The Hausa men of West Africa are proud and independent, yet their most famous ruler and greatest warrior was a woman, Queen Amina.
She is said to have created the only Hausa empire and to have led into battle a fierce army of horsemen. Indeed, so powerful is the memory of her exploits that songs of her deeds are still sung today.
By the end of the eighth century AD Arab explorers were aware of a great civilization to the south of the Sahara. This was ancient Ghana, situated in an area further west than present-day Ghana. The beginning of ancient Ghana's power roughly coincides with the spread of Islam in North Africa. From that time, over the next 1,500 years, the great states of the western Sudan rose, flourished and fell, each passing on to the next the mantle of power, each state centred a little further east--Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kanem Bornu, Sokoto. In the midst of t
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