Asante stool

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The rich cultural traditions of Africa

Africa has a long and rich history. There were many diverse and powerful kingdoms throughout Africa, particularly in the west. These include the kingdoms of Mali, Songhay, Benin and the Asante, all built on wealth from mining gold. Economic networks and craftsmanship characterized these cultures.

Background information

The background information provides an introduction to West African History. This overview will help contextualize this history to support pupils? learning about the continent before the transatlantic slave trade.

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West African History (1 of 2)
    What was West Africa like in the 1500s?

West African History (2 of 2)
    Case study of West African Kingdoms

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Related information

Read a full PDF version of this themeView the background information for West African History


Historical and contemporary terms and their meanings Use the Glossary