Mali Empire (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Through a series of successful military campaigns, the emperors of Mali created a massive kingdom stretching across a vast section of West Africa.
The Mali Empire in West Africa was founded by the Sosso, members of a tributary state in ancient Ghana. Under the leadership of Sumanguru of the Kante clan, the Sosso established a new state independent of ancient Ghana. The Sosso state was built mainly through raids and military conquests in which the Sosso killed rulers of neighboring lands and seized tributes.
During the early 1220’s, Sumanguru’s army raided the Malinke to the south and attacked the northern Soninke of ancient Ghana, sacking the capital in about 1224. A Malinke survivor, Sundiata of the Keita clan, organized a resistance. In 1235, he led a Malinke army against the Sosso, defeating Sumanguru at the Battle of Kirina. After his victory, Sundiata took control of the Soninke people who had been conquered by the Sosso and whose lands included much of former Ghana. This was the genesis of the vast Mali Empire. The capital was located at Niani. As a result of Sundiata’s subsequent military operations, the empire’s boundaries extended to encompass vast areas of the West African Sudan.
Sundiata, the creator of the Mali kingdom, took the title of mansa, Malinke for ruler. He was resourceful and powerful. The wealth of the empire derived from the gold trade, taxes,...
(The entire section is 636 words.)
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