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Welcome to the Ancient Ghana Trade page. Get ready to go on a journey that will teach you about the most interesting things about G hana! Enjoy your camel ride........................................


Introduction
The Ghana Empire was an important trading state in West Africa from about 300-1,000 AD. Ghana became the center for trade, amongst black Africans in grains, cattle, and metals. Starting from the 700s, camel caravans brought products from the “Arabic world”, all across the Sahara desert to Ghana. The camels brought goods such as books, salt, textiles and tools. The variety of goods were traded for gold, ivory and slaves with regions south of Ghana.

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It took the camels from the "Arabic World" a very long time to cross the Sahara Desert and come to Ghana.
Picture Sources: http://www.naturetourindia.com/gifs/camel-desert.jpg
http://www.keralarajasthanindia.com/images/jaisalmer-camel-safari.jpg
http://www.experienceittours.com/Images/Morocco/Tours/camel%20trek.jpg

Gold Mines
Ghana had numerous gold mines. As a matter of fact, Ghana had such a large amount of gold, that miners had the privilege of keeping any gold dust they found while mining! The king only kept the gold nuggets. As Ghana had such an abundance in gold, it was used to make almost everything. Statues, jewellery, paintings, and even cutlery were made of pure gold in the Ghana Empire.

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Gold, gold, gold and MORE gold! The Ghana Empire, is probably, until this date, the most rich empire in gold!
Picture Sources: http://images.inmagine.com/168nwm/imagesource/is692/is692014.jpg
http://images.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_TN/0304-0605-1920-5257_TN.jpg
http://www.fotosearch.com/comp/corbis/DGT080/CB067962.jpg

Gold for Salt
Although Ghana was rich in many things, it did not have salt. As salt is an important spice, which is used for day-to-day life, it was very critical for Ghana to have enough and more quantities of salt. They began to trade with Northern kingdoms, which lacked gold. Ghana had very clear regulations, as far as trade was concerned, and therefore all the Northern traders were fair with the trade-they were even ounce-for-ounce.

external image istockphoto_571204_pile_ok_sea_salt.jpgexternal image pile.jpgexternal image Halite(NaCl).JPG
As you can see in the images above, the Ghana Empire did not have any natural resources to provide them with any form of salt, whatsoever!
Picture Sources: http://www.localinfinities.com/salt/images/pile.jpg
http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/icl/heyes/structure_of_solids/Scans/Halite(NaCl).JPG
http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/571204/2/istockphoto_571204_pile_ok_sea_salt.jpg

Tax
The king of Ghana was a wise man. He deeply cared for his kingdom, and wanted to make sure that Ghana stayed rich, and had power. That is the reason why he charged a tax on all the people entering and leaving Ghana. The tax was paid in salt, iron, peacock feathers, fine silks, spices etc. The trade routes were protected from raiders by the Ghana warriors in return.
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As shown in this picture, the king of Ghana was a wise man! The picture in the center, shows peacock feathers, which Ghana used to tax visiting kingdoms in. On the right is a picture of the ancient Ghana warriors, who used to guard the trading routes from raiders.
Picture Sources: https://secure5.nexternal.com/paper/images/med_I-3816.jpg
http://anncecil.wetserver.net/images/7521106532014238.jpg
http://playahata.com/images/otherpics/kpq_tenkamenin.jpg

Silent Barter System
The silent barter system was a system started by Ghana, which did not involve any communication between the two trading kingdoms. Instead of meeting and arguing a price, gold would be left at a special place, and the traders would simply come and take it from that secret place. If the desired goods were not left in the same place, in return, then the trade would immediately be stopped. The trading kingdoms often could not speak the same language; therefore the “silent barter system”, was a very effective and useful way of trading. Most traders were afraid to leave too little in return of the gold Ghana provided them with, for they knew that if they did, Ghana would stop the trade. Afraid that the trade between Ghana and their kingdom would stop, many rulers would always leave a bit more than required, in return!
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The silent barter system required traders from other kingdoms, to cross the entire Sahara Desert and tackle many obstacles in order to come to Ghana and perform the trade.
Picture Sources: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/camel_sword.JPG
http://camelphotos.com/GraphicsP6/race_camel1.jpg
http://www.sarodibartolo.it/foto/dunes/n-d6-4.jpg


Hope you enjoyed your informational and educational tour! Be sure to visit our other pages on Ancient Ghana.........

-Ancient Ghana Place
-Ancient Ghana Location
-Ancient Ghana Environment
-Ancient Ghana Movement
-Ancient Ghana Regions
-Extra Information on Ancient Ghana
-Bibliography