Did West Africans mine or evaporate their salt?

When was salt traded for gold in West Africa?

When Salt Was Traded for Gold: The Salt Trade of West Africa that Built Kingdoms and Spread Culture. In West Africa during the Medieval period, salt was traded for gold. This may seem astonishing as salt is a cheap commodity in today’s society.

How did the empires of West Africa come to convert to Islam?

Islam first came to West Africa as a slow and peaceful process, spread by Muslim traders and scholars. Goods passed through chains of Muslim traders, purchased, finally, by local non-Muslims at the southern most end of the route.

Who first converted to Islam in West Africa?

According to some Arabic sources the first Black ruler to embrace Islam was the King of Gao who had done so by 1009. The first King of Mali to become a Muslim was Barmandana, who was reigning by the middle of the eleventh century.

Where did salt come from in ancient Africa?

Salt from the Sahara desert was one of the major trade goods of ancient West Africa where very little naturally occurring deposits of the mineral could be found.

How did the people of West Africa get harvest salt?

Local trade between farmers and pastoralists typically meant that many West Africa farmers could get their salt needs, eating the blood, milk products, and sometimes meat of their neighbors’ herds. (Remember that farmers who get most of their calories from grains must acquire salt from somewhere.)

Did West Africans mine or evaporate their salt?

West Africans had no local source of salt. They had to obtain it from Taghaza and other places in the Sahara. Salt was produced in two ways in the Sahara. One method was through evaporation.

Why was gold so important to West Africa?

Ghana itself was rich in ​gold​. People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable.

How was salt used in the salt trade?

Like their Medieval forebears, the salt miners of today rely on camels to transport the harvested salt, though in much smaller quantities, and certainly not traded for gold. Top image: Production of salt for the salt trade. ( homocosmicos / Adobe)

Why is the salt industry important to Ghana?

While developers realise that Ghana will never be a leading world producer, the proponents believe that the development of the salt industry in Ghana will be important to the economy and the overall economic development of western Africa in supply.

Why did people in West Africa need salt?

Once cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of mainly hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt to food became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Because the Akan lived in the forests of West Africa, they had few natural resources for salt and always needed to trade for it.

Did salt come from West Africa?

A human necessity and source of commerce, salt has been in high demand in West Africa since the 12th century when it was first found in the sand dunes of the desert. Its discovery gave rise to a robust commodity trade that quickly paved a near-mythical trail connecting Timbuktu with Europe, southern Africa, and Persia.

Who brought Islam to West Africa?

– Islam arrived in sub-Saharan West Africa as early as the 8th century, travelling with Arab traders from North Africa. The Muslim merchants brought trade and goods to exchange for gold and facilitated trade by introducing concepts such as contract law and credit arrangements.

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