Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LSAT question!

13. Economist: Money, no matter what its form and in almost every culture in which it has been used, derives its value from its scarcity .whether real or perceived.

  Anthropologist: But cowrie shells formed the major currency in the Solomon Island economy of the Kwara'ae ,and unlimited numbers of these shells washed up daily on the beaches to which the kwara'ae had access.

  Which one of the following, if true about the Kwara'ae, best serves to resolve the apparently conflicting positions cited above?

  (A) During festivals they exchanged strings of cowrie-shell money with each other as part of a traditional ritual that honored their elders.

  (B) They considered porpoise teeth valuable, and these were generally threaded on strings to be worn as jewelry.

  (C) The shells used as money by men were not always from the same species of cowrie as those used as money by women.

  (D) They accepted as money only cowrie shells that were polished and carved by a neighboring people, and such shell preparation required both time and skilled labor.

  (E) After Western traders brought money in the form of precious-metal coins to the Solomon Islands. Cowrie-shell money continued to be used as one of the major media of exchange for both goods and services.

So, I wanted to figure out if this was actual fact, or more LSAT writers have fun, in their own way...

Turns out it's true!

Pretty cool eh?... Now, this material was taken from Google Books, and more specifically from here:

Money and modernity: state and local currencies in Melanesia
By David Akin, Joel Robbins, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania. Meetings
Edition: illustrated
Published by Univ of Pittsburgh Press, 1999
ISBN 0822956896, 9780822956891,M1

And the right answer to the LSAT question? D, of course!

1 comment:

  1. Money Cowrie Seashells (Cypraea moneta) are so named because they used to carry the value of money and were used just as we use money today. This particular seashell is found around coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Each shell is approximately 1/2".
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