This guide comprises links to documents with more information on what you are exploring in your research projects.
Rise and fall of medieval Mali, social stratification, occupations
Trade Routes, cities along the routes, Trans-Saharan trade, items used as currency, trading goods, salt, other natural resources
Contemporary Mali including its music, cities, preservation of manuscripts
Dance, art, sculpture, instruments of measurements, games
People: Sundiata, Mansa Musa
African Dominion by Michael Gomez
Publication Date: 2018-01-01
A groundbreaking history that puts early and medieval West Africa in a global context. Interweaving political and social history and drawing on a rich array of sources, including Arabic manuscripts, oral histories, and recent archaeological findings, Michael Gomez unveils a new vision of how categories of ethnicity, race, gender, and caste emerged in Africa and in global history more generally. Focusing on the Savannah and Sahel region, Gomez traces the exchange of ideas and influences with North Africa and the Central Islamic Lands by way of merchants, scholars, and pilgrims. Islam's growth in West Africa, in tandem with intensifying commerce that included slaves, resulted in a series of political experiments unique to the region, culminating in the rise of empire. A major preoccupation was the question of who could be legally enslaved, which together with other factors led to the construction of new ideas about ethnicity, race, gender, and caste--long before colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade.
Making Sense of World History is a comprehensive and accessible textbook that helps students understand the key themes of world history within a chronological framework stretching from ancient times to the present day. A discussion of the common challenges faced by different types of agent, including rulers, merchants, farmers, and parents, and a comparison of how these challenges were addressed in different times and places. An exhaustive and balanced treatment of themes such as culture, politics, and economy with an emphasis on interaction.
This paper attempts to answer the following questions: What are the characteristics of this African game as we find it in the New World, what are its rules and manner of play? What is its significance to the people who play it? What are the sources of its origin in Africa?
Timbuktu civilization began as a seasonal settlement for trade caravans in the early 11th century. It later flourished in trade and as one of the early African centres of Islamic culture. This paper reviews the trend of Timbuktu civilization from prehistoric period up to the current state of its political impact of the region.
Video. Islam has influenced West Africa since the 11th century, but only in the last 100 years has the religion grown so rapidly in Senegal and Mali. One prominent sect, the Murid movement which grew out of Sufism, has millions of followers and wealth accumulated from peanut cultivation.
The Teacher’s Guide begins and ends with a series of activities to contextualize the Caravans of Gold story and to help students understand what is at stake in learning this history. Individual lessons explore different facets of the story through key objects and case studies.
Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time by Kathleen Bickford BerzockHow West African gold and trade across the Sahara were central to the medieval world The Sahara Desert was a thriving crossroads of exchange for West Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe in the medieval period. Fueling this exchange was West African gold, prized for its purity and used for minting currencies and adorning luxury objects such as jewelry, textiles, and religious objects. Caravans made the arduous journey by camel southward across the Sahara carrying goods for trade--glass vessels and beads, glazed ceramics, copper, books, and foodstuffs, including salt, which was obtained in the middle of the desert. Northward, the journey brought not only gold but also ivory, animal hides and leatherwork, spices, and captives from West Africa forced into slavery. Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time draws on the latest archaeological discoveries and art historical research to construct a compelling look at medieval trans-Saharan exchange and its legacy. Contributors from diverse disciplines present case studies that form a rich portrayal of a distant time. Topics include descriptions of key medieval cities around the Sahara; networks of exchange that contributed to the circulation of gold, copper, and ivory and their associated art forms; and medieval glass bead production in West Africa's forest region. The volume also reflects on Morocco's Gnawa material culture, associated with descendants of West African slaves, and movements of people across the Sahara today. Featuring a wealth of color images, this fascinating book demonstrates how the rootedness of place, culture, and tradition is closely tied to the circulation of people, objects, and ideas. These "fragments in time" offer irrefutable evidence of the key role that Africa played in medieval history and promote a new understanding of the past and the present. Published in association with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University Exhibition Schedule Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University January 26-July 21, 2019 Aga Khan Museum, Toronto September 21, 2019-February 23, 2020 Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC April 8-November 29, 2020
In this volume experts re-assess evidence for a range of goods used in early trading in Africa (other than the commonly known like gold, ivory, salt, and slaves) including beads, textiles, metalwork and glass, and use it to to demonstrate that the pre-Islamic Sahara was a more dynamic and connected region than previously thought.
The Colorful Sogo Bò Puppets of Mali by Mary Sue Rosen; Paul Peter RosenPresenting more than 100 traditional, colorful puppets and masks used in Malian puppet theater, this book documents a collection that has been widely exhibited. One of the largest published surveys of Malian Bamana and Bozo puppet theater, it includes numerous pictures of puppets and masks in performance as well as detailed information on their size and construction. The text offers a historical overview of puppetry, focused on Africa, and a description of the cultural tradition that gave rise to and sustains Malian Sogo Bò puppet theatre, a community-based, multi-media spectacle. This is an excellent reference for anyone interested in puppetry, performance theater, masquerade, African music and dance, and African sculpture.
Persona by Anne-Marie BouttiauxBased on an exhibition of 180 masks--more than 100 from the outstanding collection at the Royal Museum of Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium--and works by contemporary African artists, this extraordinary book offers a new interpretation of the mask as the universal object that both hides and reveals. Beautifully designed, Persona presents masks organized by their usage, the dances, and rituals they serve and the belief system they display. The contemporary works, selected for their artistry, formal boldness, and intrinsic message, arouse a similar aesthetic response, but serve a different function from the ritual masks. This stunningly illustrated and engaging book explores both the real and emblematic roles of the mask, as objects which are "devitalized” when placed in museums but which nevertheless prompt questions of identity, self-esteem and conceptions of the Other in Western society.
Call Number: Herskovits LLarge Section - 5 South Large 726.20966 S396Z
Belgian photograper Sebastian Schutyser spent nearly four years photographing the mud mosques of Mali. A collection of 200 such black & white photographs is now online at ArchNet (https://next.archnet.org/)
Call Number: Herskovits Library - 5 South 331.76931 M315m
Publication Date: 2009-06-08
The town of Djenné on the Bani River in Mali has been a thriving settlement for more than two millennia. Renowned for its mud-brick architecture, monumental mosque, and merchant-traders' houses, Djenné remains one of Africa's most distinctive cities. The Masons of Djenné follows Trevor Marchand after he signs on as a builder's apprentice. Marchand takes readers on his journey from raw laborer to skilled craftsman.