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Hello, gents.

I'm searching on web for awards of some African countries, such as Guinea-Bisau, Mauritius, Mozambique, San-Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Eritrea and Zambia. But there is quite no information. :o

Does anybody have info on these states?

Regards, Ivan

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All of sub-Saharan Africa (except maybe South Africa) is a real problem zone. Specimens are scarce, reliable information is even scarcer.

Megan -- http://www.medals.org.uk/ -- has some of the best information and images around and what we have at the OMSA site -- http://www.omsa.org/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=679 -- is, at best, fragmentary.

Help!

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Hi Ivan,

There is very little info out there on African ODM :banger: , with the exception of South Africa as Ed mentions.

OMSA does sell a book on CD called: "Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the French Overseas and The Post-Colonial Periods" by Edward J. Emering. This book includes awards from some former African colonies, but I've never seen the book itself so I'm not sure what's in it or how extensive it is.

There is also a set of two books published by Burke's Peerage called: "World Orders of Knighthood & Merit." It is very large, very heavy, and very expensive, but it contains photos and descriptions of many African nations' orders of merit (no real coverage for medals though). I own a copy of this set and it's pretty impressive.

On a semi-regular basis, decorations from sub-Saharan Africa do appear on eBay, and when they do I sometimes save their pictures and whatever (meager) description is provided. Africa is really an area where so much research can be done!

Hope you find this useful.

:cheers:

Edited by DutchBoy

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Ed Emering's website also cover a lot of African countries, mainly former French colonies: http://www.emering.com/medals/index.html

That wouldn't help for most of the countries on you short list, though.

To Ed's mention of South Africa, I would add UDI-period Rhodesia and Imperial Ethiopia as places where there is some knowledge out there. And Werlich's book also covered a lot of African orders.

There's probably about a dozen African countries represented in my collection, yet I am woefully ignorant on most of these countries' ODMs.

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I would try OMSA first-it is slowly growing. next, there is a book by Greg Copley on imperial Ethiopian awards. i am attempting to gather information on Ethiopian Derg era awards. I believe Kenyas' awards are on the web-their army site used to have a listing similar to the El Salvadoran one. Also, try Dave Danners' site-you never know what he has turned up.

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Thanks all of you for replies.

I have some info about all states, BUT there is absolutely nothing about Guinea-Bisau, San-Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Eritrea.

I can't find any mentions in the web for this states.

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Stair Sainty & Heydel-Mankoo's World Orders of Knighthood & Merit clearly used access to Arthus Bertrand's staff & archive and so should be the benchmark reference for African, and other, countries serviced by Bertrand. Sadly, this is not the case...for many Bertrand-supplied African states, apparent text borrowings from sources cited below accompany the unquestionably wonderful illustrations. It may be said that brief outlines would all tend to cover the same points but in the same words??? Some omissions are quite surprising, given that Bertrand manufactures insignia for some still existing Orders founded in the 1980s that are not described in this edition. These flaws could lead one to question the work's accuracy for non-Bertrand sourced material.

Ed Emering's CD is the best English language resource on most franco-phone countries since Werlich and coverage in collector's journals. He continually strives to upgrade his information in collaboration with other specialists in this field. Werlich tried to cover all nations' orders and has many pictures but little information.

A general survey in French, ORDRES et MEDAILLES PAYS D'AFRIQUE - 1960 ? NOS JOURS, published in 2000, is usually available on eBay for 50 euros plus shipping. As I have said in other posts on this site, this is a useful pioneering work, that provides some official or statutory cites for individual orders but suffers the serious shortcoming of using copyrighted material without acknowledgement. I now understand that a projected 2nd edition will correct that error, remove redundancies, upgrade illustrations, as well as update/correct information.

I have visited many African counties including Ivan's original targets of Guinea-Bisau, Sao-Tome & Principe, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Zambia, and Eritrea. During these visits, I try to call on Orders Chancellors, their principal deputies, or whomever in the government deals with awards. Some Orders Chancelleries are very well organized and helpful. Check the Burkino-Faso Presidential website Ordre Chancellerie information for an example.

Others are completely disorganized, secretive, or simply do not exist. It appears that Guinea-Bissau and Sao-Tome & Principe are in (and have been) the process of organizing decorations for the past 20 years. A certain very distinguished gentleman from Belgrade designed Cabo Verde awards. Guinea-Bissau and Sao-Tome & Principe may have also consulted him for guidance. In November, 2005, Guinea-Bissau's President's administrative staff told me no national awards existed but that several cities had "plaques" to be awarded to prominent visitors. Staffers said then that economic developments [OIL!] may lead to needs for national level recognitions.

Seychelles' independence experience and political events since independence, including years of one-party rule, may have affected award development. At one point, the Seychelles People's Progressive Front reportedly had a membership medallion that could have been handed out as a State decoration but who knows if this is true. The Star of the Seychelles is another possible award mentioned in the Victoria Herald news-sheet. An ephemeral mico-nation that claimed an atoll in the Seyclelle group circa the 1990s may have issued medals or the Star of the Seychelles .

Zambian presidential officials clearly did not want to talk about honors at all. I attempted visits three times without any success -- at first with polite excuses and finally with rather obvious refusals.

