social studies 2

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  • Although camels were very efficient, strong, and helpful for Trans-Saharan trade, there were some downsides. Camels were very hard to train, and they were also extremely mean. On top of this, they were very expensive. They did, however, live long and need less food and water than other animals. The camel was the best animal for Trans-Saharan travel.
  • I will tame this camel because they are so efficient and strong!
  • Crossing the desert was a long and strenuous process, and the camels could not do everything. This is why large caravans traveled with slaves carrying some of the merchandise. Slaves were not as strong or as efficient as camels but they were cheaper. Bringing slaves and camels to carry merchandise were two popular methods of moving merchandise for Trans-Saharan trade.
  • Ghana relied on North Africa as much as North Africa relied on Ghana. Without each other, both of these powerful African countries would quickly decrease in power and fall. Ghana needed to preserve meat and to regain the salt they lost during the day. The North Africans needed gold to trade with the Europeans to get what they needed to survive.
  • This is a fair trade!
  • During the time of the Trans-Saharan trade, Ghana learned they were located on very important trade routes. Ghana decided to make even more money off of Trans-Saharan trade by taxing all of the traders that came through Ghana. This tax made Ghana even richer, and they earned even more resources by taxing these traders.
  • Give me the tax!
  • Fine.
  • The Wangarans were a secret group of miners that mined nearly all of West Africa's gold. This group was very protective of there gold. They would keep the location of the mines a complete secret that only the miners knew. Sometimes a greedy merchant would kidnap a miner and try to get him to tell the location of the secret mines. Sometimes if a miner was kidnapped, the Wangarans would stop the production of gold for many years.
  • Where are the mines?
  • I'll never tell you!
  • The North Africans were salt miners. They were not as secretive about the location of their mines as the Wangarans, but they were just as productive. The North Africans mined thousands of pounds of salt from nearby dried up saltwater lakes and salt mines. This salt is transported as bars, put on camels and transported to West Africa in a caravan to trade for gold.
  • Each year we mine thousands of pounds of salt!
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