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From 1899 to 1919 the Caroline Islands, in Micronesia,were a German colony.The most westerly of the group is the island of Uap, or Yap, which at the time had a population of between five thousand and six thousand. In 1903 an American anthropologist named William Henry Furness Ⅲ spent several months on the island... show more From 1899 to 1919 the Caroline Islands, in Micronesia,were a German colony.The most westerly of the group is the island of Uap, or Yap, which at the time had a population of between five thousand and six thousand.

In 1903 an American anthropologist named William Henry Furness Ⅲ spent several months on the island and wrote a fascinating book about the habits and customs of its inhabitants.He was particularly impressed by the islanders' monetary system, and accordingly he gave his book the title I have given this chapter: The Island of Stone Money.

[As] their island yields no rental, they have had recourse to stone;stone, on which labour in fetching and fashioning has been expended,is as truly a representation of labour as the mined and minted coins of civilization.Their medium of exchange they call fei, and it consists of large, solid, thick, stone wheels, ranging in diameter from a foot to twelve feet,having in the centre a hole varying in size with the diameter of the stone, wherein a pole may be inserted sufficiently large and strong to bear the weight and facilitate transportation.These stone “coins”[were made from limestone found on an island some four hundred miles distant. They] were originally quarried and shaped [on that island and the product] brought to Uap by some venturesome native navigators,in canoes and of rafts….
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