chapter  VII
15 Pages

Mali

ByE. W. Bovill

In its origin Mali was a small Mandingo kingdom extending eastwards from the upper Bakhoy across the Niger. The Susu king, Sumanguru, sought to undermine the growing strength of Mali by striking a succession of blows at their ruling house. Mansa Musa, continuing his homeward journey up the Niger, came next to Timbuktu which, after the capital, was the most important Songhai town. According to Ibn Khaldun, whose informant was a native of Sijilmasa who had spent some time in Mali, Mari Jata ruined his empire by his extravagance, and he attributes to him the sale of the famous nugget of Ghana to some merchants of Egypt. El Omari, who was in Cairo twelve years after Mansa Musa had left it on his homeward journey, found the townspeople loud in his praises. By the beginning of the fifteenth century Mali had lost much of the power which it had enjoyed under the illustrious rule of Mansa Musa.