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1 Pound 1955, South West Africa

in Krause book Number: 11
Years of issue: 16.09.1955
Edition: 81876
Signatures: Accountant: Mr. Johannes Bresler Bosman (in office 04.1952 - 10.1955), Manager: Mr. Thomas Francois Theron Uys
Serie: The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Specimen of: 16.09.1955
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 152 x 82
Printer: Waterlow and Sons Limited, 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 Pound 1955




Profile of a Himba girl, North Southwest Africa (Namibia) with a special headdress (headpiece).

Himba Herero

The Himba (singular: OmuHimba, plural: OvaHimba) are indigenous peoples with an estimated population of about 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region (formerly Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene River in southern Angola. There are also a few groups left of the OvaTwa, who are also OvaHimba, but are hunter-gatherers. However, the OvaHimba do not like to be associated with OvaTwa. Culturally distinguishable from the Herero people, the OvaHimba are a semi-nomadic, pastoralist people and speak OtjiHimba, a variety of Herero, which belongs to the Bantu family within Niger–Congo. The OvaHimba are semi-nomadic as they have base homesteads where crops are cultivated, but may have to move within the year depending on rainfall and where there is access to water.

The OvaHimba are considered the last (semi-) nomadic people of Namibia.


For a Himba woman, her hair is her power. These semi-nomadic people live in one of the most extreme environments on earth, the deserts that border Namibia with Angola. As water is scarce they use a mixture of pastes on both their bodies and hair. These pastes blend the aromatic resin of the omazumba shrub with animal fat and ground red pigmented stone. This ‘otjize’ paste gives the women’s skin and hair a distinctive red glow which symbolizes both blood, the essence of life, and the earth’s rich red colour.

Hairstyles play a significant role within the Himba community and reflect marital status, age, wealth, and rank within the group. Hair braiding is a communal activity with the range of styles differing from tribe to tribe. Close relatives spend hours creating elaborate and socially symbolic hairstyles. The braids they create are often lengthened by including bits of woven hay, goat hair and artificial hair extensions.

Hair is also seen as a symbol of fertility amongst the Himba community where thick braids and lustrous hair indicates a women’s ability to bear healthy children. Women who have been married for about a year, or have had a child, wear an ornate headpiece called the Erembe, sculpted from sheep or goatskin, with many streams of braided hair, coloured and shaped with ‘otjize’ paste. They will also be given a necklace that incorporates a cone shell, known locally as Ohumba, which is also considered a symbol of fertility.

The complexity of the Himba’s elaborate hairstyles begin from birth, where an infant or child will have their head kept shaved or a small crop of hair on the crown of their head. This is sculpted into one braided hair plait extended to the rear of the head for young boys, and two braided hair plaits extended forward over the eyes for the young girls. It’s common amongst some groups to shave the hair of the girls, leaving a small bush on top of the head. The shaved-off hair is then used to make plaits, which are woven back into the remaining hair and hang down over the face. The loose-hanging strands are then tied backwards (when the girls reach puberty) and combined with an Ekori headdress made from tanned sheep or goatskin – thus denoting marriageable age. (


1 Pound 1955

Ruacana Falls Ruacana Falls

On right side are The Ruacana Falls. That are waterfalls, located near Ruacana on the Kunene River in Northern Namibia. The waterfall is 120 meters (390 ft.) high and 700 meters (2,300 ft.) wide in full flood. It is among the largest waterfalls in Africa, both by volume and width.

The Ruacana Dam and power station, together with the Calueque Dam (completed in 1976) 25 miles (40 km.) farther upriver in Angola, are designed to provide irrigation water for southern Angola and the Owambo region of northern Namibia as well as to provide electricity for most of Namibia. However, for most of the year the waterfall is dry, due to the Ruacana Hydropower Plant upstream, which meets more than 50% of Namibia’s electricity requirements.

The Epupa Falls on the Kunene River are located 135 km. (84 mi.) downstream on the border of Angola and Namibia. With its scenically beautiful surroundings, Epupa is one of Namibia’s prime tourist destinations. The falls are a series of cascades where the Kunene River drops a total of 60 meters over a distance of about 1.5 km., separating into a multitude of channels and forming a myriad of rock pools. It is possible to swim in these pools.

Ombalantu Baobab

On left side is Baobab. It seems to me, that on banknote is Ombalantu-Baobab as one of the largest and oldest baobabs (Adansonia digitata) in Africa and which is located very close to the Ruacana Falls.

The Ombalantu-Baobab, also Tree of Life or Omukwa waa Mbalantu, is one of the largest and oldest Baobabs (Adansonia digitata) in Africa. It is located in the city of Outapi in northern Namibia. With a height of 28 meters and a trunk circumference of more than 20 meters, its age is estimated to be at least 800 years. It was declared a national monument on September 1, 2011.

Its trunk is hollow to a height of about six meters, and the entrance is designed as a door. The conical interior can accommodate up to 35 people.

