CHAP TER OUTLINE
● Tropical Lands and Peoples
● New Islamic Empires
● Indian Ocean Trade
● Social and Cultural Change
© Victor Englebert
DIVERSITY + DOMINANCE Personal Styles of Rule in India and Mali ENVIRONMENT + TECHNOLOGY The Indian Ocean Dhow
East African Pastoralists Herding large and small livestock has long been a way of life in drier parts of the tropics.
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Tropical Africa and Asia, 1200–1500
ultan Abu Bakr (a-BOO BAK-uhr) customarily
■ How did environmental differences shape cultural differences in tropical Africa and Asia? offered hospitality to distinguished visitors to his
■ Under what circumstances did the first Islamic
city of Mogadishu, an Indian Ocean port on the
empires arise in Africa and India?
northeast coast of Africa. In 1331, he provided food and
How did cultural and ecological differences prolodging for Muhammad ibn Abdullah Ibn Battuta (IB-uhn mote trade, and in turn how did trade and other
ba-TOO-tuh) (1304–1369), a young Muslim scholar from
contacts promote state growth and the spread
Morocco who had set out to explore the Islamic world.
With a pilgrimage to Mecca and travel throughout the
■ What social and cultural changes are reflected
Middle East behind him, Ibn Battuta was touring the
in the history of peoples living in tropical Africa
trading cities of the Red Sea and East Africa. Subseand Asia during this period? quent travels took him to Central Asia and India, China
and Southeast Asia, Muslim Spain, and sub-Saharan
West Africa. Recounting some 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) of travel over Ibn Battuta Moroccan twenty-nine years, Ibn Battuta’s journal provides invaluable information on these Muslim scholar, the most widely traveled individual
Hospitality being considered a noble virtue among Muslims, regardless of phys- of his time. He wrote a detailed account of his
ical and cultural differences, the reception at Mogadishu mirrored that at other cit- visits to Islamic lands from ies. Ibn Battuta noted that Sultan Abu Bakr had skin darker than his own and spoke China to Spain and the a different native language (Somali), but as brothers in faith, they prayed together at western Sudan. Friday services, where the sultan greeted his foreign guest in Arabic, the common language of the Islamic world: “You are heartily welcome, and you have honored our land and given us pleasure.” When Sultan Abu Bakr and his jurists heard and decided cases after the mosque service, they used the religious law familiar in all Muslim lands.
Islam aside, the most basic links among the diverse peoples of Africa and southern Asia derived from the tropical environment itself. A network of overland and maritime routes joined their lands (see Chapter 7), providing avenues for the spread of beliefs and technologies, as well as goods. Ibn Battuta sailed with merchants down the coast of East Africa and joined trading caravans across the Sahara to West Africa. His path to India followed overland trade routes, and a merchant ship carried him on to China.
Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Due to electronic rights, some third party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s). Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not...
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