Monday, February 12, 2007
Notes on the African report topics: open notes test Tues, Feb 13
* African gold mines: historically there were gold mines in West Africa (ex, Ghana) and parts of East Africa (Nubia means Land of Gold). Today gold is mostly mined in South Africa, but there are still deposits elsewhere on the continent (such as Liberia).
* diamond mines of South Africa are dominated by the DeBeers Co.
* Ashanti tribe: tribe of Ghana known for the Golden Stool throne.
* Youssou n ’Dour: Senegalese singer known internationally.
* Atlantic slave trade /Europeans: the Portuguese were the first to sail down the African coast. There they found trade in grain, gold, ivory and slaves. Shipping African slaves to Brazil, the Caribbean islands and the US was lucrative. Among the slavers: British, Dutch, French, Spanish. Of course, preceding all these visitors were the traders who came from Arabia some 500 years earlier.
* Atlantic slave trade / Africans: tribal peoples enslaved each other and sold to the Europeans.
* Mansa (king) Musa: a King of Mali when West Africa was awash in gold. About 1300 he went to Mecca on the pilgrimage called the Hajj.
His enormous wealth made a great impression in the nations he visited.
* King Ibn Battuta: a Moroccan who was one of the great world travelers in the late 1300's. His travels took him as far as China. he can be compoared to Marco Polo.
* Ethiopia: nation of East Africa with an ancient form of Christianity.
* Timbuktu / Toumbouctou: a legendary center of trade near the River Niger in Mali. Today it is suuroounded by the Sahara.
* West African gold mines: in the Middle Ages the region of West Africa was known for its gold. The British called one of their gold coins a Guinea, after the African nation.
* Nubia: a land in the south of Egypt (and Northern Sudan) that was part of Pharaonic Egypt.
* Egyptians: Pharaoh Ramses II, Ramses the Great: the longest-lived and greatest builder of temples and monuments in Egypt. Example: the temple at Abu Simbel.
* Pharaoh Tut ankh amun: notable because his tomb was the only Pharaoh's grave found intact. Otherwise, he was a minor king.
* Nile: the world's longest river, it has 2 tributaries. The Blue
Nile originates in Ethiopia. The White Nile emanates from Lake Victoria.
* Exploration of the Nile: Europeans found it hard to ascertain the source of the Nile. Not until the mid-1800's was the source, Lake Victoria, confirmed.
* Nigeria: the most populous nation of Africa, Nigeria also has the most oil. English-speaking because of British colonization, the Nigerian government is an ally of the US.
* Morocco: an Arabic nation known for the art and handicrafts in its bazaars. Moroccan cities include Fez and Casablanca.
* Liberia: founded by former African-American slaves, Liberia was a stable and comfoirtable nation until the advent of civil war some 20 years ago. It's known for its wood, minerals (including gold & diamonds) and hydroelectric power.
* Swahili: a language used in several nations in East Africa (including Sudan), it is a composite built on Arabic, German and tribal languages. The movie Lion King introduced many Swahili words to Americans.
* Sahara: the word means "desert." It is the world's largest hot desert.
* Gates Foundation activities in Africa: billions are being given to medical institutions to fight diseases such as malaria and AIDs.
* AIDS in Africa: Inhabited by just over 12% of the world's population, Africa is estimated to have more than 60% of the AIDS-infected population.
* Egypt: an important ally of the US, this Arab nation has the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, Cairo.
South Africa: enriched by diamond and gold mines, the nation also the most Europeans and Asians of any African nation.
* Mt Kilimanjaro: Africa's tallest peak is a volcano located in Tanzania.
* Kenya: the home of the Swahili language, Kenya is the land of big game safaris. The "Big Five" animals of Africa can be found in Kenya: the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa.
* Rift valley of East Africa: a crack in the earth's crust that begins in the Mid East and goes below Lake Victoria. Significant discoveries in hominid fossils have promptede scientists to say that mankind must have originated in East Africa.
* Cuisine of West Africa: a poor man's cuisine, it includes foods like the pounded root paste called fu fu and peanut stew.