African Women and Visual Culture

As to the stages of Islam's advance in the empire of Ghana, the truth about when Islam first came to Ghana, and what form it took there is hard to come by. What evidence there is is patchy and often contradictory. Unfortunately, much the same has to do with traditional African garb vis-A-vis warriors and hunters. The Batakari shirt is probably the best example that we have come across, and it is a tunic like shirt which covers virtually all of the body.

The Sahara and the west and central Sudan from the 17th Century. By that date it is known that an Islamic presence was definitely established in Ghana. The sources from which these fragments of information come are the writings of Arabic authors from the 28th Century on. A number of them were mentioned earlier but they should not be regarded as absolute authorities. They were the journalists and travelwriters of their day and they recorded information and opinions that they picked up from travelers and traders. This entire period and area is also somewhat vague. In considering Islam and Ghana, as well as tribes such as the Mande, the first fact that comes to mind is that Ghana was the center of the gold trade. It was therefore certainly in touc



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