In the beginning, People did use money as a form of exchange when trading. Barter trade was used here. Barter trade is the exchange of a good for another good or the exchange of services without the involvement of money. People could change a bag of bean for a bag of rice or a cow with four goats depending on the agreement the people will reach. Since at some pint agreements could not be reached, people came up with this commodity called money. Commodities like salt, cattle, tobacco, and tea were used to as money.
However, problems came up when using these commodities as money. Some of this goods are perishable hence difficult to store whereas some were bulky and reduced the efficiency of the trade. Barter trade mainly aims at fulfilling a social function. This is according to a study carried out on people who exchange presently. It is inferred that barter just satisfies its social function. Barter in some human populations like the hunters-harvesters, individual sustenance, is often guaranteed hence it is not necessarily for them to exchange. On the contrary, barter is needed for social bonding, friendship, alliance with other groups, and to affirm the existing social relationships.
Exchanges are often endowed with certain formalities like sacral concepts of a man’ s life because of their great importance in the social platform. Most primitive societies invest in some things that have a special value, mostly livestock. Ceremonial occasions like weddings represent situations whereby livestock use as a measure of value is common. Traditionally, possession of large numbers of cattle or any tame animals is a clear evidence of prestige and wealth.
When one wants to give dowry when marrying, cattle are given to the home of the woman to get the woman. The cattle represented the wealth from the man taking his woman from her parents. In about 500 BC, metal objects were introduced as money.
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