Ancient Ghana Rise to Power

Ancient Ghana Rise to Power - Cynthia Okoye History 2250...

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Cynthia Okoye History 2250 Research Paper April 29, 2007 Ancient Ghana: Rise to Power The name Ghana is the Soninke word for ruler, and when people hear the name Ancient Ghana they automatically relate it to the Ghana of today but in actuality Ancient Ghana is in no way related to the modern day Ghana that we know. They are not geographically or even ethnically related (Goody). Ancient Ghana is 400 miles northwest of modern Ghana; it covers what we now call Northern Senegal and Southern Mauritania (Ancient Ghana). As we look back into time we find that the origins of Ancient Ghana are unclear (Goody). In this paper we will be discussing how ancient Ghana obtained its wealth and power. Ancient Ghana has been a great mystery to all of us especially archeologists in the past and is still a bit of a mystery today. What we do know of the ancient kingdom comes from the various Arabic texts which dated from about
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Okoye 800 to 1650 (Goody). These texts have been translated, quoted, summarized and interpreted in great detail. Ghana’s existence is known to be prior to 800 and was centered on western Sahel in what we now know as southern Mauritania and western Mali. Ancient Ghana flourished for about two centuries (Ghana Home Page). In the end of the first millennium there were a number of Soninke people and Mande speaking people who lived in the region bordering the Sahara. These two groups of people came together under the leadership of one man named Diabe Sisse. There are countless stories of this man and who people thought he was but what we are certain is that this man was a stranger from afar (Ancient Ghana). It is assumed that famine had driven Diabe sisse with his followers from their home. He led his people further up the Niger River and there he founded his Kingdome. The rulers of Ghana were “matrilineal descended” meaning that the king descended from the male line (Levitzion p. 92). This matrilineal succession was due to the influence of the Berbers of the southern Sahara (Levitzion p. 92). The king was the supreme judge over everything that went on in the kingdom. When the capital was established it was said to consist of two separate towns approximately six miles 2
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Okoye apart. These towns were situated in a plain (Mauny p. 201).
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Ancient Ghana Rise to Power - Cynthia Okoye History 2250...

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