It’s been a while since I did a Black History 365 entry on stories that pertained to Africa. Still, I’m glad to present this post on the prosperous kingdoms that were prominent in Africa before colonization. Ancient African tribes are immersed in prosperous cultures, and with their own distinct traits that have remained intact to this day. In regards to this, a lot of Ancient African cultures that are known today have been passed down orally via storytelling. A rich storytelling history is told from the perspective of Griots (a historian) who helps maintain the integrity of the culture’s history. Moreover, in terms of Griots, these historians are specifically West Africans, and they tell stories that pertain to that region of the continent. However, that isn’t to say that the Eastern, Northern, or Southern parts of the continent didn’t have prolific orators that have passed down their rich history in ways of poems, speeches, and preservation of the culture in tangible artifacts that told stories. Below are five African kingdoms that were valorous at all times, affluent, formidable, and memorable.
- The Kingdom of Kush: Along the Nile River, the Kingdom of Kush was located directly below Ancient Egpyt. The Kingdom was prominent roughly from 1070 B.C.E to 300 C.E. The Kush People were known for their use of bows and arrows, which helped them gain leverage over their foes in combat. The majority of the Kush Kingdom inhabitants were cotton, wheat, and barley growers. Moreover, the Kush society admired women and had a number of queen leaders that held power.
- The Kingdom of Aksum: Aksum existed from 400 B.C.E until 940 C.E., making it one of Africa’s longest civilizations. The people of Aksum lived near the Red Sea coast and were important traders and merchants. Their city became an integral trading port for African and Egyptian merchants, as well as traders from Asia specifically India and Persia. This inclusive trading resulted in an array of civilizations traveling through the ports and becoming incredibly diverse.
- The Kingdom of Ghana: On the western side of the continent in the savanna grassland, the Kingdom of Ghana was active from 300 to 1100 C.E. Ghanians were largely farmers, but they were known for their iron and gold, and there was a reverence for metalsmiths who were often regarded as strong “magicians” in their culture. These “magicians” would forge powerful weapons from iron and gold, making them powerful warriors.
- The Kingdom of Zimbabwe: It wasn’t until around 1200 C.E. when The Kingdom of Zimbabwe rose to prominence, making it one of Africa’s later civilizations. Located in southern Africa, the people of Zimbabwe had a significant trading presence and captivating architectural talents. Furthermore, they built towers and gigantic stone walls that can still be visible today, despite the fact they only lasted around 200 years.
- The Egyptian Kingdom: Located on the Nile River in the north of Africa, Ancient Egypt beats all other African civilizations in terms of longevity. It is also the most influential civilization. Ancient Egyptians had expertise in science, math, and writing, and they even practiced medicine.
Moreover, Ancient Egypt was ruled by Assyrians, Persians, and Greeks (Alexander the Great) between 3150 and 30 B.C.E. but it had previously been ruled by these same people in the third and fourth centuries B.C.E. Ancient Egypt’s culture was advanced, with riveting clothing, art, and intricate and rigorous religious systems.
One thought on “The motherland five: The cultures of Ancient Africa”
It is really interesting to read about the ancient kingdoms!
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