Home Region:  West Africa (Africa)

Songhai Empire - Askiya Dynasty

D G SC WF HS CC EQ 2020  ml_songhai_2 / MlSong2

Preceding:
[continuity; Songhai Empire - Sonni Dynasty] [continuity]   Update here
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Succeeding:
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Third of the great West African empires, the Songhay Empire emerged from a small kingdom based in the Gao region, which was a tributary to the Mali Empire until it started to gain autonomy in the late 14th century CE. [1] A Songhay leader named Sonyi Ali Beeri was responsible for transforming this polity into an expansionary empire from the late 15th century onwards. [2] The heyday of the Songhay Empire was under the Askiya (or Askia) dynasty, 1493‒1591. These kings consolidated Songhay power by building on the legacy of their Malinke predecessors and took control of more territories, extending their reach over the Niger Inland Delta, westward to the Atlantic ocean, northward to the salt pans of Taghaza, and eastward to the Tuareg kingdom of Agadez. [3] [4] [5] However, the empire was brought to an abrupt end in the late 16th century: after a succession crisis which sparked a civil war, the Sultan of Morocco invaded in 1591. [6] [7]
Population and political organization
Unlike the preceding Ghana and Mali Empires, Songhay operated as a centralized unitary state. [7] The king was a revered figure but his authority was tempered by the precepts of Islam from the 11th century, and this religion became increasingly prevalent under the Askiya dynasty. [7] The imperial council coordinated the activities of the central government, which was divided into ministries including those of agriculture, finance, the army and the naval fleet. [8] The two major provinces, Kurmina in the west and Dendi in the southeast, were ruled by princes who were responsible for their own armies. [9] Thriving trading towns like Jenné, Timbuktu, Teghazza and Walata enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy due to the power of guilds and local chiefs, but had to report to a superintendent, tax inspectors, customs officials and other state appointees. [9] Vassal and tributary countries also bowed before the power of the Askiya when disputes arose. [9]
The Songhay empire is associated with the establishment of high centres of learning in Jenné, Dia, Gao and Timbuktu. The latter in particular was famed for its university, holy men, doctors and teachers, who contributed to the spread of Islamic humanism among the urban elite in the region from the 15th century. [10] The rural Songhay continued to venerate a pantheon of divinities and local spirits until Islam penetrated the countryside via the peaceful incursions of traders and government-sponsored marabouts. [11]
It is difficult to find substantiated population estimates for the Songhay Empire, but one scholar believes there could have been 70,000 people living in the city of Timbuktu by 1580 under Askiya Daoud. [12]

[1]: (Conrad 2005, 12) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[2]: (Conrad 2005, 13) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[3]: (Oliver and Atmore 2001, 68) Roland Anthony Oliver and Anthony Atmore. 2001. Medieval Africa, 1250-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 66) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[5]: (Diop 1987, 95) Cheikh Anta Diop. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa, translated by Harold Salemson. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books.

[6]: (Conrad 2010, 17) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[7]: (Cissoko 1984, 196) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[8]: (Cissoko 1984, 197) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[9]: (Cissoko 1984, 199) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[10]: (Cissoko 1984, 208) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[11]: (Cissoko 1984, 207-08) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[12]: (Niane 1975, 57) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1975. Le Soudan Occidental au temps des grands empires XI-XVIe siècle. Paris: Présence africai­ne.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
30 P  
30 Q  
Original Name:
Songhai Empire - Askiya Dynasty  
Capital:
Gao  
Alternative Name:
Askiya Dynasty  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,550 CE  
Duration:
[1,493 CE ➜ 1,591 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Mande  
Islamic  
Succeeding Entity:
Saadi Dynasty  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[1,700,000 to 1,900,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Songhay  
Language:
Mande  
Songhay  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Islam  
Religion Family:
Sunni  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
60,000 people 1512 CE
70,000 people 1580 CE
Polity Territory:
[600,000 to 700,000] km2  
Polity Population:
- 1493 CE 1591 CE
[4,000,000 to 5,000,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
[5 to 6]  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
inferred present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
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 present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
absent  
  Fortified Camp:
inferred present  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
unknown  
  Javelin:
present  
absent  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
inferred absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
unknown  
  Spear:
present  
absent  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Songhai Empire - Askiya Dynasty (ml_songhai_2) was in:
 (1493 CE 1590 CE)   Niger Inland Delta
Home NGA: Niger Inland Delta

