Subject:      Re: C. moneta
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784)
Date:         1997/09/23
Message-ID:   <6073bm$pp6$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology

Hu McCulloch ([22] wrote:
: [23] (Yuri Kuchinsky) writes:

: >Yes, Jackson also quotes this from Moore in his 1917 book. But this is
: >what he adds on p. 189,

: >"Notwithstanding Rochebrune's [please note the correct spelling]
: >assertion, few students of Cypraea admit the possibility of the occurrence
: >of living C. moneta at the Cape Verde Islands, or indeed on any portion of
: >the West African coast. The cited occurrences there of this and the allied
: >form, C. annulus, may be due to accident."

: This is interesting. I gather
: Jackson is saying that the Cape Verde shells must themselves be
: imports, presumably from Africa, where they would have been obtained
: from the Indian Ocean via trade routes?


Yes, more or less this is what he's saying. He suggests they may have come
from a Portuguese shipwreck, and he gives the name of the ship that went
down with a huge load of cowries.

: So maybe the cowry Moore
: found in a Copena (1 AD - 400 AD) (?) mound in northern Alabama was
: Indian Ocean after all?



: Does anyone have some real information about the habitat of
: c. moneta,

As I mentioned in my post today, Jackson gives this as was known at that

: and/or its differences from New world
: (and/or Cape Verde Islands) cowries?

C. moneta are not known in the New World.

: I gather the Cree dress mentioned above contains New World
: cowries,

We don't know this for sure. But, on the whole, Jackson implies that they
are the Old World cowries. I suppose he did not investigate this matter in
detail since the date of this dress did not exclude postcolumbian
provenance. But nowdays these things can certainly be carbon dated to
remove all doubt...

: that unlike the Alabama shell(s?)
: are not themselves direct physical evidence of contact.
: Moore then is merely suggesting it evidences cultural exchange
: in the use of cowries.

His linking the cowries with the important Native rituals clinches the
case for me. These rituals could have hardly arrived to America


Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- [24]

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith

Click here to go one level up in the directory.