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Changing traditions

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Class 10 Class 12
Describe main features of kingdom of Mwenemutepa of Zimbabwe.


1. The old name of Zimbabwe was Rhodesia. Its new capital is Harare. It was ruled for a long period of Monomotapa.

2. The State is rich in forest resources and has very fertile land for agricultural purposes. It has extremely rich gold mines. The most popular trade here is of gold and ivory.

3. During Iron age the people were highly developed by refining iron from ore and utilizing the refined form to make utensils, tools, weapons, etc. Metallurgical processing of other metals and making alloys had been a popular hobby of its people.

Tips: -

(V. Imp.)

When did Islam spread in Africa ?
What was its influence on the African civilization ?

Period of Spread of Islam : Islam spread slowly in Africa from 8th to 16th century but it spread rapidly in the Sudanic kingdoms during the 10th and 11th centuries. Initially, it spread in the coastal areas of Eastern Africa and then it spread in Nubia, Mali, Hausa, Aksum and Sudan.

Influence of Islam on the African Civilization :

(i) Prosperity : The people became prosperous due to brisk trade and commerce with other countries.
(ii) Construction of Mosques and Tombs : The influence of Islam caused the construction of many mosques, forts and tombs.
(iii) New Language : The ‘Swahili’ language sprang up as a result of intermingling of Bantu and Arabic languages.
(iv) Centres of Islamic Culture : The African states became centres of Islamic education and culture. The Arab scholars reached there and wrote the history of Africa.


In what ways the civilization of Kush was influenced by the ancient Egyptian Civilization ?
Why is Kush called the Birmingham of Central Africa ?


1. The influence of the Egyptian Civilization on Kush Civilization.

(i) The people of Kush Civilization adopted the Egyptian heiroglyphic script for their records at the early stage.
(ii) The Egyptian influence is evident on the architecture of the Kush Civilization.
(iii) In the Kush kingdom, the kings were regarded as divine beings like the Egyptian kings.
(iv) The Gods in some regions of the Kush empire were similar to the Egyptian gods.

2. “Meroe” the capital of Kush known as Birmingham of Central Africa.

A city of England named Birmingham is famous in the world for the huge stocks and extensive use of iron in the whole world. In the same manner the “Meroe” is called the Birmingham of Central Africa.


Why did the food-producing stage in some part of Africa start later than in some other parts of the world ?

According to an estimate the food producing stage, in many parts of the world started about 10,000 years ago. But in some parts of Africa the food producing stage started about 5,000 years ago.
The reasons why food producing stage in these parts started later than in some other parts of the world are given below :

(i) The soil in most parts of Africa is not very fertile. Therefore, the tilling for cultivation was very difficult.

(ii) Most of African land was covered with thick jungles. In those days to clear the land to make it fit for agriculture was almost impossible.

(iii) African climate was very hot. There were no sources of irrigation so the cultivation could not be done earlier.

(iv) The African people learnt the use of iron at the later stage than the people of the other parts of the world. It was also a factor responsible for the beginning of agriculture in Africa.


Write a short note on the Mayan Culture.


1. The Mayan culture of Mexico developed remarkably between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, but in the sixteenth century they had less political power than the Aztecs.

2. Corn cultivation was central to their culture, and many religious ceremonies were centred on the planting, growing and harvesting of corn.

3. Efficient agricultural production generated surplus, which helped the ruling classes, priests and chiefs to invest in architecture and in the development of astronomy and mathematics.

4. The Mayas devised a pictographic form of writing that has only been partially deciphered.

Write a short note on the Mayan Culture.
Maya Temple, Guatewala