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Mansa is a
Mandinka word meaning "sultan" (king) or "emperor".
 It is particularly associated with the
Keita Dynasty of the Mali Empire, which dominated
West Africa from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. Powers of the mansa included the right to dispense justice and to monopolize trade, particularly in
gold. Mansa Sundiata was the first to assume the title of mansa (emperor), which was passed down through the Keita line with few interruptions well into the 15th century. Other notable mansas include his son
Wali Keita and the powerful
Mansa Musa (Kankan Musa), whose
hajj helped define a new direction for the Empire. The succession of the Mali Empire is primarily known through
ibn Khaldun's History of the Berbers.