3H students have been studying the voyageurs and their impact on trade in early Minnesota. We read about George Bonga, a Minnesota African American voyageur who was thought to rival Paul Bunyan in strength, spirit, and productivity. We also learned about their treacherous travels, trade goods, and bartering. 3H students tried their hand at bartering in a trade game. They were given cards with various trade goods on them. Then they assumed the role of a Native American, or a Fur Trader. Their goal was to make 5 trades, of course without speaking, because they don't know each other's language! Students really got the feel for what it was like to trade for survival, what determined the value of the items, and the challenge of communicating without a common language. The following day they brought their own trading goods from home and bartered for fun!
We also learned about the Voyageurs through a presentation by Dance Revels in the theater. Take a look at how we even got a chance to try the jig they demonstrated on stage!