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Mansa Musa, King of Mali by suburbanbeatnik Mansa Musa, King of Mali by suburbanbeatnik
Here's another major piece I did for for McGraw Hill's "Timelinks" project. It depicts Mansa Musa, the immensely rich 14th century King of Mali, flanked by a couple of spear-carriers and with two supplicants kneeling in front of him.

If you know about west Africa, there's a number of problems with this image (for example, there is no royal umbrella). However, I had a written description of Musa's appearance and I tried to adhere to it, more or less, but I didn't have that much time to do research. I still like how it turned out though.

This image is (C) McGraw Hill Glencoe.
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:icondman131186:
dman131186 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2015
Fantastic piece of art!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 2, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconladyblackbird13:
ladyblackbird13 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
The richest man ever!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Yup! 
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:iconladyblackbird13:
ladyblackbird13 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
And not a bad person too.
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:iconikechi1:
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
He was the richest man in history.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes indeed :)
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:icontomradem:
TomradeM Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
He was an interesting leader, who lead an empire of wealth and learning, great picture
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icontomradem:
TomradeM Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Any time heehee
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:iconyoung-stoaty-chap:
Young-stoaty-chap Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This man was the richest man who ever lived. The Mali empire was one of the richest empires in Africa. And it makes me sad to think how Mali turned out in the end.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
It's not the first country that is going through a rough patch... maybe things will be better in Mali in the future. :)
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:iconyoung-stoaty-chap:
Young-stoaty-chap Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, France did help them out of a difficult patch. I am glad that Mali didn't fall under the Al-Qaeda as countries like Somalia did.
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:iconseanbarrett2:
SeanBarrett2 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011
I always liled Mansa Musa
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
He was pretty cool. :)
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:iconred-star-flag:
Red-Star-Flag Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang, this is awesome. The only thing that could make it better is if Mansa Musa had some facial hair. Of course, that's just my own biased opinion. Five stars, this deserves front page status.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! The art director wanted him clean-shaven. There were a lot of things I couldn't do, but that's publishing for you.

It would be nice if I got another daily deviation-- the last one I got was in '07. Man, that was a while ago! :-O
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:iconraatib:
Raatib Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010
Thats really cool bra, Mansa, King of Kings!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconbyzantinum:
byzantinum Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
i have a nice illustration of king mansa musa that can help you!
Reply
:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, thank you. :) I don't think it can help now, I finished this job early last year...

Where did you find the illo, out of curiosity?
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:iconbyzantinum:
byzantinum Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2010
www.lookandlearn.com
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I've seen that one, that's by Angus MacBride.
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 10, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Nice work! I study Africa, West Africa to be exact. I love my people's history. :love: Love how you portrayed him!

Oh, and one question: what did you mean by "If you know about west Africa, there's a number of problems with this image (for example, there is no royal umbrella)."? Because not all West African kings and queens had royal umbrellas.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I literally had three days to do research, so basically I found out everything about medieval West African kings that the Burbank and Pasadena libraries had to offer... which isn't much. So the costume is just my best educated guess. I hope it looks good, since I don't know if it's accurate or not... *sighs*

Really? That's interesting, about the umbrellas. But I actually found several written descriptions where North African travelers met Mansa Musa and his grandson, and an umbrella was described. So I really wanted to put in an umbrella, but the client didn't want it. Oh well, what can you do...
Reply
:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
You're welcome. :D Oh wow, three days of reasearch? You're lucky you found anything at all!:XD:
And acutally, your costum is pretty damn good; I've seen picutres and artwork by others that decept him and other kings like that. The guys with the spears- their costumes are actually what modern day Sengalese men wear, execpt the modern day cothing is like a dashiki; the spear guys' clothing would be called a Senegalese dashiki or agabda.:)

Yeah, I know the Ashanti and Yoruba use umbrellas for the king and queen, but I didn't know that Mansa Musa used one.:P That's pretty cool what you've found in your reasearch though! I need to learn more about the kingdom of Mali; I already know a lot about the Yoruba and Ashanti.:XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I know, three whole days... I'm lucky there's so many good library systems here in LA!
But I looked at Leo and Diane Dillon's artwork for inspiration, plus I had a National Geographic about Ibn Battuta's travels in west Africa that helped a lot. :D
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
You're welcome. :love:
LOL, coincendentally, you had a National Geographic about Battuta's travels at the time you had to the commission. :paranoid: :XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't know if it's much of a coincidence... it's an old NG from the early '90s. I just kept it around because it had a bunch of nice illustrations in it, and I thought it might be useful someday. :)
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
:paranoid: Well you have a good sense! Give me your mind! :spidey: :XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
So, I guess I have spidey sense then? ;P
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(1 Reply)
:iconalwisw:
Alwisw Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
Only 12 faves? Hmm... Have people even seen this? It is such an amazing drawing/painting and I simply love it! The colors, the composition, everything! Great job!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, I think it might get more attention if it was a pretty white girl in a corset and fancy gown... :P

Anyway, I'm so glad you like it! Thanks. :hug:
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 10, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
:rofl:
That's true. :XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
LOL, it is, isn't it? ;P
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
LOL, it is!:XD:
To be honest, I was going to say the exact same thing, but you know how people might blow it out of poportion and call me racist.:hmm: And besides, you've said anyways.:XD: I'm just glad I wasn't alone in thinking the same thing!:lol: :hug:
Reply
:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No worries, glad to make you feel better! :hug:
Reply
:iconalwisw:
Alwisw Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
Yes, maybe you're right. Too bad though, this is a wonderful drawing.

You're very welcome! :)
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:iconcyrionb:
CyrionB Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
Great job!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :D
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
It looks beautiful! I love the details of the jewelry, costume, the faces and the architecture in the background is a bonus!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! I was wondering what you thought of it. Have you ever been to west Africa?
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional General Artist
I haven't, and I haven't even researched it properly so far, so I only know it vaguely. But I'm dying to go :) My grandfather and his 7 siblings were actually born in West Africa, and there are loads of Lebanese there.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, I hope it looks right to you! I barely had any time to do any research. That's so cool your family lives there- I had no idea that so many Lebanese lived in West Africa!
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional General Artist
They returned way back in the 30's, but it's ridiculous how many people I know who were born or grew up in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal...
There are so many Lebs there that when I met a Ivoirien guy in London, a few years back, when he heard I was Lebanese he said "That makes you my sister!"
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Very cool! :)
Reply
:iconayaneshinobi:
AyaneShinobi Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008   Traditional Artist
The detail in this is great.
Reply
:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
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Submitted on
December 14, 2008
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