Many items were traded between North Africa and West Africa, but the two goods that were most in demand were gold and salt. The North Africans wanted gold, which came from the forest region south of Ghana. The people in the forests wanted salt, which came from the Sahara.
What was the gold-salt trade?
Camel caravans from North Africa carried bars of salt as well as cloth, tobacco, and metal tools across the Sahara to trading centers like Djenne and Timbuktu on the Niger River. Some items for which the salt was traded include gold, ivory, slaves, skins, kola nuts, pepper, and sugar.
What did the Africans trade gold for?
The main items traded were gold and salt. The gold mines of West Africa provided great wealth to West African Empires such as Ghana and Mali. Other items that were commonly traded included ivory, kola nuts, cloth, slaves, metal goods, and beads.
How did the gold-salt trade function?
Ghana charged one-sixth of an ounce of gold for each load of salt that came into the kingdom from the north. It then charged one-third of an ounce of gold for each load the traders took out of the kingdom to the south. The traders also paid taxes for carrying other types of goods.
Why were gold and salt important in West African trade?
Ghana itself was rich in gold. People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable.
Is salt as valuable as gold?
Recorded history also soundly refutes the myth that salt was more valuable than gold. YouTube historian Lindybeige cites Venetian trade documents from the height of the salt trade in 1590 that establish the value of 1 ton of salt as 33 gold ducats.
Why is Timbuktu poor today?
After a shift in trading routes, particularly after the visit by Mansa Musa around 1325, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. It became part of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. … Presently, Timbuktu is impoverished and suffers from desertification.
What was a major effect of the gold salt trade in Africa?
The gold-salt trade in Africa made Ghana a powerful empire because they controlled the trade routes and taxed traders. Control of gold-salt trade routes helped Ghana, Mali, and Songhai to become large and powerful West African kingdoms.
How did Islam spread in West Africa?
Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE, Islam spread throughout West Africa via merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, that is largely through peaceful means whereby African rulers either tolerated the religion or converted to it themselves.
Where was gold found in ancient Africa?
In 1884, gold was discovered by the Dutch in South Africa in a location known as Witwatersrand. Later, in 1886, another larger gold vein was located in Johannesburg, and the first mining camp was established using indigenous South Africans as labor.
Who controlled the salt trade?
In the 10th century CE the Sanhaja Berbers, who controlled the salt mines at Awlil and Taghaza and transportation through trade cities like Audaghost, began to challenge the Ghana Empire’s monopoly of the trade.
Why did European traders want African gold?
The purpose of the exploration: to expand European geographic knowledge, to find the source of prized African gold, and to locate a possible sea route to valuable Asian spices. In 1441, for the first time, Portuguese sailors obtained gold dust from traders on the western coast of Africa.
When did the gold and salt trade start?
The Trans-Saharan Gold Trade (7th–14th Century)
What animal was most important to trade in West Africa Why?
Camels were the main mode of transportation and were used to carry goods and people. The camel was the most important part of the caravan. Without the camel, trade across the Sahara would have been impossible. Camels are uniquely adapted to survive long periods without water.
Why was salt so valuable in ancient times?
Prior to industrialization, it was extremely expensive and labor-intensive to harvest the mass quantities of salt necessary for food preservation and seasoning. This made salt an extremely valuable commodity. … During the Middle Ages, salt was transported along roads built especially for that purpose.
Why was salt worth its weight in gold?
Salt was necessary for maintaining life, but it was in short supply in the forests of West Africa. Salt became worth its weight in gold. And since gold was so abundant Abundant (adjective) : existing or available in large quantities 7 in the kingdom, Ghana achieved much of its wealth through trade with the Arabs.