Here we live in circular huts, and our lives are centered around farming.
I live in a small community of 15 of my extended family members.
We also focus a lot on mining. We create lots of strong tools from iron smelting.
Our village is comprised of 150 people. That's an average size.
There are about 9 different families merged together in our village. We also have strong walls for protection
Towns and Cities
Luckily, our city is located on a river. Rivers provide safe trade routes and easy travel.
Also we have strong walls surrounding us for protection.
Also our village is successful because of our iron tools. These tools help make it easy to farm.
These were the first civilizations in West Africa. They were just a few extended relatives working together to farm. These early people traded for resources that they could not obtain in their area.
These West African villages came to be because multiple families banded together for help and protection. It was hard for 15 or 20 people to control a flood or mine for gold and iron, so those small communities formed villages of 100-200 people. Also, these villages were the first to start smelting iron into tools.
Villages that were located on rivers became major trading sites. It was these villages that evolved into cities. In these towns and cities, iron smelting became much more advanced. These people used their new iron tools to produce surpluses of crops. Since there was more than enough food, more people could work at different crafts than just farming. Hence certain cities had specializations.
These kingdoms were the biggest forms of civilization in West Africa. The ruler usually started as the leader of a city, then he raised an army and conquered his neighbors, expanding his city into a kingdom. Tribute also helped these rulers. Tribute was a payment that signifies that the captives except their new ruler, and that the ruler will protect them.
I am the leader of my great kingdom. It was not easy to get here. I had to collect heavy taxes to raise my army and with that army I conquered neighboring cities and became a wealthy ruler.
This kingdom has lots of tall walls for protection. We are located near the Niger River which allows us to perform lots of trade.