Eastern Woodland Indians survived on foods they could hunt, gather, and cultivate. Still, everyone likes variety and new things, so they developed trading arrangements with other groups both near and far.
People who lived inland might travel to the coast to trade furs for shellfish. In northern climates, the crop-growing season is shorter. In order to get more variety in their diets, people from up north might trade dried, salted fish for grains grown further south. No matter what they traded, money was never part of the exchange. Trading was done by bartering, or the exchange of one kind of goods for another.