In what ways does Ibn Battuta’s account reflect the perspective of a North African traveler seeking to document the fourteenth-century Muslim world?
Ibn Battuta’s account outlines a variety of aspects that were predominant in the kingdoms that he passed through to reach Mali. First, he talks about the terrain of the land and the length of the journey. He also talks about the climate of North Africa from the onset of his accounts. Ibn Battuta points out that Iwalatan, the first district of Sudan, is extremely hot. With regards to the distance covered, Ibn Battuta accounts that it took him two months to get to Iwalatan, and it took him 24 days to get to Mali (Levtzion, Nehemia, and Jay Spaulding 57). Ibn Battuta further outlines the hospitality of the different Sultans’ he meets along his way to Mali. While some like the Sudan people are reserved and not welcoming to the white men, other tribes like the Malians are highly welcoming. He further postulates the different foods that the northern Africa tribes eat. Initially, Ibn feels unappreciated when he is offered yogurt by the Sudan people, only to realize that the meal had sentimental value to the natives. He also recounts about the food he ate only to get sick for about two months. While outlining these factors, Ibn Battuta points out the native people are quite loyal to their Sultans, whom they pay homage to regularly. Finally, he talks about the importance of copp…
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