Africa, Earth, Gambia, Western Africa

The Gambia – 5 Dalasis

Gambia

A young Gambian lady graces the front of this banknote of Gambia.  Adjacent to her is an image of the giant kingfisher bird of Gambia.  The giant kingfisher, pictured at rest, and also in flight in a smaller image to the left, can be 18 inches long and resides throughout sub-Sahara Africa.

Gambia

A scene with cattle and herders, in a meadow with palm trees in the background, is on the back of our banknote.

The Gambia River with outline of The Gambia

Properly called The Gambia, (like The Bahamas), Gambia is completely surrounded by Senegal, except for a brief Atlantic Ocean coast.  The land of The Gambia is completely dominated by the mighty Gambia River flowing due West into the Atlantic ocean from the mountains in the East.  The river is navigable for almost 1000 kilometers inland from the ocean and thus invited early explorers.  The Portuguese, the earliest known European explorers, traveling South from Portugal, first encountered and explored the somewhat parallel running Senegal River in the North.  A decade later, they rounded Cape Verde, the westernmost point of the African continent and encountered and began the exploration of the river Gambia.  A century or so later, the French and the British exploratory endeavors began to overshadow those of the Portuguese and Spanish, and the French settled the regions around the Senegal River and the British settled the Gambia River territory.

The island in at the mouth of the river, now known as Kunta Kinteh Island, has been designated as a world UNESCO heritage site.  The first European settlers arrived in the late 1500s from Holland, but in 1664 the island was ceded to the British.  Thereafter, if not before, it became integral to the African Slave Trade.  The island itself became well known through the influential Alex Haley broadcast Roots.  Kunte Kinteh is the name of a character described in Roots.

The date of our banknote not known exactly, but the features on the front and back were known to occur on 1996 and 2006 issues of the 5 dalasis banknote, and therefore likely all of the intervening years too..  The 2015 issue of the 5 dalasis banknote is pretty much the same on the front and back except that the image of the happy young lady is replaced with the image of the then president, Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh seized power in 1994 in a coup d’e’tat and ruled for 22 years until he fled the land in 2017 following an electoral defeat.  So the 2015 banknote image shows him near the conclusion of his reign.  Today his administration stands accused of perpetrating violence against the people including executions tortures and rapes.  A truth and reconciliation commission was established October 15, 2018 to further the healing of the nation.

Africa, African Great Lakes Region, Earth, Eastern Africa, Tanzania

Tanzania – 500 Shilingi

Tanzania

A Bountiful Harvest of Coffee is celebrated artistically on our banknote.  On the left is a broad view of a well organized farm.  On the right is detail of the coffee plant and fruit.  At center is a large coffee plant and at left the coffee fruit is being separated.

Tanzania

The zebra and giraffe adorn our banknote, and, at center is the coat of arms of Tanzania.

Tanzania coat of arms

The central shield bears four images from top to bottom: the enflamed torch, the flag of Tanzania, a crossed axe and hoe, a spear over a pattern of waves.

The shield rests upon the image of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The shield is surrounded on the left and right with the tusks of the elephant.

The shield is upheld by a man standing upon a plant of cloves, and a woman standing upon a plant of cotton.

Beneath them is the unfurled banner with the motto of the nation, Freedom and Unity in Swahili.

The giraffe looks out at us from our banknote of Tanzania.  We cannot see the totality of our graceful creature, but if we were to zoom out, we would find that we would have to zoom out more than for perhaps any other land-based living mammal.  Our giraffe is, likely, a Masai giraffe, the largest subspecies of the entire giraffe family, residing in southern Kenya and, our, Tanzania.  The Masai giraffe is also known as the Kilimanjaro giraffe.  As Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, so the Masai giraffe is the tallest mammal on the earth.  Our giraffe can be 19 feet tall, and, with its 6 foot long legs, can run at about 35 miles per hour..

The coat patterns vary among the various giraffe subspecies, the masai giraffe’s spots being somewhat more jagged than jagged.  It is believed that no two individual’s spot patterns are identical and thus individuals may be identified.

The Masai giraffe is generally found in Tanzania and Kenya and Somalia and Ethiopia.

Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Earth

Democratic Republic of the Congo – 20 Francs – Year 2003

Central African Republic

The majestic profile announces the featured subject of our banknote, The Lion Family.

Kundelungu is a National park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo established in 1970.

Central African Republic

Kundelungu National Park is mentioned on the face of our banknote, captioned beneath the lioness and her cubs.  Kundelungu National Park was constituted in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the southeastern sector, near to southern border with Zambia.

The Congo Lion has been proposed as a lion subspecies, but is not so accepted at this time.  Lions range in DR Congo, Uganda and Burundi, and the region is considered a potential stronghold for lions if the poaching can be stopped.  Presently, lion populations are considered stable in only a few remaining reagions in Botswana and Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Lions are suffering from poaching and diminishing habitat.

