Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Cache

Photo courtesy Flickr

It’s not often I get feedback about a post in real time, but my friend Lily tells me that buying three each of things she buys often has slashed the number of trips she makes to the store.

I mentioned that to the in-house archaeologist, and we started talking about the Alaskan tradition of storing caches of vital supplies at intervals along wilderness routes. My understanding is that to rob a cache was a serious matter with serious consequences, like stealing a horse was in the Lower 48.

Tribespeople stored caches along vital routes. People were welcome to use what they needed, as long as they replaced what they used. Failing to resupply was grounds for banishment. These behaviors were part of the tribes’ economic system. People “banked” without cash by sharing abundance in a system of mutual favor and support.

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