Russian fur had had a long history even before it became an essential part of the world fur market. The ancient Russians used furs in the household - as warm clothing in the cold wintertime and as soft bedding. Fur was an important part of economic activities: pelts of sable, marten, beaver and other fur-bearing animals acted as a currency. One could pay with fur for any kind of goods, education or church service. Pelts were levied as sales duties and customs duties, fines and tributes. There are well known occurrences in Russian history, when valuable furs served as an adjusted form of tribute collected from the population.