 

 

Africa, Earth, Eastern Africa, Horn of Africa, Somalia

Somaliland – 5 Shillings – Year 1994

Somalia 1994

Hargeysa 1994 stands out top center of our banknote.  Hargeysa was the capital and 1994 was the year of the first issuance of the Somaliland shilling.  It was issued October 18, 1994, and about a hundred days later, January 31, 1995, the Somali shilling was banned within the borders of the new state, Somaliland.

The “Goodirka” Building housing the Supreme Court of Somaliland is featured on our 5 shilling banknote. The building is in the city of Hargeysa, the largest city in Somaliland, and well as its capital. The beautiful animal on the right is the kudu.

Somalia 1994

Camel Caravan in the foreground with the hills known as Naasa Hablood in the background. The hills are near the capital city Hargeysa, feautured on the other side of our banknote.  Naaso Hablood translates as “girl’s breasts”.1

Somaliland arose out of the political conflict in 1991 that issued in the Somali Civil War.

Somaliland is “a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. Having established its own local government in 1991, the region’s self-declared independence remains unrecognized by any country or international organization.”2

Asia, Laos, Mainland Southeast Asia - Indochina, Southeast Asia

Laos – Culture (2003, 1000 kips)

Laos, Laotian Ethnic Groups Women: Lao Lum, Lao Sung and Lao Theung, Pha That Luang pagoda in Vientiane.

Traditionally there are three ethnic groups of Laotians, and they are illustrated beautifully on our banknote by these three ladies.   The Lao Soung, or Lao Sung, are the highland dwelling peoples constituting about 10% of the populace.  The Lao Theung, or Lao Thoeng, indicates the midland Lao peoples and represents about 25% of the populace.  The Lao Lum, or Lao, are the majority ethinc group, representing about 50% of the populace.

Over the left shoulder of our three ladies is the Pha That Luang pagoda.  Regarded as dating from the 3rd century, that is almost 2000 years old, this is the most significant pagoda in Laos.  It is rumored to contain the breastbone of the Buddha himself. It is said that the architecture contains numerous references to Laotian culture which has furthered its significance as an icon of Laotian nationalism.  It is said that the three levels of the pagoda each reflect a dimension of Buddhist doctrine.

Laos, Cattle, Power lines, Elephant, Deity
Laos, National Emblem

The National Emblem adorns the front of our banknote and is illustrated her.  The Pha That Luang Pagoda is at center top.  Left center is the modern empowering hydroelectric dam while right center is the forest on the traditional paddy field; the road forward is between the two.  The name of the state is inscribed below the one-half gear wheel on the bottom,
Fully ripened rice stalks encircle the whole, each wrapped, and inscribed between them, with the five words of the Laotian Motto: Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity, Prosperity”.

 

Asia, Nepal, Southern Asia

Nepal – King Birendra

King Birendra Bir Bikram is featured on the front of this banknote of Nepal, wearing a plumed crown.  Described from his youth as extraordinarily kind and emotional, he was a firm advocate of democracy for his people, the people of Nepal.  He was King in Nepal from 1972 until 2001, when he died.

Centered on the front of the banknote is the Bajrayogini Temple near Sankhu and Kathmandu.

 

Nepal banknote, 2 rupees, front
Nepal banknote, 2 rupees, back

 

Detail from back of Nepal banknote, 2 rupees.

 

 

 

Detail from back of Nepal banknote, 2 rupees.

From Wikipedia: Before 28 May 2008, the modern emblem was preceded by a coat of arms, generally consisting of a white cow, a green [pheasant] (Himalayan monal), two [Gurkha] soldiers (one carrying a [kukri] and a bow, and the other a rifle), peaks of the [Himalayas], two crossed Nepalese flags and kukris, the footprints of [Gorakhnath] (the guardian deity of the Gurkhas) and the royal headress. It also contained the same red scroll with the national motto.
The emblem of Nepal was changed during the reconciliation period following the Nepalese Civil War. On 28 May 2008, a new emblem in the style of socialist heraldry was introduced. It contains the flag of Nepal, Mount Everest, green hills symbolising the hilly regions of Nepal and yellow colour symbolising the fertile Terai region, male and female hands joining to symbolise gender equality, and a garland of Rhododendron (the national flower). Atop this is a white silhouette in the shape of Nepal.

 

The elements of this intriguingly dense National Coat of Arms are many, and include the following:

Coat of Arms of Nepal from 1962-2008

One Plumed Crown

Two feet

Two crossed Flags

Two crossed knives

One Mountain peak flanked by personalized moon and personalized sun

White cow and a pheasant

Six Hibiscus flowers

Two citizens, one with a rifle and one with a bow

One Inscribed scarlet banner in snaskrit, the English interpretation being: Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven.