Lesson 4: Trekking to Timbuktu: Mansa Musa Takes a Trip--Teacher Version

Mansa Musa, an ardent Muslim, was the first emperor of Mali to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. He certainly left a powerful impression among the people he encountered in Cairo, Mecca, and Medina, opening their eyes to the dignity of the Malian rulers as well as the great wealth of their empire. When he returned home, he brought with him a Muslim architect, al-Sahili, who introduced a new style of architecture to West Africa. The mosques built at this time would become centers of scholarship as well as worship.

Guiding Questions

How did Mansa Musa travel to Mecca?

What was he like? How was he received in Cairo?

What decisions did the ruler make about his own realm during and after his pilgrimage?

In what ways was Mali changed as a result of the pilgrimage?

Learning Objectives

Identify Mansa Musa and discuss his pilgrimage

Explain how he related to leaders in the East

Describe decisions he made about his homeland

Discuss changes brought about in Mali as a result of his pilgrimage