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Songhai Empire - Askiya Dynasty

[1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 592))


Gao was capital of empire. Had Arab, Berber, Sudanese communities. [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Alternative Name:
Askiya Dynasty

Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,550 CE

According to Kati, Askia Bunkan (1531-1537 CE) embellished court life: ’He increased the number of orchestras and singers of both sexes and lavished more favors and gifts. During his reign prosperity spread throughout his empire and an era of wealth began to be established.’ [1]
Songhai height in the 16th century [2]
Askia Daud (r.1549-1582 CE) "was widely praised for memorizing the Quran and for supporting learning and religion. As part of this support, he is said to have established public libraries in his kingdom." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 80) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 72)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 69)


Duration:
[1,493 CE ➜ 1,591 CE]

Origins of Songhay people at Gao c7th century when they displaced the Sorko, and their capital was at Kukya. Rulers converted to Islam - perhaps influenced by Berber traders - beginning 11th century, possibly 1010 CE, and then capital transferred to Gao. [1] Gao was a centre for trans-Saharan trade even before 1000 CE and had been a state well before the establishment of the Songhai empire. [1]
"In methods of government, it seems that the new Songhay leadership mainly took over the old Malian system, and this tendency became clearer when, soon after the death of Sonni Ali, power was seized by one of his generals, the Askiya Muhammad Ture, whose name would strongly suggest that he was not of Songhay but of Soninke (i.e., northern Mande) origin, and that his coup d’etat represented a return to Mande leadership in what was predominantly a Mande-speaking empire." [2]
Conquered by Morocco 1591 CE. [3]
The Songhay Empire collapsed when it was invaded by the army of the Sultan of Morocco [4] .

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 50) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 68)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 17)

[4]: M. Abitbol, The end of the Songhay empire, in in B.A. Ogot (ed), General History of Africa, vol. 5: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries (1992), pp. 300-326


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

Alliance: "Relations with the Tuareg and the Sanhaja were restored, and through them Songhay established virtual control over the salt mines of Taghaza and the copper mines of Takedda, which were the keys to the successful working of the long-distane trade." [1]

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



Succeeding Entity:
Saadi Dynasty

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.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Songhai Empire - Sonni Dynasty

Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

Language

Language:
Mande

Songhay [1] Mande language: "coup d’etat represented a return to Mande leadership in what was predominantly a Mande-speaking empire." [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 17)

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 68)

Language:
Songhay

Songhay [1] Mande language: "coup d’etat represented a return to Mande leadership in what was predominantly a Mande-speaking empire." [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 17)

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 68)


Religion


Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
60,000 people
1512 CE

Inhabitants.
Gao in 16th C
Mahmoud Kati explains how the inhabitants of Gao counted the number of houses in the 16th century, finding 7,626 houses, which gives a total population estimate of more than 100,000 inhabitants. [1]
"Under the Askia El Hadj a census taken by a group of students which lasted three days established that Gao consisted of 7,626 blocks of houses of solid construction (clay?) not counting straw huts." [2]
Timbuktu in 1580 CE
Timbuktu probably didn’t have more than 15,000 inhabitants by the end of Sonni Ali’s reign. In 1580, at the end of Askia Daoud’s reign, it had gone over the 70,000 inhabitants mark. "Elle ne dépassait probablement guère 15 000 habitants à la fin du règne de Sonni Ali. En 1580, à la fin du règne d’Askia Daoud, elle était passée à plus de 70 000 habitants." [3]
Djenne in 1512 CE
In 1512, Niani still had about 60,000 inhabitants (6,000 households), as told by Leo Africanus. [4]
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." [5]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 88)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 142) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Niane 1975, 57)

[4]: (Niane 1975, 85)

