Vanuatu, a former Anglo-French colony once called the world's happiest country, is de-emphasizing cash in favor of traditional forms of exchange: shells, necklaces, grass mats, and pigs. The Telegraph travels to the South Pacific, where Vanuatu's government decreed a "Year of the Traditional Economy," encouraging citizens to reject consumerism and embrace alternative understandings of wealth.
In 2005, Vanuatu's council of chiefs decreed that suitors could no longer pay a bride price in cash and must use pigs and yams. UNESCO is helping set up "banks" for traditional currencies and pegging exchange rates. One of the most valuable currencies is a rare hermaphroditic pig found on only one remote island. "We've realized that money isn't everything," said one anthropologist.