Toomer Family BLOG

Our goal is to celebrate ALL Toomer family members today and yesterday. This blog will include history, genealogy, and reunion news. Additionally we will share our talent in poetry and prose, along with spotlight news on family members.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ride the West African Time Machine


Toomers now that you have more knowledge of who you are as an African, take a moment to jump onboard the time machine. This ride will begin 700 years ago in West Africa and end 250 years ago. Learn about the lives of your people, the Songhay and the Fulani.

700 Years Ago in West Africa
The Songhay Empire

…Mali went into decline after the death of the great king. The subject city of Gao rebelled in 1375 under the Sonni ("king") Suleiman-Mar. Around 1400, Gao was strong enough to raid the Mali capital itself, and about 50 years later became the centre of the new Songhai Empire, which now became the most powerful state in West Africa. In 1468, Sonni Ali (picture on the left) conquered Timbuktu. Sonni Muhammad Toureacute (1493-1528) made Islam the state religion of the empire…
View full 700 years ago passage....

400 Years Ago in West Africa
The Songhay Empire

The Songhai Empire reaches its peak under the successors of Muhammad Toureacute, what is called the Askia dynasty. Leo Africanus, a writer and traveller, reported that Timbuktu in 1513 was a sophisticated and prosperous city. King Askia Daud ruled from 1549 to 1582 from his capital city Gao. During the reign of his successor, Askia Ishak, the Moroccans under Sultan Ahmad El Mansur invade Songhai in 1591. A huge battle is fought at Tondibi northwest of Lake Chad. The Moroccans, well equipped with muskets, defeated the Songhai forces who had only a few firearms and still relied on the charge of lance-armed horsemen. The Moroccans did not permanently occupy the Songhai lands, and soon withdrew back north, but the power of the empire was fatally weakened. The increasing demands of the trans-Atlantic slave trade further destabilized Songhai.

View full 400 years ago web page...

250 Years Ago in West Africa
The Fulani People

…The Fulbe people (also called the Fulani) create three new states around the Senegal and Gambia rivers--Senegambia--near 1700, following the collapse of Songhai…

…Slaves were not considered property in the Senegambian states. Slaves used to farm land were more like the feudal serf in Europe, farming their own small plots and giving a fraction of the produce to their masters. Royal slaves were often used to lead armies (they had no claim to throne and were considered safer than members of the royal family or other nobles), and thus became very important people. Some states had no slavery at all…
View full 250 years ago passage...


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