Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 4PM, Day 6) – Fact and Fiction: The New World
Today we unpacked the key concept of Eurocentrism and its relation to the stories and history of the New World. We listened to more stories from the Popol Vuh, the Mayan creation tale, and created our own depictions of the stories and their interaction with the natural world (sun, moon, corn, bats, jaguars, falcons, etc.) We reviewed the concept of the Columbian Exchange and one of its sad consequences, the Atlantic Slave Trade. We talked briefly about the existence of slavery in the Spanish American empire, and some key differences between the African experience in British colonies and Africans in Spanish colonies. In doing so we read the surprising story of Juan Garrido, one of many African Spanish conquistadors that settled the New World. Reading the stories of free African conquistadors challenge our Eurocentric idea of New World conquest. The students are also getting very good at applying the “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” and “Why?” questions to primary source documents, enriching their skill and content base. Tomorrow, we’ll be looking at how the events of the Spanish conquest directly impacted the British colonial experience, and ultimately the United States.
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