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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Empire of Kanem-Bornu (c. 9th century) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed

He sponsored the construction of numerous mosques and made a pilgrimage to Meccawhere he arranged for the establishment of a hostel to be used by pilgrims from his empire. Discover some of the most interesting and trending topics of Alooma is known for his excellent military skills and administrative reforms.

Due to the link to Sef it became customary to call the second ruling dynasty Sayfawa instead of Sefuwa. The Kanem—Bornu Empire was an African trading empire ruled by the Saf dynasty from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries. It is misleading to believe that the Wax […].

This transition marked the beginning of the Duguwa Dynasty. So successful was the Sayfawa rejuvenation that by the early 16th century Mai Idris Katakarmabe — was able to defeat the Bulala and retake Njimithe former capital. In the late 14th century the Bulala enpire forced the Sef to abandon Kanem, and the capital was moved to Birni Ngazargamu in Bornuwest of Lake Chad.

Kanem-Bornu | historical empire, Africa |

The empire included a confederation of nomadic peoples who spoke languages of the Teda—Daza Toubou group. The Sayfawa Dynasty ended but the Kanem-Borno Empire continued but faced a continuing decline in power.

Kanem was located at the southern end of the empide trade route between Tripoli and the region of Lake Chad. To learn more about the Kanem-Bornu empire, check out: Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article.


The capital of N’jimi the word for “south” in the Teda language grew in power and influence under Sef’s son, Dugu. This page was last edited on 27 Octoberat Still, it was central to one of the most convenient trans-Saharan routes.

The Bornu Empire was a continuation of the Kanem Empire. His successors ended the Saifwa dynasty and the Kanem-Bornu Empire when they killed the last mai in Bornu Empire extent c. Back in those days, Lake Chad empirre an area of about 10, m2 … today it has sadly shrunk down to 1, m2and is still shrinking! Imports included salthorsessilksglass, muskets, and copper.

Between Lake Chad and Fezzan lay a sequence of well-spaced wells and oasesand from Fezzan there were easy connections to North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. North African traders, Berbers and Arabsbrought the new religion.

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We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. By the late 18th century, Bornu rule extended only westward, into the land of the Hausa of modern Nigeria.

Kanem-Bornu Kingdom

History of “Kanem-Bornu Kingdom” Note: The Kanembu group adopted many of the Sao culture and customs but still dominated the Sao under the leadership of the Duguwa Dynasty. It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. Top Posts of the Day. The article has a map page 6 of the ancient Central Sahara and proposes to identify Agisymba of CE with the early Kanem borju.


The major factor that influenced the history of the state of Kanem was the early penetration of Islam. Most of the successors of Idris Alooma are only known from the meagre information provided by the Diwan. Then, around Mai Ali Dunamami defeated his rivals and began the consolidation of Bornu. Uses authors parameter Pages using infobox country with unknown parameters Pages using infobox country or infobox former country with the flag caption or type parameters Former country articles categorised by government type Articles needing additional references from April All articles needing additional references Use dmy dates from March Learn More in these related Britannica articles: When coupled with regional particularism, and attacks by the militant Ouaddai Empire to the east, the empire was set on the road to destruction.


His military innovations included the use of walled fortifications and military camps, permanent seige warfare, scorched earth tactics, and the effective use of calvary. Kanem was a Muslim scholar and non-Sayfawa warlord who had put together an alliance of Shuwa ArabsKanembuand other semi nomadic peoples. By the end of the fourteenth century, internal struggles and external attacks had torn Kanem apart.

Aluma introduced a number of legal and administrative reforms based on his religious beliefs and Islamic law shari’a. So successful was the Sayfawa rejuvenation that by the early sixteenth century Mai Ali Gaji — was able to defeat the Bulala and retake Njimi, the former capital.

In the late s, Fulani people were able to make major inroads into Bornu by invading from the west. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr. Imports included salt, horses, silks, glass, muskets, and copper. Portraying these boundaries on maps can be misleading, however, because the degree of control extended in ever-weakening gradations from the core of the empire around Njimi to remote peripheries, from which allegiance and tribute were usually only symbolic.

Usman dan Fodio led the Fulani thrust and proclaimed a jihad holy war on the irreligious Muslims of the area. Even though the Kanembu became the main power-base of the Sayfuwa, Kanem’s rulers continued to travel frequently throughout the kingdom and especially towards Bornu, west of Lake Chad. Dabbalemi initiated diplomatic exchanges with sultans in North Africa and apparently arranged for the establishment of a special hostel in Cairo to facilitate pilgrimages to Mecca.

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