Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ghana, Precolonial Period

The modern Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire, which ruled territory in the area om modern Mauritania, Mali and Senegal c.790-1076. It was run by dominant ethnic group , a Mande subgroup known as the Soninke, as Wagadou. The dou in the empire's name is a Mande term for " land", while waga is the name of "herd", thus the "land of herds".The empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the GhanaEmpireby the title of the emperor , the Ghana. The empire appeared to have broken up following the 1076 conquest by the Almoravid General Abu- Bakr Ibn-Umar. the kingdom of Almoravid was later incorporated into susequent Sahelian empires, such as the Mali empire several centuries later.
Historically the modern Ghanian territory was the core of the empire of Ashanti, which was one of the most advanced states in sub-sahara Africa in the 18-19th centuries, before colonial rule. It is sai that at its peak , the king of Ashanti could field 500,000 troops.
The Larabanga Mosque, one of Ghana's oldest mosque