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Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933) by S. A. Barrett and E. W. Gifford


CURRENCY

Shell beads, baskets, acorns, and flicker feather headbands were used as media of exchange. The values of shell beads are discussed elsewhere. Flicker feather headbands were worth about two dollars apiece.

Powers93 gives some valuations of money: “An Indian is ten days in making a bow, and it is valued at $3, $4, and $5, according to the workmanship; an arrow at 12 1/2 cents. Three kinds of money were employed in this traffic. White shell-buttons, pierced in the center and strung together, rate at $5 a yard (this money was less valuable than among the Nishinam, probably because these lived nearer the source of supply); ‘periwinkles’ (Olivella?) at $1 a yard; fancy marine shells at various prices, from $3 to $10 or $15 a yard, according to their beauty.”

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93Powers, 352.



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