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

Population of the Largest Settlement:
70,000 people
1580 CE

Inhabitants.
Gao in 16th C
Mahmoud Kati explains how the inhabitants of Gao counted the number of houses in the 16th century, finding 7,626 houses, which gives a total population estimate of more than 100,000 inhabitants. [1]
"Under the Askia El Hadj a census taken by a group of students which lasted three days established that Gao consisted of 7,626 blocks of houses of solid construction (clay?) not counting straw huts." [2]
Timbuktu in 1580 CE
Timbuktu probably didn’t have more than 15,000 inhabitants by the end of Sonni Ali’s reign. In 1580, at the end of Askia Daoud’s reign, it had gone over the 70,000 inhabitants mark. "Elle ne dépassait probablement guère 15 000 habitants à la fin du règne de Sonni Ali. En 1580, à la fin du règne d’Askia Daoud, elle était passée à plus de 70 000 habitants." [3]
Djenne in 1512 CE
In 1512, Niani still had about 60,000 inhabitants (6,000 households), as told by Leo Africanus. [4]
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." [5]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 88)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 142) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Niane 1975, 57)

[4]: (Niane 1975, 85)

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


Polity Territory:
[600,000 to 700,000] km2

in squared kilometers
"Songhay and tributary states" [1] - for this period including also the Mande tributary states.
Territory expanded westward under Muhammad Ture (1493-1528 CE). [2]
Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) conquered more territories beyond the Niger Inland Delta, "eastward to the Tuareg kingdom of Agadez" and "northward to the salt pans of Taghaza" [3]
"The Songhai Empire extended from east of the Niger River as far as the Atlantic Ocean and ’from the frontiers of the land of Bindoko as far as Teghezza and its dependencies’ under Askia Mohammed." [4]

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

[2]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 70)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[4]: (Diop 1987, 95) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Polity Population:
-
1493 CE 1591 CE

’’’♠ Luxury spices, incense and dyes ♣ suspected unknown♥ It is unclear which, if any, spices were considered luxurious. ’’’ “However, the Portuguese were not quite so successful as they had hoped in exploiting Africa’s resources. Certainly, the Songhai in any case managed to monopolise the Saharan caravan trade which brought rock salt and luxury goods like fine cloth, glassware, sugar, and horses to the Sudan region in exchange for gold, ivory, spices, kola nuts, hides, and slaves. Timbuktu, with a population of around 100,000 in the mid-15th century, continued to thrive as a trade ’port’ and as a centre of learning into the 16th and 17th centuries when the city boasted many mosques and 150-180 Koranic schools.” [1] “Niger society was an ordered and cultivated society, at least at the level of the aristocracy. They liked ample garments and babush, the easy life of the home, highly spiced food and above all good company. This led to a certain moral laxity, as indicated by the numerous courtesans and the debauchery among the princely aristocracy.” [2]
:’’’♠ place of production of luxury spices, incense and dyes ♣ ♥’’’
:’’’♠ consumption of luxury spices, incense and dyes by ruler ♣ inferred present♥ ’’’ “Niger society was an ordered and cultivated society, at least at the level of the aristocracy. They liked ample garments and babush, the easy life of the home, highly spiced food and above all good company. This led to a certain moral laxity, as indicated by the numerous courtesans and the debauchery among the princely aristocracy.” [2]
:’’’♠ consumption of luxury spices, incense and dyes by elite ♣ inferred absent♥ ’’’ “Niger society was an ordered and cultivated society, at least at the level of the aristocracy. They liked ample garments and babush, the easy life of the home, highly spiced food and above all good company. This led to a certain moral laxity, as indicated by the numerous courtesans and the debauchery among the princely aristocracy.” [2]
:’’’♠ consumption of luxury spices, incense and dyes by common people ♣ ♥ ’’’

[1]: Cartwright, M., 2018. Songhai Empire. World History Encyclopedia. Available at: https://www.worldhistory.org/Songhai_Empire/ [Accessed November 2023].

[2]: Cissoko, S.M., 1984. The Shongay from the 12th to the 16th Century, in General history of Africa, IV: Africa from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, UNESCO General History of Africa. Ed. D.T. Niane. Pg 207.

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

People. Songhai Empire covered a similar area to the Mali Empire apart from the West African coast (and inland).
Niane had 40-50 million for the Mali Empire. [1] -- check (is reference correct? was it 4-5 million?). Yes, reference accurately reported. 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]

[1]: (Niane 1984, 154)

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


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. Capital city
2. Large town3. Town - kafu4. Village
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]
"Sudanic societies were built on small agricultural villages or herding communities, sometimes but not always integrated into larger tribal and linguistic groups." [2]
From Niane 1975:4 Provinces: Garrison and police forces. [3] Supposedly provincial capital?Towns/cities: more or less autonomous.Village: the basic administrative unit. [3]

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

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 590)

[3]: (Niane 1975, 106)


Religious Level:
3

levels.
Askia Mohammed requested a "Sherif, i.e., the descendant of the Prophet" to be sent to live with in the Sudan. Caliph Mulay Abbas obliged and the Sherif became an important figure, "exempt from all the duties of citizenship (taxes, etc.), but they received gifts of impressive value." [1]
1. Sherif
"The Sherifs, in oder to hold and increase their prestige, make consummate use of drugs (opium and hashish) which they discreetly mix with tobacco for smoking or give to their followers (the talebs) to chew. This gives rise to wonderful visions. The believer who comes back to his senses when the effects of the drug wear off is thus convinced that the gates of heaven were opened to him for a moment, and that he was thus miraculously, divinely transported to paradise." [1]
1. Caliph of the Land of Takrur
The sharif of Mecca made Askiya Muhammad Toure "caliph of the land of Takrur" however the masses were still pagan [2]
Askiya Muhammad Toure made Islam the official state religion, "built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars ... to Gao." [2]
2. Imams
3.

[1]: (Diop 1987, 186-187) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Military Level:
[5 to 6]

levels.
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. General of the armies (Djima koi)3. Corps"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."In Mali and Songhai "the king appinted the generals was himself commander-in-chief of the army and personally directed military operations" [2]
4. officer ranks5. officer ranks6. Individual soldier
Divisions of army: "knights, cavalry, footsoldiers, auxiliary bodies of Tuaregs, elite infantry regiments, the royal guard, and an armed flotilla." [3]
Tunkoi, kuran, soira: subaltern military positions in city such as Djenne. [4]
Djenne-koi, Bani-koi, Kora-koi: "administrative and military chiefs of cities and regions; they thus had under their command a territorial guard." [4]
Wars of Muhammad Toure (1493-1528 CE), according to himself, "were undertaken to distract the Songhay-speaking element in his armies from meddling in the Mande-speaking western half of his empire where his own interests were strongest, and where he preferred to rule through slave armies recruited from his own war captives." [5]
"Under Askia Muhammad, the Songhai Empire established lands in which the kings paid tribute." [6]
divided the army into two parts: "one for the western provinces based in Timbuktu and one for the eastern provinces based in Gao." [6]
Askia Daud (r.1549-1582 CE).
reorganized Songhay army [7]
"Askia was a rank in the Songhai army with origins dating from at least the first half of the 13th century." [8]
General of the armies: Djima koï
Head of cavalry in the event of conflict: governor of Dirma (one of his many duties) [9]

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

[4]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[5]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 70)

[6]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[7]: (Conrad 2010, 69)

[8]: (Conrad 2010, 65)

[9]: (Niane 1975, 105)


