The Golden History of the Kingdom of Ghana

The Kingdom of Ghana was a West African empire situated in the area of the present-day Mali and southeastern Mauritania.

It was originally known as the Kingdom of Wagadou. Wagadou is a name that combines that Sonicke words “waga” and “dou” which mean “herd” and “land” respectively.

The term Kingdom of Ghana originated in Arabia and Europe as a way to recognize the region.

Historians believed that the immediate rise of the Kingdom of Ghana during the eighth century denoted a change of Western Africa from small political groups to becoming nationwide political entities that ruled wide geographic locations.

Himalaya Mountains

Major rivers in the region such as the Niger River, the Senegal River, and the Gambia River served as the primary means of trade and transportation for its founders which are known as the Sonicke.

It also became as one of the ideal locations for traders due to a wide number of trade routes. As a matter of fact, the Kingdom of Ghana managed to grow a wide array of crops as well as ivory, salt, and gold.

Primarily, gold was utilized by the Sonicke to trade with other nations for essential resources such as tools, clothing, and livestock. Other than gold, the Kingdom of Ghana also mined iron to build sturdy weapons that made the empire strong.

Consequently, the Sonicke started a monarchial government in Ghana wherein 22 Emperors took the throne before the start of the Muslim era.

Oracle Bone Script

Interesting Facts about the Kingdom of Ghana

  • During its peak, the Kingdom of Ghana was considered as one of the richest civilizations of the Ancient world. In fact, its dogs wore collars that were made of gold.
  • Ghana was a word which meant “Warrior King”. It was used by the Sonicke people to call their King.
  • Ironsmiths were among the most recognized people in the society of Ancient Ghana. As a matter of fact, people consider them as powerful magicians for its ability to work with Earth and fire to create iron.
  • The Kingdom of Ghana was initially formed after a number of tribes of Sonicke people were united by Dinga Cisse.
  • Islam spread across the Kingdom of Ghana during the 9thand 10th centuries when the Saharan traders brought their religion to the region.
  • The Kingdom of Ghana is not geographically and culturally related to the present-day African country Ghana.
  • Long caravans of camels were utilized to deliver goods across the Sahara Desert. Estimates show that crossing the Sahara Desert from a coastal city to Ghana using camels took approximately 40 days.
  • Salt was about as valuable as gold during the Kingdom of Ghana. It was sometimes used as money to trade for goods and services.

What is the first capital city of Ghana?

Koumbi Saleh became the first capital city of Ghana. It is where the King of Ghana and the royal family lived. Several estimates show that at least 20,000 people lived in and around the capital city.

Who was the first Emperor of the Kingdom of Ghana?

Dinga Cisse was the first Emperor of the Kingdom of Ghana.

Why did the Kingdom of Ghana fall?

The Kingdom of Ghana started to decline at around 1050 C.E. after feeling the pressure from the Muslims to convert to Islam.

The Emperors of Ghana refused and were subsequently attacked by civilizations from Northern Africa. Over the next centuries, Ghana degenerated and became a part of the Mali Empire.

What are the three major territories of the Kingdom of Ghana?

The three main territories of the Kingdom of Ghana were Kaniaga, Diara, and Takrur.