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  • Lesotho - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    gallery Info Capital Maseru Population 1 942 008 July 2014 est Climate Temperate Currency 1 USD 9 575 Maloti LSL 2013 est Important Cities Maseru Thaba Bosiu Roma Morija Teyateyaneng Matsieng royal palace Area 30 355 sq km People Nationality Mosotho singular Basotho plural Major Peoples South Sotho Religion Christianity 80 African religion 20 Literacy 89 6 Principal Language Sesotho Official Language Sesotho English Politics Head Of State King Letsie

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/26 (2016-02-13)
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  • Liberia - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    monopolized coastal trade until the Dutch and British established trading posts in the 17th century The area became known as the Pepper Coast or Grain Coast due to the abundance of Malagueta peppers Grains of Paradise The colony of Liberia was founded upon the arrival of free African Americans and freed slaves from the United States in 1820 This settlement Monrovia was negotiated between local chiefdoms and U S President James Monroe on behalf of the American Colonization Society a coalition of abolitionists and slaveholders who advocated relocating freed slaves to Africa Additional colonists from American slave states arrived and their settlements were merged into the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1838 Liberia became Africa s first independent republic in 1847 with a constitution modelled after that of the United States Postcolonial History Britain and France soon recognized Liberia s sovereignty but also began encroaching on its territory U S President Abraham Lincoln officially recognized the new republic in 1862 Former governor Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia s first president in 1847 Americo Liberian settlers founded the True Whig Party in 1878 This elite minority dominated politics and suppressed the indigenous peoples for over a century In 1980 President William R Tolbert was assassinated in a military coup d état led by Master Sargeant Samuel K Doe who suspended the constitution and imposed martial law Doe s preference for promoting members of his own Krahn ethnic group caused increasing unrest in Liberia He lifted the ban on political parties in 1985 and took office as president after a fraudulent election In 1989 Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia NPFL began an uprising against the government initiating decades of bloody civil war during which Doe was assassinated Taylor was elected president in 1997 Charged with war crimes however

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/14 (2016-02-13)
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  • Mali - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    historians known as griots or djali The empire reached its height circa 1325 when King Musa I also known as Mansa Musa conquered the cities of Timbuktu and Gao Mali territory extended to the Atlantic Ocean but the empire declined and the Songhai rose to prominence in the 15th century The Songhai Empire fell to Moroccan invaders in 1591 and was dismantled into smaller kingdoms with Timbuktu as an Islamic center of commerce and scholarship French colonial expansion reached the area in the 1880s and the country s present borders were established in 1890 France completed its military conquest of the colony upon the capture of Malinké resistance leader Samory Touré in 1898 French Sudan was governed as part of French West Africa and merged with Sénégal to form the Mali Federation in 1959 Sénégal withdrew a year later and the Republic of Mali declared independence from France in September 1960 Postcolonial History Modibo Keïta of the socialist Union Soudanaise Rassemblement Démocratique Africain US RDA became Mali s first president He was overthrown in a bloodless military coup in 1968 and Lieutenant Moussa Traoré ruled Mali as president of a single party state under the Comité Militaire de Libération Nationale CMLN A new party the Union Démocratique du Peuple Malien UDPM was founded in 1976 Traoré was re elected in 1979 but faced several coup attempts and anti government protests in 1980 He remained in power until deposed by a democratic transitional committee led by Amadou Toumani Touré in 1991 Alpha Oumar Konaré of the Alliance pour la Démocratie en Mali ADEMA became Mali s first democratically elected president in 1992 He was re elected until 2002 and was succeeded in office by Amadou Toumani Touré Touré was deposed in 2012 by Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo who seized power for

