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1 Lilangeni 1974, Swaziland

in Krause book Number: 1a
Years of issue: 06.09.1974
Edition: 11 095 372
Signatures: Minister for Finance: Mr. R.P. Stephens (01.06.1972 - 11.01.1979), Governor: Mr. Ethan Mayisela (01.04.1974 - 31.10.1976)
Serie: 1974-1978 Issue
Specimen of: 06.09.1974
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 150 х 70
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* 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 Lilangeni 1974




A shield and two spears, symbolizing protection from the country's enemies. Also Swazi fighting stick with injobo.


1 Lilangeni 1974

The portrait of His Majesty The King Sobhuza II. On his head are injobo - tassels-bunches of feathers of the widowbird and the lourie. They also decorate the shield. These feathers are used only by the king.

Leo, in the bottom left corner, represents the king, and the elephant, bottom, in the center - the Queen Mother.

Sobhuza II, KBE (also known as Nkhotfotjeni, Mona) (22 July 1899 – 21 August 1982) was the Paramount Chief and later King of Swaziland for 82 years, the longest verifiable reign of any monarch in recorded history. Sobhuza was born on 22 July 1899 at Zombodze Royal Residence, the son of Inkhosikati Lomawa Ndwandwe and King Ngwane V. When he was only four months old, his father died suddenly while dancing incwala. Sobhuza was chosen King soon after that and his grandmother Labotsibeni and his uncle Prince Malunge led the Swazi nation until his maturity in 1921. Sobhuza led Swaziland through independence until his death in 1982. He was succeeded by Mswati III, his young son with Inkhosikati Ntfombi Tfwala, who was crowned in 1986.

Ingwenyama Sobhuza was born in Zombodze on 22 July 1899. He ascended to the throne after the death of his father, Ngwane V, as King of Swaziland on 10 December 1899, when he was only four months old. He was educated at the Swazi National School, Zombodze, and at the Lovedale Institution in the Eastern Cape, South Africa before assuming the Swazi throne as paramount chief at the age of twenty-two. His grandmother, Labotsibeni Mdluli, served as regent throughout his youth, formally transferring power to the Ngwenyama on 22 December 1921.

Sobhuza's direct reign would endure more than 60 years (1921-1982), during which he presided over Swaziland's independence from United Kingdom in 1968, after which the British government recognised him as King of Swaziland. Early in his reign, Sobhuza sought to address the problem of land partition and deprivation instituted by the British authorities in 1907. He did so by first leading a delegation to London to meet with King George V and petition him to restore the lands to the Swazi people. He again took his case on the land issue in 1929 to the Privy Council. He was defeated by the terms of the Foreign Jurisdictions Act, which effectively placed the actions of British administrations in protectorates beyond the reach of the British courts. Sobhuza's role during this colonial period was for the most part ceremonial, but he still had major influence as a traditional head of the Swazi nation. In 1953 he attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London.

In the early 1960s Sobhuza played a major role in events that led to independence for his country in 1968. He opposed the post-colonial Westminster constitution proposed by the British government, in which he was assigned the role of constitutional monarch. As a consequence, acting through his advisory council, he formed the Imbokodvo National Movement, a political party, which contested and won all seats in the 1967 pre-independence elections. He became recognized by the British as King of Swaziland in 1967 when Swaziland was given direct rule. Independence was achieved on 6 September 1968. Following this, Sobhuza skilfully blended appeal to tribal custom with a capacity to manage economic and social change for his kingdom. On 12 April 1973, the king repealed the constitution and dissolved parliament, henceforth exercising power as an absolute ruler. In 1978 a new constitution was promulgated which provided for an elaborate reversion to a tribal mode of rule involving an electoral college of eighty members chosen by forty local councils known as tinkhundla, dominated by tribal elements. The Swazi economy prospered under Sobhuza's leadership. Swaziland is rich in natural resources, and much of the land and mineral wealth originally owned by non-Swazi interests was brought under indigenous control during Sobhuza's reign.


In the center - a shield (sihlangu or lihawu), two spears (sikhali) and Swazi fighting stick, which is also adorned with decorative tassels injobo (symbol of royal power).

This symbolism is present in the flag of Swaziland and this means protection from external enemies. Usually it portrayed in black and white, symbolizing the peaceful coexistence of the white and black population.


On background (at the bottom) is the Parliament building of Swaziland in Lobamba.

Opened in 1969 as a post-independence gift from the departing British, this hexagonal building topped with a brass dome is a major landmark in Lobamba. It is sometimes open to visitors; if you want to visit, wear neat clothes and use the side entrance.

Lobamba is the traditional, spiritual, and legislative capital city of Swaziland, seat of the Parliament, and residence of the Ntombi, the Queen Mother. Mswati III lives about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi.) away at the Lozitha Palace. The King and Queen Mother participate in annual December and January Incwala ceremonies and August and September Reed Dancees at the Royal Kraal.

Key attractions are the Parliament, National Museum of Swaziland, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, and the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park. The Embo State Palace, not open to visitors, was built by the British government for the polygamous King Sobhuza II, whose family included 600 children. He led the movement for Swaziland's independence from the United Kingdom and was its first prime minister.

On right side is the spear, made of wood, symbolizing life, with the tip of the metal, symbolizing death.

I found one article about the spear, some part of it will post here:

"Kuteka is not marriage. Marriage can be defined as the legal relationship between a husband and a wife. Kuteka only involves one party since the man does not take part in it.

Kuteka is a very important ritual performed before or during the umtsimba ceremony. There are three important stages a man has to observe regarding marriage in Swazi custom and according to the Swazi traditional religion. All three levels (kuteka, kulobola and umtsimba) seal the marriage covenant and make a woman complete in her marriage.

The three are related and complement each other yet kuteka seems more ritual. In all three levels, a goat is used. The woman who is to join the family must be woken up at dawn to the cattle byre. At dawn is when an elderly person usually reports to the ancestors. At dawn Swazi scientists study the pattern of the moon in connection with the sacred Incwala ceremony and at dawn it is also when Kings are sent to the caves.

Dawn marks the beginning of a new era, the beginning of a new day and to her this marks the beginning of a new life. She wears sidvwaba made from a cow skin carrying a spear made of wood and metal. Biblically a kraal is a respectable place because it is where Jesus was born. Ancestors reside in the kraal, the umntfwana is crowned in the kraal; Incwala is danced in the kraal, a chief is installed in the kraal, a family’s wealth is kept in the kraal (cattle and ingungu is built in the kraal) and before a male elder is buried, he must pass through the kraal.

The Dlamini clan used the kraal to ascertain the DNA of a child. A woman enters the kraal to mark her arrival in the family as a man enters the kraal to mark his departure.

The sidwaba is made from a cow skin. Cattle are very important in a Swazi homestead as they symbolise the family’s wealth. The spear is made of wood from a tree which symbolizes life and a metal which symbolizes death. The fact that the eldest male member communicate with ancestors in the kraal where one cow is dedicated to them means that the kraal is a very important link between the family and ancestors.

The fact that she enters the kraal at dawn carrying a spear means she is taking a commitment to embark on this new journey. The black dress (sidvwaba) means that she will in future be a symbol of loss in the family as she will be expected to wear a moaning gown symbolizing the death of her husband.

The spear in her hand symbolizes her new life and commitment to die in this new family. That is why she must be half naked when she enters the byre, meaning she has been cleansed by her father before the umtsimba party left her parental homestead. Like a child she is a new born in that family. In the event that she is tekwaed before umtsimba, this then symbolizes her willingness to be cleansed. She enters the cattle byre with women as men are not allowed. Women are always the ones who stay near the corpse of a person and this symbolically means bamfukamele.

Women are associated with birth. Songs are sung and she cries out loud announcing her arrival to the ancestors and community. The crying is estimated to last for five hours or more. Crying is part of the ritual, as a baby also cries when he/she is born. The bride does not stand in the byre but keeps moving around to meet all the ancestors of the family. At some point she stands with the spear sharply pointed in the ground. The spear then symbolises the levels of life in marriage.

The upper part covered by cow dung and manure means life might seem dark to her now that she is entering into a commitment, the ancestors of her husband shall protect her. Deeper the soil is red, symbolizing her stern determination to join the family in sickness and in hearl and deep where the spear is sharp, red soil symbolizes a grave meaning this is a commitment even death can never break.

The bride and her party after sometime leave the byre to rest and eat. A few hours later, they then return to the byre to continue with the ritual. By this time the whole party is exhausted and any person that is nearby really feels pity for the bride who might be shivering with cold as she begins her heartfelt cries.

