New Exhibition Highlights Story of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived

New Exhibition Highlights Story of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived

New Exhibition Highlights Story of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived

Mansa Musa I was the leader of the Mali Empire in West Africa from 1312 to 1337 CE. Controlling domains wealthy in gold and copper, just as consuming exchange between the north and inside of the mainland, the Mali first class became incredibly rich. A Muslim like his imperial forerunners, Mansa Musa brought back modelers and researchers from his journey to Mecca who might fabricate mosques and colleges that made such urban areas as Timbuktu globally popular. Mansa Musa’s 1324 CE stopover in Cairo, however, would spread Mali’s acclaim much further and on to Europe where fanciful stories of this present lord’s awesome riches in gold started to blend the enthusiasm of merchants and adventurers. Mansa Musa, the Mali Empire’s most prominent ever ruler, was said to have spent such a great amount of gold in the business sectors of the Egyptian city that the estimation of bullion smashed by 20%.


The Mali Empire

The Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE), the biggest and most extravagant domain yet found in West Africa, was established by Sundiata Keita (otherwise known as Sunjaata, r. 1230-1255 CE). The Mali capital was Niani, and the most critical exchanging city was Timbuktu close to the River Niger and found where major conduits and land courses merged. Enormous riches was picked up from going about as an exchange center between the inside and southern bank of West Africa and North of Africa over the Sahara desert’s train courses. Salt was a noteworthy ware exchanged from the north while from the south came gold and ivory. The realm in the long run included Ghana, Walata, Tadmekka, and the kingdom of Songhai and at last extended right to the Atlantic coast. Indigenous rulers received Islam from their contact with Arab dealers, and the Mali Empire would along these lines have a huge influence in the spread of Islam crosswise over West Africa. Local people, or possibly urban ones, were changed over, which made networks that at that point pulled in Muslim pastors from the north, reinforcing the religion’s hold on the district. Nearby pioneers would even perform journeys to the Islamic heavenly destinations like Mecca, including their most prominent ever ruler, Mansa Musa.

Mansa Musa and the Empire

Mansa Kanku Musa took control in 1312 CE and acquired an officially prosperous Mali kingdom; he would rule until 1337 CE. Mansa was the conventional Mali title signifying ‘ruler’ and Musa was the fabulous nephew of the author Sundiata Keita. Mansa Musa picked up the position of royalty after his forerunner, Mansa Abu Bakr II, cruised out into the Atlantic with an extensive armada of boats and was gone forever. Investigation’s misfortune was Mali’s increase, and Mansa Musa, designated to control while Abu Bakr II fulfilled his interest with respect to what lay into the great beyond, would end up one of the best rulers in the whole history of Africa.

With a military numbering around 100,000 men, including a shielded mounted force corps of 10,000 steeds, and with the gifted general Saran Mandian, Mansa Musa had the capacity to expand and keep up Mali’s huge domain, multiplying its region and making it second in size just to that of the Mongol Empire at the time. Mali controlled terrains up to the Gambia and lower Senegal in the west; in the north, clans were quelled along the entire length of the Western Sahara fringe district; in the east, control spread up to Gao on the Niger River and, toward the south, the Bure locale and the woods of what wound up known as the Gold Coast went under Mali oversight. This last area was left semi-free since gold creation had dependably been a lot higher when more self-rule was allowed there. The Mali Empire could never control such expansive domains under any of its ensuing rulers.

Map of the Mali Empire, C 1337 CE

To more readily administer this huge scope of land containing a huge number of clans and ethnic gatherings, Mansa Musa partitioned his realm into territories with every one managed by a senator (farba) designated by and by him. The organization was additionally improved with more noteworthy records kept and sent to the unified government workplaces at Niani. The abundance of the state expanded gratitude to charges on exchange, the Mali-controlled copper and gold mines, and the burden of tribute from vanquished clans.

Mansa Musa in Cairo

Mansa Musa, in the same way as other passionate Mali rulers prior and then afterward, set off for a journey to Mecca in 1324 CE, however when he landed in Cairo in July of that year on the way, he caused a flat out sensation. The Mali ruler’s camel parade had crossed the Sahara and when he touched base in Egypt, even the Sultan was flabbergasted by the riches this West African lord had carried with him. In certain records, every one of 100 camels conveyed 135 kilos (300 pounds) of gold residue while 500 slaves each displayed a 2.7 kilo (6 pounds) gold staff. Likewise, there were several different camels stacked down with foodstuffs and materials, horse riders waving the immense red and gold standards of the lord, and an amazing human escort of hirelings and authorities that numbered during the many thousands. In an extraordinary motion of largesse, Mansa Musa would give away so much gold and his company spend such a great amount of shopping in the business sectors of the city that the estimation of gold dinar in Cairo smashed by 20% (in connection to the silver dirham); it would take 12 years for the overwhelmed gold market to recuperate.



