“The term ‘Mande’ refers to a kingdom that existed by the twelfth century centered somewhere in present day Mali. The name ‘ Mali’ is what the Fulani used to refer to Mande. Europeans first hit upon the name ‘Mali’ as they traveled along the coast of west Africa. Thus ‘Mali’ became a more popular term in the western literature than Mande, the latter being the name used by the peoples of that heartland themselves. The proto-Mande language is traceble to that Mande heartland. The people speaking languages closest to this original language have been referred to variously as ‘Mandinka’ or ‘Malink,’ unisng both versions of the name and adding the suffix ‘ke’ or ‘ka’ meaning ‘of’.”

“Did these Ancient Egpytians have jet black complexion? Many students ask this question. Ofcourse there were other influences in Ancient Egypt that could have affected complexion. One should also remember that not all Africans, like the Berbers and the Fulani, are jet black in complexion. Like these however, ancient Egyptians have been and should be considered among the black races.”

“The marabouts were mostly of Berber origin from north of Senegal and they opposed the effects of the slave trade, particulary the involvement of the French merchants at St. Louis (in Senegal).”

“The people of Ghana were the Soninke, a branch of the large Mande family. Ghana was advantageously linked with the Berber town Sijilmasa in present-day Morocco where Arab merchants organized the trade across the Sahara, providing capital and buying gold from te western Sudan.”

“The Berbers who did the most of the carrying across the desert had largely been converted to Islam. To encourage trade, the monarchs of Ghana promoted Islam. To encourage trade, the monarchs of Ghana promoted Islam. Apart from the Islamic segment of the capital already mentioned, the kings of Ghana employed Muslims as advisers and clerks in his administration. The influence to the Islamic traders would undoubtedly have led to some conversion to Islam in Ghana, though the king and his immediate followers remained attached to the traditional religion. More widespread conversion to Islam was perceptible after the Almoravid invasion of Ghana. The Almoravid movement developed among the Sanhaja branch of the Berbers around the Mauretanina coast.”

“In Morocco before the nineteenth century, the Berbers were strongly attached to their small principalities, little larger than the clan. They only felt a need to come together when all Berbers were threatened by a non-Berber force. Since the coming of Islam in the eighth century, the Arabs had little success in controlling north Africa, particulary the Berbers. These Berbers were scattered in lossley organized clans in mountainous and desert terrain, further enhancing their independent spirit. The Arabs had however succeeded in converting the Berbers to Islam and this proved to be the most significant unifying factor in Morocco.”

“The earliest dynasty in Morocco was founded by Idris, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, in the ninth century and lasted about a hundred years, followed down the years by successive unstable dynasties. The dynasties, however stable or unstable, were believed to possess the blessings of the Prophet Muhammad which anointed them and thereforelegitimized their rule in the eyes of the Muslim Berbers. This anointed power passed from Muhammad to Idris and subsequently to the other dynasties, descendants of the Prophet, retaining the same efficacy it had had since the days of Muhammad. Thus the Berbers saw every reason to regard the Moroccan sharifs (monarchs, also referred to as Sultans) as the spiritual leader and to some degeree also as their political head. The political aspect was however quite limited. The various Berber entities in Morocco would send the Sharif soldiers during a religous war, but usually no other time else. They would acknowledge his spiritual leadership, but pay no taxes to him. They however recognized the sharif as the head of the Maknes, the council that had basica supervision over caids(clan heads) or sheikhs(village heads) and khalifas or local administrators.”

Citing Introduction to the History of African Civilization: Precolonial Africa


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