Cowries shells. A cow had been equal 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
A currency (sanga and nsinda) existed in Uganda in addition to the barter trade in a paper titled, The Evolution of Currency in Uganda, Charles Enyondo, Bank of Uganda senior archivist, notes that, “From earlier date, before coming into contact with the outside world.
Ivory and slaves had been certainly of more worthiness than cows, nevertheless they were reckoned since well well worth a particular amount of cows each.
The Baganda, first published in 1911, John Roscoe wrote: “Before the introduction of cowrie shells, a blue bead, nsinda, was used; this was very rough and badly made, but it was considered to be of great value; one bead was equal in value to one hundred cowrie shells in his book.
“Still early in the day, before the development of the bead, an ivory that is small had been utilized, called singa; one of these brilliant discs ended up being valued at a hundred cowrie shells.”
The main coins, cowrie shells, blue beads (nsinda), while the tiny ivory discs (sanga) utilized as currency in Uganda, had holes in the middle.