In their gold-rich paradise, the Ghanaians stand at a strategic crossroads of the world where they can become unrivaled masters of trade.
The Soninke oral tradition recounts that the ruler, Dyabe Sisse, was born from the union between a water spirit and Dinga, the legendary founder of the Soninke tribes in the kingdom of Wagadu. In the third century he is said to have laid the foundations for the immense Ghana Empire, which controlled trans-Saharan trade in West Africa up until the 13th century.To learn more:
At the start of the Common Era, the Sahel region was already intersected with trade routes supplied through relationships formed between farmers, breeders, and nomads. From the fourth century onward, the end of a long period of drought and an increased supply of Arabian camels made it possible to link together an immense trans-Saharan trade network. The opening of new routes permitted the growth of cities and kingdoms that were assimilated into the kingdom of Wagadu, in what became the Ghana Empire. From the capital of Koumbi Saleh, the Manga (king) controlled territory that, from the 9th to 11th centuries, stretched from the northern desert to the Niger and Senegal rivers in the south and the east. He ruled over a stratified society with a nobility, imperial administrators, free men, and a slave caste. The Empire developed around the trans-Saharan trade that was the source of its wealth. It was made up of a collection of cities and kingdoms that the Manga integrated through his negotiations, one by one, into the safe trading area that he controlled. The ruler of Ghana did not own the supplies of gold, salt, and slaves passing through his lands towards the Mediterranean basin, but through his policies levied taxes on each transaction.Did you know?
The Manga of Ghana was a political but also a religious leader whose authority was based on his ability to ward off occult forces. Through his royal lineage he was related to the mythical snake Bida. It was also said that he had the power to make it rain and to remove curses associated with the gold trade.