Sundiata and trans Saharan trade

As discussed in chapter 12 of our textbook, Mali was a cultural, economic, and political center within sub-Saharan Africa during the thirteenth century and beyond.  The reason behind Mali’s prominent position in the region may be partially explained on page 82 of D.T. Niane’s Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, when the griot Mamoudou Kouyaté states that Sundiata (r. 1235-55 C.E.) “made a capital of an empire out of his father’s village, and Niani became the navel of the earth.”  Other sections of the text also point to Mali’s long-distance connections and interactions with peoples from North Africa, the Middle East, and even southern Europe. Identify one of these long-distance connections mentioned in the Sundiata and explain how it relates to larger trends in transnational trade, religious pilgrimage, empire building, cultural exchange, communication technology or intellectual exchange during this period. In other words, how does the example you have chosen from the Sundiata help us understand some of the long-distance interactions discussed in our textbook and the two primary sources by Ibn Battuta? Do not attempt to cover all the topics just mentioned—focus only on those that apply to your specific example.

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600 words minimum in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, one-inch margins, page numbers, references page, stapled.
You must provide evidence to support your ideas and, therefore, each body paragraph of your essay must include a direct quote or paraphrase from TWO SOURCES: your textbook AND a primary source OR Sundiata. Make sure you cite each quote using the Chicago Manual of Style
DO NOT spend time summarizing Sundiata, I have read it and do not need it explained. Instead, focus exclusively on your own ideas.  Be as specific as possible and avoid generalized statements and vague ideas.
Your paper should ONLY reference our course readings (Smith et al. Crossroads and Cultures, Smith et al. Sources of Crossroads and Cultures, Sundiata) and any notes from class.  This is an analysis paper and, therefore, you should not use any outside materials.
PROOFREAD your work (don’t simply use spell check).
You MUST cite all your work using the Chicago Manual of Style for both your footnotes/endnotes and bibliography. Go to (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for more information.
Essay format, with a thesis statement, topic sentence in each supporting paragraph, and a conclusion.


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