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Beads are the first known currency

Beads have been used as currency for thousands of years in various cultures and regions around the world. In some instances, beads were even used as a form of currency long before the use of coins or paper money.

One notable example of using beads as currency comes from Native American tribes in North America. They used wampum, which were small cylindrical or tubular beads made from shells, as a form of currency for trade and as a way to maintain alliances between different tribes. Wampum beads were highly prized and were used in a variety of transactions, including as payment for goods or services and in negotiations between tribes.

In Africa, beads were also used as a form of currency. In some regions, beads were considered a luxury item and were highly valued. Beads made from glass or other imported materials were especially prized and were used in trade with other cultures. In some African cultures, beads were used to pay bride prices or as a form of dowry.

In Southeast Asia, beads were used as a form of currency as well. The Javanese, for example, used small glass beads known as manik-manik as currency, which were highly valued due to their small size and intricate designs. In other parts of Southeast Asia, beads made from materials such as gold, silver, and coral were used as currency.

The use of beads as currency has also been documented in ancient civilizations, such as the Aztecs and the Incas. The Aztecs used cocoa beans, which were strung together and used as a form of currency. The Incas used quipus, a system of knotted strings, to keep track of trade and other transactions, with different colored strings representing different commodities, including beads.

In conclusion, beads have been used as a form of currency in various cultures and regions throughout history. From wampum beads in Native American tribes to manik-manik beads in Southeast Asia, beads have played an important role in trade and commerce. Today, beads are still used as a form of currency in some parts of the world, particularly in rural areas where traditional customs and practices continue to thrive.

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