Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 57
Before the 1500’s, the western plains of North America were dominated by farmers.
One group, the Mandans, lived in the upper Missouri River country, primarily in
present-day North Dakota. They had large villages of houses built close together. The
tight arrangement enabled the Mandans to protect themselves more easily from the
(5) attacks of others who might seek to obtain some of the food these highly capable
farmers stored from one year to the next.
The women had primary responsibility for the fields. They had to exercise
considerable skill to produce the desired results, for their northern location meant
fleeting growing seasons. Winter often lingered; autumn could be ushered in by
(10) severe frost. For good measure, during the spring and summer, drought, heat, hail,
grasshoppers, and other frustrations might await the wary grower.
Under such conditions, Mandan women had to grow maize capable of weathering
adversity. They began as early as it appeared feasible to do so in the spring, clearing
the land, using fire to clear stubble from the fields and then planting. From this point
(15) until the first green corn could be harvested, the crop required labor and vigilance.
Harvesting proceeded in two stages. In August the Mandans picked a smaller
amount of the crop before it had matured fully. This green corn was boiled, dried, and
shelled, with some of the maize slated for immediate consumption and the rest stored
in animal-skin bags. Later in the fall, the people picked the rest of the corn. They saved
(20) the best of the harvest for seeds or for trade, with the remainder eaten right away or
stored for later use in underground reserves. With appropriate banking of the extra
food, the Mandans protected themselves against the disaster of crop failure and
The women planted another staple, squash, about the first of June, and harvested it
(25) near the time of the green corn harvest. After they picked it, they sliced it, dried it, and
strung the slices before they stored them. Once again, they saved the seed from the best
of the year’s crop. The Mandans also grew sunflowers and tobacco; the latter was the
particular task of the old men.
Reading Comprehension 57
guard their supplies of food
allow more room for growing corn
protect themselves against the weather
share farming implements
They could grow crops in most types of soil.
They developed new varieties of corn.
They developed effective fertilizers.
They could grow crops despite adverse weather.
were very adventurous
planned for the future
were open to strangers