Key Points. The Kanem Empire (c. –) at its height encompassed an area covering much of Chad, parts of southern Libya (Fezzan) and eastern Niger. The Kanem-Bornu Empire was a large African state which existed from the 9th century through the end of the 19th century and which spanned a region which. The Kanem–Bornu Empire was an African trading empire ruled by the Saf dynasty from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries. It encompassed, at.

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The two states were merged, but political authority still rested in Bornu. Government revenue came from tribute or bootyif the recalcitrant people had to be conqueredsales of slaves, and duties on and participation in trans-Saharan trade. Kanem-Bornu under Aluma was strong and wealthy.

To learn more about the Kanem-Bornu empire, check out: Despite changes in dynastic power, the magumi and the title of mai would persevere for over a thousand years.

By the end of the 17th century, the empire started declining, and by the 18th century, it only extended westward into the land of the Hausa. The Kanembu group adopted knem of the Sao culture and customs but still dominated the Sao under the leadership of the Duguwa Dynasty.

emprie Back in those days, Lake Chad covered an area of about 10, m2 … today it has sadly shrunk down to 1, m2and is still shrinking! Saifwa rulers known as mai s claimed they were descended from a heroic Arabic figure, and the dynasty greatly expanded the influence of Islammaking it the religion of the court.

The early history of the Empire is mainly known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in by the German traveller Heinrich Kaanem. K Siboro Bokhit on November 16, at 5: He is credited with having the roads cleared, designing better boats for Lake Chad, introducing standard units of measure for grain, and moving farmers into new lands.

The empire had a policy of imperial expansion and traded for firearms and horses, wielding huge numbers of cavalry. By the thirteenth century, Kanem’s rule expanded, and was coupled with marked population growth in Njimi.


Kanem-Bornu was probably founded around the mid-9th century, and its first capital was at Njimi, northeast of Lake Chad.

A Heritage of ….

Dabbalemi was able to suppress this tendency, but after his death, dissension among his sons weakened the Sayfawa Dynasty. The empire’s leaders, however, remained at Ngazargamu because its lands were more productive agriculturally and better suited to the raising of cattle. When coupled with regional particularism, and attacks by the militant Ouaddai Empire to the east, the empire was set on the road to destruction.

Emire the leadership of the Duguwa dynastythe Kanembu would eventually dominate the Sao, but not before adopting many of their customs. The prosperity gained through the control of these trade routes provided the basis for the growth and strength of this thousand—year empire. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr.

The Kanem-Bornu Empire

A vital crossroads between the north-south trade routes and east-west trade routes to Nubiaa political state naturally formed. But many people resisted the new religion favouring traditional beliefs and practices. Following his expulsion shortly thereafter, the state was absorbed by the British ruled entity which eventually became known as Nigeria. This pattern of conflict and compromise with Islam occurs repeatedly in Chadian history.

Kanem–Bornu Empire

The Lake Chad area, around which the kingdom was centralized, was by virtue of its central location, a natural connecting point in the vast network of Saharan and Sudanic trade routes. The administrative reforms and military brilliance of Aluma sustained the empire until the midth century, when its power began to fade.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Bornu began a further decline as a result of administrative disorganization, regional particularism, and attacks by the militant Ouaddai Empire to the east.

You are commenting using your WordPress. Some of them are noted for having undertaken the pilgrimage to Mecca others for their piety.

Kanem–Bornu Empire – Wikipedia

Dynastic feuds degenerated kahem civil war, and Kanem’s outlying peoples soon ceased paying tribute. The might of Bornu was based on the control of a number of salt-producing sites and of long-distance trade, notably along the string of oases between Lake Chad and the Fezzan via Kawar.


One theory proposes that the lost state of Agisymba mentioned by Ptolemy in the middle of the 2nd century AD was the antecedent of the Kanem Empire. He built a fortified capital at Ngazargamuto emoire west of Lake Chad in present-day Nigeriathe first permanent home a Sayfawa mai had enjoyed in a century.

The Kanem Empire is often referred to as the longest empire to rule in African history.

Herders and farmers alike recognized the government’s power and acknowledged their allegiance by paying tribute. The decline continued under Umar’s sons. In addition, he improved the ease and security of transit through the empire with the goal of making it so safe that “a lone woman clad in gold might walk with none to fear but God. The Sayfawa Dynasty faced empiree of internal conflicts and invasions from various groups such as the Bulala. Between Vornu Chad and Fezzan lay a sequence of well-spaced wells and oasesand from Fezzan bornk were easy connections to North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.

The area they were forced to was already occupied by the Sao culture and had an independent walled city. He began a bronu tradition of Muslim Sefawa kings that would continue for years. Kanem’s expansion peaked during the long and energetic reign of Mai Dunama Dabbalemi ca.

This proliferation of mais resulted in numerous claimants to the throne and led to a series of internecine wars.

As a result of their strategic location between northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, the Kanem Empire benefitted from trade. Muhammad al-Kanem was a Muslim scholar and non-Sayfawa warlord who had put together an alliance of Shuwa Arabs, Kanembu, and other seminomadic peoples.