The Tavau, or coil feather currency of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Cruz group
"The basis of money is at times a shell, a bead, a robe, a skin," says Mr. O.T. Mason, but, adds Dr. G.B. Tylor, "in this roughest kind of barter we do not yet find that clear notion of a unit of value which is the great step in trading." An account of the currency used by the native races of the South Pacific has yet to be written, and when investigated a very fascinating study it will prove to be. A perusal of the curious and interesting list of objects given by Dr. T. de Lacouperie as "Shapes of Currency from Barter to Money," used throughout the world, will impress this fact on the reader. In a review of Dr. Lacouperie's list Dr. J.D.E. Schmeltz adds some further important facts, including the "feather money" of Santa Cruz.