Carrying Stone Money in Yap

Carrying Stone Money in Yap World History Native-Americans and First Peoples  Visual Arts

For centuries, people on the island of Yap—which is today part of Micronesia in the Western Pacific—used limestone discs as stone money.

Extremely heavy, those discs were excavated from quarries on the island of Palau, then transported back to Yap by Yapese men in their small boats.

This image depicts how Yapese limestone excavators and carvers transported their stone money (called rai) from Palau’s quarries to their boats—and—how they transported the limestone discs once they arrived back at their harbor in Yap.

The photo, taken in 1978, shows a scene from the presentation of Yapese stone money during the inauguration of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 15, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

Media Credits

Image from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Archives Photograph Collection; online via Wikimedia Commons.


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"Carrying Stone Money in Yap" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 15, 2015. Jan 21, 2019.
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