The kingdom was at the center of the trans Saharan trade routes and thus it

The kingdom was at the center of the trans saharan

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routes and thus it benefited greatly from trading with the northern African people.The Soninke people were an animist society according to information passed down through generations in the form of oral traditions. A myth which was preserved in various forms in the Sahel region explains that the downfall of the empire of Ghana traces its roots to the death of Bida,a serpent to whom the people sacrificed a virgin each year. Being an animist society, the people of Soninke believed that the empire thrived on keeping Bida happy. One of the virgins that were due to be sacrificed to Bida was saved by a man named Mamadou Sarolle who slew Bida. Following the death of Bida, according to the myth, drought ensued, gold trade declined, and other fortunes of the kingdom declined significantly. The Kingdom was also in conflict with Berber groups in the Sahara, who further weakened the kigdom. Climatic changes-the increase ofthe Sahara southward-and the threat of Berber groups lead to the decline of the kingdom. Kumbi Saleh which had become the capital of the kingdom owing to its strategic location-at the endpoint of the trans-Saharan trade routes was no longer a viable trade end point with the advance of the Sahara southwards, and smaller kingdoms to the south with greener lands and higher productivity become more powerful and thus the kingdom of Ghana fell.The empire of Mali which began farther east and farther south in comparison to the Ghana Empire rose with the decline of the empire of Ghana, annexing territory that had previously belonged to the Ghana Empire, thus ultimately becoming a larger empire than the previous Ghana Empire. The Mali Empire was founded by a man named Sundiata Keita who
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