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Who are the Arawak? – South American history

By |2018-04-25T20:12:23+00:00September 8th, 2017|History, South America|

Arawak history: Arawak family in Trinidad, ca. 1500 AD The Arawak arrive in Venezuela The Arawak probably first arrived in South America with the second wave of people, around 15,000 BC. They were probably fishing people with canoes or boats, travelling south along the Atlantic coastline following the fish. The Arawak settled first in what is now Venezuela, [...]

Central and South American food

By |2018-04-19T15:03:08+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food, South America|

Aztec men sharing a meal When people first came to Central and South America, perhaps about 15,000 BC, they hunted and gathered all of their food. They picked wild potatoes, wild teosinte (the ancestor of corn), wild beans and wild tomatoes and avocados. They hunted rabbits and llamas and turkeys, and fished in the rivers and the ocean. For fun, they probably fermented teosinte and other plants into [...]

Native American food – North America – pemmican and succotash

By |2018-04-24T09:40:41+00:00August 8th, 2017|Food, Native American|

Native American food: Inuit carving of a sea lion Hunting and gathering wild food Early on, until about 2000 BC, people in North America ate only wild foods that they could hunt or gather. Salmon, wapato, pine nuts and acorn flour These foods varied according to the environment where each group of people lived. Inuit people, who lived in the far north along [...]

How to make Peruvian peanut stew

By |2018-04-19T15:03:05+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Food, South America|

Clay model of Moche people eating To eat what Chavin or Moche or Nazca people might have eaten, try making this delicious Peruvian stew. It's filling and vegan! Fill a large saucepan about half full of water. Peel six potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces, and put them in the water to [...]

How to make guacamole – Food project

By |2017-06-22T01:40:24+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Central America, Food|

Avocados mashed into guacamole To make guacamole the way the Aztecs did, take one ripe avocado and cut it in half. Use a knife or a fork to pry out the seed. Scoop out the yellow fruit into a bowl (or a stone mortar like the one in the picture) and mash it [...]

Where do chili peppers come from? South America

By |2018-04-12T08:53:02+00:00June 21st, 2017|Food, South America|

Chili peppers from Central America There are two main kinds of pepper: black pepper and chili pepper. Chili peppers come from South America, and they're related to other South American plants like tomatoes, tobacco, and potatoes. Chili doesn't taste hot to birds, so possibly the hot taste evolved so that birds would eat [...]

Silk Road and Silver – Chinese economy

By |2018-04-18T09:54:05+00:00June 4th, 2017|China, Economy|

Farmers reaping millet or wheat Just like in earlier times, most men and women in Qing Dynasty China were farmers, who spent most of their time planting seeds, weeding, and harvesting. Mostly they grew rice (in southern China) and wheat and millet (in northern China). Even today, almost three out of four people in [...]

African Food and Colonization

By |2017-10-02T15:20:44+00:00May 24th, 2017|Africa, Food|

Yuca plants after they're pulled up When Portuguese traders began to come to Africa around 1500 AD, they brought new foods with them from South America and Central America. They brought peanuts, which were popular in Africa because they were a lot like the ground-nuts that people already ate. Most Africans switched over [...]

African Economy – Early Modern

By |2018-04-19T15:03:14+00:00May 24th, 2017|Africa, Economy|

Early modern African economy: Guinea Cloth (Cotton) Early Modern African economy In the late 1400s AD, Portuguese traders figured out how to sail to West Africa instead of getting there by caravan routes across the Sahara Desert. West African traders sold these newcomers mostly enslaved people, but also locally made cotton cloth, colored [...]