An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

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Zoythrus
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:19 pm

An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

Post by Zoythrus » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:24 am

Before I start, I'd like to dedicate this thread to my favorite Japanese-making Millenaire dev, Rasseru.
Also, the forum doesn't want to show images properly, so you'll have to click the links as you read through this.

So, let's talk about why the Ghana Empire (also known as Wagadou or Awkar) needs representation in Millenaire. Honestly, it's for a multitude of reasons, but let's start with a discussion about them from a thematic standpoint.

Location
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... re_map.png
The Ghana Empire resided in what is referred to as West Africa, and was the largest empire in the area at that time. Geographically, it sat inside what the UN considers "Sub-Saharan Africa," differentiating it from "North Africa" (which includes Egypt, for example). They were also well known for the plentiful gold fields that were in the area, which resulted in their great wealth.

Culture
Like most West African cultures, the common folk were often farmers or herdsmen, but many were also merchants, bureaucrats, and artisans. The area, as mentioned prior, was rich in gold, granting them vast trade potential with surrounding peoples all throughout Africa. The many merchants that passed through from the north brought along with them the teachings of Islam, to which the Ghana Empire had fully converted by the 11th Century.

Military
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mali ... avalry.jpg
While specific information is scarce, I can tell that African militaries at the time were often equipped with long spears, thin swords, bows, and handheld, hide shields. The horse was also used, so they did have cavalry. Interestingly enough, heavy armor was often eschewed in favor of simple cloth coverings, probably due to the heat of the area and focus on mobile tactics.

Architecture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lara ... _Ghana.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudano-Sa ... 3%A9_1.jpg
As you can see, the Ghana people used a combination of wood supports and mudbricks, leaving a very unique style for their larger structures.
http://www.mmmarcel.org/theeye/wp-conte ... 868311.jpg
While I can't find any of the common dwellings from the area, seeing as the various peoples nearby had very similar cultures and architectural styles, I would imagine that they'd look something like this.

Now, let's talk about what Ghana could potentially add to Millenaire from a mechanical perspective:

Location
The community has been asking for both a Sub-Saharan African culture and a Middle Eastern culture for quite some time, and for good reason, we have yet to have those areas of the world represented in any way. The Ghana Empire was perhaps the most important political entity in Sub-Saharan Africa at the time, and they were heavily influenced by both the other Sub-Saharan people as well as the Muslim nations to their north, making them a blend of the two cultures. Two birds with one stone. :)
I would see Ghana as sharing deserts with the Hindi, giving us something else to find out in those wastelands.

Culture
While giving us a Muslim, Sub-Saharan African civilization is cool, Ghana gives us a lot of things to work with.
Firstly, they were an economic powerhouse in the area, and their wealth was derived directly from their large stores of gold. This dependence upon gold would give us another culture who would use it, instead of simply the Maya.
Their cuisine was dependent upon beef, chicken, and many vegatables and grains. We could give them Black-Eyed Peas, Millet, or Okra as a unique crop, and they have a plethora of dishes using all three of those.
Since they were Muslim, we could throw in some uniqueness in that they wouldn't use any pork or alcoholic products. It would make trade interesting, but they do have their own alternatives and would be happy with all other trade goods.
If we were to add Ghana, I would somehow figure out a way to make them very trade oriented, probably though giving them upgraded Markets and Inns. Their specific "trade good" would be a form of gold jewellery, probably bracelets or a necklace (or both).
Lastly, I'd make them one of the cultures who can breed the horse, and if we could borrow them from another mod, camels would also be accessible.

Military
In addition to the obvious inclusions of spears and thin swords, I would want to give them the hide shield. An easily crafted, lightweight shield would be a great counterpoint to the heavy shields we'll probably give the Byzantines and Normans. Giving them a bow would also be quite interesting, but that's up for debate. Now, the most interesting distinction from other cultures would be the lack of a proper set of armor, but if we did give them something, I'd let them make some impressive and very ornate gold armor.

Architecture
Ghana, along with the Hindi, would also use mudbricks, but in a very different way. While the Hindi might have more angular architecture, the Ghana have a more rounded style. As shown by the above pictures, the towers often end in rounded points, and the common structures are circular with thatch roofing. Having another culture that uses mudbricks is also just good form from a design standpoint, as it gives them some trade connection (and prevents the Hindi from being alone in that regard, limiting trade options). Lastly, as you can see, the internal wooden supports poke out of the surface of the structures, presenting a very unique aesthetic.

With that concludes my argument for the inclusion of the Ghana Empire into Millenaire proper. They give us a lot of cultural uniqueness to work with, through both their religion and cuisine, but are also able to nicely overlap a little with the Maya, Normans, and Hindi, with gold, horses, and mudbricks, respectively.