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/15 (2016-02-13)
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  • Niger - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Independence August 3 1960 Major Exports Uranium Livestock Products Cowpeas Onions Precolonial History Once less arid than it is today the Sahara region of northern Niger was inhabited by humans about 600 000 years ago The area became a crossroads for north African trade caravans and Muslim missionaries Various empires and ethnic groups claimed territories and founded states particularly the Hausa peoples who are the largest ethnic group in West Africa today The Fulani of Sokoto established a Muslim empire and encroached upon Hausa territory in the late 18th century taking control of the region European explorers namely Mungo Park of Scotland and Heinrich Barth of Germany began arriving in the early 1800s seeking the source of the Niger River French military explorers reached Niger in the 1890s France gradually began conquering the area and suppressing revolts by indigenous groups although the nomadic Tuareg peoples staged a fierce resistance Niger became a colony in French West Africa in 1922 and was granted the status of an overseas territory in 1946 Postcolonial History France agreed to Niger s full independence in 1960 Hamani Diori became the first president of the new republic under a single party the Parti Progressiste Nigérien PPN Accusations of corruption culminated in a 1974 military coup in which Diori was arrested and Lieutenant Colonel Seyni Kountché came to power He served as military head of state until his death in 1987 and was succeeded by Brigadier General Ali Saibou Saibou acquiesced to demands for a democratic system with multiple political parties in 1990 Mahamane Ousamane of the Convention Démocratique et Sociale CDS was elected Niger s first Hausa president in 1993 After a series of coups d état Mamadou Tandja of the Mouvement National de la Societé de Développement MNSD became president in a democratic election in

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/16 (2016-02-13)
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  • Nigeria - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    kingdoms and empires Human habitation of the area dates back to 11 000 BCE and the oldest archaeological evidence of metalworking was found at Taruga The Nok culture known for their terracotta sculptures inhabited this site during the first millennium BCE From the 11th century onwards Hausa kingdoms and the Bornu Empire prospered in the north by trading slaves ivory and other commodities Yoruba peoples dominated southwestern Nigeria by the 14th century and founded the Oyo Empire which achieved a high level of political and cultural development Edo peoples established the Benin Empire on the Nigerian coast during the mid 15th century Portuguese explorers landed at Lagos in 1472 Portugal Spain Britain and France built ports and engaged in the slave trade with Nigeria from the 16th to 18th centuries In 1809 Fulani crusaders led by Usman dan Fodio conquered the northern Hausa states and founded a single Islamic state the Sokoto caliphate The Oyo Empire collapsed after a Fulani invasion in 1835 36 The Sokoto caliphate in turn fell to British military forces in 1903 and Britain officially proclaimed the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914 Postcolonial History Nationalist efforts intensified after World War II Britain ceded control and Nigeria declared independence in 1960 The new government s multi party system was sharply divided between Muslims Christians and the country s dominant ethnic groups of Yoruba Hausa and Igbo peoples Initially a constitutional monarchy Nigeria remained a member of the British Commonwealth and adopted a constitution in 1963 Governor General Nnamdi Azikiwe of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons NCNC became Nigeria s first president He was overthrown in a coup d état in 1966 followed by war with the eastern secessionist state of Biafra Despite a brief return to democracy from 1979 to 1983 military

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/17 (2016-02-13)
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  • Senegal - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    5 African religion 1 Literacy 39 3 Principal Language Wolof Pulaar Jola Mandinka Official Language French Politics Head Of State Macky Sall 2012 Type of Government Republic Date of Independence August 20 1960 Major Exports Fish Peanuts Petroleum Products Phosphates Cotton Precolonial History Sénégal was once part of the Ghana Empire founded by the Soninke peoples during the early first millennium CE Fulani peoples established the Tekrur kingdom in the Sénégal valley by the 9th century The Mali Empire extended across Sénégal in the 14th century and the Jolof Empire controlled parts of the area from the mid 14th until the late 19th centuries Portuguese navigator Dinis Dias explored the Sénégal River and the Cape Verde peninsula in 1444 initiating trade with Europe The Dutch French and British also engaged in the slave trade with Sénégal from the late 16th century onward fighting for coastal influence until France incorporated Sénégal into French West Africa in 1895 In 1959 Sénégal briefly merged with French Sudan to form the Mali Federation and proclaimed independence from France a year later Postcolonial History Léopold Sédar Senghor of the Parti Socialiste du Sénégal PS served as the country s first president from 1960 until his retirement in 1980 His successor Abdou Diouf attempted to increase Sénégal s involvement in the international community However separatist violence in the Casamance region escalated throughout the 1990s and between 10 000 and 40 000 people had been displaced by the conflict as of 2012 Diouf was re elected in 1988 and 1993 during which time his opponent Abdoulaye Wade was imprisoned Wade became head of state in 2000 after a year of self exile With overwhelming support he effectively condensed a number of governmental term limits during his early years in office but his support visibly began to wane

