maldives-5-front of banknote, featuring sail boat with people fishing
HomeMaldives – Beautiful Banknotes

Maldives – Beautiful Banknotes

Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote – Face and Back

The Republic of Maldives brings to us Beauty.  Enjoy!

Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote back
closeup detail of Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote back

Maldives banknote, front, 5 Rufiyaa

Cowrie shells, illustrated left, were used as an early currency in Maldives.  An article on the use of Cowrie shells as money can be found here.

Coconut Palms are the national tree on the Maldives.  They grow in abundance throughout the islands.  A strange tale of their history is told here.

The ship, the Kalhu’oh’fummi, was used by three brothers, Muhanmed Thakurufaanu and Ali and Hassan, in the liberation of the Maldives in the 16th century.

In 1558 the Portuguese established a small garrison in the Maldives and tried to impose Christianity on the locals.  I was still early in the era of colonialization.

The Portuguese rule was described in an Arabic chronicle as ‘‘a time when intolerable enormities were committed by the invading infidels, a time when the sea grew red with Maldivian blood, a time when people were sunk in despair…’’
In 1573, a leader arose, Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam and his two brothers to organize a revolt.

closeup detail of Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote back

To bring an end to this, Muhammad Thakurufaanu, left the Maldive Islands for Maliku, an island about 440 miles north of Maldives, and now known as Minicoy.  There the three brothers built their ship and returned to Maldives determined to liberate their people.

closeup detail of Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote back

It is said that the three brothers landed on a different island every night.  They fought the Portuguese during the darkness and set sail again into the ocean before daybreak. The Portuguese garrison had fixed a day for the forcible conversion of inhabitants to Christianity.  The brothers landed on that island, Male, the night before.  During the night they defeated that garrison and gained independence for their country, ending fifteen years of colonial rule.

Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote front

The date is celebrated now as National Day.  In 2018, National Day occurs on November 9.  The date varies with the Islamic calendar.

closeup detail of Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote front

Fishing scenes illustrate the back of this banknote.  As said by former a President, “Fishing is the lifeblood of our nation, it is inborn. From the soil on which we live, to the sea around us, it remains an integral part of our existence. Fishing, and our country and its people, [are] one and shall remain inseparable forever.”

closeup detail of Maldives 5 Rufiyaa Banknote front

The traditional fishing vessel is the “Dhivehi Odi”.  It resembles the dhow, a traditional Arabian sailing ship.  It is handcrafted in the islands from coconut timber.

For stories from other Island Nations on this website, click here.

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