From the Negroes proper of the Sudan have descended most American Negroes See U.S. Immigration Commission Dictionary of races or peoples. The name Sudan is probably a confusing term, especially to modern learners of history as it is a recent name given to the current Republic of Sudan governed by its capital city Khartoum. Geographically, it is the area bordered by Ethiopia and Eritrea from the East, Egypt and Libya from the North, Chad and Central Africa from the West and Zaire, Uganda and Kenya from the South. With reference to ancient facts of history, to give any piece of information about ancient history of Western Sudan, it is necessary to point out to two important historical facts. First, the origin of the term Sudan and the source from which it is derived. Second, what part of Africa is said to be known as Sudan in ancient history.
Source: Ancient Sudan Kush
“1099 Cristen soudan. Although modern, secular readers will not see anything amiss here, the original audience would perceive this as a contradiction. Today, we read “sultan” as a social and political title and “Christian” as a religious and spiritual one. Drawing on a number of works, especially romances, MED defines “soudan” primarily as a Moslem or Saracen leader; with such a strong connotation, a Christian sultan would appear to be an oxymoron.”
“The American Negro is a new biological and cultural product, his ancestors from Africa represented tribes as divergent as the several peoples of Europe. They were captured from provinces covering large parts of Central and West Africa, Guinea, the Ivory, Slave, and Gold Coasts, a great part of what is now French West Africa, the vast stretches of the Niger Valley, the Cameroons, the Congo, the Benguela. Among them [their ancestors] were Arabs and Moors from the northerly coast, the small yellow Hottentots from the South, the Bantu tribes from the equatorial regions. Members of these diverse tribes captured of an area as large as the Continent of Europe were completely mixed in the process of transport to African slave ports to the West Indies to American marts and in their distribution to the New World. “
“The Sudan is the name given to a geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The states of the Sudan The early kingdoms and empires of the western Sudan In the 10th century the kings of Ghana extended their sway over the Ṣanhājah, the congeries of Amazigh nomadic tribes living around Audaghost, just north of their kingdom, who supplied them with salt and North African goods (see map). This move must have upset the economic balance between agricultural Ghana and the pastoral Ṣanhājah, and ultimately it provoked a reaction. Like the North African Imazighen, the Ṣanhājah tribes were already to some extent Islamized, and they shortly found in a militant, puritanical version of Islam the means to eliminate their tribal differences and to unite in the movement known to history as the Almoravids. In the middle of the 11th century they began to expand into the productive lands on either side of the western Sahara, and it would seem that later in the century Ghana became dominated by them.”
“The medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai that controlled the western Sudan had no fixed geopolitical boundaries or singular ethnic or national identities. Although each empire possessed important political and economic centers, such as Ghana’s Kumbi Saleh and Songhai’s Gao, it is not certain that these were permanent capitals. Instead, the empires may have had “floating” capitals that shifted between a number of urbanized centers or traveled with their ruling monarchs. Above all, the empires of the western Sudan were unified by strong leadership, kin-based societies, and the trade routes they sought to dominate. Trans-Saharan Trade The importance that contact with the Islamic world held for these empires cannot be understated. While extensive trading networks undoubtedly predated Arabic involvement, the development of trans-Saharan commerce in the seventh century by Arabs and Berbers intensified and expanded the trading networks that made the empires of the western Sudan possible.”
Source: The Empires of the Western Sudan
“West Sudanian savanna (green) inWest Africa The Western Sudan is a historic region in the northern part of West Africa. Traditionally, the Western Sudan extends from the Atlantic Ocean across to the basin of Lake Chad (which is sometimes associated with a region called “Central Sudan” or other times with the Western Sudan) and includes the savanna and Sahel lands north of the West African tropical rainforest belt. It includes the rivers of the Senegal, Gambia and Niger systems, as well as the highlands of Fouta Djallon from which these rivers flow. West Sudanian savanna (green) in West Africa Historians have considered the Western Sudan as a land of great empires, since at least the seventh century, when the Empire of Ghana flourished, there have been a succession of empires: Ghana (seventh to eleventh century), Mali (thirteenth to fifteenth century), Songhai(1464–1591) are the three best known, but smaller large scale polities have also been important, the Empire of Great Foula (late sixteenth to early eighteenth century), the Bamana Empire (late seventeenth to early nineteenth century), and the nineteenth century empires of El Hajj Umar Tal and Samori Toure. In fact, since the fourteenth century at least, local historians of the region have seen its history in terms of a succession of empires. This cycle is discernible in the historical accounts of shaykh Uthman, whose history was told to the historian ibn Khaldun while on the Muslim Pilgrimage in 1397. It can also be found in the great Sudanese chronicle, Tarikh al-Fettash. Modern historians have followed suit, and the imperial tradition can be found in textbooks today.”
