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In the western sudan in the late 700s the kingdom of

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Unformatted text preview: thern Africa after 650. In the western Sudan in the late 700s, the Kingdom of Ghana (in what is now Mauritania) was the first African kingdom to benefit from trade with the Arab world. The rulers of Ghana traded gold, ivory, and slaves for horses, textiles, and salt. After 900, the kings of Ghana converted to Islam, and the religion began to spread among the general population. The Kingdom of Ghana fell in 1235 when it was absorbed into the Mali Empire. The Mali Empire ruled all of west Africa until the middle of the 1400s. Mansa Musa (1312-1337) was king of the Mali Empire at its height. He controlled (and taxed) all west African trade and became immensely wealthy. He promoted the spread of Islam, sponsoring religious schools and building mosques. His pilgrimage to Mecca, where he gave lavish gifts to his hosts, made him famous in the Arab world. In 1500, all of western Sudan was ruled by the Songhai Empire, a powerful state which thrived on trade with the Mediterranean world, exchanging gold, ivory, and slaves for horse...
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