Bet You Didn't Know

Spider Clip-Art

Anansi Stories:  Slaves working on the sugar plantations in the West Indies entertained themselves and kept their minds off of the horrible treatment they were receiving by telling folktales about Anansi, a black widow spider.   In the stories, Anansi faces struggles with larger animals, which he always ended up outsmarting. Many historians believe that Anansi represents the slaves and the larger animals represent the plantation owners. Take a look at the following link.  It gives an example of an Anansi story of why all these tales were named after .

Slavery Clip Art Slavery: Triangular Trade  The Portuguese started using slaves to harvest sugar cane in Brazil starting as early as the year 1510.  It wasn't long until other countries caught on and started to buy and sell slaves.  Traders kidnapped Africans from their villages and brutally shipped them to the West Indies.  Once in the West Indies the surviving Africans were sold into slavery.  This is what we now call the Triangular Trade.

Pirates carrying rum to shore in exchange for slaves.Rum:  Rum is a byproduct made cheaply from the sludge that is created when sugar cane is being processed.  During the 1700's rum was used as a chief trading item.  It was traded for animal furs and even for slaves, as seen in this picture .  Many people enjoy drinking rum especially when mixed with cola.  So next time you are sipping your Captain and Coke remember that the rum you are drinking came from sugar cane sludge.  It just might not seem that appealing anymore.

This ends our trip down sugar cane lane.  Thanks for coming and don't forget to check out all the other organisms found on the Multiple Organisms home page.