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Ajuran Sultanate facts for kids

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Ajuran Empire

Dawladdii Ajuuraan
دولة الأجورانية
13th century–late 17th century
Flag of Ajuran Empire
Flag
Capital
  • Mareeg (initially)
  • Qelafo
  • Merca
Common languages Somali · Arabic
Religion
Sunni Islam
Government Monarchy
Sultan, Imam  
History  
• Established
13th century
• First Ajuran-Portuguese war
1538–57
• Second Ajuran-Portuguese war
1580–89
• Oromo invasion
Mid-17th century
• Decline
late 17th century
Currency Ajuran • Mogadishan
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sultanate of Mogadishu
Hiraab Imamate
Geledi Sultanate
Today part of  Somalia
 Ethiopia

The Ajuran Empire (Somali: Dawladdii Ajuuraan, Arabic: دولة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somali empire in the medieval times that dominated the Indian ocean trade. They belonged to the Somali Muslim sultanate that ruled over large parts of the Horn of Africa in the Middle Ages. Because of their centralized administration and strong military, they were able to resist an attack by the Ottoman empire. This was called Gaal Madow. The fought a number of wars with the Portugese, and were able to withstand them. After the war, trade routes were re-established or strengthened. In the coastal provinces, trade flourished. Ships sailed to and came from many kingdoms and empires in East Asia, South Asia, Europe, the Near East, North Africa and East Africa.

The empire was very important, and built many castles and fortresses. Some of them can still be seen, mostly in the southern part of Somalia. There are also a number of pillar tombs, necropolises, and cities built during that era, which are now in ruins, which are attributed to Ajuran engineers. During the Ajuran period, many regions and people in the southern part of the Horn of Africa converted to Islam because of the theocratic nature of the government. The royal family, the House of Garen, expanded its territories and established its hegemonic rule through a skillful combination of warfare, trade linkages and alliances.

The Ajuran also controlled the water resources. They built wells and cisterns on the rivers Shebelle and Jubba. Many of these wells are still working. The rulers also developed a new system of agriculture and taxation, which were used in parts of the Horn of Africa until the 19th century. The later rulers of the Ajuran were not as successful: There were rebellions, and by the late 17th century the empire had fallen apart into a number of smaller states. The most prominent of these was probably the Geledi Sultanate.

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