Keita Dynasty

The Keita Dynasty ruled pre-Imperial and Imperial Mali from the 12th century into the early 17th century. It was a Muslim Dynasty, and its rulers claimed descent from Bilal Keita (later named Bilal ibn Ribah Bilal). Bilal Keita was a freed slave who accepted Islam and became one of the Sahabas of the Prophet Muhammad. Bilal Keita bears the distinction of being the first muezzin in Islam. According to Mandinka/Bambara traditionalist accounts passed down by djelis (oral chroniclers), Bilal had seven sons, one of whom settled in Manden. This son, Lawalo Keita, had a son named Latal Kalabi Keita, who later sired Damul Kalabi Keita. Damul Kalabi Keita's son was Lahilatoul Keita and the first faama of Niani. It is through Lahilatoul that the Keita clan becomes a ruling dynasty, though only over the small area around Niani. There would be nine Faamas of Niani prior to the founding of the Great Mali Empire. Its first mansa would be the famous Sundiata Keita. And this is when Mari Jata is crowned . Keita and Keita becomes a clan name. A couple of generations after him his great-nephew, Mansa Musa Keita I of Mali, made a celebrated pilgrimage to Mecca which established his reputation as the richest man of his day.[1] The dynasty he belonged to remained a major power in West Africa from 1235 until the breakup of the Mali Empire around 1610. Rivals from within the clan founded smaller kingdoms within contemporary Mali and Guinea. Today the surname Keita belongs only to one royal family in Africa. Of the members of these modern "daughter dynasties", the late politician Modibo Keita and the musician Salif Keita are arguably the most famous.


List of Royal Faamas of Manden (Capital — Kangaba)

List of Royal Faamas of Manden (Capital — Dodugu)

Niani conquered by the Susu under King Soumaoro Kante

List of Imperial Mansas of Mali (Capital — Niani)

Empire collapses after death of Mahmud Keita IV

List of Post-Imperial Mansas (Capital — Kangaba)

Capital moved from Niani to Kangaba after botched attack on Segu

See also



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