header Notes Collection

1 Nakfa 1997, Eritrea

in Krause book Number: 1
Years of issue: 24.05.1997
Edition: --
Signatures: President: Isaias Afewerki, Governor: Tekie Beyene
Serie: 1997 issue
Specimen of: 1994
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 140 x 70
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Leipzig

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Nakfa 1997




Head of The dromedary.


1 Nakfa 1997

The central image on the Eritrean bank notes shows the various ethnic groups living in the country.

On 1 Nakfa are three young girls, presumably ethnic Beja or Bil'in (Bogos).


The Beja people (Arabic: البجا‎) are an ethnic group inhabiting Sudan, as well as parts of Eritrea, Egypt, and the Eastern Desert. They speak the Beja language as a mother tongue, which belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family.

SIL Ethnologue cites an estimate of a total population of 1.2 million based on information dating to 1982. More recent estimates cite a total population close to 2.5 million.


The Bilen, also variously transcribed as Blin or Bilin and also formerly known as the Bogo or North Agaw, are an ethnic group on the Horn of Africa. They are primarily concentrated in central Eritrea, in and around the city of Keren and further south toward Asmara, the nation's capital.

Some of the Bilen entered Eritrea from Ethiopia during the XVI century. Primarily agriculturalists, they number about 96,000 and represent around 2.1% of Eritrea's population.

The Bilen practice both Christianity and Islam. Muslim adherents mainly inhabit rural areas and have intermingled with the adjacent Tigre, while Christian Bilen tend to reside in urban areas and have intermingled with the Biher-Tigrinya.

They speak the Bilen language as a mother tongue, which belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Many also speak other Afro-Asiatic languages such as Tigre and Tigrinya. In addition, younger Bilen often employ Arabic words and expressions in their everyday speech.


On left side are very popular photo of Eritrean fighters for the independence with the flag.

The Eritrean War for Independence (1 September 1961 - 29 May 1991) was a conflict fought between the Ethiopian government and Eritrean separatists, both before and during the Ethiopian Civil War. The war started when Eritrea’s autonomy within Ethiopia, where troops were already stationed, was revoked.

Eritrea had become part of Ethiopia after World War II, when both territories were liberated from Italian occupation. Ethiopia claimed that Eritrea was part of their country. Ethiopia's wishes were fulfilled after a United Nations General Assembly federated Eritrea to Ethiopia as a province as early as 1950. Following the Marxist–Leninist coup in Ethiopia in 1974 which toppled its ancient monarchy, the Ethiopians enjoyed Soviet Union support until the end of the 1980s, when glasnost and perestroika started to affect Moscow’s foreign policies, resulting in a withdrawal of help.

The war went on for 30 years until 1991 when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea, and the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), with the help of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), took control of Ethiopia and removed the Marxist–Leninist People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE) from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. In April 1993, in a referendum supported by Ethiopia, the Eritrean people voted almost unanimously in favour of independence. Formal international recognition of an independent and sovereign Eritrea followed later the same year. The two main rebel groups, the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and the EPLF fought two Eritrean civil wars during the war of liberation.

Eritrean revolutionary song called "Enda tekalesna".


On right side is the seen-through image of the dromedary.

The dromedary (/ˈdrɒmədɛri/ or /-ədri/), also called the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), is a large, even-toed ungulate with one hump on its back. Greek philosopher Aristotle (IV century BCE) was the first to describe the species, and the animal was given its current binomial name by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish zoologist. The dromedary is the largest camel after the Bactrian camel.

On background are the inscriptions: "Bank of Eritrea".

Denominations in numerals are in three corners, in words lower, centered.


1 Nakfa 1997

Pupils in bush school.

On right side is the emblem of the Bank of Eritrea.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words lower, centered.


Designer: Clarence Holbert from United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The fibers in UV are yellow and blue.