The Soninke are an ancient people group from West Africa. They are thought to be the progenitors of the more numerous Mande people
The Soninke are an ancient people group from West Africa. They are thought to be the progenitors of the more numerous Mande people.
Despite being part of the Mande language family and spoken in the northwest, the Soninke language has lent many terms and concepts to other ethnic groups across West Africa's natural zones thanks to the creativity of its speakers. Different branches of the Mande language family, such as the Malinke and the Bambara, may trace their ancestry back to the Soninke or a Proto-Soninke branch.
Formed by the Soninke between the sixth and twelfth centuries AD, Ghana (which the Soninke referred to as Wagadu) was an empire in West Africa. Ghana was prosperous and powerful because of its gold reserves, strategic location between the Sahara and the Sahel, and role in facilitating trade between those regions and the West African rain forest.
The Soninke are often recognized as the most well-traveled people in Africa due to their extensive history of long-distance trade. After converting to Islam, some Soninke families became preachers and proselytizers, traveling the trade routes and occasionally serving as advisors to monarchs and chiefs. When Ghana fell, the Soninke diaspora and trading networks were located over the whole of West Africa.
They are the second largest ethnic group in the Gambia and the largest in Mali, and they still have gold everywhere they are; the Soninke will wear gold even in the absence of a formal ceremony. Many people are unaware of the Soninke, though; only a small number of them can be found on social media.
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