What do mali people look like

A full democracy was refused. The return of many Tuaregs to Mali in and rising ethnic violence led to opposition movements. A coup occurred in and a transitional government set up a new constitution. Alpha Oumar Konare won the first multi-party presidential elections in He was reelected in and enacted economic reforms and combated corruption. Amadou Toumani Toure succeeded Konare in when he won elections. Toure led the military side of the coup. They were overthrown soon after by Islamists groups who supported Sharia law.

Mali is southwest of Algeria and has an area of 1,, sq. It is comparable in size to South Africa and is the 24th largest country. Mali mostly lies in the southern Sahara and is mostly flat, but rises to rolling northern plains covered by sand. In the northeast, the Adrar des Ifoghas is a large massif. In the south, the climate is tropical and it is arid in the north.

There is little rainfall in Mali.

The rainy season is from late June to early December. The Niger River commonly floods in the rainy season. There are many environmental challenges including erosion, inadequate water, deforestation, and desertification.

Mali Empire and Djenne Figures

There are eight regions and one district, each with a governor. There are an additional 49 cercles, and arrondissements. The arrondissements are governed by mayors and city councils. The constitution of , which was modified in , governs Mali as a constitutional democracy. Powers are separated between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The president has executive power and is elected to a five year term, with a limit of two terms. The president is the commander in chief and chief of state. Appointed by the president, the prime minister is the head of government and appoints the Council of Ministers.

The legislative body is the unicameral National Assembly and each deputy is elected to a five year term. After the elections, the Alliance for Democracy and Progress held of the seats. There are two sessions of the National Assembly each year. The Supreme Court is the highest court and a Constitutional Court reviews legislative acts and arbiters elections. Lower courts also exist but village elders typically resolve rural disputes.

The election that was supposed to take place in April was delayed until July following the coup in March. Mali has an ambivalent relationship with France, but good relationships with the U. Controlling regional conflicts is a major goal of the government. It is part of the African Union. In the north, the insecure border is a concern and cross-border banditry and terrorism are concerns.

The military has an army, air force, paramilitary Republican Guard and Gendarmerie. The Ministry of Defense and Veterans controls the military.

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  • This 14th-Century African Emperor Remains the Richest Person in History - HISTORY!

The forces are poorly paid and equipped. Following an agreement with Tuareg rebels in , there irregular forces were incorporated into the regular military. The U. On the demand side, household consumption is the primary driver. The budget deficit was reduced from 2. Agriculture is a key industry and cotton is the largest export crop. Mali also produces millet, corn, rice, tobacco, and tree crops. Common livestock are cattle, sheep, and goats.

In , relaxed mining laws led to foreign investment. Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold. Mali has invested in tourism but security issues do not encourage tourists to visit the country which makes it a hard sell. Energie du Mali EDM maintains water and electricity production. A young age structure, a declining mortality rate, and a sustained high total fertility rate of 6 children per woman — the third highest in the world — ensure continued rapid population growth for the foreseeable future.

Significant outmigration only marginally tempers this growth. Most inter-ethnic relationships are good. When the Sosso king Sumanguru aka Sumaoro Kante, r. Sundiata Keita aka Sunjaata or Sundjata, r. In CE Sundiata captured the old Ghana capital. Forming a centralised government of tribal leaders and a number of influential Arab merchants, this assembly gbara declared Sundiata the supreme monarch and gave him such honorary titles as Mari Diata Lord Lion.

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It was also decreed that all future kings would be selected from the Keita clan, although the title was not necessarily given to the eldest son of a ruler, which sometimes led to fierce disputes among candidates. The king was also the supreme source of justice, but he did make use of legal advisors.

In addition, the king was helped by a number of key ministers such as the chief of the army and master of the granaries later treasury , as well as other officials like the master of ceremonies and leader of the royal orchestra. Nevertheless, the M ansa acted as a supreme monarch and monopolised key trade goods, for example, only he was permitted to possess gold nuggets, traders had to make do with gold dust.

The king had certain mystical qualities attributed to him, and all slaves were exclusively loyal to him. Such was this cult of leadership and the extreme centralisation of government in a single figure that the fortunes of the empire rose and fell depending on the talents or lack of them possessed by a particular king. These problems of governance were yet to come, though, and Sundiata would continue to expand his territory to include the old kingdoms of Ghana, Walata, Tadmekka, and Songhai. It was protected by mountains and was close to the two key sources of trade goods: forests and waterways.

Tribute was acquired from conquered chiefdoms, although many local chiefs were permitted to continue to rule their own people but with a Mali-appointed governor to assist them, often backed by a garrison. Additional guarantees of loyalty included taking royal hostages and keeping them at the capital.

Further, and perhaps more important for the ordinary people of Mali, foreign visitors noted the high degree of justice they saw, the safety with which one could travel from place to place, and the abundance of food in all villages. Like its political predecessors, the Mali Empire prospered thanks to trade and its prime location, situated between the rain forests of southern West Africa and the powerful Muslim caliphates of North Africa. The Mali rulers had a triple income: they taxed the passage of trade goods, bought goods and sold them on at much higher prices, and had access to their own valuable natural resources.

One of the main trade exchanges was gold dust for salt from the Sahara.


