Great Songhai Empire Western Africa

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by AndyHandal8
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies

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Great Songhai Empire Western Africa

Great Songhai EmpireWestern Africa

biggest empire of western african empirespopulation: 3 million

After Mali's decline, people broke away, and this included Songhai peoples. They formed and army and got most of the control of trade routes

Capital City: Gao (strategically placed near the Niger river)

Began: 1460Ended: 1591

In Songhai, trade was mainly done within Africa. It was common to trade to Egypt and around the Niger river. Sometimes, trade would go all the way to the middle eastern (Medina). Their modes of transport were canoes, carabans and boats .

exported: gold, salt, kola nuts and slavesimported: textiles, horses, and luxury goods.

Political and Social structure.Type of governemnt: monarchyFist ruler, Sunni Ali, helped conquer land (Timbuktu/Djenne), and led the empire through military intelligence.Sunni Ali's son ruled for a small period until Askia Muhammad revolted against him and gained the power instead. He served as an excellent administrator and introduced taxes and officials to the empire. Peacefull pla

Daily life.Muslim religion was valued, as well as native african cultures/beliefs. Empire didn't use violance, but ironically they had a good militry. Islam was adapted because of the original culture of Songhai. Women did not have to wear veils and has as much liberty as the men.

Moroccan coin used to trade in Songhai empire

Spread of Religion/Ideas/BeliefsMuslim traditions influenced other city states, but also the african cultures and values remained intact and were also spread around. They traded with arabs, which helped arabs learn about Islam. Religious leaders were impresed to the changes/adaptations of culture/religion in the Songhai empire, which taught them about different values, beliefs and traditions to keep the orginal culture to endure.

For a more broad understanding of this amazing empire, please watch:


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