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Unformatted text preview: s, textiles, and salt.
Central Africa refers to the region of Africa that is
drained by the Congo River and through which the
equator runs. In the interior of the continent it
provides an extensive transportation network. There
was considerable trade in salt, textiles, dried fish, iron,
and copper, however, social organization was
primarily local. There were no political units as large
as the Kingdom of Benin or the Songhai Empire.
The Congo River is not navigable from the
Atlantic, because of rapids and waterfalls. As a result,
the Congo region was not in direct contact with other
regions of Africa, or the world, until after the
Portuguese voyages of discovery in the fifteenth
East Africa (from what is now Sudan to
Mozambique) began to trade with the Middle East
and India in the first century C.E. East African citystates traded spices, ivory, and gold for cloth, grain,
sugar, and metal. Two of the most important citystates were Mogadishu and Mombasa.
The ruling elites were of mixed Arabic and African
descent, society was Islamic, and there was a steady
influx of i...
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