Cultural Advances In West Africa Essay

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Did you know that West Africa used to be home to one of the most powerful empires in the 14th century? This empire was known as the empire of Mali, which lasted from 1230 to 1670. Mali’s power in the world led it to become a site of cultural exchange. Mali’s exchanges truly took off because Mali’s wealth from gold and salt, Mali had inventions that no other country had, and Mali’s education was very advanced in the 14th century.

The very first reason why Mali’s cultural exchanges erupted was because of the wealth Mali got from trading gold and salt. Back in the 14th century, salt was a huge resource to many Empires because salt drastically changed the taste to food. Salt also slowed down raw meats from going bad by pulling out the moisture
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When Mansa Musa was ruling over Mali, he wanted to attract more scholars from Eurasia to Mali so that his empire would have a bigger reputation. So Mansa Musa decided to build multiple universities and mosques, most notably the University of Timbuktu, to draw many scholars to Mali to learn about Islam. The plan proved to be successful, and many scholars flocked to these universities to learn facts about Science, Astronomy, and so on. After a few years of these universities being built, word spread to all of Europe and almost all of Asia of how much knowledge Mali knew. Their reputation grew so big, that many scholars from around the world converted to Islam, even though it wasn’t the religion they were familiar with. Soon, many people came to Mali’s cultural exchanges to learn more about Islam, Literature, and any sort of knowledge they could get. Because of this reason, the Empire of Mali had its cultural exchanges expanded even further.

All of those reasons affected how Mali became such a big site for cultural exchange. We covered how Mali’s wealth from salt and gold trade made people begin to show up at the cultural exchanges. We also showed how new inventions like glass and pottery increased the amount of people arriving to the cultural exchanges. And Mali’s advanced knowledge in

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