What is Trade?
Trade occurs when one thing is exchanged for another. Today, we trade money for things. We earn money by trading our time and effort for a paycheck. Then we trade the paycheck for money and the money for things like food and clothing.
What was exchanged?
The ancient people of the Sonoran Desert didn't have money. Instead, they used items they had created or collected to trade for things they didn’t have. Many things were unavailable in the Sonoran Desert, so they traded extensively throughout the Southwest. From the west, they acquired seashells, either from the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of California. From the North, they traded for raw materials like obsidian for making arrowheads. And from the south, where Mexico is now located, they traded for copper bells, macaws, parrots, and seeds for their crops.