Visits to Eriteria in 1998 and 2006 uncovered no honors system information whatsoever. I have obversed what appear to be non-wearable 50 mm diameter medals in Asmara's markets with untranslatable pseudo-Arabic markings. Given the conflicts with Ethiopia, the Italian and Ethiopian tradition in using medals, and somewhat [ maybe formerly!] parallel conditions in Somalia, I would be very surprised if there were no national Eriterian awards. Perhaps this is a case of officials playing their cards close to the chest.

In 2004, both Angolan and Mozambique officials told me they were revising their national symbols, including Cuban style awards systems, to something less Marxist. I understand both had contacted da Costa in Lisbon---but nothing further on either.

A side note. The central square in Port Louis, Marutius' capital, has statutes of the national heros. Some of these, including Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed, have post-nominal initials following the names--but [other than KBE or GCMG] no one can tell what they mean!!

I understand a short talk on Central African Republic/Empire Orders will be presented at the 2007 OMSA convention's international seminar .

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Hi 922F,

Holy Moly, that's quite a story! :speechless1:

Fascinating info, and much of it straight from the sources! Have you travelled around Africa some official capacity? Did you also manage to pick up a few of these awards while you were there?

I'd never heard of that French book, and I will check it out if I find one.

Thanks!

:cheers:

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When I trained with the Eritrean Army, they didn't even have insignia. The Eritrean People's Liberation Front, which became the army after independence, was somewhat Marxist, so perhaps like Communist China in the 60s and 70s, they avoided symbols of rank and decorations.

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Greetings,

This is a short note to advise you of the Saffer Wiki project. The wiki serves as a repository and meta-site of information relating to Southern African military affairs. It is an amateur effort and a real mixed bag of stuff. You will find well over 1000 pages of material relating to all sorts of topics including units, events and decorations. SADF era and SANDF awards and decorations are reasonably well covered and using the search facility at the top right of the page will lead you to anything else you may be looking for. Please visit us and have a poke around. The link is:

http://saffer.pbwiki.com/

And you will need the following Case Sensitive Password to gain access: Callup

The page on Genl Jan Smuts displays his medals. That will get any collector drooling!!!

Regards,

Dave

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As an aside- I recently received an excellent book about the Ghanian army (it could use a bit of editing) that has the complete medals awarded since independence in the covers. It is quite good.

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Hi Ulsterman,

Sounds interesting. Could you post a scan of the cover?

Thanks,

Matt.

As an aside- I recently received an excellent book about the Ghanian army (it could use a bit of editing) that has the complete medals awarded since independence in the covers. It is quite good.

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Hi Ulsterman,

Sounds interesting. Could you post a scan of the cover?

Thanks,

Matt.

Yeah-hold on it's big, but on ebay these days (The Ghana Army). Lots of UN OAS service. Great medals- UK inspired.

Edited by Ulsterman

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heres' a VERY small part of the medals pages. they have awards listed in the book as well.

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Hello!

This is photos of two officers of the Gambian Army and the president Yahya Jammeh on the last photo.

I can't identify two medals that wears guy in the central photo, and president's collar of the order. What's this?

Regards, IVB

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The 5 arm white enamel decoration (Legion of Honor type) that the lst officer wears 2nd from last on his lower row of awards is the insignia of the Order of the Republic of The Gambia, likely member or 5th class. Another ribbon worn after that appears to be the Gambia Independence medal. {His medals do not appear to be worn in order of precedence.} The medals both have appear to be an Armed Forces Long Service Medal {15 year?} and an Independence anniversary medal.

Although the third photo is the "official President's portrait" posted in most Gambian government offices, schools and other places, no one in Banjul could provide definitive information on the collar and badge. Foreign Ministry staffers believe it is apparently a combination Presidential badge of office and symbol of the Grand Mastership of the Order of the Republic of The Gambia.

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922F: Thanks! :beer:

Independence Medal have a ribbon of national colours? Have you any info about Gambian awards?

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I have very little information on Gambian awards. Saw military officers wearing ribbon bars and attended a function where the President wore the collar during a visit to Banjul 3-4 years ago. The ten year of independence medal may be the one on the green-red-green ribbon and the long service [10 or 15 years?] is on the red-white-blue-white-green one [same as the Order of the Republic of the Gambia ribbon]. The Order apparently has a medal associated with it but the medal is supposed to have the Order cross incised on it. (Maybe that info is wrong and both men are holders of the medal of the Order?)

Megan's site has some information and illustrations and there's another Gambia website that has some data.

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Hello!

This is photos of two officers of the Gambian Army and the president Yahya Jammeh on the last photo.

I can't identify two medals that wears guy in the central photo, and president's collar of the order. What's this?

Regards, IVB

In Taipei,there is the Chang Kai Chek Memorial where all his awards are on display,including Order of Gambia 1st Class.

Gambia did not on those time and if my memory is good still not recognise Continental China.

As long as I know it's the onliest Order of Gambia 1st Class set,on display in a museum worldwide.

This museum is worth a visit.

I visited Banjul a long time ago and there is great doubt that anyone would be able to bring a medal from there ( except if he's awarded one ....).

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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Here is the Gambia Order of the Republic 1st Class set complete,as it is shown on display in Chang Kai Chek Memorial.

In this museum visitors are allowed to take picture.

Emmanuel

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