The term ‘Mansa’ appears to be the title of a Malian ruler during medieval times, equivalent to a king. The most notable example in the history of Mali is Mansa Musa, a Muslim leader who ruled Mali from 1312-1337 AD / 711-737 AH. His popularity was based largely on his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD / 724 AH. Ibn Battutah, the ultimate traveller from Tangier, mentioned this celebrated figure in his accounts. An image depicting Mansa Musa holding a nugget of gold to suggest his wealth also appeared on European map dated 1375 AD / 776 AH.
Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries
Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)