1000 franc note
Republic of Congo, 1964
This banknote from the Republic of Congo represents the changes made in many African countries with the ending of European colonial rule. Perhaps the most obvious change is political; the first president of independent Congo, Joseph Kasavubu, is in place and is prominently portrayed here. Previously he had worked for the colonial Belgian government and then became leader of Abako, a cultural organisation which became a political and nationalist movement.
The note also looks back to the country's pre-colonial history. Cowrie shells like those on the left of the note were used as money before the introduction of European-style coinage. The image of the carving and the textile celebrate African art and culture; this note serves to tell the user that they can be proud of African achievements.
J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)