This 14th-Century African Emperor Remains the Richest Person in History

Gold was in particular demand from European powers like Castille in Spain and Venice and Genoa in Italy , where coinage was now being minted in the precious metal. Map of the Mali Empire, c. Timbuktu, founded c. The city would be monopolised and then taken over by the Mali kings who made it into one of the most important and most cosmopolitan trade centres in Africa.

Through Timbuktu there passed such lucrative goods as ivory, textiles, horses important for military use , glassware, weapons, sugar, kola nuts a mild stimulant , cereals e. Goods were bartered for or paid using an agreed upon commodity such as copper or gold ingots, set quantities of salt or ivory, or even cowry shells which came from Persia. After a string of seemingly lacklustre rulers, the Mali Empire enjoyed its second golden era during the reign of Mansa Musa I in the first half of the 13th century CE.

He controlled lands up to the Gambia and lower Senegal in the west; in the north, tribes were subdued along the whole length of the Western Sahara border region; in the east, control spread up to Gao on the Niger River and, to the south, the Bure region and the forests of what became known as the Gold Coast came under Mali oversight.

The Mali Empire thus came to include many different religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups. To govern these diverse peoples, Mansa Musa divided his empire into provinces with each one ruled by a governor farba appointed personally by him and responsible for local taxes, justice, and settling tribal disputes. The administration was further improved with greater records kept and sent to the centralised government offices at Niani.

With more tribute from more conquered chiefs, more trade routes under Mali control, and even more natural resources to exploit, Mansa Musa and the Mali elite became immensely rich. Such riches set off a never-ending round of rumours that Mali was a kingdom paved with gold. In Spain c. The map has Mansa Musa wearing an impressive gold crown and triumphantly brandishing a huge lump of gold in his hand. European explorers would spend the next five centuries trying to locate the source of this gold and the fabled trading city of Timbuktu.

Islam spread through parts of West Africa via the Arab merchants who traded there. However, the Malinke oral tradition, which was kept up over the generations by specialised bards griots , presents a different story.


He famously went to Mecca and, impressed with what he saw on his travels, Mansa Musa brought back home Muslim architects, scholars, and books. Studies were actually much wider than religion and included history, geography, astronomy, and medicine. Great libraries were built up with tens of thousands of books and manuscripts, many of which survive today. As more people were converted, so more Muslim clerics were attracted from abroad and the religion was spread further across West Africa. Many native converts studied in such places as Fez, Morocco, and became great scholars, missionaries, and even saints, and so Islam came to be seen no longer as a foreign religion but a black African one.

In addition, Islamic studies were conducted in Arabic not native languages, and this further impeded its popularity outside the educated clerical class of towns and cities. Even the Islam that did take hold in Mali was a particular variation of that practised in the Arab world, perhaps because Mali rulers could not afford to completely dismiss the indigenous religious practices and beliefs that the majority of their people clung on to.

Mali architects had a distinct disadvantage because of the rarity of stone in the region, and for this reason, buildings were typically constructed using beaten earth banco reinforced with wood which often sticks out in beams from the exterior surfaces. Despite the limited materials, the mosques, in particular, are still imposing multi-storied structures with towers, huge wooden doors, and tiered minarets. Other large buildings included warehouses fondacs which were used to store goods before they were transported elsewhere and which had up to 40 apartments for merchants to live in. Other examples of the Mali baked-mud buildings which impress today, although many are early 20th-century CE reconstructions, include the huge mosques at Mopti and Djenne.

On a smaller scale, excavations at Niani have revealed the remains of houses and their stone foundations, confirming later sources that the richer members of society built stone houses. Arab chroniclers describe another type of domestic building, which was constructed using beaten earth bricks and with ceilings made of wooden beams and reeds, the whole formed into a conical roof. Flooring was made using earth mixed with sand. We have already noted that the Malinke had a rich tradition of recounting legends and community histories orally by specialised story-tellers know as griots.

These stories, passed down from generation to generation and continuing today , were often accompanied by music. During the Mali Empire, there were even songs reserved for certain people who alone had the right to have them sung in their honour, this was especially so for renowned warriors and hunters. Music was also an important part of religious festivals when masked dancers performed.

Pottery and sculpture were produced, as they had been at noted centres like Djenne since the 9th century CE. Sculptures are generally up to 50 cm tall and made of solid pottery but sometimes with a reinforcing iron rod interior. Wood and brass were other popular materials for sculpture and, to a lesser degree, stone. Decoration is typically incised, painted, or achieved by adding three-dimensional pieces.

Subjects include human figures, especially bearded warriors riding a horse but also many kneeling or crouching figures with upturned faces. Figures are often realistic portrayals of ordinary people, sometimes showing symptoms of tropical diseases.


Although it is rare for artworks of this period to come with a certain provenance obtained from professionally excavated sites, the sculptures are so numerous that it seems likely many were used as everyday decorative objects as well as for ritual or burial purposes. The Mali Empire was in decline by the 15th century CE. The ill-defined rules for royal succession often led to civil wars as brothers and uncles fought each other for the throne. Then, as trade routes opened up elsewhere, several rival kingdoms developed to the west, notably the Songhai. European ships, especially those belonging to the Portuguese, were now regularly sailing down the west coast of Africa and so the Saharan caravans faced stiff competition as the most efficient means to transport goods from West Africa to the Mediterranean.

There were attacks on Mali by the Tuareg in CE and by the Mossi people, who at that time controlled the lands south of the Niger River.

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