By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey
Ebook through Grieg, Charlotte
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Extra resources for Africa (Cultures and Costumes)
A remote place situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert, it was important in ancient times as a stopping place for caravans of camels and traders crossing the desert. In the 13th century, it came under the control of the Mali empire and later became a center for the trading of gold, salt, and slaves. Muslim scholars settled there in the 14th century and established the city as a place of legal and moral learning. In the 16th century, Timbuktu was repeatedly attacked and conquered by desert tribes and began to decline as a focus of civilized life.
Today, it is part of Mali. 44 Africa p40-49 CH04 19/09/02 16:01 Page 45 WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA The nomadic Tuareg tribe founded the city of Timbuktu. They are renowned for their indigo-dyed turbans and veils, which has earned them the name “blue men” of the desert. of ornaments and jewelry for marriage and other ceremonies. Gold, because it is a precious metal, has the universal association with wealth, high status, and supreme quality. White and black have special meanings, too. White, the color of ghosts, symbolizes contact with ancestral spirits, while black takes its meaning from the way fruit darkens as it matures.
As colonial power increased, the importance of the Zulu kings, chiefs, and military traditions declined. Traditional Zulu war costume is now worn only for weddings and other ceremonies. The Danga The Xhosa are another Nguni tribe whose homelands are mostly in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. They were once known as kafﬁrs, a derogatory Afrikaans term for black people, and they fought a long battle against European settlers to retain their lands, which they called Ciskei. The Europeans eventually conquered the Xhosa and named the land Transkei.