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Traditional Doba money from Trobriand - Papua New guinea | by Eric Lafforgue
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Traditional Doba money from Trobriand - Papua New guinea

In the islands, you pay with kina, the Papua money, but you can also make your own money!

The Doba is the traditional money that women use on Trobriand.

They take some green banana leaves, they scratch them on a wood board (wood kwila tree) which has a special design . The board is given to the wife by the husband.

The design is printed on the banana leave.

They remove the back of the green leave, and then they dry it.

Once it is dried, they put 50 leaves together. This 50 has a value of 5 kinas (1 euro).

This money is kept in giant baskets which are located on the terrace of the bamboo house.

The money will be used for wedding , special ceremonies, or for daily stuff as food, vegetable, and even fuel for the lucky ones who have a car.

There are two kinds of money: the one made with banana leaves like in Trobriand, and the one made with shells, like in East New Britain..


Trobriand Islands (aka the Kiriwina Islands) ,off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea in Milne Bay Province.

© Eric Lafforgue

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Taken on October 5, 2009