From 13th to 15th century



This «negro sovereign of the kingdom called Mali or Melly» may be seen as the famous Mansa Kankou («Kanga») Moussa. « He was the wealthiest ruler of his day » [Wikipedia]
His wealth is exhibited by the crown, the throne and nugget sphere all in solid gold ; on the left, the old Timbuktu. On the right, Mayma (Mema), capital of Manden.
© Catalan Atlas XIV° century, BNF (National French Library) - Gallica


Events, empires, sovereigns




dot Mansa Oule, sovereign of Mande ; he subjugates the Songhaï of Gao.


dot Ouati and Kalifa, transitory sovereigns of Mali ; short period of anarchy.


dot Beginning of the dynasty of Sonni (or « Chi ») initiated by Ali Kolen, noble hostage who escaped from captivity of Mali. The dynasty of Sonni had 14 kings.


Construction of the first mosque of Timbuktu.



dot Abu Bakari Keita I  (nephew of Sundjata), king of the Mande.





dot Sakoura (freedman from royal family) usurps the throne. Annexation of Diarra kingdom ; extension of the Mande empire in the West to the shores of Atlantic sea.


dot Gaou (« Ko » or « Qu »), grandson of Sundjata, sovereign of Mali.


dot 1280 : the state-city of Djenne is founded again by Koï Koumboro.


dot First mosque of Djenne.



dot Foundation of the kingdom of Bambouk by Moussa Soussoko called « Hijita » Moussa, supposed ancestor of the Soussoko (Sissokho), sovereign of the Khassonke kingdom.


dot Mansa Ko Mamadi (« Mamadou »), king of Mali.


dot Aboubakari Keita II, king of Mali. He attempts, two times, the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, in vain.




dot Mansa Kankou (« Kanga ») Moussa, pious Moslem sovereign of Mali. Famous pilgrimage to the Mecca (1324~1325) ; back in Cairo, he gives such an amount of gold (12 tons) that it occurs a breakdown of the rates of gold exchange.


dot Conquest of Gao by Sagamandian, General of Kankou Moussa : annexation of Songhaï in Mali.


dot Maximum extension and apogee of the empire of Mali.

dot Reconstruction of the mosque of Gao and that of Timbuktu by Andalusian architect, Es-Saheli.


dot Abu al Fida, Takuyn al Sûdan (Geography of the Countries of the Black People), 1321.


dot Mamûd Kâti, «Tarikh al  Fettach »


dot Maghan I, king of Mali.


dot Conquest and plundering of Timbuktu by the Mossi of Yatenga.

dot Catalan Atlas known as Atlas of Charles V (1339-1370) by Abraham Cresques


dot Al Ûmari, Pathways of the vision of the Realms (1342-1349).



dot Souleymane Keita (brother of Kankou Moussa), sovereign of Mali.


dot Souleymane's death (1359) : troubles and disorders on Mali's throne.


Ndiadiane N'Diaye, Fula marabout from Tekrour, coming from Futa, founds the Djolof kingdom. His descendants are the first Diop in Kayor area.

Ibn Battuta, lives at the court of Souleymane Keita (1352-1353) ; he visits Tombouctou, Gao and writes a relation of his journey :

Présent offert aux observateurs : choses curieuses et merveilles vues dans les pays et les voyages (1357)



Mari Diata II (grandson of Kankou Moussa), sovereign of Mali.



Reign of Moussa II, sovereign of Mali.

Ibn Khaldûn, Tunisian philosopher and historian : Prolegomena (1375), History of Berbers and Universal History



dot Reign of Maghan II (brother of Moussa II), sovereign of Mali.


dot Gao, Mema, Dienne free themselves from the trusteeship of Mali and claim independence.


dot Rise of the Songhaï empire (Sonraï).




dot Santigui (Sandaki), freedman from the royal family, «usurps» the throne.


dot Mamoudou Diawara seizes Diara; beginning of the Diawara 's dynasty in the kingdom of Kingui or kingdom of Diara.



near 1400


dot Maghan III (brother of Moussa II), sovereign of Mali.


dot Beginning of the decline of the empire of Mali; rising hegemony of the Songhaï empire : Sonni Ma Daou (« Magodo »), king of Gao assaults Mali and plunders its capital.


dot Mossi invade the East of the Mande Empire (lake Debo).


dot Rise of the Fula kingdom of Macina : arrival of Maghan Diallo (1400-1404) from Kaniaga.


dot El Hadj Salim Souare (Suware), called Diakha Laye or Mbemba Laye, gone from Macina (Mali) settles in Bambuck, on right bank of the Bafing river ; fondation of (Bambougou) Diakha, in the memory of his native village ; the descendants of that islamic community are the Diakhanke, proselyts of pacific Islam (Heera sila).


Composition of the song DiakhaDiakha is a song dedicated to the holy city of the same name founded in the fifteenth century by El Hadj Salim Souare (Suwaré) said Diakha Laye or Mbemba Laye.. Read more.



dot Reign of Hare Silamakan Diawara in Kingui ; apogee of that kingdom reaching its maximum extension.


dot Conquest of Arouane, Oualata and Timbuktu by the Touaregs (Targui).


Mecca de Villadestes, geographer from Majorca, Map of Africa



dot Conquest and plundering of Oualata by the Mossi people (coming from south).


dot Conquest of Gao by the Touaregs (Targui).


dot Moussa III, then Oule II, sovereigns of Mali (near 1450).


dot Sonni Souleymane Dama, king of Songhaï devastates Mema and makes an incursion into Djenne.


Alvisse Ca Da Mosto, Portuguese explorer, Relation de voyages à la côte occidentale de l'Afrique.



dot Sonni Ali Ber, son of Sonni Souleymane Dama, sovereign of Songhaï in Gao from 1464 to 1492. Many campaigns of Sonni Ali Ber :


- conquest of Timbuktu (1468) and Djenne (1479) ;


- campaigns of Sonni Ali Ber in old eastern provinces of Mali (Segou and lakes of Macina) and against Dogon people ;


- campaigns of Sonni Ali Ber against the Mossi in Kobi (pulled back in the north of Yatenga), and the Fulas of Gourma (1480-1490).


dot Fula people « Denianke » coming from Futa Djallon area invading Mali ; Mansa Mamadou II (1481-1496), sovereign of Mali, requests Portuguese's help.


dot Sonni Ali Ber dies during one of his last campaigns (in mysterious circumstances, sunk ?).




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