Home Region:  West Africa (Africa)

Mali Empire

EQ 2020  ml_mali_emp / MlMali*

After the gradual decline of the Ghana Empire, the power vacuum left in the Sudanese region was filled with several smaller successor states, including the Sosso Kingdom. [1] In the early 13th century CE, several Malinke chiefdoms from the Upper Niger region united against the Sosso and slowly aggregated into what would become the Mali Empire. [2] This polity, also known as the Mandingo Empire, [3] was the largest of the West African empires, and flourished from the early 13th to the late 14th/early 15th century, at which point it started to decline. [4] [5] The apogee of the Mali Empire corresponds to the reign of Musa I of the Keita dynasty, the mansa (emperor) who reigned over 24 cities and their surrounding territories from 1312 to 1337. [6] His empire extended from the Atlantic to Gao and the Niger Inland Delta, and from the southern Sahara to the tropical forest belt. [3] Musa I is also famed for his patronage of Islam in Mali and for his lavish distribution of gold when he set off on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325. [7]
Population and political organization
The kings of the Keita dynasty sat at the apex of a confederation incorporating smaller kingdoms such as Ghana and Mema. [8] At its height, the empire comprised 12 provinces made up of smaller, village-centred clan units. [9] The mansa (emperor) was thus a ’chief of chiefs’, assuming the mantle of a supreme patriarch, and he could dispense justice personally. [10] He received advice from the griot, chosen from the Kouyate clan, who was also his spokesman and the tutor of princes. [10]
The aristocracy formed around the Malinke warrior class, [11] including an elite corps of cavalry. [12] The empire maintained a strong army, with garrisons stationed in the main towns. [13] The merchant class, known as Dyula or Wangara, [14] formed settlements at the margins of the forest regions, such Kankan in modern-day Guinea, Bobo Dioulasso in modern Ivory Coast, and Begho in modern Ghana. [15]
The cities of Mali were cosmopolitan, inhabited by people of every occupation and from every province of the empire, [16] and prospering from their participation in Trans-Saharan trade networks and the export of gold, ivory, salt and slaves. [17] Their characteristic mudbrick architecture, known as banco, can still be admired today. [18] This distinctive architectural style is one of many signs of Mali’s legacy in the region, as its language, laws and customs spread through West Africa. In the 15th century, however, a long period of gradual decline began. Timbuktu was captured by the Tuareg in 1433, [19] and a few decades of internal political struggles made it difficult for the emperors to maintain control over such a large region, leading to the contraction of the empire’s territory. [20]
The empire was densely populated, with a reported 400 towns in the region and a compact net of villages near the trading city of Jenné. [21] When the Andalusi diplomat Leo Africanus visited Niani in the 16th century, he described a thriving city of ’six thousand hearths’. [22]

[1]: (Conrad 2005, 33) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[2]: (Conrad 2005, 31) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 93) Cheikh Anta Diop. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa, translated by Harold Salemson. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books.

[4]: (MacDonald et al. 2011, 52) K. C. MacDonald, S. Camara, S. Canós, N. Gestrich, and D. Keita. 2011. ’Sorotomo: A Forgotten Malian Capital?’ Archaeology International 13: 52-64. http://doi.org/10.5334/ai.1315.

[5]: (Lapidus 2012, 592) Ira M. Lapidus. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[6]: (Conrad 2010, 45) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[7]: (Niane 1984, 148) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[8]: (Niane 1984, 158-60) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[9]: (Niane 1984, 161) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[10]: (Niane 1984, 160) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[11]: (Niane 1975, 36) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1975. Le Soudan Occidental au temps des grands empires XI-XVIe siècle. Paris: Présence africai­ne.

[12]: (Niane 1984, 162) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[13]: (Niane 1984, 164) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[14]: (Davidson 1998, 42) Basil Davidson. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850. Routledge: London.

[15]: (Oliver and Atmore 2001, 64) Roland Anthony Oliver and Anthony Atmore. 2001. Medieval Africa, 1250-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[16]: (Niane 1984, 145) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[17]: (Conrad 2005, 42) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[18]: (Niane 1984, 150) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[19]: (Ly-Tall 1984, 174) Madina Ly-Tall. 1984. ’The decline of the Mali empire’ in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 172-86. Paris: UNESCO.

