare. The dates of Musa's reign are uncertain. It is not known if this was an attempt to correct the depreciation of gold in the area due to his spending,[7] or if he had simply run out of the funds needed for the return trip. Heusch, Luc de: "The Symbolic Mechanisms of Sacred Kingship: Rediscovering Frazer". He made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca from 1324 to 1326. Mansa Sandaki Keita, a descendant of kankoro-sigui Mari Djata Keita, deposed Maghan Keita II, becoming the first person without any Keita dynastic relation to officially rule Mali. In the first millennium BC, early cities and towns were created by Mande peoples related to the Soninke people, along the middle Niger River in central Mali, including at Dia which began from around 900 BC, and reached its peak around 600 BC,[52] and Djenne-Djenno, which lasted from around 250 BC to 900 AD. Musa I ( Arabic: , romanized : Mans Ms, N'Ko: ; r. c. 1312 - c. 1337 [a]) was the ninth [4] mansa of the Mali Empire, which reached its territorial peak during his reign. By the beginning of the 14th century, Mali was the source of almost half the Old World's gold exported from mines in Bambuk, Boure and Galam. [104] He would only reign a year before a descendant of Mansa Gao Keita removed him.[70]. After Ibn Khaldun's death in 1406, there are no further Arab primary sources except for Leo Africanus, who wrote over a century later. On the return from Takedda to Morocco, his caravan transported 600 female servants, suggesting that indentured servitude was a substantial part of the commercial activity of the empire.[134]. The identification of Niani as imperial capital is rooted in an (possibly erroneous) interpretation of the Arab traveler al Umari's work, as well as some oral histories. [59] Those not living in the mountains formed small city-states such as Toron, Ka-Ba and Niani. In his attempt to justify the importance of the Keita and their civilisation in early Arabic literatures, Adelabu, the head of Awqaf Africa in London, coined the Arabic derivatives K(a)-W(e)-Y(a) of the word Keita which in (in what he called) Arabicised Mandingo language Allah(u) Ka(w)eia meaning "Allah Creates All" as a favourable motto of reflection for Bilal Ibn Rabah, one of the most trusted and loyal Sahabah (companions) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, whom he described (quoting William Muir's book The Life of Muhammad) as 'a tall, dark, and with African feature and bushy hair'[64] pious man who overcame slavery, racism and socio-political obstacles in Arabia to achieve a lofty status in this world and in the Hereafter.[65]. Original video by UsefulCharts. He is the resurrected spirit of Masuta the Ascended, the second boss in the first elite dungeon, Temple of Aminishi . Evidence of cavalry in terracotta figures suggest the empire's prosperous economy as horses are not indigenous to Africa. [74] The combined forces of northern and southern Manden defeated the Sosso army at the Battle of Kirina (then known as Krina) in approximately 1235. Mansa Ms probably died in 1332. [70] Gbr Keita was crowned Mansa Ouali Keita II and ruled during the period of Mali's contact with Portugal. [40] Seemingly contradictory reports written by Arab visitors, a lack of definitive archaeological evidence, and the diversity of oral traditions all contribute to this uncertainty. Many houses were built by hand and during the hot weather some houses would melt so they had to be very secure, The dating of the original Great Mosque's construction is obscure (the current structure, built under French Colonial Rule, dates from 1907). [27] The date of Musa's birth is unknown, but he still appeared to be a young man in 1324. Bowmen formed a large portion of the field army as well as the garrison. As founded by Mari Djata, it was composed of the "three freely allied states" of Mali, Mema and Wagadou plus the Twelve Doors of Mali.[60]. When Musa departed Mali for the hajj, he left his son Muhammad to rule in his absence. [54] Despite this initial awkwardness, the two rulers got along well, and exchanged gifts. This style is characterised by the use of mudbricks and an adobe plaster, with large wooden-log support beams that jut out from the wall face for large buildings such as mosques or palaces. Sakura was able to stabilize the political situation in Mali. [77] Alternatively, it is possible that the four-year reign Ibn Khaldun credits Maghan with actually referred to his ruling Mali while Musa was away on the hajj, and he only reigned briefly in his own right. [98], The wealth of the Mali Empire did not come from direct control of gold-producing regions, but rather trade and tribute. Every year merchants entered Mali via Oualata with camel loads of salt to sell in Niani. The Malian and Moroccan armies fought at Jenne on 26 April, the last day of Ramadan, and the Moroccans were victorious thanks to their firearms and Bukar's support, but Mahmud was able to escape. Mahmud Keita, possibly a grandchild or great-grandchild of Mansa Gao Keita, was crowned Mansa Maghan Keita III in 1390. [39], The identity of the capital city of the Mali Empire is a matter of dispute among historians. It spanned the modern-day countries of Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, northern Burkina Faso, western Niger, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and northern Ghana. and transl. Not only do we pay for our servers, but also for related services such as our content delivery network, Google Workspace, email, and much more. