Math problems from Botswana

Mrs. Hansen's students solve math problems sent by students in Botswana for Kidlink's project - Cultures Around the World

Math problems from our friends in Botswana:

The Bangwato Trading Problems

The Bangwato had 249 chickens worth P5.00 (five Pula - Botswana's currency is the Pula) each and the San had 159 pairs of leather shoes each worth P10.00. They trade and the Bangwato have 200 chickens left.

Gunnar and Tevin solve this part of the math problem:

Hi Tshepo, Tebogo, Thato, Thula and M.J.

We have solved one of your math problems. We subtracted to find out how many chickens the Bangwato tribe traded and how much money they made.

The key word that told us to subtract was left.

   249 chickens  
-  200 chickens left
    49 chickens left

To find out how much money they made we multiplied

   X  5P
    245 P

The Bangwato made 245P by trading 49 of their chickens.

Tomorrow we will do your other problem.

Your friends,
Gunnar, Tevin and Darell

How much money did they make? The San have 129 pairs of shoes left. How much money did they make?

If the Bangwato traded 1 pot for 7 necklaces and the San wanted 20 pots, how many necklaces would they have to pay?

Done by Tshepo, Tebogo, Thato, Thula and M.J.

San Maths

A hundred cows were given to the San chief for lobola (bridesprice) from the Bangwato chief's son. Before the Bangwato gave the cattle, the San chief had 650 cattle. During winter the San chief lost 77 cattle and 28 were born. How many cattle does he have now?

The San chief's wife had 1000 beads. She traded 557 for 57 ostrich eggs. She then made 18 more. How many beads does she have now?

A San woman had 57 pots. She gave their chief 18 pots for a goat. The goat destroyed 7 pots, but she made 20 more. She was then given 13 more for the damage. How many pots does she have now?

By Phongula, Pamela, Tsitsi, Lobone and Cassandra

Back A Native American Math Problem

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Patti Weeg

November 23, 2000