LEARN GHANA – PART 1 (HISTORY OF GHANA)

LEARN GHANA – PART 1 (HISTORY OF GHANA)

The area of the Republic of Ghana (the then Gold Coast) became known in Europe and Arabia as the Ghana Empire after the title of its Emperor, the Ghana. Geographically, the ancient Ghana Empire was approximately 500 miles (800 km) north and west of the modern state of Ghana, and controlled territories in the area of the Sénégal River and east towards the Niger rivers, in modern Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. The empire appears to have broken up following the 1076 conquest by the Almoravid General Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar.

A reduced kingdom continued to exist after Almoravid rule ended, and the kingdom was later incorporated into subsequent Sahelian empires, such as the Mali Empire. Around the same time, south of the Mali empire in present-day northern Ghana, the Kingdom of Dagbon emerged. The decentralized states ruled by the tindaamba were unified into a kingdom.

Many sub-kingdoms would later arise from Dagbon including the Mossi Kingdoms of Burkina Faso and Bouna Kingdom of Ivory Coast. Dagbon pioneered Ghana’s earliest learning institutions, including a university town, and a writing system prior to European arrival.

Toward the end of the classical era, larger regional kingdoms had formed in West Africa, one of which was the Kingdom of Ghana, north of what is today the nation of Ghana. Before its fall at the beginning of the 10th century, Akans migrated southward and founded several nation-states around their matriclans, including the first empire of Bono state founded in the 11th century and for which the Brong-Ahafo (Bono Ahafo) region is named.

The Mole-Dagbon people, who founded the earliest centralized political kingdoms of Ghana, migrated from Lake Chad to present-day Ghana. Later, Akan ethnic groups such as the Ashanti, Akwamu, Akyem, Fante state and others are thought to possibly have roots in the original Bono state settlement at Bono Manso.

The Ashanti kingdom’s government operated first as a loose network and eventually as a centralized empire-kingdom with an advanced, highly specialized bureaucracy centred on the capital Kumasi.

By the end of 16th century, most of the ethnic groups constituting the modern Ghanaian population had settled in their present locations. Archaeological remains found in the coastal zone indicate that the area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BC), but these societies, based on fishing, have left few traces.

Archaeological work also suggests that central Ghana north of the forest zone was inhabited as early as 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

These migrations resulted in part from the formation and disintegration of a series of large states in the western Sudan (the region north of modern Ghana drained by the Niger River).[20] Strictly speaking, Ghana was the title of the king, but the Arabs, who left records of the kingdom, applied the term to the King, the capital, and the state.[21] The 9th-century Berber historian and geographer Al Yaqubi described ancient Ghana as one of the three most organized states in the region.

Its rulers were renowned for their wealth in gold, the opulence of their courts, and their warrior/hunting skills. They were also masters of the trade in gold, which drew North African merchants to the western Sudan. The military achievements of these and later western Sudanic rulers, and their control over the region’s gold mines, constituted the nexus of their historical relations with merchants and rulers in North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Ghana succumbed to attacks by its neighbors in the 11th century, but its name and reputation endured. Although none of the states of the western Sudan controlled territories in the area that is modern Ghana, several kingdoms that later developed such as Bonoman, were ruled by nobles believed to have immigrated from that region. The trans-Saharan trade that contributed to the expansion of kingdoms in the western Sudan also led to the development of contacts with regions in northern modern Ghana, and in the forest to the south.

The growth of trade stimulated the development of early Akan states located on the trade route to the goldfields, in the forest zone of the south. The forest itself was thinly populated, but Akan-speaking peoples began to move into it toward the end of the 15th century, with the arrival of crops from South-east Asia and the New World that could be adapted to forest conditions. These new crops included sorghum, bananas, and cassava.

By the beginning of the 16th century, European sources noted the existence of the gold-rich states of Akan and Twifu in the Ofin River Valley.

The Mole-Dagbon Kingdoms are the earliest political kingdoms of Modern Ghana. Found by Naa Gbewaa, numerous kingdoms such as the Kingdom of Dagbon, Gmamprugu, Nanung and others emerged. These kingdoms are spread across the Upper East Region, Upper West Region, North East Region, Ghana, and Northern Region (Ghana) of Ghana. The Kingdom of Dagbon resisted slavery and colonisation fiercely, preferring trade in commodities than humans.

As a result, the Kingdom has been significantly influenced by Islam due to trade with neighbouring Kingdoms under the rulership of Yaa Naa Zangina. European and colonial influence was more in Southern and Central Ghana.

By Felix

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