Mansa Musa


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(ruled 1307–37)

The most celebrated of the rulers (kankans) of Mali, chiefly because of his spectacular pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. He caused a sensation in Cairo with his 500 slaves and 80–100 camels carrying gold. In his absence one of his generals acquired Gao, the capital of the neighbouring Songhay state for him. He returned from Mecca with the Andalusian poet-architect Es-Saheli, who built the palace and Great Mosque of Timbuktu. He greatly expanded the commerce and prosperity of Mali, and gave encouragement to Islamic learning and culture.

Subjects: World History.

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