Sibbele Hylkema ofm, 1933 - 1998, was a missionary who worked among the Me or Ekagi from 1969 to 1994. But he was also a gifted ethnographer who left behind a large and impressive corpus of data dealing with these people. So far little of this work has been published. The present book contains his analysis of the role of cowrie shells in the social life of the Me. They were a means of payment, "money", but simultaneously amulets charged with supernatural power. Hylkema traces their rise, not long before the colonial era, and fall, in the 1970s and '80s.
The editor, Anton Ploeg, is an honorary staff member of the Centre for Pacific and Asian Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.