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. jeli), also known as griots, includes relatively little information about Musa compared to some other parts of the history of Mali. Mali is the Fula form of the word. In addition, the moral and religious principles he had taught his subjects endured after his death. The other account claims that Gao had been conquered during the reign of Mansa Sakura. Elephant ivory was another major source of wealth.When Mansa Musa went on a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca in 1324 C.E., his journey through Egypt caused quite a stir. Scholars who were mainly interested in history, Qurnic theology, and law were to make the mosque of Sankore in Timbuktu a teaching centre and to lay the foundations of the University of Sankore. Most notably, the ancient center of learning Sankore Madrasah (or University of Sankore) was constructed during his reign. With trade being disrupted by wars, there was no way for the economy to continue to prosper. Le Plerinage La Mecque de Mansa Musa (724725/13241325) d'aprs des Nouvelles Sources", "The Big Secret of Celebrity Wealth (Is That No One Knows Anything)", The International Journal of African Historical Studies, "West African empires. It was common practice during the Middle Ages for both Christian and Muslim rulers to tie their bloodline back to a pivotal figure in their faith's history, so the lineage of the Keita dynasty may be dubious at best,[62] yet African Muslim scholars like the London-based Nigerian-British cleric Sheikh Abu-Abdullah Adelabu have laid claim of divine attainments to the reign of Mansa Mousa: "in Islamic history and its science stories of Old Mali Empire and significance of Mansa Mousa by ancient Muslim historians like Shihab al-Umari, documenting histories of African legendaries like Mansa Kankan Musa did actually exist in early Arabic sources about West African history including works of the author of Subh al-a 'sha one of the final expressions of the genre of Arabic administrative literature, Ahmad al-Qalqashandi Egyptian writer, mathematician and scribe of the scroll (katib al-darj) in the Mamluk chancery in Cairo[63] as well as by the author of Kitab al-Masalik wa al-Mamalik (Book of Highways and Kingdoms) Ab Ubayd Al-Bakri, an Arab Andalusian Muslim geographer and historian emboldened Keita Dynasty", wrote Adelabu. Upon stabbing their spears into the ground before Sundiata's throne, each of the twelve kings relinquished their kingdom to the Keita dynasty. The Catalan Atlas, created in 1375 C.E. A very large number of families that make up the Mandinka community were born in Manding. [citation needed] The northern region on the other hand had no shortage of salt. The mansa also made a successful hajj, kept up correspondence with Morocco and Egypt and built an earthen platform at Kangaba called the Camanbolon where he held court with provincial governors and deposited the holy books he brought back from Hedjaz. Our editors will review what youve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [70] These men had to be of the horon (freemen) caste and appear with their own arms. The Mali Empire began in and was centered around the Manding region in what is now southern Mali and northeastern Guinea. His reign came with huge physical, economic and intellectual development in the Mali Empire. He's especially famous for his hajj to Mecca, during which he sponsored numerous mosques and madrases, and supposedly spent so much gold along the way that the metal was severely devalued, which for many people was not a very good thing. Mansa Musa Keita's crowning achievement was his famous pilgrimage to Mecca, which started in 1324 and concluded with his return in 1326. Arabic sources omit Faga Leye, referring to Musa as Musa ibn Abi Bakr. [107] The Gambia was still firmly in Mali's control, and these raiding expeditions met with disastrous fates before Portugal's Diogo Gomes began formal relations with Mali via its remaining Wolof subjects. Ibn Battuta, who visited the capital city from 1352 to 1353, called it Mali. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita (c. 1214 c. 1255) and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa (Musa Keita). [145] Another common weapon of Mandekalu warriors was the poison javelin used in skirmishes. [60] In return for their submission, they became "farbas", a combination of the Mandinka words "farin" and "ba" (great farin). Accounts of how many people and how much gold he spent vary. Mali's domain also extended into the desert. [93] It is during his reign that Fula raids on Takrur began. CREDITS: Chart/Narration: Matt Baker Research/Artwork: From Nothing Team Editing: Jack Rackam Intro animation: Syawish Rehman Intro music: "Lord of the Land" by Kevin MacLeod and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license 4.0. When Mansa Musa was giving gold away, he was following 2 . The voyage is often incorrectly attributed to a Mansa Abu Bakr II, but no such mansa ever reigned. Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton. Mansa Musa began extending the shores of the empire alongside amassing great wealth and riches. It was during Suleyman's 19-year reign that Ibn Battuta visited Mali. In their own country they use only slave women and men for transport, but for long journeys such as pilgrimages they have mounts. The history of the Mandinka started in Manding region. In 1534, Mahmud III, the grandson of Mahmud II, received another Portuguese envoy to the Mali court by the name of Pero Fernandes. [117], The swan song of the Mali Empire came in 1599, under the reign of Mansa Mahmud IV. [78] There was evidently a power struggle of some kind involving the gbara or great council and donson ton or hunter guilds. Mansa Souleyman Keita (or Suleiman) took steep measures to put Mali back into financial shape, thereby developing a reputation for miserliness. Embedded by Arienne King, published on 17 October 2020. While Musa's palace has since vanished, the university and mosque still stand in Timbuktu today. The University of Sankore in Timbuktu was restaffed under Musa's reign with jurists, astronomers, and mathematicians. He was crowned under the throne name Sunidata Keita becoming the first Mandinka emperor. Musa I (known more commonly as Mansa Musa) was the tenth Mansa (a Mandinka word for "emperor") of the Mali Empire. [89][85] Contemporary Arabic sources may have been trying to express that Musa had more gold than they thought possible, rather than trying to give an exact number. Nelson, 1971. It was this pilgrimage that awakened the world to the stupendous wealth of Mali. The 14th-century traveller Ibn Baah noted that it took about four months to travel from the northern borders of the Mali empire to Niani in the south. In 1542, the Songhai invaded the capital city but were unsuccessful in conquering the empire. Sundiata Keita is the first ruler for which there is accurate written information (through Ibn Khaldun). Last modified October 17, 2020. The exact date of Musa's accession is debated. [137], Copper was also a valued commodity in imperial Mali. The Sankor University was capable of housing 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with roughly 1,000,000 manuscripts.[100][101]. Stride, G. T., & C. Ifeka: "Peoples and Empires of West Africa: West Africa in History 10001800". According to Ibn Battuta who visited Mali in the mid-14th century, one camel load of salt sold at Walata for 810 mithqals of gold, but in Mali proper it realised 2030 ducats and sometimes even 40. [58] This area was composed of mountains, savannah and forest providing ideal protection and resources for the population of hunters. Constant civil war between leaders led to a weakened state. This website claims no authorship of this content; we are republishing it for educational purposes. Niane, D. T.: "Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali". The Mansa led the second expedition himself, and appointed Musa as his deputy to rule the empire until he returned. Mansa Musa was a devout Muslim. The Venetian explorer Alvise Cadamosto and Portuguese traders confirmed that the peoples of the Gambia were still subject to the mansa of Mali. [60] Other scholars whom Musa brought to Mali included Maliki jurists. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita (c. 1214 - c. 1255) and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa (Musa Keita). Most West African canoes were of single-log construction, carved and dug out from one massive tree trunk.[144]. The area was famous as a hunting ground for the large amount of game that it sheltered, as well as its dense vegetation. To Westerners, he seems to have been the greatest of Mali rulers, as visible in games like Civilization. [132], The Mali Empire flourished because of its trade above all else. The current King, Salman bin Abdulaziz, is the 25th son of King Abdulaziz and has continued to maintain the . His elaborate pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in 1324 introduced him to rulers in the Middle East and in Europe. The only real requirement was that the mansa knew he could trust this individual to safeguard imperial interests. [e] After the loss of the first expedition, Muhammad led the second expedition himself. One of the greatest caravans to ever cross the Sahara was led by Mansa Musa, the legendary ruler of the vast West African empire of Mali. If the mansa didn't believe the dyamani-tigui was capable or trustworthy, a farba might be installed to oversee the province or administer it outright. Musa I (Arabic: , romanized:Mans Ms, N'Ko: ; r.c.1312c.1337[a]) was the ninth[4] mansa of the Mali Empire, which reached its territorial peak during his reign. [99] Mosques were built in Gao and Timbuktu along with impressive palaces also built in Timbuktu. While the accounts are of limited length, they provide a fairly good picture of the empire at its height. In his lifetime and beyond, he was known for his extravagant wealth and spending, funded by his kingdom's vast salt and gold mines. Umari also describes the empire as being south of Marrakesh and almost entirely inhabited except for few places. Mali's wealth in gold did not primarily come from direct rule of gold-producing regions, but rather from tribute and trade with the regions where gold was found. [82], Musa is less renowned in Mand oral tradition as performed by the jeliw. In the early 15th century, Mali was still powerful enough to conquer and settle new areas. These conflicts also interrupted trade. Cairo and Mecca received this royal personage, whose glittering procession, in the superlatives employed by Arab chroniclers, almost put Africas sun to shame. [98] Musa's hajj, and especially his gold, caught the attention of both the Islamic and Christian worlds. [50] Such impermanent capitals are a historically widespread phenomenon, having occurred in other parts of Africa such as Ethiopia, as well as outside Africa, such as in the Holy Roman Empire.[51]. All gold was immediately handed over to the imperial treasury in return for an equal value of gold dust. Please check the original source(s) for copyright information. The Wangara, an Old Soninke Diaspora in West Africa? 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. [136] While it was as good as gold in the north, it was even better in the south. Mansa Musa brought the architect back to Mali to beautify some of the cities. Sundiata, according to the oral traditions, did not walk until he was seven years old. Mans third spouse tells court he was a despot, Woman describes treatment in Aguanga torture trial, Social worker: Children in torture case appeared happy, healthy, Calif. torture trial airs family horror stories, Polygamist who tortured his family is sentenced to 7 life terms, Aguanga man to serve seven life sentences, Emerging from a notorious hell of abuse to counsel others, Laura Cowan, Mansa Musa Muhummed: Sex, Torture, Beatings In Muslim Cult, Former Polygamy Wife Speaks Out On Justice By Any Means. His reign saw the first in a string of many great losses to Mali. [123] Either as a counter-attack or simply the progression of pre-planned assaults against the remnants of Mali, the Bamana sacked and burned Niani in 1670.