Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
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Posted at Dec 10/2007 08:53AM:
ian: In much of Islamic history he became the symbol of Muslim West Africa and its potential for riches and mystery.
Posted at Dec 09/2007 04:58PM:
Mensa Musa I, reigned from 1312 to 1337, is well known for the vast amounts of gold he carried on his Hajj. He devalued the gold exchanges in Cairo for years afterwards.
He comes form the Keita Kingdom of Mali (in West Africa, known for gold fields and trade routes). The kindgdom was run from the fertile region south of the Sahil desert and created strong "economic, cultural, and diplomatic links with older Islmaic lands north of the Sahara" (including Egypt).
The kingdom was an Islamic empire, but had many West African traditions: princes and aristocratic rulers, Turk/European slave bodyguards (known as mamluks), and countryside pagan practices.
We talked in class about the trade of salt, cotton textiles, copper, and luxury foods/materials for gold.
From Historical Atlas of the Islamic World by David Nicolle (p 156)
Picture of Mansa Musa from Wikipedia