The kingdom of Ghana lasted about 800 years, until the kingdom of
Mali took over.
kingdom of Ghana was rich! Ancient Ghana is located in a different
place than the modern country of Ghana in West Africa. The ancient
kingdom of Ghana was a key part of the Trans-Sahara Trade
But even earlier
than the trading that went on between east and west Africa, the
kingdom of Ghana acted as guards for the traders from the north, and
the traders from the south. Ghana was in the middle. Ghana was a
great military power in ancient times. They had an army of 200,000
fighting men. People in the north had salt mines. People in the
south had gold mines. Ghana had an army that could protect the
Ghana charged a
fee for their protection in gold and in salt and in other goods.
This arrangement worked well for everyone. Ghana became rich.
people in Ghana were very happy. They worked hard, but they were
safe and protected. They benefited from the wealth that poured into
the empire. The king and nobles lived in the best houses, but they
too were comfortable.
had plenty to eat. The Niger River ran through ancient Ghana. The
river provided water for bathing and washing. There were ample
fish and waterfowl to eat. The people also farmed. They grew sweet
potatoes and other vegetables. No one went hungry in ancient
They were creative
people. Their artists wove cotton fabrics. They designed these
fabrics by painting wet mud on woven cloth, and then placing the
fabric in the sun to dry. This created a permanent design in the
cloth. It was very clever and very unique.
storytellers were called Griots. The Griots were the first to tell
the wonderful stories of Anansi
the Spider. The
people believed in many gods and goddesses. The storytellers told
stories about their gods, their people, their villages, their
triumphs, their trades, their wonderful king, and of course,
everyone's favorite, stories of Anansi the Spider.
The people of Ghana were peace
loving. Their laws were gentle. People were important. The
king had a council of elders to advise him. There were district
leaders all over the kingdom to make sure people were treated
Ghana was so good
at protection and trade that the kingdoms to the north and south of
Ghana, along with Ghana herself, became known as the Gold Coast.
Word of their wealth spread across Africa. Traders braved the Sahara
Desert, bringing with them silks and spices to trade for gold. The
kingdom of Ghana again acted as the protection for traders. The
more traders braved the Trans-Sahara
Trade Route, the more the kingdom of Ghana flourished.