Asia, Central Asia, Tajikistan

Tajikistan – 1994

The Coat of arms is featured on the front of this banknote of Tajikistan, and enlarged below.

Majlisi Olii, the Tajik Parliament, is featured on the back of this banknote, with the National Flag of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan 1994


Tajikistan 1994


Detail from banknote of Tajikistan 1994
Tajikistan Coat of Arms (image from Wikipedia)











Under Soviet rule, this was the Coat of Arms of Tajikistan










Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan – 1993

1993 was a year of new beginnings for the great people of Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan, 1 tyiyn
Kyrgyzstan, 1 tyiyn






Kyrgyzstan, 10 tyiyn
Kyrgyzstan, 10 tyiyn






Kyrgyzstan, 50 tyiyn
Kyrgyzstan, 50 tyiyn







The banknotes here were issued May 10, 1993 by the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan.   The values are “t y i y n”, one hundred of which constitute a single “s o m”.  The som is the basic monetary unit of currency in Kyrgyzstan, divisible into 100 tiyins, just as the American dollar is divisible into 100 cents.

The word som means pure, and implies pure gold.  Apparently the meaning of tyiyn is squirrel skin which at one time was used as currency.  Coins for circulation were not introduced in Kyrgyzstan until January 2008.  Only Belarus, of the former Soviet states, delayed the introduction of coinage later.

These banknotes were issued May 10, 1993.  May 5 1993, the first post-Soviet era constitution of Kyrgyzstan was ratified.

















Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan – Manas, the Magnificent

At 500,000 lines, Manas is twenty times longer than Homer’s combined Iliad and Odyssey.  The longest epic poem in the world, Manas chronicles the great heritage of the Kyrgyz people.

Manas is depicted on the front of this banknote.

Statues are found throughout Kyrgyzstan.


The epic, in 3 books, recalls the heroic exploits of Manas, his son Semetei, and his grandson Seitec..


On the reverse of this banknote is the burial place of Manas.







Asia, Central Asia, Tajikistan

Tajikistan – The Poet


1 somoni banknote of Tajikistan, featuring prominent poet Mirzo Tursunzoda

Mirzo Tursunzoda, National Poet of Tajikistan.  He won the Lennin prize for his 1956 poem, “The Voice of Asia.”

A representation of the Earth with the location of Tajikistan is illustrated in the center of this 1999 banknote.  Beneath is a silhouette of the map of Tajikistan.

Postscript:  Would you believe I wracked the internet looking for poetry by Mirzo Tursunzoda, and found nothing?  But then I found a 1st edition book of poems, which I, of course, immediately obtained.  This makes it my privilege to, perhaps,  introduce some readers to the Poet of Takjikistan!

I will reproduce excerpts below.

Tajikistan is the only Persian speaking state from the former Soviet Union.


The National Bank of Tajikistan is featured on the reverse of this banknote.




Detail of the National bank of Tajikistan







A fuller biographical sketch of the beloved poet can be found here.


Asia, Central Asia, Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan – Yanardag – World Champion

Detail from back of 50 manat banknote of Turkmenistan.

The Akhal-Teke horse of Turkmen, with its distinctive metallic sheen, is renowned for speed endurance, intelligence and courage.

It’s ancestry dates back thousands of years.  Some consider it one of the original four horse “types” to have crossed the Bearing Strait from the Americas in prehistoric times.

It is said there are, currently, less than 7,000 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan and Russia.


The state emblem of Turkmenistan adorns the front side of the 50 manat banknote.

At the center of the Turkmenistan Emblem of State, within the blue circle, stands Yanardag, the Akhal-Teke horse born in the year of independence from the Soviet Union, 1991.

The Turkmen name, Yanardag, translates in to “Fiery Mountain”.

Yanardag was named world champion of the breed in 1999 and has become a symbol of national pride to Turkmenis.  He subsequently was acquired by Saparmurat Niazov, the president of Turkmenistan from 1990 through 2006.


