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CHAPTER 13

Tropical Africa and Asia, 12001500

0INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTI ES
After studying this chapter students should be able to: 10. Identify the location and fundamental environmental characteristics of the tropics and their environmental zones, including arid areas, rain forests, river valleys, savannas, plateaus, and mountainous regions, and explain how people made their livings in these various environmental zones. 0. Identify and compare the two Islamic empires of !ali and the "elhi #ultanate. $0. "escribe the Indian %cean trade and identify the roles played in that trade by the #wahili city& states, Aden, 'u(arat and the !alabar )oast, and !alacca. *0. +nderstand and give concrete examples of the ways in which trade and the spread of Islam changed the societies and cultures of places connected to each other through the trans&#aharan and Indian %cean trade networ,s.

00C!A"TER OUTLINE
I0. -ropical .ands and /eoples A0. -he -ropical 0nvironment 10. -he tropical zone falls between the -ropic of )ancer in the north and the -ropic of )apricorn in the south. -he Afro&Asian tropics have a cycle of rainy and dry seasons dictated by the alternating winds ,nown as monsoons. 0. 1hile those parts of the tropics such as coastal 1est Africa, west&central Africa, and southern India get abundant rainfall, there is also an arid zone extending across northern Africa 2the #ahara3 and northwest India, and another arid zone in southwestern Africa. Altitude also affects climate, with high&altitude mountain ranges and plateaus having cooler weather and shorter growing seasons than the low&altitude coastal plains and river valleys. !a(or rivers bring water from these mountains to other areas. 40. 5uman 0cosystems 10. 5uman societies adopted different means of surviving to fit into the different ecological zones found in the tropics. In areas such as central Africa, the upper altitudes of the 5imalayas, and some seacoasts, wild food and fish was so abundant that human societies thrived without having developed agricultural or herding economies. 0. 5uman communities in the arid areas of the tropics relied on herding and supplemented their diets with grain and vegetables obtained through trade with settled agriculturalists. -he vast ma(ority of the people of the tropics were farmers who cultivated various crops 2rice, wheat, sorghum millet, etc.3 depending on the conditions of soil, climate, and water.

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Chapter 14: Tropical Africa and Asia, 12001500

$0. In those parts of #outh and #outheast Asia that had ample water supplies, intensive agriculture transformed the environment and supported dense populations. In most parts of sub&#aharan Africa and many parts of #outheast Asia, farmers abandoned their fields every few years and cleared new areas by cutting and burning the natural vegetation. *0. -he tropics have an uneven distribution of rainfall during the year. -o have year&round access to water for intensive agriculture, tropical farming societies constructed dams, irrigation canals, and reservoirs. 60. In India, )ambodia, and #ri .an,a, governments mobilized vast resources to construct and maintain large irrigation and water&control pro(ects. #uch huge pro(ects increased production, but they were highly vulnerable to natural disasters and political disruptions. In contrast, the smaller irrigation systems constructed at the village level were easier to reconstruct and provided greater long&term stability. )0. !ineral 7esources 10. -ropical peoples used iron for agricultural implements, weapons, and needles. )opper, particularly important in Africa, was used to ma,e wire and decorative ob(ects. Africa was also ,nown for its production of gold. 0. !etalwor,ing and food&producing systems mobilized the labor of ordinary people to produce surpluses that in places supported powerful states and profitable commercial systems. 8either of those elite enterprises would have been possible without the wor, of ordinary people. II0. 8ew Islamic 0mpires A0. !ali in the 1estern #udan 10. Islam spread to sub&#aharan Africa by a gradual process of peaceful conversion. )onversion was facilitated by commercial contacts. 0. In 1 *0, #undiata 2the !uslim leader of the !alin,e people3 established the ,ingdom of !ali. !ali9s economy rested on agriculture and was supplemented by control of regional and trans&#aharan trading routes and by control of the gold mines of the 8iger headwaters. $0. -he !ali ruler !ansa :an,an !usa 2r. 1$1 ;1$$<3 demonstrated his fabulous wealth during a pilgrimage to !ecca. 1hen he returned to !ali, !ansa !usa established new mos=ues and >uranic schools. *0. -he ,ingdom of !ali declined and collapsed in the mid& to late fifteenth century because of rebellions from within and attac,s from without. Intellectual life and trade moved to other African states, including the 5ausa states and :anem&4ornu. 40. -he "elhi #ultanate in India 10. 4etween 1 0? and 1 $?, the divided states of northwest India were defeated by violent !uslim -ur,ish con=uerors under the leadership of #ultan Iltutmish, who established the "elhi #ultanate as a !uslim state. Although the !uslim elite then settled down to rule India relatively peacefully, their 5indu sub(ects never forgave the violence of the con=uest. 0. Iltutmish passed his throne on to his daughter, 7aziya. 7aziya was a talented ruler, but she was driven from office by men unwilling to accept a female monarch. +nder Ala& ud&din 2r. 1 @?;1$1?3 and !uhammad ibn -ughlu= 2r. 1$ 6;1$613, the "elhi #ultanate carried out a policy of aggressive territorial expansion that was accompanied 2in the case of -ughlu=3 by a policy of religious toleration toward 5indusAa policy that was reversed by -ughlu=9s successor. $0. In general, the "elhi sultans ruled by terror and were a burden on their sub(ects. In the mid&fourteenth century, internal rivalries and external threats undermined the stability of the sultanate. -he sultanate was destroyed when -imur sac,ed "elhi in 1$@B.

