Keita Dynasty

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The Keita Dynasty ruled pre-Imperial and Imperial Mali from the 12th century into the early 17th century. It was a Muslim Dynasty[dubious ], and its rulers claimed descent from Bilal.[citation needed] Bilal was a freed slave who accepted Islam and became one of the Sahabas of the Prophet Muhammad. Bilal bears the distinction of being the first muezzin in Islam. According to Mandinka traditionalist accounts passed down by djelis (oral chroniclers), Bilal had seven sons, one of whom settled in Manden. This son, Lawalo, had a son named Latal Kalabi, who later sired Damul Kalabi. Damul Kalabi's son was Lahilatoul and the first faama of Niani. It is through Lahilatoul that the Keita clan becomes a ruling dynasty, though only over the small area around Niani. There would be nine Faamas of Niani prior to the founding of the Great Mali Empire. Its first mansa would be the famous Sundiata Keita. A couple of generations after him his great-nephew, Mansa Musa I of Mali, made a celebrated pilgrimage to Mecca which established his reputation as the richest man of his day. The dynasty he belonged to remained a major power in West Africa from 1235 until the breakup of the Mali Empire around 1610. Rivals from within the clan founded smaller kingdoms within contemporary Mali and Guinea. Of the members of these modern "daughter dynasties", the late politician Modibo Keita and the musician Salif Keita are arguably the most famous.

List of Royal Faamas of Niani[edit]

Niani conquered by the Susu under King Soumaoro Kante

List of Imperial Mansas at Niani[edit]

Empire collapses after death of Mahmud IV

List of Post-Imperial Mansas of Kangaba[edit]

  • Unknown number of Mansas (c. 1610 - c. 1660)
  • Mama Maghan (c.1660 - c. 1670)

Capital moved from Niani to Kangaba after botched attack on Segu

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Stewart, John (1989). African States and Rulers: An Encyclopedia of Native, Colonial, and Independent States and Rulers Past and Present. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. p. 395 Pages. ISBN 0-89950-390-X.