Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who Does the Gold Belong To? And What's a Matrilineal Line, Anyway?

We debriefed the gold/salt trade simulation today, and talked about some of the symbolism in it.  For bellwork, students had to explain what went on, then I asked some more pointed questions: what did the crawling represent?  Why was the trade silent?  Etc...

I didn't expect the students to know everything, but they could at least wager a guess.  Of course, if they didn't guess... no credit.  (And if they were here yesterday, and couldn't explain the activity - well... I don't know what to say about that.)  :)

We read a little bit.  The king of Ghana was really rich.  All the gold in Ghana belonged to him.  So, if you found gold on your property - it's not your gold.  It's the kings.  We talked about how crazy this is, but I didn't mention that it's pretty much the same today in much of the United States: check it out if you don't believe me.  I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not sure what happens if you find a gold mine under your house.

That led to a little discussion on tax evasion, and cheating... 

A lot of classes asked about the "matrilineal line."  In Ghana, the throne passed from the king to the king's sister's son...  Like this:

I didn't draw the diagram until students asked me about it, and we didn't discuss it in every class.  But in case you're wondering why your son or daughter is asking where babies come from... this might be the reason.  Some classes asked why the throne didn't just pass down to the king's son.

It has to do with proof of royal blood.  No one doubts the maternity of a child.  ...  ...  ...  I summed it up this way: if you have 20 women and one is 9 months pregnant - can we tell who is going to have the baby?  Yes.  And if, on the other side of the room we have 20 men, can we tell who the father is?  The answer is no.

There were some other questions, which I answered cautiously.  But if they got too detailed I told them to talk to a parent, or wait until February in Wellness...

Last thing:  BIG TEST COMING UP WHEN YOU RETURN!  It'll probably be Wed./Thur. or Thur./Fri.  If you forgot the study guide at school, you can download it HERE.  It doesn't give answers.  It only gives topics.  You should have the answers in your notes, or in your brain.

I hope you all have a great break.  If you want the extra credit, read and discuss the blog with an adult.  When you're done, write two sentences telling me how you're planning on spending your 4 day weekend.  Have the adult that you discussed the blog with sign the paper.


  1. Niall Horan's Wifeyy!!!October 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    You have a wonderful weekend too Mr. Habecker!!! :)

  2. Thanks, Mrs. Horan. Tell your husband I'll be buying a couple of his songs soon.

  3. Niall Horan's wifeyyOctober 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Okay will do will do!!! Only if i had his number!!!