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
1. King
when the Zuwa dynasty was replaced in the mid-15th Century, the Songhay kings had the title "sii (short for sonyi)" [1]
kings called dias until c1335 CE. After that titles were sunni or shi. [2]
__Court Bureaucracy__
Askia Muhammad Toure "supported by Mande clans ... created a standing army and a central bureaucracy." [3]
"The Songhay empire, like that of Mali before it thus involved a gigantic effort of state enterprise in production and trade as well as in military operations and civil government." [4]
2. barey-koyin charge of court-arrangements [5]
3. kukura-koyassistant, "whose job it was to provide food and other necessary supplies" [5]
3. garei-farmerassistant, called master of the camp. [5]
2. katisi-farmahead of finance. [5]
3. waney-farmaassistant, "responsible for questions of property". [5]
3. bara-farmaassistant, in charge of wages. [5]
3. dey-farmaassistant, buying and selling activities of government. [5]
2. fari-mudiafarming official [5]
2. sao-farmaforestry official [5]
2. asari-mundiahead of the department of justice [5]
Slave colonies
"the Songhay empire depended greatly on its colonies of royal slaves and on its privileged castes of craftsmen, which had probably been built up originally from the more skilled groups of war captives, such as smiths, weavers and leather-workers. Here again, Songhay took over a system already initiated in Mali, while adding greatly to the numbers of slaves by means of the regular annual raids carried out by the Songhay cavalry among the unprotected, stateless peoples living south of the Niger bend." [6] 3. State farms manager (possibly 4. if responsible to an official from the court)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" - a lot of this grain went to the towns, desert caravans and salt mines. [6]
4. Lower-level official
__Regional government__
2. Western Songhai (Mande speakers) - rule based in Timbuktu?"Not under Muhammad only, but also under the succession of sons and grandsons who followed him as Akiyas until 1591, the real thrust of Songhay was toward the west and the north. It was an impetus based upon Timbuktu, both as the centre of Islamic learning in the western Sudan and as the meeting-point of river and desert communications. [4]
Askia Muhammad divided the army into two parts: "one for the western provinces based in Timbuktu and one for the eastern provinces based in Gao." [7] 3. Provinces"Under Askia Muhammad, the Songhai Empire established lands in which the kings paid tribute." [7] 4. Town - kafu ruled by a famaWithin 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." [8]
"Sudanic societies were built on small agricultural villages or herding communities, sometimes but not always integrated into larger tribal and linguistic groups." [9]
5.possibly another level below the fama, or someone who worked for the fama
2. Eastern Songhai (Songhai speakers) - rule based in Gao?
Wars of Askiya Muhammad Toure (1493-1528 CE), according to himself, "were undertaken to distract the Songhay-speaking element in his armies from meddling in the Mande-speaking western half of his empire where his own interests were strongest, and where he preferred to rule through slave armies recruited from his own war captives." [4]
Askia Muhammad Toure divided the army into two parts: "one for the western provinces based in Timbuktu and one for the eastern provinces based in Gao." [7] 3. Provinces
4. Village"Sudanic societies were built on small agricultural villages or herding communities, sometimes but not always integrated into larger tribal and linguistic groups." [9]

2. ProvincesSonghai "was divided into provinces, cantons, villages, large cities of commercial character such as Djenne and Timbuktu, border areas which were strongholds such as Teghezza, Ualata, Nema, etc." [10]
3. Cantons?4. Villages
2? Large cities: Djenne/Timbuktu3. koira-banda mundio"suburban administrator of a city." [11]
2? Border strongholds: Teghezza/Ualata/Nema

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 60)

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 50-51) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[4]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 70)

[5]: (Davidson 1998, 167) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

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

[7]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

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

[9]: (Lapidus 2012, 590)

[10]: (Diop 1987, 111) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[11]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "supported by Mande clans ... created a standing army" [1] Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "created a professional full-time army" [2] before Askia Muhammad "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 "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] Previously,uUnder Sonni Ali, "all able-bodied nationals were subject to enlistment." [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[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

"Muslim clerics, once restored to favour, supplied the ideological support and the legal framework necessary for the efficient government of a large territory within which many people were constantly moving around outside their traditional ethnic areas." [1] Ture "appointed the first qadi of Jenne and extended Islamic judicial administration to other towns by establishing courts and appointing judges." [2]

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

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Professional Military Officer:
present

Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "supported by Mande clans ... created a standing army" [1] Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "created a professional full-time army" [2] General of the armies: Djima koï. Head of cavalry in the event of conflict: governor of Dirma (one of his many duties). [3] before Askia Muhammad "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." [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[3]: (Niane 1975, 105)

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


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

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]

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



Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Central government divided into ministries. [1]
The king’s top officials included a finance officer (katisi-farma) he had sub-officials. [2] There were many other offices in the Songhai government. [3]
Letter writing was common means of communication. [4] Askia Mohammed had a secretary who could draw up written documents. [5]

[1]: (Cissoko 1984, 197) Sékéné Mody Cissoko. 1984. ’The Songhay from the 12th to the 16th Century’, in General History of Africa, Vol. 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, edited by D. T. Niane, 187-210. Paris: UNESCO.

