A World without Money: Today Non-monetary Societies

Man and his lust for money has existed since time immemorial. People have often been judged based on their possessions though mainly money. Many a rich people, that is rich in money terms, are known to admire their money they see in numbers on their computers. Let's have a look at some of the cashless societies that have always existed and till this date live in peace with themselves.

The Yanomami or the Yanomami Indians of the Amazons as they are better known. This tribe, though to make a point we are all descendants of tribals, continues to live in peace. The greatest wealth being the family. The Yanomami have survived upheavals for centuries including those times when they were hunted for slavery and the times when vested interests wanted to ‘integrate’ them which was more for reasons of acquiring their lands. They have always lived as a cashless society grow their own foods, fish for exactly what they need to feed their families and barter any additional harvest within themselves. They are a society of an estimated 35,000 today and live in small communities in their respective villages numbering approximately 30 to 400 individuals.

The Kula Ring of Papua. similar to the Yanomami they grow and fish for just their needs and personal jewelry made of shells and natural materials is regularly exchanged amongst themselves. Here again family being the greatest wealth.

The Awa tribes of Amazon they have never had need for money. Nature provides.

Traditional Jonbeel Mela, Marigaon, Assam, India

The Jonbeel Mela is a trade fair of tribes in India. Here various tribals, or to be more politically correct tribes people, meet and barter various goods such as cattle, home made jewelry, boxes, furniture that’s been put together, foods and so on. The trade fair or the mela as it’s called originated many centuries back and continues till date. No need for cash here.

The Nyimang of Sudan. Now these guys are materialistic. They measure wealth in terms of who owns how much cattle and thus belongs to a certain level in society. At the same time it is probably correct to say that the Nyimang have always been a cashless society and depend on the barter system.

All in all the tribespeople who live in cashless societies are known to consider family and friends as their greatest wealth. The larger the family and the circle of friends, the richer you are.

Payment terminal

Move over the tribes, let’s see what’s happening in the super malls, hyper markets and the departmental stores of the world. Most payments are made through credit or debit cards. India, where cheating on taxes is a national sport has the government working overtime to make it a cashless society. The government of the country has already made it illegal to make payments beyond certain amounts in cash and the Indians are moving towards the prospect of making all payments by card only. The other countries working hard towards making themselves cashless are Sweden, China and Malaysia.

Cashless but the numbers on the computer will remain a source of contentment for most.

Photos: Shutterstock


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