An empty nest is kind of what I have. These days I have been arranging the bedrooms which made me encounter old toys representing a treasure hunt. One of my findings are the dolls I picked for my daughter when she was a child, they were all African type. My intention was as the African proverb quote written below; the series of African People from A to Z, has the same intention as it gets close to the end.
"What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn."
This hub presents the letter S, and for it the reader will meet the largest empire in African history.
SONGHAI seen as:
Who are the Songhai people?
Around three million people consider themselves Songhai. The Songhai people are also spelled as:
The Songhai origins are traced to the 8th century of Za. The Za dynasty endured to the end of the 16th century, when it was conquered by the Sultan of Morocco.The Songhai empire was at it's largest under the rule of Askia Daud (1549 - 1582), and stretched to Cameroon. Sunni Ali was the first great king of the Songhai. He was an efficient warrior who conquered many of the Songhai's neighbors, including what remained of the Mali empire. Askia Muhammad Toure was a leader following Sunni Ali, who created a new dynasty called the Askia. He also continued the imperial expansion that Sunni Ali had begun.
Upper lake area
Hunters and farmers along the Niger river
Hunters in the high grass stretch of the savanna
One of the important ethnic groups in the Republic of Chad
Fishermen living in small settlements along the rivers
Southwestern part of Niger, while others occupy Northern Nigeria along the Niger River Valley
A caste of proud magicians
Songhai: an empire of kings and wars
The Songhai Empire
Where are the Songhai people located?
Southwestern Mali along the bend of the Niger River, and Western Niger is primarily where the Songhai people live (extending from Lake Debo to the mouth of Sokoto River). The Songhai are also found at:
- Benin, Burkina Faso
- Ghana (also known as the Zabrama or Gao)
- Ivory Cost
- Southeastern Algeria
- Republic of Chad
How do the Songhai people live?
The Songhai people traces descent along the father's line.Their traditional inherited distinct position are known as:
- Griot (Musicians)
The Songhai settlements usually consist of round, mud or thatched dwellings with roofs. An increased number of villagers live in rectangular mud brick houses with corrugated tin roofs.
How do the Songhai people communicate?
The Songhai people communicate with a unique Nile-Saharan language, called as their own name "Songhai".
How do the Songhai people survive?
The Songhai people are mostly subsistence farmers, but those living in cities are engaged in a wide range of trades and professions.The farmers (only men, since it is consider a noble labor) grow:
- millet (grown during the brief rainy season)
- black-eyed peas
- other crops
Paramount chiefs from noble lines, within the Songhai people, hold offices and continue to exert at least symbolic authority in rural regions.The Songhai also raise some livestock.
The Songhai women
The women often sell cooked foods and condiments. They also make traditional pottery and mats. The women have gardens in which they grow:
- bananas (during the hot, dry season)
Songhai Survival ways
What characteristics define the Songhai people?
- Nearly all Songhai are Muslim
- The majority of the Songhai people did not convert to Islam; about 97% kept their traditional religions.
- Every town has a mosque
- Some communities have religious leaders (imams)
- An important ceremonial festival is held known as "genji bi hori" (pestilence control)
- They also celebrate the rain dance known as "yenaandi".
- The Songhai people were the first to create standardized systems of weights and measures, which helped contribute to later developments.
Songhai Kingdoms today
The formula within the hub
Do you see it?
Oh, what a blessing it is to learn, like faith comes by hearing; love comes by learning about one another. How can we live our own life, knowing about others that are in need?
We are part of the nature surrounding us. Nature's creation system teaches us a great formula lesson. If you really read this hub, I hope you saw the formula given by the Songhai people, The formula of creation:
Flower nectar + bees = sweet food
Fruits + crushing = juice
Is this formula within the hub? Do you see it? Can you apply it?
Blessings to all in our decisions and from its effects!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
More about the Songhai people
Journey of the Songhai people
Digest Nature's Formula as you watch an application example
© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill