Cowries shells. A cow had been comparable to 2,500 cowrie shells. Photo/LABAN WALLOGA Bank of Uganda, Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki, yoweri museveni, East African Currency Board, jomo kenyatta, idi amin, milton obote, main coins, cowrie shells, blue beads, nsinda, ivory discs, sanga
In a paper entitled, The development of Currency in Uganda, Charles Enyondo, Bank of Uganda senior archivist, records that, “From previous date, before entering connection with the exterior globe, a money (sanga and nsinda) existed in Uganda aside from the barter trade.
The typical associated with the money had been set by the value of the cow.
Ivory and slaves had been certainly of more value than cows, nevertheless they had been reckoned as well worth a particular quantity of cows each.”
In his guide, The Baganda, first published in 1911, John Roscoe wrote: “Before the development of cowrie shells, a blue bead, nsinda, had been utilized; this is extremely rough and poorly made, however it ended up being regarded as of good value; one bead ended up being equal in value to a single hundred cowrie shells.
“Still earlier in the day, before the development of the bead, a tiny ivory disk had been utilized, referred to as singa; one of these brilliant discs was respected at a hundred cowrie shells.”