Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
Yap is the most traditional island in Micronesia. Women walk half naked in the streets and enter the supermarkets, and all men, scarcely dressed with loincloths, carry always with them a straw bag containing hundreds of betel nuts that they masticate and spit everywhere, every time.
In Colonia, capital of Yap, I saw stone money in a bank in the street. With those stones of aragonite (calcium carbonate) snatched from the Rock Islands of Palau, locals can buy possessions or pay as dowry to get married.
Today they have been devaluated owing toan Irish adventurer of the XIX century, David Dean O’Keefe, who extracted large quantities of them and became rich; he even bought an island (named O’Keefe!) in front of Colonia and got married to a native girl.
I tried to visit a small island called Rummung, but the chief did not allow me to enter, and even refused my gift, for being a foreigner from another “island”. For them, everybody lives in an island. One week later I flew to Chuuk.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to Yapese Disk Money Regional Sites? Share your experiences!