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Slavery in medieval India – History of India

By |2017-12-06T21:45:42+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, People|

Dancing woman from Mohenjo Daro, in what is now Pakistan Slavery in ancient India There were probably always slaves in India, but until about 1000 AD there were only a few people who were enslaved, and most of them worked as house servants or entertainers. Islam brings more slavery to India But when Islamic conquerors reached India, they forced many [...]

Arachne and Athena – the Arachne story in Greek mythology

By |2018-10-02T09:32:08+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

The Arachne story: Greek women weaving at a warp-weighted loom - Athens, 500s BC Who was Arachne? Arachne was a girl who lived in Greece a long long time ago (in the story; this is a story). She was a very good weaver and spinner. Who invented weaving?  Why did women spin? Arachne wove all sorts of beautiful pictures into her cloth, and people [...]

Greek slaves: What was it like to be a slave in ancient Greece?

By |2018-06-13T19:09:36+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, People|

Greek slaves: An enslaved woman playing a kithara. You can tell she is a slave because she has short hair. What did Greek slaves work at? In ancient Greece, most people who worked at jobs were slaves instead of free people. That was true for teachers, doctors, and nurses. Construction workers, policemen, hair-dressers, and mail carriers were [...]

How do you tie dye? African craft project

By |2018-04-08T01:10:03+00:00June 8th, 2017|Africa, Clothing, Crafts|

Homemade tie dyed shirt You'll need plain white cotton cloth, either just pieces of cloth or white T-shirts (but make sure they are 100 percent cotton!), and dye - the most commonly used kind is RIT dye. Follow the instructions on the RIT dye to make up the dye. Add a couple of [...]

Batik – African craft project

By |2018-04-18T23:02:57+00:00June 8th, 2017|Africa, Crafts|

Batik project: an example of batik cloth Make your own batik cloth You'll need plain white cotton cloth, either just pieces of cloth or white T-shirts (but make sure they are 100 percent cotton!), and dye - the most commonly used kind is RIT dye. And you'll need wax and paintbrushes and an [...]

What is silk? Ancient Chinese clothing

By |2018-09-21T06:05:50+00:00June 8th, 2017|China, Clothing|

Silkworms and silk history Silkworms make silk People make silk from the cocoons of silkworms. Have you ever seen a butterfly cocoon? It is just like that. You have to take zillions of these cocoons and unwind them carefully, and that makes long threads like spider webs, and you spin these together to [...]

History of Knitting: Who invented knitting? Nalbinding and sprang

By |2018-01-15T14:20:43+00:00June 8th, 2017|Africa, Clothing, What|

History of knitting: Nalbinding hat from Urumchi (ca. 1000 BC) Nalbinding and sprang Even before the invention of spinning and weaving, people were making cloth using early forms of knitting we call "nalbinding" or "sprang", which used one needle to hook together short lengths of yarn. Probably people started this early knitting as [...]

What did people wear? The history of clothing

By |2018-04-29T12:00:53+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing|

History of clothing: Venus of Lespugue, ca. 25000 BC, now in the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, wearing a grass or string skirt The first clothing Clothing was very expensive in the ancient and medieval world, because without engine-powered machines it was very hard to make. So most people had very few changes of [...]

Slavery and the Cotton Gin – American History

By |2018-04-18T18:26:26+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, North America|

Slavery and the Cotton Gin: A cotton baby dress from about 1796 AD (Wisconsin Historical Society) Cotton in the Caribbean When European explorers came to the West Indies in 1492 AD, they saw that people grew cotton there. By the 1600s these invaders forced the local people to grow more and more cotton. Europeans [...]

Ancient China’s Economy – Ancient China Trade and Early Farming

By |2018-06-13T16:50:34+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, Economy|

Ancient China trade: Rice paddy with a Chinese man planting rice Farming in Ancient China In China, as in West Asia, India, or Africa, most people have spent most of their time farming for the last ten thousand years. Probably eight or nine out of every ten people who lived in ancient China [...]