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Slavery in medieval India – History of India

By | 2017-12-06T21:45:42+00:00 July 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 – Greek mythology

By | 2017-07-14T00:43:53+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Greek women weaving at a warp-weighted loom - Athens, 500s BC 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. She wove all sorts of beautiful pictures into her cloth, and people came from all around to see her beautiful cloth. But Arachne was too [...]

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

By | 2017-07-12T00:26:41+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Greeks, People|

Slave woman playing a kithara. You can tell she is a slave because she has short hair. In ancient Greece, most people who worked at jobs - teachers, doctors, nurses, construction workers, policemen, hair-dressers, mail carriers, cooks, nannies, bakers, miners, farmhands, dancers, musicians, craftspeople, and accountants - were slaves instead of free people. [...]

How do you tie dye? African craft project

By | 2017-06-08T21:49:23+00:00 June 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 [...]

What is silk? Ancient Chinese clothing

By | 2017-06-08T15:05:43+00:00 June 8th, 2017|China, Clothing|

Silkworms 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 make them thicker, and then weave [...]

History of Knitting: Who invented knitting? Nalbinding and sprang

By | 2018-01-15T14:20:43+00:00 June 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 | 2017-06-08T09:04:11+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Clothing|

Venus of Lespugue, ca. 25000 BC, now in the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, wearing a grass or string skirt 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 clothing; many people owned only the [...]

Slavery and the Cotton Gin – American History

By | 2017-06-08T09:09:33+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Clothing, North America|

A cotton baby dress from about 1796 AD (Wisconsin Historical Society) 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 took the cotton to sell back in England. Cotton, imported [...]

Ancient China’s Economy – Ancient China Trade and Farming

By | 2017-12-26T11:31:35+00:00 June 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. In northern China, people mostly farm wheat, while in southern China it is mostly [...]