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 167) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 114) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[5]: (Diop 1987, 187) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Examination System:
unknown

Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown

Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "appointed the first qadi of Jenne and extended Islamic judicial administration to other towns by establishing courts and appointing judges." [1]
Kadi. Islamic law. Legal system independent of tribal chiefs. Customary law. Court to punish adultery. Tribunals. [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, 593)

[2]: (Cissoko 1984, 196, 199-202)

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


Formal Legal Code:
present

Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) ’appointed the first qadi of Jenne and extended Islamic judicial administration to other towns by establishing courts and appointing judges.’ [1] Increasingly, law became Islamic law and a legal system developed that was independent of tribal chiefs, although customary law continued. [2]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[2]: (Cissoko 1984, 196, 199-202)


Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) "appointed the first qadi of Jenne and extended Islamic judicial administration to other towns by establishing courts and appointing judges." [1]
Kadi. Islamic law. Legal system independent of tribal chiefs. Customary law. Court to punish adultery. Tribunals. [2]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[2]: (Cissoko 1984, 196, 199-202)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Weekly local or village markets were the center of a remarkable system of exchange and distribution for great quantities of food and other types of products. "Les marchés locaux ou marchés de village se tenant une fois par semaine étaint des centres d’un remarquable système d’échange et de distribution de grandes quantités de denrées alimentaires, et de produits de toutes sortes." [1] There were also interregional markets. [2] Description of the merchant class and their exchange activities in the cities (mainlt Djenné and Timbuktu), on rivers and in caravans [3] polity owed? An official called the Yobu-koi "was in charge of the market." [4]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 200)

[2]: (Niane 1975, 202)

[3]: (Niane 1975, 174-180)

[4]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


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

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] Agricultural products from plantations "stored in clay granaies used for purposes of silage." [2]

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

[2]: (Diop 1987, 156) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown

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]

[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." There was a "chief of the port" [1] The Guimi-koi or Gumei-koi was a "port director". [2] Guimi-koi or Gumei-koi was a "port director". [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 69)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Canal dug during reign of Askiya Muhammad Toure in Kabara - Timbuktu region [1]

[1]: (Cissoko 1984, 194)



Special-purpose Sites

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] Written language was culture of an urban élite, that did not absorb surrounding cultures and languages [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 13)

[2]: (Cissoko 1984, 2010)

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


Script:
present

Written language was culture of an urban élite, that did not absorb surrounding cultures and languages [1] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [2]

[1]: (Cissoko 1984, 2010)

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


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:
unknown

"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] Written language was culture of an urban élite, that did not absorb surrounding cultures and languages [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 13)

[2]: (Cissoko 1984, 2010)

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


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
Scientific Literature:
present

"Timbuktu flourished as a center of Arabic and Islamic sciences." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Sacred Text:
present

Koran.


Religious Literature:
present

al-Maghili (d. 1504) "founder of an important tradition of Sudanic Muslim scholarship." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Practical Literature:
present

"Timbuktu flourished as a center of Arabic and Islamic sciences." [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)


Philosophy:
present

"Timbuktu flourished as a center of Arabic and Islamic sciences." [1] 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." [2]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

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


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Used by government. Widespread use of "notarized documents" e.g. inventory of goods beloning to prison inmate. [1]

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


History:
present

Songhai historian Abd al-Rahman al-Sadi (d.1594 CE) wrote Tarikh al-Sudan (History of Sudan). [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 69)



Calendar:
present

Islamic calender.


Information / Money

according to Ibn al-Mukhtar who was writing in the seventeenth century "the king would pay a dowry of 40,000 cowries to the girl’s family in order to establish his right of ownership over her children" in the event she married a slave. [1] 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." [2]

[1]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 69-70)

[2]: (Reader 1998, 387)


Precious Metal:
present

Gold.



Indigenous Coin:
present

Surprisingly the state probably did not mint coins: ’no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert.’ [1] There were coins of gold, but they were not minted. [2] There were also rings of iron that were used to purchase cheap items. [3] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [4] According to Leo Africanus cowries used as currency for trading came from the Indian Ocean, via Persia. [5] 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." [6]

[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]: (Niane 1975, 176)

[3]: (Niane 1975, 177)

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

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

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


Foreign Coin:
present

Treasury of coins established from proceeds of taxation [1] Cosmopolitan commerce centers: Timbuktu, Djenne, Biru, Soo, Ndob, Pekes and some others. [2] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [3]

[1]: (Cissoko 1984, 195)

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

[3]: (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
General Postal Service:
absent

