The Place Where Men and Women Speak Different Languages

In the Ubang language of southern Nigeria, men and women speak different languages. While there are many words that men and women share, there are others which are different depending on their gender. It's not a matter of adding a suffix or changing the tense -- men's words and women's words are totally different, with different letters and different sounds.

Raised by their mothers and other women, boys grow up speaking the female language, but at age 10 they’re expected to switch to the male. “There is a stage the male will reach and he discovers he is not using his rightful language,” says Chief Oliver Ibang. “Nobody will tell him he should change to the male language. … When he starts speaking the men language, you know the maturity is coming into him.” Boys who do not make the switch by a certain age are considered abnormal.

According to Chief Ibang, the Ubang's unique language(s) are from heaven. "God created Adam and Eve and they were Ubang people..." God had initially wanted every group to have two languages, but after giving the to the Ubang, God did the math and realized there were not enough languages for every group to get two. "So he stopped. That’s why Ubang has the benefit of two languages — we are different from other people in the world."

Morocco Used To Be European?

Morocco -- and indeed, all of northern Africa -- used to be considered part of the European cultural world. The region, then called Mauretania, was colonized by Phoenicians, then Phoenicia's descendent Carthage. After the Punic Wars there were a number of independent kingdoms in the region. They were weak, and the later ones were client-kings for Rome. Mauretania was eventually officially annexed by the Roman Empire in 46 CE and made a province. The region was conquered by the Vandals in the 400s CE, along with Spain. The whole time, Mauretania and its Berber tribes were considered the very edge of European culture, but European nonetheless.

It was the Arabic Empire that changed the cultural makeup of Morocco. The region was conquered by Muslim Arabs around 685 CE and incorporated into the new Umayyad Caliphate, ruled from Damascus. Its native Berber tribes slowly converted to Islam. Ever since, the country has been considered part of the wider Middle East sphere.

A Riding Pig!

Sir Anthony Wingfield kept a menagerie at Ampthill House in Bedfordshire, England. Wingfield's butler supplemented his wages by photographing house-guests posed with animals from the menagerie. Circa 1910

What Was The Neolithic Revolution?

The Neolithic Revolution, also known as the Agricultural Revolution, occurred about 12,000 years ago. For those, like me, who are not the best at math, that is around 10,000 BCE. There was a global trend away from nomadic hunting and gathering and towards sedentary farming. It appears to have arisen independently in multiple places in the Middle East, as well as in China and Papua New Guinea. Egypt and the Indus River Valley may have independently developed agriculture as well, or gotten the idea and the seeds from the Middle East or China.

Cereals, like barley in the Middle East and rice in China, were likely the first to be domesticated, eventually supplemented by protein-rice plants like peas and lentils. As people began to settle down they also domesticated animals. The earliest archaeological evidence of sheep and goat herding comes from around 10,000 BCE in the Iraq and Anatolia. Animals could be used as labor in the fields, or as sources of additional nutrients and calories to supplement the new cereal-heavy diet.

The Neolithic Revolution did not happen everywhere, and not all at once. And there remain a variety of hypotheses as to why humans stopped foraging and started farming. Population pressure may have caused increased competition for food and the need to cultivate new foods; people may have shifted to farming in order to involve elders and children in food production; humans may have learned to depend on plants they modified in early domestication attempts and in turn, those plants may have become dependent on humans. Whatever the reason, the Neolithic Revolution changed humanity -- and our world -- for good.

A Few Fun Facts About Tilapia

Tilapia has been farm-raised as far back as ancient Egyptian times. Tilapia are ideal for farming because they reproduce quickly, eat pretty much anything, don't mind overcrowding, and can live in any type of water. However, "tilapia" isn't just a species of fish -- it is a genus, and there's over 100 species in it!

The genus name itself is from the Tswana word "tlhapi" or "fish," which was Latinized to "thiape." (Tswana is the national and majority language of Botswana.)

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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