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AirikrStrife

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About a year ago I was very into African history, and made some suggestion about northeastern africa, but also started working on a more all encompassing mod/suggestion for the whole sahel/sudan belt. I more or less finished the mod but never published it nor made the suggestion until now. Since nothing have happened to westafrica since I think AoW I think it could be high time to develop the region a bit more. For my mod there are no new provinces, though I think this could easily be added. Instead this only adds new tags, cultures and some reshuffling of other things.

Except a rigourous internet and wikipedia usage I have also collected a handful of books about the region. Primarily the oxford history of africa, from the 70's but although it's old I have been able to confirm basically everything I'll be writing about with more recent sources.


western sudan 1.jpg


Not much has been done about western Sudan (roughly Mali Songhai). My main issues here were two interconnected ones; The Presence of Macina/Massina and the fulani migration.

The region between Mali and Timbuktu (the city had been conquered by Tuareg just a few years before game start) were nominally still largely under Mali sovereignity although practically it was a myriad of many autonomus kingdoms and warlords.

I don't mind the paradox solution to focus in just two states, Jenne and Macina, except that there is a problem with using Macina. Macina was a small Fulani kingdom founded in 1449(?) and were for it's first period a subject of a larger Baghana kingdom. The more famous Macina empire would be founded during the 19th century Fulani jihads. Interestingly enough the Macina history file is ZAF - Zafuno. The name of the region which constitute a large part of the Macina tag. The game files also acknowledge that it wasn't until 1449 that the fulani kingdom was founded and states that it's using Soninke culture as a way of seperating Macina fulani from the fulani of fota toro. I think this is weird since it really did exist Soninke states in the region which would be larger and more powerful than the fulani kingdom.

So for solution I choose to rename Macina to Diafunu (a more commonly used variant of Zafuno) and let the city of Macina have fulani culture. Lastly to increase the likelyhood of the rise of the 17th century Bambara empire I let Segou have cores on all Bambara provinces (I frankly don't get why this isn't already, the tag and culture are already in the game)

western sudan 2.jpg


Thus not that much was done to western sudan but I did rework the culture grouping and merged the Mande group with the western part of the sahelian culture group (Senegambian and Fulani) into a "West Sudanian" culture group as seen in the picture. I did remove the change of culture of many mali and soninke provinces to fulani with the fulani migration event. That is a poor reconstruction of the actual fulani migration across the Sahel

central sudan 1.jpg

Much more to be done with the central Sudan. As much as 6 new tags and 3 new cultures.

First of I added three new tribal states on the souhern edges of the central Sudan:


Kwararafa: Paradox already has Jukun as a tagless culture so I think they'll be happy to add a tag for them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwararafa They start with three provinces, and because my sources consequently described them as a powerful federation of tribes strong enough to challenge the Hausa states I increased development of the three provinces to a new total of 18 (still weaker than any of the Hausa states) I placed Jukun in the Central Sudanian group because of closer political ties to the Hausa and Kanuri than the Bantus or west africans and because of a charming Jukun folktale which states that the chiefs of the Jukun, Kanuri, Fulani and Shuwa (chadian arabs) came from the same stock.


South of lake chad two new small kingdoms have emerged, Kotoko and Mandara.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotoko_kingdom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandara_Kingdom


Except historical detail I think the emergence of these two new states will help shaping the region quite well especially since in vanilla Yao is much stronger than Kanem Bornu. In history Kanem Bornu would soon after 1444 defeat the Yao and restore hegemony around lake Chad. In my set-up Kanem-Bornu has 22 dev and Yao 23. As opposed to 28 vs 34 in vanilla set-up. (I did increase the value of Mandaras dev from 6 to 11 aswell)


Further north is the Toubou Tibesti sultanate. The Toubou people lacked a strong central state, they did at some point form a shortlived sultanate, but was still an important factor in regional politics. They controled the trade routes from Kanem Bornu to Fezzan, while the Tuaregs controlled the trade routes from Hausa to Fezzan. I increased the dev of the Tibesti provinces from 6 to 11.

Some minor changes are also:

New area: Chad for the provinces of Kotoko, Logone, Mandara and Marghi

Change of culture in: Bedde (Hausa) Damagaram (Kanuri) Tajhari and the provinces owned by Tibesti at start (Toubou)

Provinces of Bagirmi now contains the tag Bagirmi and has increased manpower +1.


