Take a trip with me to Burundi, a small country in east-central Africa. This landlocked country borders Lake Tanganyika, and has a moderate tropical climate due to its high elevation. Unfortunately, Burundi has been struggling since its civil war caused by longstanding ethnic division, and is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Its main source of income comes from agriculture. With tea and coffee being its two biggest exports.
This week we are looking at Burundi’s 5,000 Francs p53a banknote. The light blue note has both French and Kirundi text. On the front is a Cape Buffalo, coat of arms, dancers with drums on their heads, shield, and a basket. The back of the note has a map outline of Burundi with a man walking through a forest, a fish, and the bank logo. The watermark for this note is President Melchior Ndadaye and electrotype BRB.
The dancers with drums on their heads are the Royal Drummers of Burundi. They are world famous and travel around the world performing. The best drummers from Burundi will switch in and out to give each other a chance to perform, travel and earn money. This traditional drum performance is passed down from father to son. The drummers use the karyenda, amashako, ibishikiso, and ikiranya drums.
Additionally, this note shows Burundi’s coat of arms. Adopted in 1966, the coat of arms has only undergone a few small changes over the years. On this note, it is only an outline of the coat of arms, but traditionally it is red, black and yellow. The crest depicts a shield with the head of a lion. Behind the shield are three traditional African spears. Below this is the motto in French text “Unity- Work- Progress.”
This light blue note has a lot of interesting images and scenes. Each giving more of a glimpse into the country of Burundi. The 5,000 Francs note is our current featured note and will be offered at a discounted price for a limited time.
Denomination: 5,000 Francs
Pick #: 53a
Depictions: Water Buffalo; Native Musicians – Dancers; Outline of map with scenic mountain view inside; fish
Note Size: 5 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Watermark: President Melchior Ndadaye and electrotype BRB