Who first used the cowrie shell for trade?

Who first used the cowrie shell for trade?

History of the Shell Money. Caravans of Arab traders were probably the first to introduce the cowrie shell into West Africa, possibly as early as the 8th century. By the 15th century the shells circulated as money, especially in the Empire of Mali.

Who introduced cowrie shells in East Africa?

It was in the early 19th century, during the reign of Semakokiro (1797-1814), Kabaka of Buganda, that trade goods like dark blue cotton cloth, copper wire and cowrie shells reached the hinterland of Buganda from the East African coast.

What did the Shang Dynasty use cowrie shells for?

From the vast numbers of cowrie shells found in tombs of the Shang Dynasty it seems that the Chinese used them as a means of exchange as early as the 16th Century BC. Cowrie, the earliest currency in China, made its first appearance in Xia Dynasty and became the main currency in Shang Dynasty.

Who used cowrie shells in Black Beauty?

You can decorate your hair with beads or cowry shells for hair. These hair jewelry brings an elegant touch to a simple or more sophisticated hairstyle. This hairstyle has existed for a long time in Africa. Then, it was popularized in the 80s by the singer Patrice Rushen.

When did Nigeria start cowry?

The first evidence for the presence of cowrie shells in Yorubaland especially moneta cowries post-dated the 15 century. As from 1515 onwards, the Europeans who were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade started the importation of moneta cowries into the coast of Benin.

When and where were cowrie shells first used?

The oldest traces of their use as a currency can be found on bronze objects unearthed in China, dating back to the 13th century B.C. Meanwhile, the Chinese characters for certain words with a strong economic connotation (e.g. money, coin, buy, value) also resemble cowries.

What was the first form of money introduced in East Africa?

In May 1898, the East Africa and Uganda (Currency) Order-in-Council made the British India silver rupee the standard coin in the two protectorates, although the rupees, annas and pice issued by the IBEA were still acceptable. This order was the first to recognise a currency for East Africa.

What form of currency was introduced by the Arabs in East Africa?

The currency introduced by the Arabs was an assortment of foreign coins which reflected the multi-national nature of the Indian Ocean sea trade. There were Indian rupees and annas, pice bronze coins, British florins, and silver Maria Theresa thalers that originated from Austria.

How were cowries used in the ancient period?

These cowries were natives of Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. These shells where used as currency and it was a symbol of pride and was also given as dowries. They were also used in making jewellery, decorative items and few ceremonial uses.

What is the source of cowries?

The cowrie was the shell most widely used worldwide as shell money. It is most abundant in the Indian Ocean, and was collected in the Maldive Islands, in Sri Lanka, along the Malabar coast India, in Borneo and on other East Indian islands, and in various parts of the African coast from Ras Hafun to Mozambique.

Where are cowrie shells found UK?

The arctic cowrie is found mainly on the north and west coasts of Britain and around Ireland. It is most common where its ascidian prey occurs.

Where are cowries found?

Where did people use cowry shells for trade?

Cowry shells reached many places around the Earth, even those that were very distant from the main sources. The usage of cowry shells in trade has also been recorded in North America. The Ojibwe (Chippewa) peoples that used to live around Lake Superior used cowry shells for trade and in their ceremonies.

How was the value of a cowry determined?

Their value was determined by the law of supply and demand which lies at the foundation of economy as a science. The farther the place was from the source of cowries or a big trade center, the bigger value the cowry carried.

What was the first written history of Britain?

The earliest written evidence for the Britons is from Greco-Roman writers and dates to the Iron Age. Celtic Britain was made up of many tribes and kingdoms, associated with various hillforts.

Why was there a shortage of cowries in India?

The import of cowries along Africa’s west coast caused the disappearance of many local currencies. On the other side, India was left with a huge cowry shortage throughout the 17th century. Chinese shell money, 16-18th century BCE. Author: PHGCOM CC BY-SA 3.0

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