Medieval Africa and its “Taurists”
Please be very simple and make sure that all questions are addressed, because it can cost you some serious points.
Reflect on the reading entitled “Travel Writing, pre-colonial Africa,” which provides excerpts from travelogues kept by foreign visitors to Africa during the medieval period. The reading can be found in the Week 1 folder. Answer the following questions and make sure you follow the specific instructions in each question.
1.Select two quotes, one from Battuta and one from Malfante, that you believe offers a positive portrayal of Africans. Share each quote, then after each quote, write 2-3 sentences about why you think those quotes reflect a positive description of Africans. (4 points)
***Here’s how to cite the quotes: “When this worthy and open-handed sultan died…” (Battuta, 14). All you need to provide is the quote, the author’s last name and the page number.***
2. Select two quotes, one from Battuta and one from Malfante, that you believe offers a negative portrayal of Africans. Share each quote, then after each quote, write 2-3 sentences about why you think those quotes reflect a negative description of Africans. (4 points)
3. Battuta was from North Africa (Morocco) and was born into a wealthy, elite family. He was well-educated and a devout Muslim and after studying law, he set out to explore the world and spent many years in sub-Saharan Africa. Find and share one quote that shows how his Muslim identity affected his thoughts on the Africans he met. After sharing the quote, reflect on how his religious background created a bias in the way he thought about Africans. Do you think he showed preference to the Muslim African communities he visited? Do you think we need to be aware of his bias to more critically understand his travel writing about Africans? Explain your answer. (4 points)
4. We have very few written documents about Africa before 1500, so the writings of Battuta and Malfante are important sources for us to use to learn more about African culture, politics, religion, and economics. Based on what you read, do you think what these men wrote is helpful in teaching us about medieval Africa, or is it too biased since neither man is from sub-Saharan Africa? What value, if any, do you find in these sources? Explain your answer. (3 points)