Ghana Empire Unboxed
Inside this Box
- Find out why salt was as valuable as gold in the Ghana Empire
- Learn about and weave with cotton
- Listen to West African stories about a trickster spider
- Play games based on the ancient tradition of oral storytelling with storytelling dice (ages 5-9) or The Writer Emergency Pack (ages 10-15)
- Color a picture of the richest city in the ancient world
Our high-quality hands-on history kits bring ancient civilizations to life for learners of all ages. Each history box has everything you need for engaging history lessons. Our boxes can serve as a stand-alone ancient history curriculum or pair with traditional social studies curricula. Looking for group lessons? Check out our history-to-go kits!
Looking for more information on Ghana? Our Pinterest boards have additional activities, books, and learning resources: https://www.pinterest.com/historyu/ghana-empire-unboxed/
“In the Ghana Empire, storytelling was an important tradition, and the griots, or storytellers, played an pivotal role in society. They were considered wise and treated with high respect, not only on the topic of stories but also for historic knowledge and political counsel as well. As a part of their apprenticeship in the trade (usually passed down in a family), a griot had to memorize complex genealogies, historical events, and, of course, stories and songs. Because they had such an extensive knowledge of history and the relationships of the people around them, they were able to offer wise advice to the leaders and kings who hired them. This knowledge also made the griot an extremely valuable member of the village’s society. While anyone could tell stories, each village had only one official griot, and trying to steal another village’s griot could start a war. The griot had no other job besides learning and sharing his knowledge. In the evenings, when the village’s inhabitants were done with the day’s work, he might beat a drum or shake a rattle as he called out the words “Come hear! Come hear!” Adults and children alike would come to his call, ready to hear stories of gods and goddesses, warfare and battles, or great heroes or kings.”
“The art of storytelling is still practiced in modern times and one of the most enduring and loved characters to come out of ancient Ghana and into the modern era is Anansi the Spider.”
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