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/18 (2016-02-13)
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  • Sierra Leone - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    in Sierra Leone today In 1462 Portuguese navigator Pedro de Cintra explored the coast and named the country Serra de Leão or lion mountains Sierra Leone began trading with Europe with slaves becoming the main export Portuguese dominance diminished in the region by the 1650s The Dutch French and English also engaged in the slave trade competing for forts and territory until the late 18th century In 1787 British philanthropists founded a coastal settlement the Province of Freedom as an experimental colony for freed slaves Initially disastrous the colony was re established and named Freetown Over one thousand former slaves arrived from North America in 1791 Freetown was declared a British colony in 1808 and became a naval operations base against slave trading ships Up to 50 000 freed slaves were brought to Freetown by the mid 19th century Britain declared the territory a protectorate in 1896 albeit without consulting local rulers Temne and Mende groups began leading unsuccessful uprisings against the British and the Creoles descendants of the former slaves who settled Freetown In the early 1950s Sir Milton Margai of the Sierra Leone People s Party SLPP administered a new constitution that included an agenda for decolonization Postcolonial History Sierra Leone was granted its independence within the British Commonwealth in 1961 Sir Milton became the first prime minister bringing political stability to the new parliamentary government He was succeeded by his half brother Sir Albert Margai upon his death in 1964 Siaka Stevens of the All People s Congress APC was elected prime minister in 1967 and became Sierra Leone s first president when the country was declared a republic in 1971 Stevens abolished all other political parties and remained in power until his retirement in 1985 He was succeeded by his military commander Major General Joseph Saidu

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/19 (2016-02-13)
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  • South Africa - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Zuma since 2009 Type of Government Republic Date of Independence April 27 1994 Major Exports Gold Diamonds Metals Minerals Machinery and Equipment Precolonial History Ancestors of Khoisan speaking peoples including San and Khoikhoi ethnic groups inhabited South Africa in the Paleolithic era Bantu speaking peoples migrated to the Transvaal region during the first millennium BCE and Nguni speaking peoples including Xhosa and Zulu groups later settled along the Limpopo river near the coast An extensive trading network developed between South African kingdoms and Muslim merchants exchanging gold and ivory for products from as far away as China In 1488 Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to sail around the southernmost point of Africa and named it Cabo da Boa Esperança the Cape of Good Hope Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama led an expedition to the region in 1497 Dutch and English traders arrived in the late 16th century The Dutch East India Company established Cape Colony in 1652 but ceded it to Britain in 1806 The Dutch also were joined by French Huguenot and German colonists whose descendants collectively form today s Afrikaner population The Zulu Kingdom rose to prominence during the early 19th century under its leader Shaka who conquered and consolidated territories between the Drakensburg Mountains and the coast until his assassination in 1828 In the 1830s Afrikaner farmers known as Boers became dissatisfied with British rule and the abolition of slavery The farmers migrated north on the so called Great Trek to establish the Orange Free State and the Transvaal These Boer republics became self governing British colonies after a series of wars and rebellions and Britain relinquished its authority in South Africa in 1931 Postcolonial History Founded by Afrikaner nationalists the National Party NP came to power in 1948 The NP enforced apartheid a

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/countries/show/20 (2016-02-13)
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