The shippers of Egypt, specifically, were pleased with all these innocent sightseers abruptly processing about their business sectors and they exploited, raising their costs and diminishing the customers of their gold at any chance. To be sure, Mansa Musa and his kin so overspent that they left the city paying off debtors, a factor which added to later Egyptian speculation inside the Mali Empire with the goal that the shippers could recover a portion of the estimation of the products they had given on layaway.

The ruler of Mali had given 50,000 gold dinars to the sultan of Egypt just as a first-meeting motion. The sultan was somewhat dishonorable consequently and demanded that Mansa Musa kiss the ground in reverence. In every other regard, however, this ruler from Africa’s puzzling inside was dealt with like the sovereignty he was, given a castle for his three-month remain, and praised wherever he went. The Arab history specialist Al-Makrizi (1364-1442 CE) gives the accompanying portrayal of the ruler of Mali:

He was a young fellow with a darker skin, a wonderful face and great figure… His endowments flabbergasted the eye with their excellence and magnificence

(cited in Zerbo, 59)

Dijngeureber Mosque, Timbuktu

A sign of the impression Mansa Musa had made is that updates on his Cairo visit in the end achieved Europe. In Spain, a mapmaker was propelled to make Europe’s initially nitty gritty guide of West Africa. Made c. 1375 CE, the guide, some portion of the Catalan Atlas, has Mansa Musa sitting majestically on a position of authority, wearing a noteworthy gold crown, and holding a brilliant staff in one hand and, to some degree happily, a colossal chunk or sphere of gold in the other. It was such stories of gold that would move later European pioneers to overcome ailment, warlike clans, and unfriendly landscape to locate the famous wealth of Timbuktu, the brilliant city of the desert that no one very realized where to put on the guide even in the eighteenth century CE.

After Cairo, Mansa Musa would head out on to Arabia where he obtained land and houses with the goal that pioneers from Mali who emulated his example may have a spot to remain. The ruler was motivated by the blessed destinations he saw there and on his arrival to Mali, he manufactured an amazing gathering of people chamber at Niani and mosques at Gao and Timbuktu. These incorporated the ‘extraordinary mosque’ in the last city, otherwise called Djinguereber or Jingereber. The structures were planned by the well known designer Ishak al-Tuedjin (d. 1346 CE and furthermore a prominent writer) from Andalusian Granada, who had been allured from Cairo following Mansa Musa’s visit there – the actuation included 200 kilos (440 pounds) of gold, slaves, and a swathe of land along the Niger River. The mosque was finished by 1330 CE, and al-Tuedjin carried on with a mind-blowing remainder in Mali. An illustrious royal residence or madugu was worked in the capital city and Timbuktu, alongside fortress dividers to ensure the last city against strikes by the Tuareg, the migrants of the southern Sahara. Because of the absence of stone in the locale, Mali structures were regularly built utilizing beaten earth (banco) fortified with wood which frequently stands out in pillars from the outside surfaces.

Mansa Musa illustration

Mansa Musa was likewise enlivened by the colleges he had seen on his journey, and he took back to Mali the two books and researchers. The lord extraordinarily energized Islamic adapting, particularly at Timbuktu, which, with its mosques, colleges, and numerous Koranic schools, wound up not just the holiest city in the Sudan district of West Africa yet in addition a globally celebrated focal point of culture and religious investigation. What’s more, Mansa Musa sent local religious researchers to Fez in Morocco to realize what they could and afterward come back to Mali as instructors. With these instruction interfaces there were, as well, discretionary ones with Arab states, just as the stream of speculation into Mali, as Egyptian brokers and others looked for access to the rewarding development of products crosswise over West Africa.

Demise and Successors

Mansa Musa was succeeded first by his child Mansa Maghan I (r. 1337-1341 CE), who had additionally led as official while his dad had been on his well known journey, and after that by his sibling Mansa Sulayman (c. 1341-1360 CE). That Maghan’s rule kept going just four years and his place was taken by his uncle would recommend treachery however solid proof is inadequate. Mansa Sulayman continueed his sibling’s advancement of Islam, and the Mali Empire would succeed for one more century or so before new exchange courses were opened up by the Portuguese. The revelation of new gold fields and access toward the southern shoreline of West Africa implied that by the mid-fifteenth century CE Mali never again hoarded exchange the district. Fundamentally, the Mali mansas were additionally blameworthy of battling among themselves as common wars wracked the domain. As a result, first, the Tuareg assaulted Mali urban communities like Timbuktu, and after that the expanding Songhai kingdom, administered by King Sunni Ali (r. 1464-1492 CE), conclusively took over the greater part of the Mali regions during the 1460s CE.

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