Tunka Manin: The Last Ruler of Ancient Ghana Empire


Tunka Manin or Tunkamenin was a ruler in the Ancient Ghana Empire. He ruled for 14 years(1062-1076 AD). He was born around 1010 AD. Following the matrilineal system, the empire was passed on unto him after his uncle, King Bassi died.

It is believed that the Soninke dynasty established Ancient Ghana Empire in the years AD300-400. During the 10th century, the Soninke dynasty extended its territories in all directions. North to Berber town in Awadaghost, south to the Bambouk region, east to the Niger and west to the river Senegal. During the 11th century, the Soninke dynasty had covered the region between modern day Senegal, Mali and Mauritania.

Manin was well-known for thriving economically as he indulged in trading commodities like salt and others within the empire. He used magic and some form of divinity to encourage his people to protect him. He was a very wealthy man and wore cloths made of cotton and silk and also decorated himself with gold and ivory.

As time went on, the neighbors of the Soninke empire became jealous of them due to their abundant wealth. Later on, the Soninke empire was attacked by the Almoravids, an Islamic movement. Another attack led by Sundiata Keita was recorded in the year 1240.

Tunka Manin successfully defeated the Almoravids and even extended the territories of Ancient Ghana Empire farther.

Al Bakri, being part of the Almoravids realized that Manin has an army of 200,000 warriors and made plans to attack. In 1076, the Almoravids successfully attacked Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana Empire and took over. Kumbi Saleh was established by Kaya Maahan in AD770.

In the year 1240, the Ancient Ghana Empire disintegrated and a new empire, the Mali Empire, rose to power. At this time, Tunka Manin had died, but it is believed that the disintegration began during his reign.


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