The Resplendent Quetzl: "feathers more valuable than gold"

Among the many commodities that have been used as money -- such as seashells, tobacco, salt -- the tail feathers of the Resplendent Quetzl -- after whom the national currency of Guatemala is named -- may be the most picturesque.  Its tail feathers are said to grow to two feet in length -- three times its body length.

Quetzal01

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

According to the Wikipedia,

"The Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) plays an important role in Mesoamerican mythologies. The Resplendent Quetzal is Guatemala's national bird, and an image of it is on the flag and coat of arms of Guatemala. It is also the name of the local currency (abbreviation GTQ). ...

"The Resplendent Quetzal was considered divine, associated with the "snake god", Quetzalcoatl by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations. Its iridescent green tail feathers, symbols for spring plant growth, were venerated by the ancient Aztecs and Maya, who viewed the quetzal as the "god of the air" and as a symbol of goodness and light. Mesoamerican rulers and some nobility of other ranks wore headdresses made from quetzal feathers, symbolically connecting them to Quetzalcoatl. Since it was a crime to kill a quetzal, the bird was simply captured, its long tail feathers plucked, and was set free. Quetzalcoatl was the creator god and god of wind, often depicted with grey hair. In several Mesoamerican languages, the term for quetzal can also mean precious, sacred, or erected."

WildernessClassroom.com observes:

The name quetzal is an ancient Mayan term for tail feather, and the bird itself represents liberty. Ancient people believed the Quetzal would not survive in captivity, it would rather die than be held prisoner. So rather than killing these birds for their feathers, the Maya would pluck them and set the birds free to grow new feathers.

And although no primary sources are cited, StrayReality.com vividly retails the lore of the Quetzal feathers:

Exotic Aztec headdresses, created from the feathers of the male Resplendent Quetzals, were worn in ancient Aztec ceremonies.

They were worn only by the great Aztec Gods, Priests, Warrior Chiefs.

The  Aztec  tribes  would  capture the male Quetzals,  and keep them alive, then they would remove their tail feathers, and then release the  great birds, back into the rainforest, to grow new feathers. 

In this way,  they  always had a growing supply, of beautiful Quetzal  feathers, for their leaders and ceremonies.

The  ancient  Mayans, treasured the male's iridescent, emerald tail  feathers, they were more valuable than gold, and if anyone was caught killing their sacred bird, they
were punished instantly.


Vinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo Slider

The Most Important Thing Holding Up the US Dollar

by Ron Paul

Today’s economic conditions reflect a fiat monetary system held together by many tricks and luck over the past 40 years. The world has been awash in paper money since removal of the last vestige of the gold standard by Richard Nixon when he buried the Bretton Woods agreement — the gold exchange standard — on August 15, 1971.

Since then we’ve been on a worldwide paper dollar standard. Quite possibly we are seeing the beginning of the end of that system. If so, tough times are ahead for the United States and the world economy.

Yellen’s Missing Jobs

March 31, 2014

The new Federal Reserve chairman, Janet Yellen, gave a policy speech today at Chicago, where, in a startling gesture, she mentioned three working individuals by name — Jermaine Brownlee, Vicki Lira, and Doreen Poole. They lost their jobs the Great Recession and have been struggling ever since. It was a refreshing, even affecting demarche by Mrs. Yellen, who has made a return to full employment a public priority. She underscored her sincerity by telephoning Mr. Brownlee and Ms. Lira and Ms. Poole before delivering her speech.

Read More

 


The Rueffian SynthesisJohn D. Mueller

Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.

By John D. Mueller

Who Was Jacques Rueff?

... Trained in science and mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique, Rueff devoted his first theoretical work to showing that the same scientific method applies to “moral” or “social” sciences like economics as to the physical sciences (Des Sciences Physiques aux Sciences Morales, 1922). In both cases, he pointed out, individual acts can be “indeterminate,” but the pattern of large numbers of individual acts can be predicted as a matter of probability. And so in economics no less than physics, as he later wrote, “A scientific theory is considered correct only if it makes forecasting possible.”

Read More

Excerpts From:


by Lewis E. Lehrman

"Forerunners of man lived upon the planet several million years ago. But the unique, modern, social order of man – civilization – emerged only four to five thousand years ago. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that the institution of money evolved coterminously with civilization. From the standpoint of the 100,000-year history of Homo sapiens, civilization and money are but young and fragile reeds. Today their very existence is threatened by financial disorder."

Learn More

 

Turkey’s Cut-rate Expectations

Kathleen Packard  |  Apr 18, 2014
There is a lot of bad behavior in the global political and monetary world. Much of it comes in countries that should know better. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) easily won municipal electons in Turkey but the party’s candidates won far short of the nation’s votes. The Wall...
Hostility toward gold has a long pedigree.  19th century depiction of Pliny the Elder courtesy of the Library of Congress Gaius Plinius Secundus, commonly known as Pliny the Elder, in his The Natural History, Book 33, section 3, writes: Would that gold could have been banished for ever from the earth, accursed by...
VIEW BLOGS
Jacques Rueff, a key figure in European economic circles from the 1930s until the 1970s, was, first and foremost, an...
VIEW WORLD NEWS
Jul 20, 2012
Key Monetary Writings
Steve Hanke

Money, Where’s the Money?

Since September 2007, when the British Government and the Bank of England bungled the Northern Rock affair, one government after...
VIEW KEY MONETARY WRITINGS
 
Prosperity Through Gold
Please sign me up to receive free, noncommercial, news and analysis.
Name:
Email:
You can easily and safely unsubscribe anytime. Privacy Policy

Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

The Gold Standard Now
Board of Advisors:


Senior Advisors

Sean Fieler, James Grant,
Steve Hanke, John D. Mueller,
Lawrence Parks, Judy Shelton,
Lawrence H. White

Senior European Advisor
Paul Fabra

Advisors
Jeffrey Bell, Ralph J. Benko,
Andresen Blom, Frank Cannon,
Rich Danker, Brian Domitrovic,
Charles Kadlec, Christopher K. Potter,
John Tamny and Frank Trotta

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff
(1896-1978)

Now Available on Amazon and from The Lehrman Institute

Gold Standard 3-Pack

Three Gold Standard Titles for One Low Price. Only from The Lehrman Institute Store.

Buy from
The Lehrman Institute

Breaking News