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|Musa I of Mali|
|Musa depicted holding a gold nugget from the 1375 Catalan Atlas.|
|Reign||1312 - 1337|
|Occupation||Emperor of the Malian Empire|
Mansa Musa (c. 1280 - c. 1337) was a 14th century Mansa (In Mandingo Mansa means king), also know as Kankan Moussa. He ruled the Mali Empire and became king in 1307. He was the first African ruler to be widely known throughout Europe and the Middle East. Mansa Musa was the great nephew of Sundiata Keita, who was founder of the empire. He is famous for his Hajj (1324-1325). His caravan was said to be so big there was 60,000 people carrying supplies and bags, 500 slaves each carrying a gold staff, and 80 to 100 camels each carrying 300 pounds of gold dust. On it, he is said to have given out millions of US dollars worth of gold. As a matter of fact, he gave out so much gold in Cairo that the value stayed relatively low for many years.
Mansa Musa also helped to spread Islam. Mansa Musa was a devoted Muslim, he built many schools based on the Qur’an. He sent students to Islamic Universities in northern Africa.
Mansa Musa helped to structure the government during his time as a king. During his reign there was political stability.
After his Hajj, European cartographers began to draw Mansa Musa on maps. As the empire of Mali fell apart Mansa Musa’s reputation did as well, he was no longer drawn as a noble king on maps, but instead more uncivilized. He was drawn as a parody of European royalty, a naked salvage with a crown. 
Notes[change | edit source]
- "Mansa Musa." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
- MacDonald, Kevin C. "Mansa Musa." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
- Kane, Ousmane. "Musa, Sultan of Mali." Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Ed. Richard C. Martin. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.Biography in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Other websites[change | edit source]
- History Channel: Mansa Moussa: Pilgrimage of Gold
- Al-Umari's description of Mansa Musa's 1324 visit to Cairo
- Sondiata and Mansa Musa on the Web web directory
- African Legends page
- African Events Mansa Musa page
- Mansa Musa, from Black History Pages