In the course of history, this interior has served various purposes: Traditionally, the griots were buried there, which is why the people believe that the spirits live in the tree. The tree also served as a hiding place during tribal battles. During the occupation of the country by the South Africans, there was a bar in it, and from 1940 a post office. A chapel has now been set up there to commemorate the spirits residing in the tree. Today the tree is mainly used as a tourist attraction; admission is charged. Many foreign tour groups head for the tree as a stage destination, which is an economic factor with a braai snack bar, a souvenir and handicraft shop with toilet service.

Immediately behind the tree was a military camp during the Namibian liberation struggle. Today a memorial has been set up there, which also shows life in pre-colonial times.


Merino sheep graze under the Baobab.

The Merino is one of the most historically relevant and economically influential breeds of sheep, much prized for its wool. The origins of the breed are the subject of debate, with alternatives of it originating in flocks transferred from Morocco as early as the 12th century, originating and being improved in Extremadura in southwestern Spain, in the 12th and 13th centuries or from the selective crossbreeding of Spanish ewes with imported rams at several different periods. It was instrumental in the economic development of 15th and 16th century Spain, which initially held a monopoly on the trade in its wool. Since the end of the 18th century, the breed was further refined in New Zealand and Australia, giving rise to the modern Merino.

Today, Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep. Poll Merinos have no horns (or very small stubs, known as scurs), and horned Merino rams have long, spiral horns which grow close to the head.

At the top are the names of the bank in English and Afrikaans.

An inscription: "Promises to pay the bearer on demand at Windhoek, Beloof op aanvraag te betaal aan toonder te Windhoek".


1 Pound 1955

2 Dollars 2016

Three Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros) anthelopes at a watering hole near the Omaruru River, in the background - mountains Omatako.

One of the tallest and longest-horned antelopes, the greater kudu can weigh up to 600 pounds with horns up to 6 feet in length. The greater kudu is found throughout eastern and southern Africa, in mixed woodlands, bushlands, hills and mountains. It feeds on leaves, flowers and fruits and can live up to 8 years in the wild. The greater kudu is characterized by its narrow body, long legs, large ears and brown coat with white vertical torso stripes. Both the greater kudu and the lesser kudu have distinctive stripes and spots covering their bodies, and males have fringe under their chins and impressive spiral horns.

The range of the greater kudu extends from the east in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Eritrea and Kenya into the south where they are found in Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Other regions where greater kudu are located are Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Swaziland, and Uganda. They have also been introduced in small numbers into New Mexico, but were never released into the wild. Their habitat includes mixed scrub woodlands (the greater kudu is one of the few largest mammals that prefer living in settled areas – in scrub woodland and bush on abandoned fields and degraded pastures, mopane bush and acacia in lowlands, hills and mountains. They will occasionally venture onto plains only if there is a large abundance of bushes, but normally avoid such open areas to avoid becoming an easy target for their predators. Their diet consists of leaves, grass, shoots and occasionally tubers, roots and fruit (they are especially fond of oranges and tangerines).

During the day, greater kudus normally cease to be active and instead seek cover under woodland, especially during hot days. They feed and drink in the early morning and late afternoon, acquiring water from waterholes or roots and bulbs that have a high water content. Although they tend to stay in one area, the greater kudu may search over a large distance for water in times of drought, in southern Namibia where water is relatively scarce they have been known to cover extensive distances in very short periods of time.

Omatako Mountains Omaruru River

The Omatako Mountains (German: Omatakoberge) are two mountains in Namibia, located some 90 km. (56 mi.) north of Okahandja. Their name in the Herero language literally means "buttocks".

The northwesterly of the two peaks, the Great Omatako (German: Omatako-Spitze), is 2,300 m. (7,500 ft.) in height, considerably higher than the other peak. The first European to record the locality was C. J. Andersson in 1851.

The uppermost 300 m. (980 ft.) of each Omatako mountain is made of basalt and dolerite respectively; the darker, more spherical southeastern summit is made of dolerite, while the smooth slopes of the higher northwestern summit are made of basalt.

The Omaruru River is a major river crossing the Erongo Region of western central Namibia from East to West. It originates in the Etjo Mountains, crosses the city of Omaruru and the village of Okombahe, and reaches the sea a few kilometers north of Henties Bay. Inflows of the Huab are Otjimakuru, Goab, Spitzkop, Leeu and Okandjou.

The Omaruru is an ephemeral river with a mean run-off of roughly 40 million cubic meters per annum. Its palaeochannels form an underground delta of the Namib Desert. Its catchment area (including its tributaries) is estimated to be between 11579 and 13,100 square kilometres (5,100 sq mi.).


South West African Pound The pound was in circulation between 1930 and 1959 and was issued by the following banks: The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas), and Volkskas Limited. These notes were in circulation along with the South African pound until 1961, when they were withdrawn and replaced by the South African Rand. The South West African pound was pegged to the South African pound, which replaced the South West African mark in 1918.