The truth is most people who are not in her situation do not understand why she is really crying. Some think it is because of the insults from her in-laws, what if she is with her relatives which is during the umtsimba ceremony? Others think she is annoyed at the surprise because maybe she did not want to be part of that family.

The truth of the matter is you cannot be in a foreign kraal where the science of the family is performed and you remain the same. She cries because lidloti ekhaya kuba ngumkhulu hhayi gogo (an ancestor is male not female). That is why it is the male eldest member of the family that reports to the ancestors.

Males do not cry they talk. To announce her presence in the presence of all the family ancestors, she must cry. The atmosphere itself becomes so overwhelming that reality begins to sink in that a new chapter is about to begin. Making it more hurtful is the fact that the main person behind all this is nowhere to be seen. (The husband).

A goat is slaughtered, its blood spills on the ground. Worth noting is that anything that has to do with ancestors must be accompanied by a sacrifice and as the blood of the goat spills on the ground, its skin is nicely removed. The day she leaves her family to dance the umtsimba, a goat is slaughtered and its gall bladder is removed (inyongo) it is then nicely placed on her head. Remember that her dress code is incomplete as a wife without a goat skin after marriage (sidziya)". (Swazi Observer)

Denominations in numerals are in top left and lower right corners. In numeral and words centered.


1 Lilangeni 1974

umhlanga umhlanga

Nine royal daughters and representatives of the royal family, as well as two little girls, are in the Reed Dance in Ludzidzini, Mbabane, Swaziland.

The King's many daughters and royal princesses also participate in the reed dance ceremony and are distinguished by the crown of red feathers they wear in their hair.

The Ludzidzini Royal Village is the home to the Royal Family of Swaziland, currently led by Ngwenyama (King) Mswati III and the Queen mother Ntombi Thwala.

Umhlanga, or Reed Dance ceremony, is an annual Swazi and Zulu cultural event. In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to participate in the eight-day event. The young, unmarried girls were placed in female age-regiments; girls who had fallen pregnant outside wedlock had their families fined a cow.

Umhlanga was created in the 1940s, in Swaziland, under the rule of Sobhuza II, and is an adaptation of the much older Umcwasho ceremony. The reed dance continues to be practiced today in Swaziland. In South Africa, the reed dance was introduced in 1991 by Goodwill Zwelithini, the current King of the Zulus. The dance in South Africa takes place in Nongoma, a royal kraal of the Zulu king.

In Swaziland, girls begin the rite by gathering at the Queen Mother's royal village, which currently is Ludzidzini Royal Village. After arriving at the Queen Mother's royal residence, the women disperse the following night to surrounding areas and cut tall reeds. The following night, they bundle the reeds together and bring them back to the Queen Mother to be used in repairing holes in the reed windscreen surrounding the royal village.

After a day of rest and washing, the women prepare their traditional costumes consisting of a bead necklace, rattling anklets made from cocoons, a sash, and skirt. Many of them carry the bush knives, which they had earlier used to cut the reeds, as symbols of their virginity.

The women sing and dance as they parade in front of the royal family as well as a crowd of dignitaries, spectators, and tourists. After the parade, groups from select villages take to the center of the field and put on a special performance for the crowd.

The present form of the Reed Dance developed in the 1940s from the Umcwasho custom, where young girls were placed in age regiments to ensure their virginity. Once they had reached marriageable age, they would perform labour for the Queen Mother followed by dancing and a feast. The official purpose of the annual ceremony is to preserve the women's chastity, provide tribute labour for the Queen Mother, and produce solidarity among the women through working together.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. In words in lower left corner.



His majesty The King King Sobhuza II and the first governor of the Bank of Swaziland Mr. Mr. Ethan Mayisela, "uZangashane", opening the bank at 1 April 1974.

On 22nd March 1974, King Sobhuza II established The Monetary Authority of Swaziland, through The Monetary Authority of Swaziland Order of 1974. On 1st April 1974, the Bank officially began its operations. His Majesty appointed Mr. Ethan Mayisela, "uZangashane", as the Authority’s first Governor. The Members of the Board of Directors included: Mr. I. F. Hodgkinson, Mr. A. M. Fakudze, the Governor Mr. E. Mayisela, Mr. David Cohen, the Attorney General, Mr. Nst. Keng, Mr. J.S. Matsebula, Princess Msalela and Mr. L. Masuku.