INDIGI LAB launches JUNGA which aims to revive Indigenous trading

Indigenous people used shell and bead currency in the pacific coast for hundreds of years and the practice still continues today.

The Kuku-Yalajni people fro Far Northern Australia were part of a traditional trade routes connecting them to other Indigenous communities in the in the pacific region. JUNGA is the Kuku-Yalanji word for money and its this word that is

The importance placed on money has not only seen people without financial security; having “no money”, but that it has created a world of selfishness and greed. The basic concept of money can be a challenge in itself for many Indigenous people, particular those from cultures where sharing is a part of your predisposed responsibilities.

You can’t just simply change a value system which have been passed on from 80,000 years or more.

It’s difficult for a group of people to simply change the values which have been passed on from thousands of years. Ngujakura lore, for example, connected five Yalanji clan groups over Far North Queensland and created effective ways of communication, share and trade. However, when white man law was imposed, the established system of Ngujakura wasn’t allowed to be practiced and the new racist laws wouldn’t give Indigenous people the opportunity to participate in Australian society, let alone have a bank account. Developing their trade system was prohibited and learning to manage newly introduced money wasn’t an option.

“We have survived the cataclysmic forces of nature and even colonisation,” he says. “We have established intricate trade routes that links us to how we communicate and share as a collective, rather individualist. You can’t just simply change a value system which have been passed on from 80,000 years or more.”

Each piece of currency will have a certified stamp; the featured artist will create the coded stamp for security purposes. Each shell will be traded at $5 AUD dollars and the buyer will be given a necklace to clip on the shells beads. There will be a 10% Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property Tax (ICIPT) that will be incorporated into the purchase of the ticket price. The tax will directly benefit the showcase artists.