Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Mali.(The Empire of Gold) Pt 1Sundiata Keita the Lion King
The year is 1324A.D.and to the west of the great nile river another civilization has emerged to take the place of the ancient dynasties of the Egyptians 2300 years earlier.The ancestors of the people in West Africa migrated here from the nile region the tigris,and other parts of Africa.Along the Niger river Arab traders from the North or Medditerianian coast traded salt to Black African gold traders called Wangara from the south.This trade began around 100a.d.some say it was even older.Greek philosopher Herodetus talk about Dumb trade.Traders would put their goods along the river banks and wait for the wangara to arrive.The wangara would leave the amount of gold he thought the item was worth.This went on till a price was agreed apon.Over time stability through trade brought wealth and prosperity through out this region.Several tribes began to stand out among others.In the year 1000ad the Kingdom of Ghana was formed in the area of where Mauritainia is Ghana means gold.The king who built this kingdom and brought all of the trading cities, villages, trade routes and learned men under one system was King Tenkamenin supreme ruler of the Empire of Ghana.He devised a new tax system on camels and donkeys entering and leaving all of the cities in the kingdom.As prosperity came learning and enlightenment took hold.The king built a new capital city called Kumbi Saleh and the stone ruins still stand to this day.Islamic scholars moved there from Morrocco,Cairo,Mecca,Spain.Indeed West Africa was the place to be.A new city was built during the height of the Ghana Empire it was called Timbucktu.Built on the banks of the niger river the was the learning center of the world.All this laid the foundation of the coming of the Empire of Gold.
In the year 1274ad the Malinke tribe a Hamitic Sudanic tribe living in the Ghana Empire began to grow.Its warrior king considered their tribe to be divine.His name was King Sudiata Keita of the Keita clan.Born a cripple not able to run or walk because of an illness he was taken care of by females of the village.He wore his hair long in braids and was proud of his tribes beauty.Well someone else was interested in conquering the Malinke his name was Sumangru he raided the village with his men carrying off all the pretty girls and killing all of the fighting age men.When he saw young Sundiata he took pity.This only act of kindness was to be his doom.When Sundiata grew up he swore revenge.A blacksmith man him some imitation legs so he could walk upright.He practiced the fighting arts for years and like David and Goliath he challenged the evil king to a battle.Sumanguru had magical powers he appeared to Sundiata as an owl,trying to tell him to back down but Sundiata told the owl I know who you are and I will avenge the Malinke.The next day as the two rode to each other on horseback Sundiata pulled a special arrow designed to go through Sumangru's armor.He drew and struck the miserly king killing him.He liberated the city of Niani and made it the new capital of the Mali Empire.