Mali Kingdom

Amy Flores Period 6

Political Leaders


Mali has had some political leaders over time. Sundiata Kieta founded the Mali Empire in 1235. Sundiata extended Mali's control from west to the Atlantic south into the rainforest region, and east beyond the great bend of the Niger River. Between 1324 and 1325 Mansa Musa( the most famous Malian emperor) made a pilgrimage to Mecca. Mansa Musa broght thousands of followers and camels carrying gold with him. This pilgrimage put the Mali kingdom on the map. 

The mali Kingdom had some major cities. For example Nanai, Timbuktu, Jenne, Gao, Djenne, and Walata.

Major Cities

Muslim was the main religion in the Malian Empire. In the 13th century things changed. Mali traded with the trans-sahara who told them about the Islamic religion. People started switching to Islam which then led to rulers switching their religion to Islam.

Interaction with other cultures

The Malian Empire gained wealth from the trans-Sahara trade. They traded salt, copper, merchandise, and gold dust for horses and metals. The Mali empire not only developed the Saharan trade but a slave trade as well. The Saharan trade routes connected Wetsern Africa to the Middle East. This allowed Mali to spread their culture. The Islamic religion was adapted by many African people which shows a great imapct in culture.



  • Natural Resources:  water from the Niger River and gold
  • Industries: farming, mining, and trading
  • Agricultural Crops: beans, rice, onions, papaya, gourds, cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, cotton, and peanuts 
  • Exports: Gold

Gold and goods wasn't Mali's only riches. The early Mandika society honored the arts. Education was also highly valued. Timbuktu was an important center of learning with many high rated schools. For example, the Sankore University of Timbuktu. The schools attracted many scholars around the world. This brought wealth and cultural diversity. 


The Niger River is the largest river in the south. The Niger River provided water for faming, washing clothes, and bathing. The Sahara Desert also known as the "sea of sand" is the world's largest desert. Camels are often reffered to as the "ships of the desert."

The Mali Kingdom had two seasons, the wet and dry seasons. The winters were dry while the summer was wet. It often rained in the summer but, the rain wasn't so dependable. It would rain heavily in one town while it rained lightly in the next town.