Showcase ZERO. Monies of the World: Melanesia

9 April–7 July 2019

Temporary exhibitions

In addition to ordinary coins and notes, the museum has a significant collection of traditional money, objects used as a measure of value and instruments of payment and trade before the introduction of coinage.

A significant part of these holdings come from Melanesia, one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, especially the islands of New Guinea, Trobriand and the Solomon Islands.

“Payment” or “trade” are not always synonymous with commerce or wages. In addition to money for general use, other objects served social and ceremonial purposes. These traditional monies seem surprising to us, given our current concept of the economy and the market, but they are so firmly rooted in local culture that some have survived the introduction of modern money or live on in the name of a national currency.

Department of Numismatics and Medals

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