mardi 13 septembre 2011

Irremovable currencies of the Solomon Islands and Micronesia.


1. The currency of Langalanga shell (Solomon Islands)

        
The 2,000 inhabitants of the village of Abalolo in the province of Malaita (Solomon Islands), the Langalanga, belong to a political union.
        
The men of these artificial islands spend their time fishing and the production of shell money, women spend on gardening, collecting and also to the production of money made from shell beads. Four species of shells are used: the romu (Chama pacifica), the Ke'e (Beguin semi-orbiculata), the Kakandu (Anadara granosa) and the Kuril (Atrina vexillum).
        
Of the three types of shells used in the manufacture of traditional currency (red, white and black), reds seem the most popular. Traditionally, fishing sites romu fai-saient subject to strict management and only the men who made specific rituals were allowed to dive to catch the shells.
         Today romu became too scarce and expensive between now and Ke'e in the manufacture of all types of traditional currency described above, with the exception of central parts of akwala afu and maifuo. However, the price of Ke'e has also increased recently.
        
Today, local communities usually buy bags of shellfish on the market in Honiara. Each bag is supposed to contain twenty-five kilograms of shells. The romu, who have the most value, are sold individually.
        
The shells also come from other parts of the island of Malaita and neighboring islands, as well as more remote islands like those of New Georgia.
        
This currency (Poate) is used for either the bride price "ISAE Galia" is common for "akwala afu". She exchanged against paper money, the Solomon Islands dollar.

        
Langalanga is now one of the few places where the production of shell money has continued. The people of Langalanga live near the lagoon Langalanga, the center of the west coast of the island of Malaita, one of the seven provinces of the Solomon Islands.

2. The aragonite, the official currency of Yap Island in Micronesia.

        
Yap is one of four states of Micronesia. It consists of several islands and archipelagos belonging to the Caroline Islands, whose capital is Kolonia, on the island of Yap. Covering an area of ​​121.7 km2, Yap is populated by 11,241 inhabitants.
        
Although located in Oceania, Yap Islands, located in the western Caroline Islands, is not populated by Pacific Islanders in contrast to the outer islands. Before European contact, the importance of the Yap stone monumental money of Palau.
        
The reserves of wealth are stationary while the currency moves, from one pocket to another. A reservation is a mass of wealth and money is a measure of the mass.
        
Surprising as it may seem, the aragonite is a perfectly legal means of payment in Yap.
        
The foreign visitors are surprised to see the island left hanging "their money" on the street. Especially since it is even very heavy: some stones have a diameter of 4 meters and weigh up to 15 tonnes.

A stone that has changed the lives of the inhabitants of Yap.

        
Centuries ago, the people of Yap went on the nearby island of Palau, 400 km from home. He discovered the aragonite, a stone unknown on their islands.
        
They began to extract large amounts of the caves of Palau. For transport, they cut them in the form of discs drilled and introduce a stick.
        
Over time, the people of Yap made it a means of payment and called "Rai".
        
Given the difficulty of extraction, transportation, victims of the trip, the value of the stones did nothing but increase, determining the price of that currency. The aragonite became an asset of great value to the people of Yap.
        
The value of the stone allows for its beauty, age and social status of the parties in the transaction.
        
Thus, the stones which fell into the hands of rich people have more value than those possessed by ordinary mortals.
        
The stones that change ownership, but are not moved.
        
They are simply the location where they were originally filed: along a road, in front of a house or any other building ...

And best of all!

        
The story's most striking about this is that of a wealthy family on the island who had a huge reason that no one had ever seen and, moreover, could not see. Indeed, their reason was based, ensured its members at the bottom of the sea
        
Several generations earlier, an ancestor was in the process of towing a raft attached to his canoe when a terrible storm had lifted.          The man cut the rope, leaving the raft spinning and saw the huge stone plunging into the waves.
        
As he had survived, he could tell his story, describing the size and the exceptional quality of the stone he had lost. No one had ever questioned the veracity of his testimony.
         The purchasing power of this stone he kept the same validity as if it had been raised at the sight of all beside the house owner?

And even today?

        
From 1931 no stone has been cut. In the early 20th century, the stones as currencies were replaced by U.S. dollars, at least for everyday transactions of low value.
        
By cons, major purchases: a house, land are still with stones of aragonite which also serve to pay damages.
            Theft is a rare reason for the people of Yap are in the habit of mutual social control. Most people know the owners of Yap stones and have great respect for others' property.
         Besides how to fly a 15 ton stone without being detected?

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