Monday, 21 March 2011

Stone Money

Rai stones are large circular stone disks (coins if you like) carved out of limestone with a large hole in the middle they may weigh up to several tons. They were used by Yap islanders in Micronesia for social transactions such as marriage, inheritance, political deals, sign of an alliance, ransom of the battle dead or just in exchange for food. The value of the stone was based not just on their size and craftsmanship but also on their history. On one occasion a stone, being transported by canoe, was dropped into the sea it was never recovered but everyone assumed that it was still there so it continued to be circulated. With the introduction of Iron tools in the 19th century a form of inflation set in and the stones became of less value. The attached images are open source from Wikipedia so you can find more information there. Thanks to Chris Haddow for bringing these very interesting items to my attention.

The entry on 25th March is a kissing gate.

1 comment:

Stone Art's Blog said...

Very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing