Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A little Zulu and a project you should NOT do!

Do you Zulu?

Raise your hand if you know anything about the Zulu tribe? Anyone?  Well, good, we'll both learn something new.  As I mentioned before, South Africa has more than 30 different ethnic groups, but the Zulu tribe is one of the largest and possibly the oldest.  The tribe was first documented in the 1620's, it was a bunch of different groups who all lived peacefully but separately, until Shaka, their most famous king, joined then together in the 1800's to become the powerful Zulu nation.  Nowadays, most Zulus live modern lives, but traditionally they lived in beehive shaped huts made of saplings and thatch mats.  Men on the right, women on the left and a hearth in the middle.  They raised livestock and lived off the land.  We WILL NOT be trying some of their native foods because they didn't sound appealing - charred meat, sour curdled milk that would give you courage (I bet) and boiled beans, one recipe had the nickname of "thundering buttocks"!  Umm, no thank you.  So since we're not trying the native food let's learn the native tongue.

Zulu ,or isizulu as it is sometimes known, is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa.  It has over 19,000 words and one of the most complex grammars of any language.  It also uses many clicking sounds and tones that we (I mean Americans) don't normally use.  The website I learned these from had the pronunciations if you really want to go into great detail, but we just said them how they looked like they would be pronounced and were pretty close :)

Hello - sawubona     goodbye - sala kahle     friend - umngane
thank you - ngiyabonga   monkey - inkawu   elephant - indlovu
lion - ibhebesi    giraffe - indlulamithi-thutlwa 

Learning the Zulu word for giraffe leads me into our next project...

The Giraffe that almost wasn't...

We had such a good time making our Statue of Liberty paper-mache project (week 1) that I thought a paper-mache giraffe would be fun.  Well, it wasn't.  On paper it sounded easy, but unless you have: 1. a lot of patience  2. a lot of time  and 3. a degree in engineering, this might not be the best project to undertake.  But we (mostly me) muddled through and finished.  To make the project you will need:
  • 3 balloons for body (big), head (small) and one uninflated with something heavy in it for the tail
  • paper towel tube for neck
  • cardboard or tubes for legs.  We were out of tp tubes but I think they would've worked better - our legs kept bending!
  • Flour, water and newspaper for paper mache
  • paint - yellow, orange or tan and brown
  • tape, plenty of tape
  • PATIENCE.  this was in short supply for some reason this week :)
1. Tape the paper towel tube to big balloon to make the body and  neck.
2.  Take small balloon to tube to make head.  Tape some ears and horns on too. 
3. I would recommend using tp (toilet paper) tubes for the legs.  We used heavy cardboard and the weight of the neck and head made our giraffe super tippy and hard to stand up. So...
4. Put a small but heavy rock in a balloon and use it as a tail and also to counterbalance the head/neck.  Kinda worked.

5.  Cover the whole deal with paper- mache.  Kids abandoned me at this point so Steve (my husband) helped.  Big mess since it kept falling over!!  My daughter posed with it like she helped though.

6. When the big mess has dried, paint it tan or yellow and put some brown spots and eyes on it. 

 You are now the proud owner of a giraffe.  Would love to hear about your adventures making it and maybe some helpful hints I could've used.  Could've , should've, whatever ... I'm laying off the paper-mache for awhile!!