Ghana and Mali

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Before Columbus sailed to the New World and before Europe
reached their "Enlightenment Era" two significant kingdoms flourished on the west coast of what some refer to as the motherland: Africa. The name of these two mighty states are Ghana and Mali. Ghana was the first West African state of which their was any record. After the downfall near the end of the eleventh century, Mali rose up to take their place as the economic, religious, and cultural hub of West Africa. These two states are very similar yet differ in many ways also. The economy of the two states are very similar. Ghanaians

were primarily an agricultural community. Most of the people were substance farmers who lived off of their own farms and livestock. Many people choose to trade with neighboring villages through their chief town, Kumbi Saleh. The people of Mali were also predominately agricultural. Most people who did not engage in farming, worked as artisans. The rich mines of Bure also served as income for some people of Mali. The economies of both states were related in that they both were primarily agricultural.

Religion is another topic of comparison for the two enormous kingdoms. The Religion of Ghana during the eleventh century was a religion based on the belief that every earthly object contained good or evil spirits that had to be satisfied if the people were to prosper. However in 1076, Muslims invaded the state and converted their religion to Islam. The people of Mali were firm Muslims. These people took at least one pilgrimage a lifetime to the holy city of Mecca. They traveled in caravans across hundreds of miles of dessert to kiss the Kabba (a black stone believed to have religious powers). Both kingdoms were primarily Islamic because it allowed them to trade freely with other Islamic states.

Although both kingdoms flourished, their reign of West Africa had to come to an end. The decline of Ghana began with the invasion of Muslims. Ghana still held...
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