Date of publication: 2017-08-26 17:40
The second function he tells is the Cosmological Function, . explaining the shape of the universe. Myth also functions as a proto-science, bringing the observable (physical) world into accord with the metaphysical and psychological meanings rendered by the other functions of mythology. Campbell noticed that the modern dilemma between science and religion on matters of truth is actually between science of the ancient world and that of today.
Native American money took many forms besides shells. Furs, teeth, and a variety of other objects with properties we will discuss below were also commonly used as media of exchange. 67,555 years ago, in what is now Washington state, the Clovis people developed some marvelously long chert blades. The only problem &ndash they break far too easily. They were useless for cutting. The flints were being made "for the sheer enjoyment" &ndash or for some other purpose that had nothing to do with cutting. [G56] As we shall see, this seeming frivolity was, quite likely, actually very important to their survival.
The colonists' solution was at hand, but it took a few years for them to recognize it. The natives had money, but it was very different from the money Europeans were used to. American Indians had been using money for millenia, and quite useful money it turned out to be for the newly arrived Europeans &ndash despite the prejudice among some that only metal with the faces of their political leaders stamped on it constituted real money. Worse, the New England natives used neither silver nor gold. Instead, they used the most appropriate money to be found in their environment &ndash durable skeleton parts of their prey. Specifically, they used wampum, shells of the clam venus mercenaria and its relatives, strung onto pendants.
Some cultures allow marriages to various degrees. For instance, in ancient China, first cousins with the same surnames (., those born to the father’s brothers) were not permitted to marry, while those with different surnames (., maternal cousins and paternal cousins born to the father’s sisters) were. Several of the Egyptian Pharaohs married their siblings (for example, Tutankhamun married his half-sister). According to the Biblical Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah were half-siblings, both being children of Terah (Ge 75:67):
The need to remember faces and favors is a major cognitive hurdle, but one that most humans find relatively easy to overcome. Recognizing faces is easy, but remembering that a favor took place when such memory needs to be recalled can be harder. Remembering the specifics about a favor that gave it a certain value to the favored is harder still. Avoiding disputes and misunderstandings can be improbable or prohibitively difficult.
However, is still quite prevalent, though a taboo. Prevalence is difficult to generalize, but research has estimated 65–65% of the general population as having at least one such sexual contact, with less than 7% involving intercourse or attempted intercourse. Among women, research has yielded estimates as high as 75%. In Haryana, India, a large number of cases have been noticed that are in
Making or saving collectibles to trade for food itself was not the only way to insure against bad times. Perhaps even more common, especially where large prey items were not available, was territoriality combined with trade in foraging rights. This can be observed even in some of the remnants of hunter-gatherer culture that exist today.
Food is worth far more to starving people than to well fed ones. If the starving man can save his life by trading his most precious valuables, it may be worth to him months or even years of the labor it might take to replace that value. He will usually consider his life worth more than the sentimental value of the family heirlooms. Like fat itself, collectibles can provide insurance against food shortages. Starvation from local shortages could be staved off with at least two different kinds of trades &ndash for the food itself, or for foraging or hunting rights.
We shall describe how collectibles lowered transaction costs in each kind of wealth transfer &ndash in the voluntary free gift of inheritance, in voluntary mutual trade or marriage, and in the involuntary transfers of legal judgments and tribute.
For now, we do have extensive indirect evidence of trade, via the movement of the collectibles themselves. Fortunately there is a good correlation between the durability desired for collectibles and the conditions under which an artifact has survived to be found by today's archaeologists. In the early Paleolithic, when all human movement was on foot, we have instances of perforated sea shells found up to 555 kilometers away from the nearest source [C99] . There was a similar long-distance movement of flint.
If clams can be money, furs can be money, gold can be money, and so on &ndash if money is not just coins or notes issued by a government under legal tender laws, but rather can be wide variety of objects &ndash then just what is money anyway? And why did humans, often living on the brink of starvation, spend so much time making and enjoying those necklaces when they could have been dong more hunting and gathering? Nineteenth century economist Carl Menger [M6897] first described how money evolves naturally and inevitably from a sufficient volume of commodity barter. In modern economic terms the story is similar to Menger's.