What is Money?

Much has been written about the history of money. Basically all real money is based upon something of value, usually natural materials extracted from the earth coupled with the creativity and resulting products of we the people. Once any exchange system is devoid of the link to value – it can be easily manipulated and misused against the well-being of we the people, our communities and the country in which we live. Hitler, for instance, studied how much the money supply of a country would have to be counterfeited or inflated in order to destabilize that country and he found that it took only 2%! Look what the federal reserve bankers and their crony corporate friends are doing now!!!

Current money is defined in law: “Money is current which is received as money in the common business transactions, and is the common medium in barter and trade.” So the actual contract between we the people starts with a service or product that we wish to exchange – hence, the process of barter and trade is the foundation of any money system.

For centuries, money created out of precious metals has been a more convenient and honest exchange for we the people’s products and services.  Some cultures exchange natural produce, services and hand-made products. In our early history, Native Americans used wampum belts for money. Wampum belts held both a ceremonial quality – honoring nature – and rewarded the creativeness of the artist. Interestingly, because of the absence of many metals, wampum belts were used as money by the colonists for many years.

I’ve often thought it would be good to return to the use of wampum belts – encouraging the creative abilities of our youngsters, oldsters and in fact – all people.

Learn More at: http://www.nativetech.org/wampum/wamphist.htm

“The use of wampum as money, even among the English, continued until the American Revolution. Important matters such as treaty agreements were likely to be marked by an exchange of Wampum belts, with designs in two colors, which thereafter served as visual reminders of the event itself, and to call to memory the arrangements agreed on” (Russel 1980: 185). European traders and politicians, using beads and trinkets, often exploited gift exchange to gain Native American favor or territory. With the scarcity of metal coins in New England, Wampum quickly evolved into a formal currency after European/Native contact, it’s production greatly facilitated by slender European metal drill bits. Wampum was mass produced in coastal southern New England. The Narragansetts and Pequots monopolized the manufacture and exchange of wampum in this area.


Read “Why Silver?” next