[20]: (Conrad 2005, 46) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[21]: (Niane 1984, 156) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1984. ’Mali and the Second Mandingo expansion’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century edited by D. T. Niane, 117-71. Paris: UNESCO.

[22]: (Davidson 1998, 43) Basil Davidson. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850. Routledge: London.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
30 P  
30 Q  
Original Name:
Mali Empire  
Capital:
Niani  
Alternative Name:
Keita Dynasty  
Mandingo Empire  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,312 CE ➜ 1,337 CE]  
Duration:
[1,230 CE ➜ 1,410 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Mande  
Succeeding Entity:
Mande States  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[1,700,000 to 1,900,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Sosso Kingdom  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
Mande  
Arabic  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Islam  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[12,000 to 17,000] people  
Polity Territory:
[1,700,000 to 1,900,000] km2  
Polity Population:
[4,000,000 to 5,000,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
2  
Military Level:
4  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
inferred present  
Nonwritten Record:
inferred present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
inferred absent  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
inferred present  
  Copper:
unknown  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
unknown  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Mali Empire (ml_mali_emp) was in:
 (1235 CE 1410 CE)   Niger Inland Delta
Home NGA: Niger Inland Delta

General Variables
Identity and Location


[1]
Capital Niani in the core region of Kangaba. This was located near the Niger river - according to map, very near the source. [2]
Capital city referred to as Mali. [3] same place as Niani?
"Sorotomo is the first major settlement within Mali’s core territory to be dated conclusively to the period of the historical empire. Niani, Mali’s speculative first capital, has only furnished C14 dates from before or after the key 13th to 15th-century period. This indicates that, at best, it was a late imperial seat of power. The issue of ancient Mali’s capital has thus been a matter of much debate - and is as yet unresolved. There is currently general agreement among historians that Mali’s first centre(s) of power would have been located in the so-called ’Pays Manding’, c.200km south-east of Sorotomo. There is, however, substantial historical evidence suggesting a rapid shift of power towards the north-east during the empire’s apogee." [4]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 136)

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 40) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 93) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (MacDonald et al 2011) MacDonald, K. Camara, S. Canos, S. Gestrich, N. Keita, D. 2011. Sorotomo: A Forgotten Malian Capital? Archaeology International. 13. pp.52-64. http://doi.org/10.5334/ai.1315


Alternative Name:
Keita Dynasty

"The Keita dynasty ruled, with some interruptions, from 1230 to 1390." [1] Keita dynasty of Mali [2] Malinke. "The kingdom of Mali was founded by a local cheiftain, Sunjata (1230-55), of the Keita dynasty." [1] Mandingo Empire. [3] [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 66)

[3]: (Niane 1984, 119)

[4]: (Diop 1987, 93) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Alternative Name:
Mandingo Empire

"The Keita dynasty ruled, with some interruptions, from 1230 to 1390." [1] Keita dynasty of Mali [2] Malinke. "The kingdom of Mali was founded by a local cheiftain, Sunjata (1230-55), of the Keita dynasty." [1] Mandingo Empire. [3] [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 66)

[3]: (Niane 1984, 119)

[4]: (Diop 1987, 93) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,312 CE ➜ 1,337 CE]

Under Mansa Musa (1307-32 CE) [1]
Mansa Musa reigned 1312-1337 CE. "His 25-year reign, from 1312 to 1337, is thought of as the golden age of Mali." [2]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 147)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 45)


Duration:
[1,230 CE ➜ 1,410 CE]

"Most modern syntheses place the floruit of Mali between 1235 and 1450." [1]
Core region of the Mali Empire was the region of Kangaba (south of the Ghana empire region) whose traders "enjoyed positions of privilege" within the preceding Ghana empire. [2]
"From the early thirteenth to the end of the sixteenth centuries" [3]
"In the first half of the 13th century, the Malinke chiefdoms of the Upper Niger began to join together into a new state" [4]
"The Keita dynasty ruled, with some interruptions, from 1230 to 1390." [5]
"By the end of the fourteenth century the Malian Empire was in decline." "As the the trade routes changed" in favour of Timbuktu and Jenne "local chieftains became independent, and this reduced Mali once again to a petty chieftaincy." [5]
Victory of Sundiata in 1235 CE over Soso/Soussou. [6] The unification of provinces of Do, Kiri and Banko made the Keita chief supreme authority. [7] Timbuktu captured by Tuareg in 1433 CE. [8] Fulanis - Futa Kingdom - conquered western Mali possessions early 16th Century CE. Mansa Mahmüd IV defeated at Jenne, 1599 CE. [9]

[1]: (MacDonald et al 2011) MacDonald, K. Camara, S. Canos, S. Gestrich, N. Keita, D. 2011. Sorotomo: A Forgotten Malian Capital? Archaeology International. 13. pp.52-64. http://doi.org/10.5334/ai.1315

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 38) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 39)

[5]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[6]: (Niane 1984, 118, 130)

[7]: (Niane 1984, 160)

[8]: (Ly-tall 1984, 174)

[9]: (Ly-tall 1984, 181-84)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

alliance relationships with trading berber nomadic groups?


Supracultural Entity:
Mande

"The dominant peoples of both the Ghana and Mali Empires ... were part of a huge, complex cultural group whose people, taken together, are known as Mande. " [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 19)



Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[1,700,000 to 1,900,000] km2

km squared. For this estimate I have used the approximate territorial extent of the Mali Empire at its largest.



Preceding Entity:
Sosso Kingdom

Sosso Kingdom? "Mali had its origin among Malinke (Mande) peoples living between the Senegal and the Niger rivers." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

Confederation. Ghana and Mema were vassal kingdoms. [1]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 159-160) Niane, D. T. in Ki-Zerbo, J. Niane, D. T eds. 1984. General History of Africa - Volume IV - Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century. UNESCO.

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

Confederation. Ghana and Mema were vassal kingdoms. [1]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 159-160) Niane, D. T. in Ki-Zerbo, J. Niane, D. T eds. 1984. General History of Africa - Volume IV - Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century. UNESCO.


Language

Language:
Mande

mid-14th century onwards? "Arabic became important both for the diffusion of religion and for communications and trade." [1] mid-14th century onwards? Arabic "was used for official correspondence in the Ghana Empire before the end of the twelfth century and in Mali in the mid-fourteenth century." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

Language:
Arabic

mid-14th century onwards? "Arabic became important both for the diffusion of religion and for communications and trade." [1] mid-14th century onwards? Arabic "was used for official correspondence in the Ghana Empire before the end of the twelfth century and in Mali in the mid-fourteenth century." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[12,000 to 17,000] people

Inhabitants.
Within the Mande-speaking heartland the basic building-block of government was the kafu, a community of anything from 1000 to 15,000 people living in or near a mud-walled town and ruled by a hereditary dynast called a fama." [1]
Walata was a commercial city within the Mali Empire [2]
Capital Niani, now lost, described in 16th century by Moroccan Leo Africanus as of ’six thousand hearths’ while its inhabitants were ’the most civilised, intelligent and respected’ in the Western Sudan. [3]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 62)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 51)

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 43) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Polity Territory:
[1,700,000 to 1,900,000] km2

in squared kilometers
1337 CE [1]
Map with largest extent of the Mali Empire. [2] expanded into Inland Delta, Gao, and eastern Songhai beginning 14th century. [3] by mid-14th century mansa’s effective rule limited to Mande homelands. [4]
"The boundaries of the Empire of Mali stretched from Kaoga (Gao) all the way to the Atlantic and from the Sahara to the tropical forest." [5]

[1]: (Davidson 2011, 131)

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 58)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 49-50)

[4]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 67)

[5]: (Diop 1987, 93) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Polity Population:
[4,000,000 to 5,000,000] people

People.
40-50 million [1] -- check (is reference correct? was it 4-5 million?). Reference checked, it was stated. However, it might be a typographical error. Population of Mali in 1960 was 5 million. No references in literature to massive population crash or genocide in the region between middle ages and 1960.
McEvedy and Jones have the region of "The Sahel States" (Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) at 2 million in 1000 CE, rising slowly to 3 million in 1500 CE. [2]
Sahel states = Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad 2m by AD 1000
"Before the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry the population of the area of the present-day Sahel states is unlikely to have exceeded 50,000: once pastoralism and agriculture had become well-established the population can hardly have been less than half a million. The chronology of the transition is as yet totally obscure, but there is no reason to postulate anything above the 50,000 line before 3000 BC or place the achievement of the half million later than 1000 BC. From this latter point a low rate of increase is all that is needed to bring the total to 1m by AD 1 and 2m by AD 1000." [3]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 156)