Turkmenistan 50 manat banknote, back, featuring the magnificent Akhal-Teke horse.


Turkmenistan 50 manat banknote, featuring President Saparmurat Niazov. and the Turkmen coat of arms







Front: Former President Dictator Saparmurat Niazov. Turkmen coat of arms. Back: Akhal-Teke horse.
Hippodrome. Main colour: Purple. Watermark: Portrait of the deceased Turkmenbashi.









Asia, Central Asia, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan – The Madrassah with Lions


Detail from back of Uzbekistan 1997 200 som banknote
detail over the portal of the Sher-Dor Madrassah

The image of is the sun with a face rising over the back of a liger, a lion-tiger.  It is found in a mosaic on Sher-Dor Madrasah portal at Registan Square in Samarkand.  The mosaic is somewhat remarkable in the images of humans and animals are generally prohibited from Islamic art.

Sher-Dor Madrasah, translated, means Madrassah with Lions.

Registan Square is framed by three great Madrassahs of distinctive Islamic architecture, The Sher-Dor, featured on this banknote, the Ulugh Beg, the oldest of the three, and the Tilya Kori, the youngest of the three.

Three Madrassahs form Registan Square. The Sher Dor is on the right.
The Sher Dor Madrassah.
Uzbekistan 1997 banknote, back, 200 som.

The State Seal of Uzbekistan is featured on the front of the 200 som banknote.

The sun is rising over a valley.  Bolls of cotton on the left and sheaves of wheat on the right surround the legendary bird of happiness, spreading its wings.  The crescent moon with star are symbols of Muslim blessing.  The surrounding eight pointed star symbolizes unity.  Beneath the name Uzbekistan is on the tri-colored flag.





Uzbekistan 200 som banknote, front, 1997


Asia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan – The Great Al-Farabi, the Second Master

1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan (1993), featuring Al-Farabi

Al-Farabi shines in world history as one of the brightest stars in the firmament. He commands unqualified respect across religions and political cultures worldwide.

His contributions illuminate our world to this day in Music and Mathematics, Geometry and Logic, Psychology, Politics and Philosophy.

Al-Farabi. detail from front of 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan (1993)

Writing in the early 10th century, Al-Farabi found philosophy dead. He revived the Greek philosophers through extensive translation, commentaries and contributions. Considering Reason to be superior to Revelation, he solved many challenges of the day advancing Islam to a sounder polity.

A worthy summation of his career might be that given by Maimonides, perhaps the greatest of all Jewish philosophers. Writing two hundred years later, Maimonides said of Al-Farabi: “If Aristotle is the first master, the second one is undoubtedly Farabi”. As an indicator of the world-wide respect Maimonides as well as for Al-Farabi, the moniker stuck. Al-Farabi is widely known today as “The Second Master”.

Architectural detail by Al-Farabi. 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan (1993)

His massive tome, The Book of Music, Kitâb al-musiqâ al-kabîr, is considered the single most important medieval manuscript in the Islamic world.

While classifying music under mathematics, he asserts that music must be performed and that the ear is the final judge. The hearing may usurp some fine mathematical principles. He wrote extensively on the therapeutic effects of music upon the soul.




Geometric constructions by Al-Farabi. Back of 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan (1993).

Islamic architecture and craftsmanship has long been characterized by elaborate geometric patterns.

The artisans of that era had design tools consisting of little more than a straight edge and a compass. The craftsman’s task was to construct, with these simple tools, architectures and patterns and designs that surprise the mind and uplift the spirit.

mathematical formulae. detail from back of 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan (1993)




Geometric construct by Al-Farabi. Detail from back of 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan

Al-Farabi’s text book entitled, “A Book of Spiritual Crafts and Natural Secrets in the Details of Geometrical Figures” advanced the craft considerably.  In it are numerous original geometrical constructs with designs and proofs.



Geometric construct by Al-Farabi. Detail from back of 1 tenge banknote, Kazakhstan,