Meet Mansa Musa, The Richest Person In History

By | November 4, 2019

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A map showing Mansa Musa of the Empire of Mali. Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

In the 14th century, there arose a king in Mali whose wealth was so legendary, that tales of his fabulous kingdom have passed down through the ages.

The King’s name was Mansa Musa, the richest person in history.

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Terracotta Equestrian figure from Mali; 13th-15th century; National Museum of African Art (Washington D.C., USA). Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

The Mali Empire

The Mali Empire of West Africa was founded by Sundiata Keita who had conquered the Empire of Ghana in 1240. He took the ruling title of Mansa, which essentially means emperor, ruler, or sultan. The Mali Empire grew to be extremely wealthy due to its possession of trade routes from sub-Saharan Africa into the north but especially for its control of salt and gold. Gold was key since the empire controlled large mines. The empire largely converted to Islam due to its contact with Muslim traders.