In its peak, the people of Mali occupied land as far west as the
Atlantic Ocean. They also traveled as far east as Gao, the capital of the
Songhai, as far south as the Niger bend, and as far north as the Sahara
desert. They built a great empire between 1240 and 1337 that underwent a
course of slow decline until the seventeenth century.
The empire of Mali originated from a small country known as Kangaba.
Its people where known as the Mandingo (they have also been called the
Malinke and the Mandinka). After the breakup of Ghana, the Sosso, who had
caused the breakup, were still in power. Apparently Sundiata, an heir to
the Mandingo throne raised an army and defeated the Sosso in the battle of
Afterward, Sundiata established the empire of Mali. He converted to
Islam for support of ...view middle of the document...
base of government was located in the capital, known as Niani. It was once
written by a traveler that a person could travel safely without fear of
harm, and that the people of Mali hated injustice and the Mansa did not
tolerate injustice at all.
The military branch of government was constant. There was a standing
army of professional soldiers, so that Mali was ready for a battle without
having to raise an army every time.
The religion in Mali was divided between two groups. The merchants,
traders, and government officials, including the Mansa, were Islam, though,
apparently, they did not adhere to it very well. Women were allowed freedom
and even the Mansa still believed in the "spirit of the land." The basic
peasant farmer believed in a "spirit of the land" to whom he prayed so that
he would get good crops.
The main currency in Mali was gold dust. This shows the enormous
wealth of the country. There were many trade routes in Mali. The people who
traveled these routes were the Dyula. The Dyula consisted of a group of
Islamic people who followed the "Dyula-mansa," the company chief.
The Dyula were the main trade between Mali and countries across the
Sahara. They traded gold for what they needed (this is unclear: they may
have traded for either salt or copper or both).
Culture (Roles of men and women)
Not much is said about the culture. Apparently the religion was the
culture. The people placed a high standard on justice. People who lived in
cities were probably scholars, merchants, or government officials. Those
who did not were either miners or farmers.
During its peak, Mali was a great and powerful empire. It occupied a
great deal of land. It had wealth, power, learning centers, and an
organized government. It was a great empire that fell only due to bad