From World Afropedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mali Empire
[Nyeni] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)  (Bambara)
after c. 1230:
[Manden Kurufaba] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)  (Bambara)[1]
Ghana Empire
c. 1230–c. 1600 Songhai Empire
Jolof Empire
Kaabu Empire
Empire of Great Fulo
Extent of the Mali Empire (c. 1350)
Capital Niani; later Ka-ba
Language(s) Malinké, Mandinka, Bambara, Fulani, Bozo
Religion African Traditional Religion, Islam
Political structure Empire
Mansa (Emperor)
 - 1235–1255 Mari Djata I (first)
 - c. 17th century Mahmud IV (last)
Legislature Gbara
Historical era Postclassical Era
 - Established c. 1230
 - Capital moved from Niani to Kangaba 1559
 - State collapses and divided among emperor's sons c. 1600
 - 1250[2] 100,000 km2 (38,610 sq mi)
 - 1312[3] 1,294,994 km2 (500,000 sq mi)
 - 1380[2] 1,100,000 km2 (424,712 sq mi)
 - 1500[2] 400,000 km2 (154,441 sq mi)
Currency Gold dust
(Salt, copper and cowries were also common in the empire)
Today part of  The Gambia
 Ivory Coast
National Symbol: Falcon
Sacred Animal:Falcon and numerous other animals according to each of the governing clans (Lion, Boar, etc.)

The Empire of Mali dates back from c. 1230 to the 1600s in the area of West Africa that, at its height, covered portions of the present-day countries of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Côte d'Ivoire. Though the kingdom of Mali existed for hundreds of years earlier as a state of the Empire of Ghana, it only became an empire itself under the leadership of King Sundiata.[4] The history of this time has been preserved in the story of Sundiata's Epic.


  1. Piga, Adriana: "Islam et villes en Afrique au sud du Sahara: Entre soufisme et fondamentalisme", page 265. KARTHALA Editions, 2003
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Taagepera, page 497
  3. Hempstone, page 312
  4. Jackson, John G. (2001). Introduction to African Civilizations. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp. p. 207. ISBN 0-8065-2189-9. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)