The Ghana Empire

1554 Words7 Pages
The Ghana Empire was the first of the three major West African empires, and made many great progresses during its reign. However, the most important contribution that the Ghana Empire made during its rule was the advancement in trade. Because of its fine decision making in the taxing of the goods and the able rulers, Ghana was able to successfully expand its territory and become a very prosperous Empire. The Empire of Ghana first started when Berbers, group of nomadic people came to an area called Kumbi, or Kumbi Saleh, which is near the modern day southeastern Mauritania and Mali, close to the Sahara desert. Ancient Ghana was not in the same location as the present day Ghana. Instead, it was located about 400 miles northwest of the present…show more content…
This made Ghana an excellent spot to control trade since it was in the middle of the Western part of Africa; thus, Ghana helped manage trade between North Africans and the South Africans. This trade, known as the “salt-gold trade,” from the trans-Saharan trade helped the kingdom to prosper. The Ghana king who saw the chance to raise money put on heavy taxes to traders who came to Ghana. These taxes were paid every time an import or export took place, and the taxes were usually a percentage of the good that they were trading. The process of trading in Ghana was unique, and they practiced a process which was called silent barter; in this trading method, the traders did not have direct contact with each other. Instead, one trader left the product at a certain place and the other trader placed their merchandise in exchange. This method ensured that no violence will occur, since if one of the traders did not provide enough of the good, then they will be cut off the trading. Since the traders did not want the trade to cut, they provided sufficient amount, or sometimes few extra to endure that the trade will…show more content…
At the top, there was the emperor, or Ghana. Next, there were the wealthy residents. Lastly, there were the common people, who made up most of the population, and these people were mostly made up of Arabs and Berbers. The king lived in the most outstanding structure made out of stone in the city, and was used for religious ceremonies. The wealthy residents lived in homes made out of stone and wood while the commoners’ houses were mainly built of clay and wood. Compared to the King, the common people living in Ghana did not receive as much reward as the king did through trade, and was only allowed to have gold dust. Thus, they worked as artists, miners or farmers to make their
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