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  • The earliest West African Communities were small and made up of extended family members. These consisted of grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, and children, and usually housed around 15-20 people. They obtained almost everything they needed by themselves, but occasionally traded with other communities if necessary.
  • Hello there! I have a surplus of crops and am willing to trade them for some salt!
  • Our community did not have a good harvest this year. But we do have salt from the desert! I will definitely be willing to trade with your community! 
  • The early family-based communities of West Africa eventually evolved into small villages because they needed help for a task or protection. These villages housed 100-200 people.
  • Papa, why did we join with the Ookabookalookawashahakatakawaka community?
  • Well, Son, it was because of many reasons. First and most importantly, the Niger River was flooding our community, so we needed help to control it.
  • Also, we discovered a mine with lots of gold in it, and we couldn't mine it all by ourselves.
  • The villages of West Africa evolved into towns and cities for two main reasons. Those reasons were were the growth of ironworking and the expansion of trade.
  • Wow, Papa! These new iron tools are great! Where did we get them?
  • We got them from a people called the Nok. They are masters of ironworking and provided us with these great tools!
  • What are we going to do with all of these crops?
  • Now that we have more time on our hands, what should we do?
  • And then I can trade my goods along rivers and at trading sites!
  • You can learn a new craft, like pottery, weaving, or metalworking.
  • I think we should sell our extra crops at the market.
  • After the success of towns and cities, they taxed all goods going in or out of the city. With this new wealth, they could afford to wondrous new things. 
  • King Shploofbloofploofwoof! We just collected 100 pounds of gold!
  • Yes, Sir!
  • Good. Send it to the military. Ghana will be so powerful that it will control all of West Africa!
  • With their large armies, these cities could now take over surrounding villages. These villages paid tribute, which is a sum of money but more importantly meant they accepted the king's authority.
  • Ok! We surrender!
  • Pay tribute and accept the rule of Ghana or die!
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