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III0. Indian %cean -rade A0. !onsoon !ariners 10. -he Indian %cean trade increased between 1 00 and 1600, stimulated by the prosperity of .atin 0urope, Asian, and African states and, in the fourteenth century, by the collapse of the overland trade routes. 0. In the 7ed and Arabian #eas, trade was carried on dhows. Crom India on to #outheast Asia, (un,s dominated the trade routes. $0. Dun,s were technologically advanced vessels, having watertight compartments and up to twelve sails, and carrying cargoes of up to 1,000 tons. Dun,s were developed in )hina, but during the fifteenth century, (un,s were also built in 4engal and #outheast Asia and sailed with crews from those places. *0. -he Indian %cean trade was decentralized and cooperative, with various regions supplying particular goods. In each region, a certain port functioned as the ma(or emporium for trade in which goods from smaller ports were consolidated and shipped onward. 40. Africa: -he #wahili )oast and Eimbabwe 10. 4y 1600, there were thirty or forty separate city&states along the 0ast African coast participating in the Indian %cean trade. -he people of these coastal cities, the #wahili people, all spo,e an African language enriched with Arabic and /ersian vocabulary. 0. #wahili cities, including :ilwa, were famous as exporters of gold that was mined in or around the inland ,ingdom whose capital was 'reat Eimbabwe. $0. 'reat Eimbabwe9s economy rested on agriculture, cattle herding, and trade. -he city declined due to an ecological crisis brought on by deforestation and overgrazing. )0. Arabia: Aden and the 7ed #ea 10. Aden had enough rainfall to produce wheat for export and a location that made it a central transit point for trade from the /ersian 'ulf, 0ast Africa, and 0gypt. Aden9s merchants prospered on this trade and built what appeared to travelers to be a wealthy and impressive city. 0. In general, a common interest in trade allowed the various peoples and religions of the Indian %cean 4asin to live in peace. Fiolence did sometimes brea, out, however, as when )hristian 0thiopia fought with the !uslims of the 7ed #ea coast over control of trade. "0. India: 'u(arat and the !alabar )oast 10. -he state of 'u(arat prospered from the Indian %cean trade, exporting cotton textiles and indigo in return for gold and silver. 'u(arat was not simply a commercial centerG it was also a manufacturing center that produced textiles, leather goods, carpets, sil,, and other commodities. 'u(arat9s overseas trade was dominated by !uslims, but 5indus also benefited. 0. )alicut and other cities of the !alabar )oast exported cotton textiles and spices and served as clearing&houses for long&distance trade. -he cities of the !alabar )oast were unified in a loose confederation whose rulers were tolerant of other religious and ethnic groups. 00. #outheast Asia: -he 7ise of !alacca 10. -he #trait of !alacca is the principal passage from the Indian %cean to the #outh )hina #ea. In the fourteenth century, a gang of )hinese pirates preyed upon the strait, nominally under the control of the Dava&based ,ingdom of !a(apahit. 0. In 1*0<, the forces of the !ing dynasty crushed the )hinese pirates. -he !uslim ruler of !alacca too, advantage of this to exert his domination over the strait and to ma,e !alacca into a ma(or port and a center of trade.

