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Central and South American history – colonization

By |2018-04-29T10:45:08+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, History, South America|

South American history: Aztec doctor treating people with smallpox (1500s AD, Codex Mendoza) The Inca, Brazil, and Chile In 1500 AD, the Inca Empire dominated the east coast of South America. Further north, the Aztec empire under Montezuma II controlled Mexico and what is now Guatemala. In the center of South America was the Amazon rain forest. Many people lived [...]

History of Brazil – Brazil and colonization

By |2018-08-19T05:59:20+00:00September 8th, 2017|History, South America, Where|

History of Brazil: The Tapuia people, ca. 1650 (by Albert Eckhout) Tupi war with Tapuia In the late 1400s AD, the Tupi people had just won a big war with the Tapuia people. They had gotten control of the Atlantic coast of South America (modern Brazil). They forced most of the Tapuia people inland. So the [...]

Brigham Young – Mormon religion

By |2017-08-14T15:29:54+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Brigham Young in the 1840s After a mob killed Joseph Smith, the Mormons chose a new leader, Brigham Young (BRIG-am yung) and wisely left Illinois. In 1847, Brigham Young decided that the Mormons should move way out west to Utah, where the Ute and Paiute people lived. Utah was part of Mexico at this time. In the next year, though, [...]

European food history – Renaissance to today

By |2018-04-20T00:13:50+00:00August 4th, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|

European food history: An early chocolate house Trade brings new foods During the 1500s and 1600s AD, European traders brought back all kinds of new foods from places they sailed to around the world. Rich people began to eat sugar and ginger from India. (Combining these two new foods together gave us the gingerbread man). Chocolate, coffee, and tea They [...]

What is Sufism? History of Islam

By |2017-07-26T23:49:20+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Sufi dancers Not long after the foundation of Islam and the life of Mohammed, about 650 AD, there were people who became known as Sufis (SOO-fees). Sufis can be Sunni or Shiite. These people wanted a more direct relationship with God. Instead of just doing things like praying or good deeds, or the Hajj to Mecca, Sufis wanted to experience the greatness of [...]

Medieval Islamic food

By |2017-07-23T17:01:31+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Food, Islam|

Orange tree Around the Mediterranean, people continued in the Islamic period to rely on the three main foods from antiquity. Those were wheat (mostly bread), olive oil, and wine. Though technically Islam did not let you drink alcohol, still a lot of people did drink wine. People who didn't drink wine started to drink more tea. The Sogdians brought tea to the Islamic [...]

Indian food history – spices and sugar in ancient India

By |2018-11-05T16:07:15+00:00July 20th, 2017|Food, India|

Indian food: rice, chapatis, sauces, lentils What did people eat in ancient India? The earliest Indians, the Harappans, probably ate mainly wheat and rice, millet and sorghum, chickpeas and lentils. Often they ate fish, if they lived near the coast or a river. Sometimes they ate beef, pork, lamb and goat meat, and chicken. Why chickpeas get ripe in the summer Where does chicken come from? Lots more [...]

History of coffee – Where does coffee come from?

By |2018-01-30T22:11:58+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Africa, Food|

Where does coffee come from? Coffee history starts in Africa. Coffee plants grew wild in East Africa. Sometime before 1000 AD, the people who lived in Ethiopia, in East Africa, began to pick the red coffee berries and mash them up. They mixed the berries with fatty meat (like bacon) to make an energy bar like [...]

History of farming – the beginning of agriculture

By |2018-04-19T15:03:04+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

History of farming: A field of wheat When did people start farming? People did not farm as a major way of getting food until around 12,000 BC. About that time, there was a climate change that made more food plants grow than before. Everybody got more to eat with less work than earlier [...]

Making a Chinese scroll – Ancient China project

By |2018-04-18T09:53:50+00:00June 9th, 2017|China, Crafts|

Chinese scroll made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon Chinese people began to write about 1500 BC. People usually wrote vertically, from the top of the page to the bottom in columns. They read the text beginning from the right side of the page, the reverse of what we do. After Ts'ai Lun [...]