In 2009, Chinyere couldn’t forget the magic and power of sharing she had read about in that article, titled “The Mighty Dollar” and she invited a few friends to join a timebank she called, The Cowry Collective. She hoped these friends would invite a few friends who would also do the same and the group would organically and easily grow. In 2010 Chinyere became a founding member of Yeyo Arts Collective operating Gya Community Gallery. The Cowry Collective was offered as a program, and regular orientations were held at Gya as well as InPower Institute. During 2010 – 2011 the group’s membership leveled off at 25 and the challenges of being a volunteer-run project without access to software to track exchanges slowed the activity of the group.
About the Author: Cowry Collective
We are a unique timebank whose name reflects the ancient practice of exchanging with currency that predates our current use of paper dollars and metal coins. Cowry shells were used as currency for centuries across the world throughout Africa and in China and continue to be used ceremonially among indigenous peoples of North America. By naming ourselves, The Cowry Collective, we give reference and reverence to these practices that have come before us and have paved the way for the alternative currency movement today. In our timebank, for every hour of service you do, you earn a cowry. (commonly referred to as a timedollar or time credit in the timebanking world).
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