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felinoel
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Re: An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

Post by felinoel » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:37 pm

Zoythrus wrote:An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire
I still am for the addition of Ghana.
Location
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... re_map.png
The Ghana Empire resided in what is referred to as West Africa, and was the largest empire in the area at that time. Geographically, it sat inside what the UN considers "Sub-Saharan Africa," differentiating it from "North Africa" (which includes Egypt, for example). They were also well known for the plentiful gold fields that were in the area, which resulted in their great wealth.
I mentioned this before but we need a map of the world with where cultures are from highlighted so we can see where we might be missing... I will make one.
Culture
Like most West African cultures, the common folk were often farmers or herdsmen, but many were also merchants, bureaucrats, and artisans. The area, as mentioned prior, was rich in gold, granting them vast trade potential with surrounding peoples all throughout Africa. The many merchants that passed through from the north brought along with them the teachings of Islam, to which the Ghana Empire had fully converted by the 11th Century.
Another culture that uses gold... that WAS something that made the Maya unique but with the addition of new cultures it is a good idea to have maybe at most one more culture that uses gold. My Inuits don't use iron OR gold and only have one building that even uses stone so I feel it is good to go against the norm from time to time.
Military
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mali ... avalry.jpg
While specific information is scarce, I can tell that African militaries at the time were often equipped with long spears, thin swords, bows, and handheld, hide shields. The horse was also used, so they did have cavalry. Interestingly enough, heavy armor was often eschewed in favor of simple cloth coverings, probably due to the heat of the area and focus on mobile tactics.
Another spear culture like my Inuits could be fun to see.
Architecture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lara ... _Ghana.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudano-Sa ... 3%A9_1.jpg
As you can see, the Ghana people used a combination of wood supports and mudbricks, leaving a very unique style for their larger structures.
http://www.mmmarcel.org/theeye/wp-conte ... 868311.jpg
While I can't find any of the common dwellings from the area, seeing as the various peoples nearby had very similar cultures and architectural styles, I would imagine that they'd look something like this.
That IS some very unique architecture, I think the triangular prism houses should be rarer in game (maybe one to three buildings per village) and the thatched roof houses should be the norm imo
Location
The community has been asking for both a Sub-Saharan African culture and a Middle Eastern culture for quite some time, and for good reason, we have yet to have those areas of the world represented in any way. The Ghana Empire was perhaps the most important political entity in Sub-Saharan Africa at the time, and they were heavily influenced by both the other Sub-Saharan people as well as the Muslim nations to their north, making them a blend of the two cultures. Two birds with one stone. :)
I would see Ghana as sharing deserts with the Hindi, giving us something else to find out in those wastelands.
Yeah nothing but Hindi spawning in those empty deserts are annoying, deserts are so plain and so villages spawn three maybe four at a time in one small area of nothing but Hindi and that can be confusing to players who don't recognize that it is different villages.
Culture
While giving us a Muslim, Sub-Saharan African civilization is cool, Ghana gives us a lot of things to work with.
Firstly, they were an economic powerhouse in the area, and their wealth was derived directly from their large stores of gold. This dependence upon gold would give us another culture who would use it, instead of simply the Maya.
Ha, you and I think alike apparently.
Their cuisine was dependent upon beef, chicken, and many vegatables and grains. We could give them Black-Eyed Peas, Millet, or Okra as a unique crop, and they have a plethora of dishes using all three of those.
Since they were Muslim, we could throw in some uniqueness in that they wouldn't use any pork or alcoholic products. It would make trade interesting, but they do have their own alternatives and would be happy with all other trade goods.
DID they not drink alcohol too or are you just assuming that? If so then we need to make sure that not even through trading that they get alcohol.
If we were to add Ghana, I would somehow figure out a way to make them very trade oriented, probably though giving them upgraded Markets and Inns. Their specific "trade good" would be a form of gold jewellery, probably bracelets or a necklace (or both).
idk about bracelets or a necklace... maybe that can be their armor though? Necklace for the chest or head slot and bracelets for the leg or chest slot?
Lastly, I'd make them one of the cultures who can breed the horse, and if we could borrow them from another mod, camels would also be accessible.
I can model a camel easily and it can be added as a new kind of horse or can reskin the skeleton horse or something with no problem.
Military
In addition to the obvious inclusions of spears and thin swords, I would want to give them the hide shield. An easily crafted, lightweight shield would be a great counterpoint to the heavy shields we'll probably give the Byzantines and Normans. Giving them a bow would also be quite interesting, but that's up for debate. Now, the most interesting distinction from other cultures would be the lack of a proper set of armor, but if we did give them something, I'd let them make some impressive and very ornate gold armor.
We have two cultures with bows and Rass seems worried about the second culture's bow, if you can think of a unique ability then maybe but otherwise idk...
Hide shields though definitely.
Architecture
Ghana, along with the Hindi, would also use mudbricks, but in a very different way. While the Hindi might have more angular architecture, the Ghana have a more rounded style. As shown by the above pictures, the towers often end in rounded points, and the common structures are circular with thatch roofing. Having another culture that uses mudbricks is also just good form from a design standpoint, as it gives them some trade connection (and prevents the Hindi from being alone in that regard, limiting trade options). Lastly, as you can see, the internal wooden supports poke out of the surface of the structures, presenting a very unique aesthetic.
I can see them using mudbricks but definitely also the thatch too.

SaintScotia
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:47 am

Re: An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

Post by SaintScotia » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:00 am

I strongly concur with Zoythrus' insights in regards to the Ghana Empire and they should be included!

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Shwartz99
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

Post by Shwartz99 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:54 pm

I'm creating a Mali culture mod. If anyone wants to help pitch in, join the discord I made here: https://discord.gg/6PWM4pr

It's going to be a lot of work, but I've been doing research and there's certainly a lot more out there about the Mali Empire than the Ghana Empire.

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Zoythrus
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:19 pm

Re: An Argument for the Addition of the Ghana Empire

Post by Zoythrus » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:37 am

While this is true, the Mali didn't become an empire until after the 11th Century, so we're bound to using the Ghana empire. That doesn't mean I'm not going to pull a ton of influence from things like Mali, but I have to make sure the focus is as much on the Ghana Empire as possible.

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