In summary new countries and cultures:

Tibesti (Toubou)

Mandara (Kotoko)

Kotoko (Kotoko)

Kwararafa

Bagirmi



And a new central Sudanian culture group that includes everything from the old sahelian group sans senegambian and Fulani but with addition of all new culture and the Jukun culture.

my take of eastern Sudan has already been made in previous suggestion but for the sake of continuity (and a reminder) I will include it here aswell

FUNJ:

During most of the EUIV era the Funj sennar sultanate were the most powerful state of modern era Sudan. The EUIV set up with Funj appearing in 1504 is for a number or reasons bad.


1. Funj appears in kordofan and in Fazughli in 1504; These are territories not part of the core sultanate, if you look at EUIV maps for later startdate then Funj been included they do not control these provinces.
2. Funj after appearing are weak and never amass to anything; The Funj people migrating in Alodia around 1503 defeated whatever states (Abdallabs and/or christians, sources are contradictory) was left in the area and established their own sultanate of Sennar lasting until early 19th century being the dominant power in the area.
3: The Funj continues to be nubian, despite them arabizing early on and transforming Sudan into an Arab country.
4. Because they spawn they're unplayable to the player if they want to start at 1444.


So in my solution I have tried to cover up these problems and also solve another issue of representation in Sudan, namely the lack of arabs. Already by 1444 arabs would probably be in majority in several of the nubian provinces but they're now blended together with nubians. I don't want to change that set-up in 1444 but create the possibility for an arabization of Sudan.


So back to the Funj. Funj are a people shrouded in mystery, we don't know where they came from, we don't know what language they spoke. I dug down in some literature on the subject and in order of credability (least credible to first according to academic consensus) the Funj might have been A) Kanuri fleeing from lake Chad after Kanems fall to the Bilala (Yao), largely discredited theory. B) They migrated from western Ethiopia close too lake Tana along the blue nile (making it possible that they' were related to Gumuz people) and C) They came from south sudan migrating along the white nile, possibly due to pressure form Shilluk tribes migrating north. C is the most popular theory, although it also contains alternative theories whether the Funj were a nubian people, a Lou people or something else.


Due to the extreme scant sources about the region over several centuries very little is known for sure.

My set up is to start Funj as an existing state in the three southern provinces of Alodia (the sennar area). They will have fetishist culture, and I believe should be fairly railroaded for conquest of southern Nubia (could be done with events/decision/modifiers representing Funj migration). Once conquering Alodia they would have a decision to form the sultanate of Sennar. This wouldn't change the tag, but possibly upgrade goverment rank and goverment but more importantly it would change the culture from Nubian to Sudanian (in levantine group) in all owned nubian provinces and change religion to islam. Change capital to Gezira and get a dev boost

I crafted the decision so that upon formation, the sultanate would loose the Fazughli province to the Shilluk kingdom that would appear and change the culture to Lou (which would replace Acholi as generic tag for nilotes (which are at te moment tagless)

So mostly a copy from an old suggestion

Waddai, Darfur and Kordofan

Both Waddai and Darfur would in later centuries become regional powerhouses.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadai_Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultanate_of_Darfur

Before they became independent the areas were ruled first by a state called Dar Sila (which would exist as a rump state until modern era) which around 1400 were vanquished by arab Tunjurs migrating into the area
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunjur_people

I'd start the game with at least having waddai and Darfur under Tunjur rule. Tunjur would have Sudanese primary culture but not actually any provinces with sudanese culture, rather the western part would have Bilala or Maban if a new culture be added, and the eastern part having Fur culture. With Waddai and Darfur existing as tags.

Kordofan is a mess (like admitedly almost everthing I ever write posts about) North Kordofan would most fittingly belong to Tunjur while keeping Nubian culture (really vague on the culture in kordofan around this time, it was sparsely inhabited by nubians, arabs and others.

Even after Funj conquered northern Kordofan it was a semi-independent province within the sultanate and at some points Kordofanian governors would defeat the sultan and effectively dominate the sultanate. SO I was considering adding a kordofan tag for kosti and el obeid aswell (though of lesser importance)

Southern Kordofan would later form it's own indigenous kingdom (tegali) that would be fun to have spawn into the game aswell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqali

My idea on culture would be to rename the current sudanese group (Beja, nubian, acholi/lou) to east sudanic with Fur joining this culture while Maban joins central sudanic

More interesting topic to develop without any actual idea:

Better representation of Fulani migration and Jihad
Better representation of arab nomads and the influence of islam vs paganism. For a long time islam were mainly the religion with the elite and even among them pagan tradition still stayed strong, with kings continuing pagan sacrifices and
Making something more interesting of the trans-saharan trade, as it was of extreme importance to sub-saharan civilization.

maybe some events for relatin to buduma people in lake chad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buduma_people

Some events relating to the Shankalla and the Hamaj regency in Funj https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaj_Regency


also in general more provinces, maybe open up some wasteland. I'd like to give some cred to one of my old suggestion about uncolonized province interaction aswell https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/uncolonized-province-interaction.898092/

there is definitly a lot more that could be improved upon in this really interesting region and I hope there will be some more attention to it!

