Map of the Mali Empire at its Height

Episode 1.4 – Peering Through the Fog

Keita Dynasty Genealogy
Genealogy of the Keita Dynasty

What did Mali look like after Sunjata’s defeat of Soso? 

The newly founded empire was much like Old Manden – decentralized and highly factional. But by the reign of Mansa Musa, just 70 years later, the Mansaya, or kingship, had undergone a fundamental transformation. How did this happen?

That’s our goal to find out today. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the least-sourced period of Mali’s already poorly sourced history. We’ll talk a bit about why that is (and I promise, we won’t dwell on historiography too much in our next few episodes!) and figure out what we actually know about Mali.

Also, one Mansa’s attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean. So that happens.