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 239) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

[3]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 238) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels. Settlement hierarchy refers to the capital, important trading cities, mud-walled towns (“the basic building-block of government was the kafu, a community of anything from 1000 to 15,000 people living in or near a mud-walled town” ruled by a fama.), outlying villages who pay occasional tribute to the fama. [1] The Mali empire was based upon a center-periphery political administration, in turn divided into three geopolitical sectors: provinces, districts, and village communities. The peripheral areas were composed of the conquered people of the tributary states and were ruled indirectly. [2]
1. Capital town e.g. Niani
2. Commercial town e.g. Walata3. Basic mud-walled small town called a kafu4. Smaller settlements/villages

[1]: (62-64) Oliver, R.A. 2001. Medieval Africa, 1250-1800. Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (59) Williams, R. 1990. Hierarchical Structures and Social Value: The Creation of Black and Irish Identities in the United States. Cambridge University Press


Religious Level:
2

levels.
1. King
The ruler was a "quasi-divine figure" [1]
"After Islam became the royal cult, rulers built mosques and adopted Islamic law, and the king and the entire court took part in public prayers held on the great Islamic festivals." [2]
2. Someone who helped the king become a "quasi-divine figure" inferred level

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)


Military Level:
4

levels.
Later Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad had a full time general called dyini-koy or balama. [1]
1. King
In Mali and Songhai "the king appinted the generals was himself commander-in-chief of the army and personally directed military operations" [2]
2. Generals
King of Mali had two generals, one responsible for the Mossi border, other northern desert border." [2]
2. Imperial councilthere was an "imperial council" [3]
late 14th century government characterised by rule of powerful government officials and a sidelined monarch [3]
3. Vassal kings / Mande ChiefsIbn Battuta witnessed a ceremony in which both the Mansa and the lesser king had their own personal guards of honor. [4]
Oral tradition "Sunjata Epic" says Mali Empire founded by Sunjata Keita. Initially there was a Mande Chiefdom in Farakoro. The chief had the title maghan. There were diviners "whose job it was to predict the future." The chiefdom was conquered by Susu. Sunjata "organized the soldiers of all the Mande chiefdoms into a powerful army. They went to war against Susu." The unified Mande chiefdoms formed the basis of the Mali Empire. [5]
"In each kingdom, each nation, the army was divided into several corps assigned to the defense of different provinces, although under the command of the civil authority. Thus, each provincial governor had at his disposal a part of this army which he could assign tasks under the orders of a general whose powers were purely military." [2]
4. Individual soldier

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 115) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 56)

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 52-54)

[5]: (Conrad 2010, 42-44)


