Salt was used to preserve and flavor food. It was especially important in West Africa as people needed extra salt to replace what their bodies lost in the hot climate. Through trade in gold and salt, Ghana reached the height of its power in the 800s C.E. and 900s C.E.
Why was salt so important in West Africa?
Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money. As trade in gold and salt increased, Ghana’s rulers gained power.
What value did salt serve in West Africa?
Salt was their major trade good but they also brought luxury items like glassware, fine cloth, and manufactured goods. In addition, with these trade goods came the Islamic religion, ideas in art and architecture, and cultural practices.
What was salt used for in Africa during the Ghana Empire?
Much of the salt was mined in the Sahara Desert at the city of Taghaza where slaves were used to mine salt. Salt was sometimes used as money and was about as valuable as gold.
Why was trade important in West Africa?
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. As trade developed across Africa, major cities developed as centers for trade.
What was gold used for in West Africa?
The most common commodity that gold was used to purchase was salt, a mineral that was always in great demand in order to better preserve dried meat and to give added taste to food.
How did the gold salt trade impact West Africa?
Consequently, for most of the Sudan region, salt had to come from the north. … Salt was their major trade good but they also brought luxury items like glassware, fine cloth, and manufactured goods. In addition, with these trade goods came the Islamic religion, ideas in art and architecture, and cultural practices.
Where was gold found in West Africa?
Gold in West Africa
In West Africa, an ancient people called the Akan populated the location that we now call Ghana around the 11th-century CE. Among the many tribes of this ancient civilization, could be found, the ethnic groups of the Ashanti and the Fanti, who mined for gold along the rivers Volta and Ankobra.
Is salt more valuable than gold?
The historian explains that, going by trade documents from Venice in 1590, you could purchase a ton of salt for 33 gold ducats (ton the unit of measure, not the hyperbolic large quantity). … The fact is that it was actually salt trade that held more worth than the gold industry.
Who brought Islam to West Africa?
– Islam arrived in sub-Saharan West Africa as early as the 8th century, travelling with Arab traders from North Africa. The Muslim merchants brought trade and goods to exchange for gold and facilitated trade by introducing concepts such as contract law and credit arrangements.