Monday, December 07, 2009

History lesson

Yesterday Graham wanted to see some African warriors, so I broke out YouTube and watched Maasai warriors throat-singing and leap and then Zulu warriors doing a dance for some tourists while drums were pounded. I don't know why I couldn't leave it at that, but lest he get the impression that they really still lived like that, I went into a little discursus on tradition and culture, and we watched Scottish highland dancers and Ukrainian Cossacks to get the point about folk dancing and drums generally, and then went on. I showed him some Brazilian stuff, including Carnival, as well as some killer African-American high school step bands, to talk about the transmission of culture and African heritage specifically. We watched a little Capoeira (awesome!), and then some Lakota dance.

By this time I had to talk about slavery, the difference between Northern and Southern economies and why slavery was more prevalent in the South than in the North, and the Civil War. Somehow, I also let slip that the Europeans weren't all nicey-nice with the Indians, and that we pushed them back over the Appalachians and fought wars with them too.

I didn't go into all the gorey details, but I did mention wars and killing and such, and that was enough to fire the imagination of the 6-year old boy. He was talking about it rather animatedly later in the afternoon, including how karate was the best method of fighting.

Luckily he was also interested in seeing some whale song videos, so he was a little distracted.

1 comment:

mrsquare said...

All I can say is YouTube is the best thing ever for fathers. 4 year old reads a story, says "sumo wrestling, what's that?" and before you know it we've got the 2009 world championships in full glory.