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
1. King of kings (mansa)
king had title Mansa [1]
"As in other African empires, the supreme ruler was a king of kings." [2]
The ruler "bore the military title of mansa, conqueror." [2]
"The mansas adopted the Ghanaian and Sudanic concepts of kingship to institutionalize their power." [2]
"The rulers surrounded themselves with a bodyguard, servants, and elaborate ceremonies." [2]
_Central government_
2. Head of the imperial council or one of the officials of the imperial councilthere was an "imperial council" [3]
late 14th century government characterised by rule of powerful government officials and a sidelined monarch [3]
3. Government officialsAfter his pilgrimage to Cairo and Mecca "Mansa Musa returned to Mali with Arab and Berber adventurers to serve in his administration." [4]
Santigui (master of the treasury) [5]
4. Scribes"court circle included clerics and lawyers literate in Arabic" [6]
4. State farms official"Client clans, castes of dependent craftsmen, and people allied by marriage or by past service supported the ruler. Slaves and serfs worked in agricultural settlements to provide produce for the court, the army, and the administration." [2]
royal slaves worked in "settled colonies" in the inland delta region. "each had to produce a quota of grain for collection by boat at the appointed season." [6]
_Mande chiefdoms_
2. Chief (fama) of a kafu (or kafts)"Mande-speaking ethnic core" [7]
"Mande-speaking peoples lived in family and village units, the head of the family being both priest and chieftain. A group of villages in turn formed a kafts, or kafu, a community of 1,000 to 15,000 people living around a mud-walled town and ruled by a hereditary chieftain called a fama." [2]
"Within the Mande-speaking heartland the basic building-block of government was the kafu, a community of anything from 1000 to 15,000 people living in or near a mud-walled town and ruled by a hereditary dynast called a fama." [7]
Mema was a province in the Mali Empire [8]
the paramount ruler "bore the military title of mansa, "conquerer", which underlined the reality that his dominion might expand or contract according to the range of his armed forces. Where the mansa’s soldiers were no longer seen, there the kafus would soon resume their independence under their traditional famas." [7]
Oral tradition "Sunjata Epic" says Mali Empire founded by Sunjata Keita. Initially there was a Mande Chiefdom in Farakoro. The chief had the title maghan. Sunjata "organized the soldiers of all the Mande chiefdoms into a powerful army. They went to war against Susu." The unified Mande chiefdoms formed the basis of the Mali Empire. [9]
3. Village headman"Mande-speaking peoples lived in family and village units, the head of the family being both priest and chieftain. A group of villages in turn formed a kafts, or kafu, a community of 1,000 to 15,000 people living around a mud-walled town and ruled by a hereditary chieftain alled a fama." [2]
_Vassal kingdoms_
2. Vassal king or chief"Outside the Mande-speaking nucleus, the relationship with subordinate rulers was even more essentially based upon the regular or occasional payment of tribute." [7]
Mid-13th century: "the Wolof and the Fulbe recognised its paramountcy" and gave tribute [7]
ruler of Mali received tribute from lesser kings and chiefs. [10]
Mansa Musa reigned 1312-1337 CE. Ibn Kathir (c1300-c1374 CE) sad he ruled over 24 other kings. [11] Al-Umari said Musa had "conquered 24 cities, each with its surrounding district with villages and estates" and that he had a palace [12]
"In Mali, as in other African empires, the supreme ruler was essentially a paramount, a king of kings, the degree of whose authority varied greatly from one part of his dominions to another, according to the accessibility of each to the imperial armies and tax collectors." [7]
3. District
4. Villages

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 44)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 56)

[4]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[5]: (Niane 1984, 160-61)

[6]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 63)

[7]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 62)

[8]: (Conrad 2010, 57)

[9]: (Conrad 2010, 42-44)

[10]: (Conrad 2010, 51)

[11]: (Conrad 2010, 45)

[12]: (Conrad 2010, 45 cite: Levtzion, N and Hopkins J F P. Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Manda Moussa I’s pilgrimage story mentions an imperial escort of 8700 men. [1] This is unconfirmed by historical/archaeological evidence, but hints at the existence of a professional army. Later Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "created a professional full-time army" [2] before Askia Muhammad of Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply ’calling up’ their subjects, their vassals, or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one." [3]
Distinction between people and army during Songhai period: "beginning with the reign of Askia Mohammad ... Instead of mass conscription, a permanent army was created; civilians who were not part of it could go about their business." [4]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 37)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Professional Priesthood:
present

After his pilgrimage to Cairo and Mecca Mansa Musa "built new mosques and palaces, appointed an imam for Friday prayers" [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)


Professional Military Officer:
present

Manda Moussa I’s pilgrimage story mentions an imperial escort of 8700 men. [1] This is unconfirmed by historical/archaeological evidence, but hints at the existence of a professional army. Later Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad had a full time general called dyini-koy or balama. [2] "commanders" [3] At a later time Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "created a professional full-time army" [4] before Askia Muhammad of Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply ’calling up’ their subjects, their vassals, or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one." [2]
King of Mali had two generals, one responsible for the Mossi border, other northern desert border." [5]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 37)

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 46)

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[5]: (Diop 1987, 115-116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

"Mansa Musa sent diplomats and opened an embassy in Morocco, which stimulated trade with the Maghrib." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 51)



Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

late 14th century government characterised by rules of powerful government officials and a "puppet" monarch. [1] We know that under the Songhai Askias the bureaucracy became very well developed but it is possible more rudimentary aspects of the following description preexisted under the earlier Empires. During the Songhai period, each high official was directly appointed by the king [2] , was given a "distinctive uniform and insignia" which were worn at royal audiences, and they sat together in a highly-formalised assembly. [3] For the Mali Empire specifically we have references to the following officials: the hari-farma managed fishing on the Niger river. [4] The sao-farma managed the forests. [5] The babili-farma was minister of agriculture. [4] The khalissi-farma was minister of finance. [4] Reference for the later period Songhai state to prisons at Kanato, Kabara (near Timbuktu) and elsewhere [6] where there was widespread use of "notarized documents" such as for an inventory of goods belonging to a prison inmate. [7]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 56)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 108) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 78) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 43) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[5]: (Davidson 1998, 43)Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[6]: (Diop 1987, 126) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[7]: (Diop 1987, 127) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.



Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

"court circle included clerics and lawyers literate in Arabic" [1]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 63)


Judge:
present

"Mali rulers enforced customary law when it suited them and preserved ancient ceremonials." Some of the ruling classes and merchant classes were Muslim, everyone else pagan. [1] "It was customary for rulers of Western Sudan kingdoms to hold what were called audiences, during which ordinary citizens could submit complaints and legal disputes." [2] They were held in public and one was witnessed by Ibn Battuta on his 1352-1353 visit. [2]
The cadi was a Muslim judge appointed by the king who "handled mainly common-law misdemeanors, disputes between citizens, or between citizens and foreigners." [3]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 52)

[3]: (Diop 1987, 124) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Formal Legal Code:
absent

"Mali rulers enforced customary law when it suited them and preserved ancient ceremonials." Some of the ruling classes and merchant classes were Muslim, everyone else pagan. [1] "It was customary for rulers of Western Sudan kingdoms to hold what were called audiences, during which ordinary citizens could submit complaints and legal disputes." [2] They were held in public and one was witnessed by Ibn Battuta on his 1352-1353 visit. [2]
Judges and legal experts. [3] Islamic law. Judges chosen by Mansa. Mansa ultimate legal authority. [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 52)

[3]: (Niane 1984, 152)

[4]: (Niane 1984, 160)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
present

"Archaeological evidence affirms that the building of terraces and irrigation canals in sub-Saharan Africa pre-dates external influence..." [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 248 cite: Adams 1989)


Food Storage Site:
present

In the Songhai period state farms "were spread right across the empire, to supply the government and the garrisons, but the largest concentration was still to be found in the well-watered inland delta" [1] -- basic institution likely inherited from the preceding Mali Empire?

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 69)



Transport Infrastructure

Ibn Battuta (14th century) on the African interior said: "there is no need to travel by caravan, for the roads are that secure." [1] Maintenance of tracks for trade?

[1]: (Diop 1987, 140) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


"Kabara is Timbuktu’s port on the Niger River." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 69)




Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Gold mining (?) from Bambuk and Bure on the upper Niger.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

"The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 13)



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Classic Arabic of Koran. "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Nonwritten Record:
present

oral histories, songs, poems, art?


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.



Information / Kinds of Written Documents


Religious Literature:
present

mid-14th century onwards? "The rulers of Mali brought Muslim scholars from Cairo and Fez to help establish a West African tradition of Islamic learning." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)


Practical Literature:
present

After his pilgrimage to Cairo and Mecca Mansa Musa "introduced Arabic-style poetry to his court. He encouraged scholarship in Timbuktu ad sent Malian students to Fez." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)


Philosophy:
present

al-Maghili was "a North African who wrote a book of advice about new methods of government for the benefit of King Muhammad Rumfa of the Hausa state of Kano in about 1490. He called his book The Duties of Kings." [1]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 154) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

They had writing and so it was likely used to assist organization.



Fiction:
present

After his pilgrimage to Cairo and Mecca Mansa Musa "introduced Arabic-style poetry to his court. He encouraged scholarship in Timbuktu ad sent Malian students to Fez." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592)


Calendar:
present

Islamic calender.


