Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Sumatra Plantation Token Coins

 1 - obverse
 2 - obverse
 2 - reverse
 3 - obverse
 3 - reverse
 4 - obverse
4 - reverse

Starting from 1872, plantation tokens were used on a large scale for payment on many tobacco plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia.   The tokens were used to pay the coolies who worked on the plantations.   Company  names such as De Guigne Freres, Toentoengan and Unternehmung mostly Germans who specialized in tobacco farming  started to establish themselves on Sumatra's East Coast regions.The coolies received their payment once a month and tokens can only be used to buy their provisions at the company stores.  The question is why dollars and cents but not guildens since Sumatra was a Dutch colony. Reason is that many of the coolies were Chinese from the Straits as they were used to receive payment in silver dollars.  The Sultan of Deli was one of the riches persons in Sumatra when German companies started to get concessions to plant tobaccos in Deli.

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