Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kingdom of Mali (about 1235–670 CE)

Mali means “place where the king lives.” According to legend, Mali’s rise to power began under a ruler named Sundiata.

Sundiata won back his country’s independence and led a well-trained army to expand Ghana’s territory and power. Mali grew to include all of the land of Ghana plus gold fields to the south and additional land. It stretched more than 1,000 miles from east to west.

Sundiata was known as a ruler who was responsible for laying the groundwork for Mali to be a rich and powerful kingdom. He died in 1255.

Niani was Mali’s capital. It was protected by mountains and close to forests and a river. This made it a good place for trade. Mali continued to control the gold and salt trade started by Ghana. It also expanded trade to copper mines.

Mali’s most famous ruler, was a Muslim king named Mansa Musa. Under his leadership, Mali reached the height of its wealth, power, and fame.

Mansa Musa ruled Mali for about years, from 1312 to 1337. During that time, Mali added many important trades including Timbuktu, Djenne, and Gao, to its empire. Traders came to Timbuktu from the north and the south to trade for salt, gold, shells, and many other goods.

The Kingdom of Mali eventually began to collapse in the 1460s. It was weakened by civil wars, competition over trade and attacks by rivals, such as the Songhai Kingdom.
Kingdom of Mali (about 1235–670 CE)

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