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Chapter 14: Tropical Africa and Asia, 12001500

IF0. #ocial and )ultural )hange A0. Architecture, .earning, and 7eligion 10. )ommercial contacts and the spread of Islam led to a variety of social and cultural changes in which local cultures incorporated and changed ideas, customs, and architectural styles from other civilizations. African and Indian mos=ues are good examples of the synthesis of !iddle 0astern and local architectural stylesG in 0thiopia, a native tradition of roc, carving led to the construction of eleven churches carved from solid roc,. 0. In the field of education, the spread of Islam brought literacy to African peoples who first learned Arabic and then used the Arabic script to write their own languages. In India, literacy was already established, but the spread of Islam brought the development of a new /ersian&influenced language 2+rdu3 and paperma,ing technology. $0. As it spread to Africa, India, and #outheast Asia, Islam also brought with it the study of Islamic law and administration and 'ree, science, mathematics, and medicine. -imbu,tu, "elhi, and !alacca were two new centers of Islamic learning. *0. Islam spread peacefullyG forced conversions were rare. !uslim domination of trade contributed to the spread of Islam as merchants attracted by the common moral code and laws of Islam converted and as !uslim merchants in foreign lands established households and converted their local wives and servants. -he Islamic destruction of the last center of 4uddhism in India contributed to the spread of Islam in that country. 60. Islam brought social and cultural changes to the communities that converted, but Islam itself was changed, developing differently in African, Indian, and Indonesian societies. 40. #ocial and 'ender "istinctions 10. -he gap between elites and the common people widened in tropical societies as the wealthy urban elites prospered from the increased Indian %cean trade. 0. #lavery increased in both Africa and India. An estimated .6 million African slaves were exported across the #ahara and the 7ed #ea between 1 00 and 1600, while more were shipped from the cities of the #wahili coast. $0. !ost slaves were trained in specific s,illsG in some cases, hereditary military slaves could become rich and powerful. %ther slaves wor,ed at hard menial (obs li,e copper mining, while others, particularly women, were employed as household servants and entertainers. -he large number of slaves meant that the price of slaves was =uite low. *0. 1hile there is not much information on possible changes in the status of women in the tropics, some scholars speculate that restrictions on women were eased somewhat in 5indu societies. 8onetheless, early arranged marriage was the rule for Indian women, and they were expected to obey strict rules of fidelity and chastity. 60. 1omen9s status was generally determined by the status of their male masters. 5owever, women did practice certain s,ills other than child rearing. -hese included coo,ing, brewing, farm wor,, and spinning. ?0. It is difficult to tell what effect the spread of Islam might have had on women. It is clear that in some places, such as !ali, !uslims did not adopt the Arab practice of veiling and secluding women. F0. )omparative /erspectives A0. /olitical )omparisons 10. -he !ali empire of the western #udan arose among African natives who had earlier converted to Islam voluntarily. 0. -he "ehli #ultanate of India, though providing political unity to northern India, arose through invasion, con=uest, and violence, and was intolerant of native religions.

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40. 0conomic and )ultural )omparisons 10. #hips in the Arabian #ea to the west of India were the dhows, carrying up to *00 tons. 0. #hips to the east, traveling to #outheast Asia, were the larger (un,s, carrying over 1,000 tons. $0. .ife in urban trading centers included more cultural diversity than was experienced close to centers of imperial power. *0. -o one contemporary observer, citizens of !ali experienced greater social (ustice than Indians living under the rule of !uhammad ibn -ughlu= of the "ehli #ultanate.

0#ISCUSSION $UESTIONS
10. 5ow did environmental differences affect social, political, and economic institutions in the "elhi #ultanate, the #wahili city&states, and !aliH 0. 1hat are the ma(or differences between the ruling styles of #ultan !uhammad ibn -ughlu= of "elhi and !ansa #uleiman of !ali 2described in I"iversity and "ominanceJ on page $<?3H 1hat factors might account for those differencesH $0. In what ways did environmental factors determine the roles played by the various areas and peoples who participated in the Indian %cean trading systemH *0. 5ow would life in an Islamic trading center compare to life in an imperial capitalH 1hyH 60. 5ow and why did Islam change as it spread along African and Indian %cean trade routesH 5ow does the process of dissemination and change described here compare to the story of the dissemination and change of )hristianity in 0uropeH

0LECTURE TO"ICS
10. -he 0mpire of !ali #ources: a0. 4ovill, 0. 1. The Golden Trade of the Moors. nd ed. %xford: %xford +niversity /ress, 1@?B.

b0. .etzvion, 8ehemia. I-he 1estern !aghrib and #udan.J 7oland %liver, ed. The Cambridge History of Africa. Vol. 3, c. 1050 c. 1!00. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@<<. c0. .etzvion, 8ehemia, and D. 0. /. 5op,ins, trans. K eds. Cor"#s of $arly Arabic %o#rces for &est African History. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@B1.