Courier:
present

An important courier service connected the court to various cities and towns, guaranteeing the transmission of the Askia’s orders. "Un important service de courrier relie la cour aux différentes villes et chef-lieux assurant la transmission des ordres de l’Askia." [1] Letter writing was common. [2]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 106)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 114) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

In the 15th century, Djenné was the archetype of a fortified city: built on an island, it was defended by a ring of water; the city itself was protected by a wall with 11 doors. "Mais au XVè siècle, Djenné était la ville forte par excellence: bâtie sur une île, elle était admirablement défendue par une ceinture d’eau; la ville elle-même était protégée par une enceinte percée de 11 portes." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 125)



In the 15th century, Djenné was the archetype of a fortified city: built on an island, it was defended by a ring of water; the city itself was protected by a wall with 11 doors. "Mais au XVè siècle, Djenné était la ville forte par excellence: bâtie sur une île, elle était admirablement défendue par une ceinture d’eau; la ville elle-même était protégée par une enceinte percée de 11 portes." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 125)

In the 15th century, Djenné was the archetype of a fortified city: built on an island, it was defended by a ring of water; the city itself was protected by a wall with 11 doors. "Mais au XVè siècle, Djenné était la ville forte par excellence: bâtie sur une île, elle était admirablement défendue par une ceinture d’eau; la ville elle-même était protégée par une enceinte percée de 11 portes." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 125)


Fortified Camp:
present

About Timbuktu: The first city wall seems to date from the time of Malian hegemony. It was probably fortified by Sonni Ali and Askia Mohammed to protect the city from surprise attacks. [...] The new city wall was a c.5km ring, with a diameter of 1000m. "La première enceinte de la ville semble dater du temps de l’hégémonie malienne. Elle fut fortifiée sans doute par Sonni Ali et Askia Mohammed pour mettre la ville à l’abri des attaques surprises. [...] La nouvelle enceinte décrivait un périmètre à peu près circulaire, long d’environ 5 kilomètres avec un diamètre de 1000 mètres." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 70)


Earth Rampart:
present

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

[1]: (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




spears [1] uncertainty coded because we do not know if they were handheld or thrown

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 71)

spears [1] uncertainty coded because we do not know if they were handheld or thrown

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 71)


Handheld Firearm:
absent

"Before the Moroccan invasion of Songhay, there were very few, if any firearms in that part of Africa south of the Sahara. In 1591, the soldiers of Songhay had never seen the arquebus or musket." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 74)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent



new world weapon


Handheld weapons


spears [1] uncertainty coded because we do not know if they were handheld or thrown

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 71)

spears [1] uncertainty coded because we do not know if they were handheld or thrown

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 71)





Animals used in warfare

"mounted lancers of the Songhay aristocracy" [1] Professional cavalry commanded by the tara-farma. [2] Chief of cavalry was called the tara-farma. [3]

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

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

[3]: (Diop 1987, 112) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.






Armor

The Sudanese knight also wore an iron helmet, which made a loud clinking noise. "Le chevalier soudanais portait aussi un bouclier de fer dont le cliquetis faisait un vacarme impressionant." [1] Cavalry and footsoldiers had shields. [2]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 123)

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



Plate Armor:
present

The songhay knight, like his French counterpart, wore a great helm, a hauberk, chainmail, an iron plate armour, a helmet and used a javelin. "Le chevalier songhoy, comme son homologue de l’Ile de France, portait heaume et haubert, cottes de mailles, cuirasse de fer, casque et javelot." [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]: (Niane 1975, 122)

[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.


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

there were privileged castes of craftsmen which likely included leather-workers. [1] "The Tuaregs wore puffed trousers, a tunic, a turban, and a litham." [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]: (Roland and Atmore 2001, 69)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 118) 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.



The songhay knight, like his French counterpart, wore a great helm, a hauberk, chainmail, an iron plate armour, a helmet and used a javelin. "Le chevalier songhoy, comme son homologue de l’Ile de France, portait heaume et haubert, cottes de mailles, cuirasse de fer, casque et javelot." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 122)


Chainmail:
present

chainmail [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." [3] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 70)

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

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


Breastplate:
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.


Naval technology
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] Commander of canoe-fleet called hi-koy. [1]

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


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent


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.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.