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MOORS Ending Stereotypes for America

MOORS Ending Stereotypes for America

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Published by: Jahred Jedeye on Jul 09, 2013
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Ending Stereotypes for America

6/30/13 1:01 PM

Ending Stereotypes for America
"He is the richest sovereign of earth." Ibn Hawkel, a 10th century geographer who obtained information on the Ghanaian kingdom while in North Africa1 "Ghana is…a great empire and of a power which is formidable." Al Barki (El Berki), a Spanish Moor in 10672 The origins of the Kingdom date back between 400BC to 600BC. The kingdom prospered into the 11th century, then began to decline, and was finally destroyed in the 13th. Ghana had at least 43 straight Kings from the same line--a strong sign of its unique stability.3 Top Government Ghana's king settled disputes among different clans, was the supreme judge of a legal system that consisted of high and low courts, conducted daily affairs, was the military chief, the chief of justice, performed traditional religious rituals, heard reports on the royal treasury, and appointed government officials.4 Al Barki (El Berki), an 11th century Moorish nobleman who lived in Spain, gave the following description of Ghana's high court ceremonies: He wrote that the king: "Gives an audience to his people, in order to listen to their complaints and set them right…he sits in a pavilion around which stand 10 horsed with gold embodied trappings. Behind the king stand 10 pages holding shields and gold mounted swords; on his right are the sons of princes of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited in their hair….The door of the pavilion is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed who almost never leave the king's presence and who wear collars of gold and silver."5 For those who could not attend the king toured his capital daily. He talked to his subjects individually, listening to their complaints. Although Ghanaian kings refused to convert to Islam, they had a friendly relationship with the Muslim merchants--even allowing some to work for the administration and offer Islamic legal advice.
http://endingstereotypes.org/ghana.html Page 1 of 4

7 Ghana was fortunate to have had a near monopoly on the gold trade. and a staircase. The highly sought and famous Moroccan leather goods are actually crafted in Ghana. the smiths also sold their goods on the free market."10 The King was so wealthy he kept 1000 horses. its value surpassed even that of gold. Ghana obtained salt from Taghaze--a nearly desolate town in the Sahara--and their gold from a West African people called the Wangara's(The Wangara kept their gold mines in complete secret."12 One of the king's mansions was 66 ft long. "If gold nuggets are discovered in the country's mines.html Page 2 of 4 . Due to the abundance of gold the government had to regulate its output. Salt was cut into pieces and used as currency.11 The king's compound. If he did not do this. its walls and chambers were filled with sculptures and http://endingstereotypes. for they knew any powerful nation or tough nomadic clan would conquer them if the location of the gold was revealed)."8 International and local trade were also taxed and regulated. "a palace and a number of dome-shaped dwellings. metal ornaments.Ending Stereotypes for America 6/30/13 1:01 PM Top Economy and Wealth At the local level Ghanaians produced and traded items such as cotton cloth. "…possesses great wealth and reserves of gold that have been extracted since early times to the advantage of former kings and his ownâ €¦.9 Ibn Hawkal wrote that the king. Ironsmiths made weapons for the king's army and gold and coppersmiths made jewelry for the king. Shops of local potters.6 Their main source of wealth was obtained through the international gold and salt trade. two stories. copper urinal. sandal makers and the like were constant visuals of the bustling marketplaces. craftsmen. as recorded by Al-Barki (El Berki). was. all with their own mattress. the whole surrounded by an enclosure like the defensive wall of a city. weavers. the king reserves them for himself and leaves the gold dust for his subjects. 42 ft wide with seven rooms. In the 10th century the geographer Ibn Hawkal wrote. and leather goods.he is the richest sovereign of earth. and three servants. gold would become very plentiful and would fall in value…the king is said to possess a nugget as big as a large stone.org/ghana.

Ending Stereotypes for America 6/30/13 1:01 PM painting. (The first West African people to develop the use of iron was likely the Nok of Nigeria over 2500 years ago)18 Around 700AD the Soninke defeated the small kingdom of Ghana. All conquered people were expected to provide soldiers for the nation's army.org/ghana."16 Top Millitary In 1067 Al Barki (El Berkri) wrote: "The king of Ghana can put 200. more than forty thousand of them being armed with bow and arrow. The average citizen used iron knives. The Almoravids of North Africa: http://endingstereotypes. Fall of Ghana In the 13th century Ghana experienced environmental irregularities that increased their vulnerability to outside attacks. Other times.000 warriors in the field. Three hundred years after El Berki's glowing description of a powerful and affluent state. Ghana's strategy was to defeat a clan or village and allow the local ruler to remain in power if he pledged allegiance to Ghana.html Page 3 of 4 . the best-known Arab historian of the 14th century and respected diplomat for North African kings. which demonstrated a good taste of royal art. if the king saw fit. The king appointed a governor or mayor to the important towns and cities he conquered. and embarked on a series of expansion. nails. which gave them a distinct military advantage over their neighbors who fought with ebony and dark hard wood. The Soninke may have been the first people of the region to use iron. arrowheads. wrote the following account of its sad downfall. and some of the finest scissors of the medieval world. which they used as a foundation for the empire they were soon to create.000 people."15 The king and merchants did not monopolize the wealth. many date palms and henna trees as big as olives.14 Al Barki (El Berki) described Ghana's city of Aoudaghast as "A very large city with several markets. he would assume direct control over the conquered people. as well as many farming tools."17 The power of Ghana stems from the black iron smelting Soninke clan. Ibn Khaldum.13 It was written that every evening he spoke to a thousand subjects from his red and gleaming gold balcony and provided enough food for 10. filled with fine houses and solid buildings.

their neighbors. and compelled a great number of them to become Moslems.Ending Stereotypes for America 6/30/13 1:01 PM "…spread their dominion over the Negroes. Under Mali rule the people of Ghana were once again perhaps the most prosperous people in the world.org/ghana. The authority of the kings of Ghana being destroyed. devastated their territory and plundered their property. took their country and reduced its inhabitants to slavery.html Page 4 of 4 . the Sosso. Having submitted them to poll tax they imposed on them a tribute."19 In 1238 King Sundiata of Old Mali overthrew the oppressive Sosso and in 1240 captured its capital. Top http://endingstereotypes.

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