Chapter 8 Critical Thinking Essay

Submitted By KAtieCRoft13
Words: 936
Pages: 4

1. Before there was Islam in Africa, the countries there had already established many varying religions. One of the things most alike in African religions was the belief in Pantheism. Pantheism is the belief in one god that created everything in the universe. Sometimes the creator god was accompanied by a group of less important deities. The Ashanti were one of the African tribes that had a religion before Islam. The Ashanti lived in Ghana, and had a supreme creator god above all other gods. Nyame was their creator god, and he had three sons/deities. One controlled rain, another made compassion, and the last made sunshine. Only the Ashanti king worshipped Nyame through his priests, while the lower subjects all worshipped the 3 son deities. The subjects believed that the 3 deities could influence Nyame’s decisions about the lower people in the civilization. A lot of other African religions believed that after the body expired, the soul floated around in the atmosphere. The afterlife was connected to ancestors and the lineage group. The lineage group was like a clan or tribe. Each lineage group could be followed back to founding ancestor. The lineage group performed rituals for the ancestors because they could impact their lives on earth. The souls would remain in the atmosphere unless the rituals were performed. Because Islam only had one main god, this didn’t really affect the African religion. However, the Africans spirit worship and class of priests were not welcomed by the Islamic’s, causing conflict between the two peoples. Africans were also bigger on equality, where the Islamic’s didn’t care as much.

2. Ghana was a very big commercial state. Most of the people in Ghana providences were Iron Age farmers that lived in villages under the rule of the chieftain. Eventually, the providences came together and formed the kingdom of Ghana. While Ghana’s main importance was agriculture, it quickly gained attention through gold. Merchants took the gold and distributed it all throughout the world. Ghana also exported leather, feathers from assorted birds, and ivory. Their biggest export was slaves. Mostly Muslim traders sold the slaves and lived in large palaces and cities (Saleh). The king lived in a large palace too, where he could tax the merchants along with the farmers and other low-level workers. Kings in Ghana ruled with divine right and had a hereditary ruling in place. the leaders of clans were responsible for collecting taxes, while the king was responsible for security and conversing with the gods. Ghana eventually collapsed through tribesmen of the Berber nature. Mali was another commercial state that was a big impact. Mali also built its profit on the gold trade, and became very large and powerful. Farmers were very important, and lived in villages where the local chieftain ruled over them. He enforced law and religion. Tax revenues from the village went upwards to the government above the level they were on. Most of the kingdoms wealth was gained by the merchants who lived in the cities. Mansa Musa encouraged Islam and wealth in Mali. He built mosques and made everyone study the Koran’s teachings.

3. Zimbabwe culture was very diverse. Zimbabwe began as a stateless society, with the entire village surrounded and enclosed by a wall. It eventually became a state after they discovered gold and began trading. With this discovery, Zimbabwe became very rich and powerful. Zimbabwe’s capitol was known as great Zimbabwe, and reflected many things of its culture that shown through in the other states as well. Great Zimbabwe was placed between two large advantages: the river and the expansion of trade on routes going by Great Zimbabwe to the sea. The city could hold about…