0. -he "elhi #ultanate #ources: a0. Dac,son, /eter. The 'elhi %#ltanate( A )olitical and Military History. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@@@.

b0. .apidus, Ira !. A History of *slamic %ocieties. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@BB. c0. 7aychaudhuri, -apan, and Irfan 5abib, eds. The Cambridge $conomic History of *ndia. Vol. 1, c. 1+00 c. 1,50. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@B .

$0. -he #wahili )ity&#tates and -heir )ulture #ources:

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a0.

'renville, '. #. Creeman. The %-ahili Coast, +nd to 1.th Cent#ries( *slam, Christianity and Commerce in $astern Africa. Ashgate /ublishing )ompany, 1@BB.

b0. !atveiev, F. F. I-he "evelopment of #wahili )ivilization.J ". -. 8iane, ed. /0$%C1 General History of Africa. Vol. 2, Africa from the T-elfth to the %i3teenth Cent#ry. 4er,eley: +niversity of )alifornia /ress, 1@B*. c0. #hillington, :evin. History of Africa. rev. ed. 8ew Lor,: #t. !artins /ress, 1@@6. *0. )ommerce on the Indian %cean #ources: a0. )haudhuri, :. 8. Asia 4efore $#ro"e( $conomy and Ci5ili6ation of the *ndian 1cean from the 7ise of *slam to 1,50. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@@0.

b0. )haudhuri, :. 8. Trade and Ci5ilisation in the *ndian 1cean( An $conomic History from the 7ise of *slam to 1,50. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 1@B6. c0. )haudhuri, :. 8. I-he +nity and "isunity of Indian %cean 5istory from the 7ise of Islam to 1<60: -he %utline of a -heory and 5istorical "iscourse.J 8o#rnal of &orld History *:1 21@@$3.

d0. 7ichards, ". #., ed. *slam and the Trade of Asia( A Collo9#i#m. /hiladelphia: +niversity of /ennsylvania /ress, 1@<0. 60. #lavery in India and Africa #ources: a0. "rescher, #eymour, and #tanley .. 0ngerman, eds. A Historical G#ide to &orld %la5ery. 8ew Lor,: %xford +niversity /ress, 1@@B.

b0. :idwai, #alim. I#ultans, 0unuchs, and "omestics: 8ew Corms of 4ondage in !edieval India.J +tsa /atnai, and !an(ari "ingwaney, eds. Chains of %er5it#de( 4ondage and %la5ery in *ndia. !adras: #angam 4oo,s, 1@B6. c0. .ove(oy, /aul 0. Transformations in %la5ery( A History of %la5ery in Africa. nd ed. )ambridge: )ambridge +niversity /ress, 000.

0"A"ER TO"ICS
10. "o a comparative study of the trans&#aharan trade and the Indian %cean trading system. 0. #tate and (ustify your position on the significance of Islam in the daily lives of the people of !ali, India, and the #wahili coast. $0. 7eport on the lifestyle and roles of Indian merchants in the Indian %cean trade. *0. "o a comparative study of the dhow and the (un,.

0INTERNET RESOURCES
-he following Internet sites contain written and visual material appropriate for use with this chapter. A more extensive and continually updated list of Internet resources can be found on The $arth and *ts )eo"les web site. 7efer to The $arth and *ts )eo"les web site section located at the beginning of this manual for information on how to locate the text homepage.

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-he Islamic 1orld at 1600 2+niversity of /ennsylvania3 http:MMccat.sas.upenn.eduMNrs1*$Mmap?.(pg Fiew from Above: !ap of #outh Asia 28ational 'eographic3 http:MMwww.nationalgeographic.comMmapsMviewMsasiam.html African #tudies )enter 2+niversity of /ennsylvania3 http:MMwww.sas.upenn.eduMAfricanO#tudiesMA#.html African 5istory and #tudies 2-ennessee -echnological +niversity3 http:MMwww .tntech.eduMhistoryMblac,.html 'reat Eimbabwe 7uins http:MMwww.tmeg.comMartifactsMzimbabweMzimbabwe.htm

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