Source: Western Sudan (Wiki)
“The Sudan extends in some 5,000 km in a band several hundred km wide across Africa. It stretches from the border of Senegal, through southern Mali (formerly known as French Sudan when it was a French colony), Burkina Faso, southern Niger and northern Nigeria, southern Chad, the western Darfur region of present-day Sudan, and South Sudan.
“To the north of the region lies the Sahel, a more arid Acacia savanna region which in turn borders the Sahara desert further north, and to the east the Ethiopian Highlands (called al-Ḥabašah in Arabic).”
“In the south-west lies the West Sudanian savanna, a wetter, tropical savanna region bordering the tropical forests of West Africa. In the center is Lake Chad, and the more fertile region around the lake, while to the south of there are the highlands of Cameroon. To the south-east is the East Sudanian savanna, another tropical savanna region, bordering the forest of Central Africa. This gives way further east to the Sudd, an area of tropical wetland fed by the water of the White Nile.”
The people of the Sudan region share similar lifestyles, dictated by the geography of the region. The economy is largely pastoral, whilesorghum and rice are cultivated in the southern parts of the region. The region was governed in colonial times by the French, as part of their African colonial empire, but the countries of the region achieved independence in the latter half of the 20th century.
Soudan may refer to:
- The French name (and former English name) for Sudan
- The French name for French Sudan(present day Mali)
“During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, and art. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal’s withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a 1991 coup led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. Significant portions of its legislation is derived from sharia law.”
“The pages above are from Timbuktu Manuscripts written in Sudani script (a form of Arabic) from the Mali Empire showing established knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. Today there are close to a million of these manuscripts found in Timbuktu alone. Sudanese tourists by the Meroë pyramids in various types of clothing.At the height of their glory, the Kushites conquered an empire that stretched from what is now known as South Kordofan all the way to the Sinai. King Piye attempted to expand the empire into the Near East, but was thwarted by the Assyrian kingSargon II. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān (بلاد السودان), or “the lands of the Blacks“, an expression denoting West Africa and northern-Central Africa.”
“International Association for the History of Religions (1959), Numen, Leiden: EJ Brill, p. 131, West Africa may be taken as the country stretching from Senegal in the west, to the Cameroons in the east; sometimes it has been called the central and western Sudan, the Bilad as-Sūdan, ‘Land of the Blacks’, [or]of the Arabs. By the 6th century, fifty states had emerged as the political and cultural heirs of the Meroitic Kingdom. Nobatia in the north, also known as Ballanah, had its capital at Faras; the central kingdom, Muqurra (Makuria), was centred at Tungul (Old Dongola), about 13 kilometres (8 miles) south of modern Dunqulah; and Alawa (Alodia), in the heartland of old Meroë, which had its capital at Sawba (Soba) (now a suburb of modern-day Khartoum). In all three kingdoms, warrior aristocracies ruled Meroitic populations from royal courts where functionaries bore Greek titles in emulation of the Byzantine court. A missionary sent by Byzantine empress Theodora arrived in Nobatia and started preaching Christianity about 540 AD. The Nubian kings became Monophysite Christians. However, Makuria was of the Melkite Christian faith, unlike Nobatia and Alodia.”
“After many attempts at military conquest failed, the Arab commander in Egypt concluded the first in a series of regularly renewed treaties known as al-baqṭ (pactum) with the Nubians that governed relations between the two peoples for more than 678 years. Islam progressed in the area over a long period of time through intermarriage and contacts with Arab merchants and settlers. Additionally, exemption from taxation in regions under Muslim rule were also a powerful incentive for conversion. In 1093, a Muslim prince of Nubian royal blood ascended the throne of Dunqulah as king. The two most important Arab tribes to emerge in Nubia were the Jaali and the Juhayna. Today’s northern Sudanese culture often combines Nubian and Arabic elements. During the 16th century, a people called the Funj, under a leader named Amara Dunqus, appeared in southern Nubia and supplanted the remnants of the old Christian kingdom of Alwa, establishing As-Saltana az-Zarqa (the Blue Sultanate), also called the Sultanate of Sennar. The Blue Sultanate eventually became the keystone of the Funj Empire. By the mid-16th century, Sennar controlled Al Jazirah and commanded the allegiance of vassal states and tribal districts north to the Third Cataract and south to the rainforests. The government was substantially weakened by a series of succession arguments and coups within the royal family. In 1820, Muhammad Ali of Egypt sent 4,000 troops to invade Sudan. His forces accepted Sennar’s surrender from the last Funj sultan, Badi VII.”