Soninke Queen

soninke-queen

A queen of the ancient Soninke civilization admires the sunset from atop her palace’s highest tower.

The Soninke are a Mande-speaking people whose civilization is among the oldest in West Africa. They were the architects of the Wagadu (or Ghana) Empire which dominated the region before 1200 AD, but their oldest uncovered settlement may be that of Dhar Tichitt in southern Mauritania. This town of stone masonry dates as far back as ~2000 BC, making it contemporaneous with the ancient Egyptian and Kushite civilizations. Today the Soninke people number around two million, with significant populations in the modern countries of Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania.

As an aside, I founding drawing the architecture of the tower’s parapet a lot more frustrating than I anticipated. I’m still not all that happy with how it came out, but I liked the woman too much to totally scrap the piece.

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