Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fri wear your cowry shell jewelry to celebrate our study of East Asia

Cowry, also sometimes spelled cowrie, plural always cowries, is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, says Wikipedia. The word "cowry" is also often used to refer to the shells of these snails.

Shells of certain species have historically been used as currency in several parts of the world, as well as being used, in the past and present, very extensively in jewelry, and for other decorative and ceremonial purposes.

The shells of cowries were used for centuries as a currency in Africa. Starting over three thousand years ago, cowry shells, or copies of the shells, were used as Chinese currency[2]. They were also used as means of exchange in India.

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