The North Africans are the only people that can make salt so they have too much so they trade it.
The West Africans need salt to survive. Without it, they would not have fresh meats and they would not even be able to live because everyone needs salt to survive.
Because the North Africans need gold they have to put down more salt to not make the West Africans mad and to keep their trade trust going.
Then the North Africans walked over to where the gold was left and put an overly generous amount of salt down to keep the West Africans happy and keep the trade going. Then they banged the drum.
The middle man knows both languages so he is able to stop conflict.
If the West Africans didn’t like the amount of salt they walk away and bang the drum again.
The middle man tells the North African about the next time they will trade and when.
The North comes back and puts down more salt, bangs the drum and leaves.
Silent trade lasted 400-800 ce.
The reason why it lasted only 400 years is because of the invention of ships
All in all, everyone was happy and got what they needed.
The West Africans come and pick up the salt and bang the drum and tell the middle man the next time to meet.
The North Africans come and see the West is happy then they prepare for their journey back. Before they leave Taghaza they must pay a tax.
Silent bartering had many advantages. For example, there was no need for a common language which meant there shouldn’t be any confusion. Another advantage is that both sides are getting what they need.