Money of California

Started by Figleaf, February 22, 2015, 01:49:10 AM

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Figleaf

That begs the question of where barter ends and money starts. If the arrowheads were accepted in trade and "spent" again without being used as arrowheads, they were money. If they were acquired with the intention of getting some deer meat, it would be barter. Clearly, there are no survivors to interview or books to consult.

Just like you cannot tell when there is enough light for night to end and day to start, but you know night from day, these arrowheads are neither in a black zone nor in a white zone. There are arguments in favour (valuable, useful, imperishable, easy to transport) and against (scarce, hard to produce, sharp point).

If it's any comfort, I once had an arrowhead in my collection. :-X

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Thulium

#16
QuoteThat begs the question of where barter ends and money starts. If the arrowheads were accepted in trade and "spent" again without being used as arrowheads, they were money. If they were acquired with the intention of getting some deer meat, it would be barter. Clearly, there are no survivors to interview or books to consult.

I was intrigued by your idea of acorns; I only suggested obsidian as an item of trade, not actual currency--because it was always in high demand.  :)  Barter was the main form of trade for W. Coast Indians. I have read about the native tribes. The item considered closest to actual currency by west coast tribes is most likely the Dentalium shell--here is some background info. It was always a rare shell, that required considerable effort to find--hence the value.

Having lived in California most my life, I also know how common oak trees are--and the acorns that fall off them. ;)  So I'm unsure these seeds can be a viable currency if all you need to do walk up to an oak and pick them off the ground--just an observation.

Dentalium shells in a form that was widely traded--that's my contribution to your thread.


bgriff99