African History 2: Ancient Ghana
Old Ghana is gone, but we're still gonna teach you about it.
|World History||African History|
to do with one another.
Today, we’re zeroing in on the original Ghana.
Or as we like to call it: the OG. [Ghanaian people working on a beach]
No one knows for sure when Ghana came together.
But it’s thought that, at some point in the first millennia, Soninke
tribes, in what is now Northern Senegal and Southern Mauritania, came together under a [Soninke tribe appears with Dinga Cisse]
king named Dinga Cisse
Nobody seems able to agree on who Dinga Cisse was, but legend has it that he was a foreigner…
and that he may or may not have had godly powers. [Cisse zaps Soninke tribe man]
Ancient aliens, anyone?
Some think that the Soninke unified to protect themselves from attacks by nomadic raiders. [Football players run past the king and soninke tribe]
But whatever the reason, they ended up founding a pretty impressive kingdom.
The wealth of ancient Ghana was built on gold. [Gold bars fall from the sky and cover a man]
Like… a lot of gold.
Ghana’s gold mines on the Senegal River were once described as some of the richest
known to man.
The king was apparently a fan of bling and covered himself, his court, and his horses [King wearing lots of jewelry]
in the stuff.
Ghana also exported slaves, salt, and copper, which they swapped for textiles, beads, and
And made bank in the process.
The key to Ghana’s success was its trading skills.
And when you lived on the edge of the Sahara in ancient times, the key to trade was camels. [Camels carrying goods]
These spitting dromedaries made Ghana what it was by tromping across the desert, loaded
Guess you could say those camels were really, uh….busting their humps.
Of course, like all great kingdoms, Ghana had to fall.
No one can agree on exactly what happened, though. [Man walking by the ocean and falls on rocks]
One myth says that it was all because of Bida, the black snake.
The legend says that Bida gave Ghana prosperity as long as the country sacrificed one virgin [People carrying a woman for Bida]
to him every year.
One year, the fiancé of the selected virgin decided he wasn’t that into her being eaten [fiancee of virgin carries her away from Bida]
by a snake, so he rescued her.
Sounds heroic, right?
Too bad Bida then caused a drought that destroyed the entire kingdom.
So much for happily ever after.
There is actually historical evidence that a prolonged period of drought might’ve had
a lot to do with it.
That…plus new trade competition might’ve been what made Ghana a… goner.
Still, it was one of the earliest and richest kingdoms of West Africa and paved the way [Ghanaian man raking soil]
for a bunch of powerful kingdoms, like Mali and Songhai.
Kingdoms that hopefully didn’t have the same problem with…magical snakes…[Snake attacks man raking]