Zimbabwe Bird & Baobab Tree 10 Cents Bacheleur Eagle Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making
Great Zimbabwe Bird & Baobab Tree 10 Cents Bacheleur Eagle Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making
Obverse: Representation of the protective bird, the most famous of Zimbabwe sculptures dated between 12th and 14th century. Protective sculpture in the city of Great Zimbabwe, the capital of Monomotapa Empire and led Gokomere ancestors of Shona, the people of southern Africa.
Reverse: Baobab tree, value at right
Period Republic (1980-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Value 10 Cents (0.10 ZWD)
Currency First Dollar (1980-2006)
Weight 3.82 g
Diameter 19.98 mm
Thickness 1.54 mm
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Number N# 3687
References KM# 3, Schön# 57
The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is the national emblem of Zimbabwe, appearing on the national flags and coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins (first on the Rhodesian pound and then on the Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleur eagle or the African fish eagle. The bird's design is derived from a number of soapstone sculptures found in the ruins of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe.
It is now the definitive icon of Zimbabwe, with Matenga (2001) listing over 100 organisations which now incorporate the Bird in their logo.
The original carved birds are from the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, which was built by ancestors of the Shona, starting in the 11th century and inhabited for over 300 years. The ruins, after which modern Zimbabwe was named, cover some 730 hectares (1,800 acres) and are the largest ancient stone construction in sub-Saharan Africa. Among its notable elements are the soapstone bird sculptures, about 40 centimetres (16 inches) tall and standing on columns more than 90 cm (3 ft) tall, which were originally installed on walls and monoliths within the city. They are unique to Great Zimbabwe; nothing like them has been discovered elsewhere.
Various explanations have been advanced to explain the symbolic meaning of the birds. One suggestion is that each bird was erected in turn to represent a new king, but this would have required improbably long reigns. More probably, the Zimbabwe birds represent sacred or totemic animals of the Shona – the bateleur eagle (Shona: chapungu), which was held to be a messenger from Mwari (God) and the ancestors, or the fish eagle (hungwe) which it has been suggested was the original totem of the Shona.
Adansonia is a genus made up of eight species of medium to large deciduous trees known as baobabs (/ˈbeɪoʊˌbæb/). Previously classified within the family Bombacaceae, they are now placed in the Malvaceae. They are native to Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia. Trees have also been introduced to other regions such as Asia. The baobab is also known as the "upside down tree", a name that originates from several myths. They are among the most long-lived of vascular plants and have large flowers that are reproductive for a maximum of 15 hours. The flowers open around dusk; opening so quickly that movement can be detected by the naked eye and are faded by the next morning. The fruits are large, oval to round and berry-like and hold kidney-shaped seeds in a dry, pulpy matrix.
In the early 21st century, baobabs in southern Africa began to die off rapidly from a cause yet to be determined. Scientists believe it is unlikely that disease or pests were able to kill many trees so rapidly, and some speculated that the die-off was a result of dehydration from global warming.
Along the Zambezi, the tribes believe that baobabs were upright and too proud. The gods became angry and uprooted them and threw them back into the ground upside-down. Evil spirits now cause bad luck to anyone that picks up the sweet white flowers. More specifically, a lion will kill them. In Kafue National Park, one of the largest baobabs is known as “Kondanamwali” or the “tree that eats maidens.” The tree fell in love with four beautiful maidens. When they reached puberty, they made the tree jealous by finding husbands. So, one night, during a thunderstorm, the tree opened its trunk and took the maidens inside. A rest house has been built in the branches of the tree. On stormy nights, the crying of the imprisoned maidens can still be heard. Some people believe that women living in kraals where baobabs are plenty will have more children. This is scientifically plausible as those women will have better access to the tree's vitamin-rich leaves and fruits to complement a vitamin-deficient diet.
The tree also plays a role in Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s fictional children’s book, The Little Prince. In the story, baobabs are described as dangerous plants which must be weeded out from the good plants, less they overcome a small planet and even break it to pieces.