Papua New Guinea, Pig made from Wood


Papua New Guinea, Pig made from Wood (obverse) Papua New Guinea, Pig made from Wood (reverse)

Living pigs are valuable treasures in wide parts of the world. In Papua New Guinea they are not only eaten but also used as means of barter and payment and as stores of value. Pigs are an important part of bride price. Depending on the area and the status of the bride, the bride price would be 10 and 22 pigs. Pigs are also used to compensate for the death of a person. In some sense pigs and people are interchangeable, as there is a fixed exchange rate between the two. In some areas it is considered cannibalism to eat a pig a person has raised himself. In some areas of Paua New Guinea pigs made of wood are said to have the same value as a real pig. They certainly represent wealth, but it is questionable whether wooden pigs are used as money.


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