Information / Money

Cowrie shells "can be accurately traded by weight, by volume, and by counting; their colour and lustre do not fade as their durability compares favourably with that of metal coins." [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 387)




Indigenous Coin:
present

"no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert." [1] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2] Currency included blocks of salt of different sizes. [2] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2] According to Leo Africanus cowries used as currency for trading came from the Indian Ocean, via Persia. [3] According to al Bakri (11th century) ’The dinars they used were of pure gold and were called sola [bald] because they bore no imprints.’ ... Thus these documents allow us to be sure of the use in Black Africa of imprinted gold coins, without, however, being able to know whether such imprints were effiges of local emperors or kings, or to know whether there was any generalized imperial currency minited apart from the mitkal standard." [4]

[1]: (Devisse 1988, 387) Devisse, J "Trade and Trade Routes in West Africa" in El Fasi, M and Hrbek, I. eds. 1988. General History of Africa III: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. Heinemann. California.http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001842/184282eo.pdf

[2]: (Diop 1987, 133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 134) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 135) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Foreign Coin:
present

Some coins imported from Arabic polities? Cosmopolitan commerce centers: Timbuktu, Djenne, Biru, Soo, Ndob, Pekes and some others. [1] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 132-133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Article:
present

Barter "at the periphery of the African kingdoms, some backwards tribes, such as the Lem-Lem in Southwest Ghana, perhaps on the banks of the present-day Faleme River, had been carrying on barter trade since the Carthaginian period." [1] This was where, without any direct contact, Carthaginian and Arab traders exchanged their goods for gold dust. However, this simple form of economy was not characteristic of the economies of the polities of these times. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 130) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 131) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Information / Postal System

Courier:
present

Daily horseback couriers to provinces [1]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 160)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

mud-walled towns [1]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 62)


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

mud-walled towns [1]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 62)






Earth Rampart:
present

mud-walled towns [1] Djenne had been "fortified by a system of ramparts, with a variable number of guarded gates. A fortified city was called a tata." [2]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 62)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 121) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.




Military use of Metals

Iron Age from 600 BCE in West Africa (e.g. Benue valley in Nigeria and upper Niger River) "the development and spread of the basic technologies of metal production and the forging and smithing of metal tools, notably in iron." [1] "Iron-headed hoes, probably invented some time after iron-pointed spears." [2] "Iron also brought, from about 600 BC onwards, a new source of military power." [3]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 8) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 12) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 13) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.




Projectiles



Self Bow:
present

bow and arrow was a symbol of royal power [1] Reference to hundreds of soldiers carrying bows and javelins at least in ceremonial context. [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 46)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 84) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Javelin:
present

Reference to hundreds of soldiers carrying bows and javelins at least in ceremonial context. [1]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 84) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.







Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

The weapons used by the empire’s army included iron-tipped spears, daggers, and swords. Wooden objects used for defence included battle clubs. [1]

[1]: (24) Wolny, P. 2013. Discovering the Empire of Mali. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.


swords. [1] The weapons used by the empire’s army included iron-tipped spears, daggers, and swords. Wooden objects used for defense included battle clubs. [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 46)Conrad, D. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Infobase Publishing.

[2]: (24) Wolny, P. 2013. Discovering the Empire of Mali. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.


The weapons used by the empire’s army included iron-tipped spears, daggers, and swords. Wooden objects used for defence included battle clubs. [1]

[1]: (24) Wolny, P. 2013. Discovering the Empire of Mali. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.



Dagger:
present

The weapons used by the empire’s army included iron-tipped spears, daggers, and swords. Wooden objects used for defence included battle clubs. [1]

[1]: (24) Wolny, P. 2013. Discovering the Empire of Mali. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.



Armor

Shield:
present

Cavalry and footsoldiers had shields. [1]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 117-118) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.



Plate Armor:
present

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Limb Protection:
present

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Leather Cloth:
present

"The Tuaregs wore puffed trousers, a tunic, a turban, and a litham." [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 118) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.



Helmet:
present

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Chainmail:
present

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Breastplate:
present

reference to an iron breastplate on Songhai askia 1588 CE. [1] Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [2] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [1] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Fleet Abubakari II? Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad created a full-time navy on the Niger. Before him Sunni Ali had "Niger boatmen in his amateur military system." [1]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad created a full-time navy on the Niger. Before him Sunni Ali had "Niger boatmen in his amateur military system." [1]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.




Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.