Mali was an Islamic Empire in West Africa from the 14th to 17th centuries.
The empire was founded by the king, or Mansa, Sundiata Keita.
Sundiata Keita was a semi-historical hero of the Mandinka people.
He is said to be a ruler of Mali between 1235 and 1260.
He was the granduncle of the famous Mansa Musa who ruled in 1307-32. Under him the fabled city
of Timbuktu became an important trading center in North-Africa.
The famous Muslim traveller
ibn Battuta visited the Mali Empire around 1352, and his account is an
important first-hand written description of this empire.