From burying kings with live humans to exacting justice by drinking poison; here are four customs of ancient Ghana Empire

Michael Eli Dokosi December 10, 2019

If there was one thing J. B Danquah and Kwame Nkrumah agreed on, it was renaming the newly liberated country from Gold Coast to Ghana.

Ghana, originally was an ancient empire, whose territory covered today’s independent states of Senegal, Mauritania and Mali.

Who then were the ancient Ghanaians and what was their claim to fame?

The Ghana Empire arose and developed between A.D. 500 and 1200 in the region between the bend of the Niger and the middle reaches of the Senegal. It got to the peak of its glory by A.D. 1060.

Of the kingdoms which also arose, including Tekrur, Mali and Songhai, Ghana was the first of these kingdoms to emerge and attain the greatest fame and glory, according to Ghanaian historian Prof. Albert Adu Boahen in his ‘Topics in West African History’ book first published in 1966.

The Ghanaian adorned themselves with ornaments made of gold. (HomeTeam History / YouTube)
The Ghanaian adorned themselves with ornaments made of gold. (HomeTeam History / YouTube)

The eminent historian relying on various sources submits the empire was in existence by A.D. 500 and had attained the peak of its power by about the middle of the eleventh century.

Without a doubt, the Ghana Empire was famed for its gold with Arabic scholars Al-Bakri and Al-Idrisi noting their descriptions in 1067 and 1154 respectively. The eminent astronomer Al-Fazari as early as 772 described Ghana as the land of gold.

We take a look at four customs or attributes of the empire. Check them out below:

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: December 10, 2019


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