As we have learned, much work went into the creation of wood, stone, and iron fences. Who contributed to their construction? We can speculate that many individuals had a hand in creating them, among them:
- Many of these individuals were brought over from West African shores, from such regions as Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, and Ghana. Many Ghanaian captives were of the Asante people; many of their males were master ironworkers, stonecrafters, and wood carvers. They were recognized for the creation of “talking symbols” known as Adinkra. Traditionally, the use of Adinkra symbolism was limited to the royal family, heralding their character and/or status within their realm. The symbols were also used (and continue to be used) during funerary rites as a sign of remembrance and characterization of a deceased loved one
. The symbols not only signified an individual’s relationship with the Creator, but the spirit and personality of the dearly departed. Asante artisans were adept in crafting decorative symbols into wood and metal objects; although often unheralded in the archives of history, many iron works and wood-crafted objects of the 17
century seem to indicate the infusion of African tradition. Note too that most slaves received no remuneration or recognition for services rendered. Some, however, were able to work at their craft to pay for their freedom.
- these individuals learned under would be or master artisans; they rigorously worked, assisting specialists in the creation of functional objects. These workers’ reward was to become skilled tradesmen.
- the common farm owners and their family members often participated in clearing the land. Wealthier owners often hired wandering laborers or indentured servants and slaves to execute needed tasks.
- They aided in clearing the land, cutting down and sawing timber and creating and creation of wood, stone, and iron fences. Unlike slaves, indentured servants were contracted oftentimes to forgive a debt without monetary compensation. They could work at their craft to eventually release themselves from their obligation.
Wandering laborers - these workers worked under contractual agreement for a set duration in return oftentimes for meager monetary compensation; the help of additional workers was particularly sought after during harvest time.
Ponder This - “Walking In Their Shoes” Brainstorming Activity
Based on the above-noted information coupled with info acquired from Museum visits, and walking tours, students will consider the labor force used to create wood, stone, and metal fences. Students will imagine physical and psychological challenges faced by these individuals. Working in groups of four and using the Ponder This Questionnaire/Worksheet 2 (see Attachment B) as a framework, students will step into the shoes of the select fence maker. Responses will once again vary. Based on gathered Post discussing their viewpoints in small groups and subsequently sharing their conjectures with the entire class, the following information can be revealed.
Note that elements from Worksheets 1 and 2 (see Attachments A and B) will be used as an informational framework for the Journal Writing Activity.
The assessment process will take the form of a visual/written presentation. Students will create a journal insert and accompanying fence sample to demonstrate their understanding of unit subject matter. Our young historians will self-critique upon the completion of their unit project. A rubric is provided for student use (see Attachment C).