Africa, Central Africa, Gabon

Gabon – Baobab

Banknote from Gabon, back, 500 francs

Antelopes grazing near the baobab tree is the illustration on the back of our beautiful banknote from Gabon.  The massive and amazing baobab is often called the tee of life.  It is thought by many to be the inspiration for the “Ents” in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkein.  The image on the left is a Kota mask.  The Kota, (meaning “united” or “bound together”), being several groups sharing a similar culture, fashion these masks and other figurines from wood and then frequently cover them with brass to increase their power.

500 francs banknote of Gabon, front

On the front of our banknote, the shepherd watches over his zebus.  Zebus are a humped cattle that thrive throughout the topics.

The banknote is common to the 6 nations of the CFA, Central African Financial cooperative.  The capital letter “L” in the bottom left corner is the sole distinguishing mark that links this to Gabon.  The other 5 countries have their own distinguishing letters.  The first two digits of the serial number, 00 (16579666) indicate the year of the issuance of this banknote.  The year of this banknote is the year 2000.

The artist is Pierrette Lambert. 

 

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