West africa is now divided into Sahel, Niger and Guinea. Never like the and I propose removing Niger and giving most of it's areas to Sahel and rename it Sudan instead, giving some of Nigers areas to Guinea. A better representation of cultural and political distinction in western africa. Also this two regions could be slightely more detached from each other, as historically the powerful sahel empires never made any serious incursions in the thick and infected forests south of the sudan savannah.

Empire of Sudan: As Mali, Songhai or Kanem Bornu, have empire rank without expanding outside the sudan belt

Seven Hauses and seven bastards, form Hausa and own all 14 cities or corresponding provinces listed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hausa_Kingdoms

I come to realize, I previously suggeste making slaves an estate for sahelians but came to the idea of actually making them a special unit type recuited in provinces producing slaves by sahelians.
 
Last edited:

AirikrStrife

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20171003194955_1.jpg
20171003194955_1.jpg


Image of simple terrain, dark yellow = Savannah and dark green = jungle

Actual bio zones of west africa
160823_Climate_zones.jpg

One of the main reason sahelian empires never penetrated far south was due to thick forestation (and the diseases).

Should up the forest zone a bit in the game to cover roughly everything south of borghu, Dagbon and the Hausa states
 
Last edited:

JKiller96

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I'd like improvements on the area of Mauritania, the Arab invasion in the 30 Year War (Char Bouba War) of the area led to the ousting of the Berbers as the dominant class of the western Sahara and the eventual Islamization of the areas of Senegal and the Tuareg areas through integration of the Berbers, Arabs and native Sahelians into the class systems, all happening during this time frame.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_Bouba_war
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13882166

The areas that were the stages of this conflict are wastelands in the game.
This caste system led directly to the formation of the Futa Jallon and Futa Toro Jihads through the Zawaya, known as the Fulani Jihads, these being some of the most important events of West Africa in the early modern era.
 
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AirikrStrife

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I'd like improvements on the area of Mauritania, the Arab invasion in the 30 Year War (Char Bouba War) of the area led to the ousting of the Berbers as the dominant class of the western Sahara and the eventual Islamization of the areas of Senegal and the Tuareg areas through integration of the Berbers, Arabs and native Sahelians into the class systems, all happening during this time frame.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_Bouba_war
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13882166

The areas that were the stages of this conflict are wastelands in the game.
This caste system led directly to the formation of the Futa Jallon and Futa Toro Jihads through the Zawaya, known as the Fulani Jihads, these being some of the most important events of West Africa in the early modern era.

I'm strongly in favor of a Mauretania overhaul as part of a africa overhaul. Hopefully we soon get a filler patch (maybe already 1.24) for africa it's not the most important thing they can do but except for the time researching it shouldn't need that much work as it's no big overhaul.

So looking back at my old suggestion on sahelian governments it's overly complicated and now with the much easier government interaction I thought that Sahelian governments should also get access to their specialized actions, focus on slavery, trans-saharan trade and pagan/islam dualism are the most important features lacking in sahelian flavor
 

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Here are btw some pictures of trade routes through the sahara.

african_slave_trade.png
transsaharan.jpg


transsaharan.jpg


Giving some suggestion on how to develop provinces in Sahara for the future. Personally I think the solution many mades have, opening oasis connected by straits could work very well. I don't want to overdo it and make large provinces like Air into small oasisis but for some of the connecting parts in order to get for example Tibesti and Kufra into the game it would look neater.
 

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Paradox has said they won't do oasis provinces connected by straits or they won't add the province at all (ex. Kharga in the new patch)
 

talilu

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Paradox has said they won't do oasis provinces connected by straits or they won't add the province at all (ex. Kharga in the new patch)
Did they have a reason for this choice? Oasises connected by straits look wonderful on the map, rather than the blobby arms reaching up to Morocco and Tripoli.
 

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Did they have a reason for this choice? Oasises connected by straits look wonderful on the map, rather than the blobby arms reaching up to Morocco and Tripoli.
They didn't explain their reasoning, I think it was because they're using straits just for water crossings.