Aside from collecting stamps and paper money of Portugal and colonies (my main collecting focus) I am also very interested in the secessionist states of Biafra, Katanga and South Kasai in Africa.
The history of these break-way states is fascinating and their stamps are readily available and affordable.
For some historical background on each country:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biafrahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Katangahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Kasai
I am also very interested in Rhodesia and South Vietnam, but that is a story for another day.
While these areas interest me, they have sort of fallen along the wayside for me over the years, as I have focused on Portugal and colonies mostly. However I have read just about everything I could lay my hands on about both Biafra and Katanga, including fiction and film.
For those of you who may collect banknotes, I highly recommend "The Bank Notes of Biafra" and "The Bank Notes of Katanga" both by Peter Symes.
All three were short-lived countries and their philatelic production was brief, but very interesting and readily obtainable for the most part. Used postal history, on the other hand, is a bit harder to find.
My apologies for using photos, but I do not yet have a scanner.
The State of Katanga
seceded from the Congo on July 11th, 1960 and existed until January 15th, 1963 as an independent state. It was headed by Moise Tshombe, a charismatic politician who was connected to the Lunda tribe royal family. Tshombe was elected president of Katanga in August 1960, and declared that "we are seceding from chaos".
Katanga initially overprinted Congo stamps, but soon issues it's own postage.
Overprinted Congolese stamps:
and original Katangan issues:
Katanga also issued first day covers and postcards.
Katanga postal stationary I believe was limited to overprinted Congo issues. Used postal covers are highly sought by collectors.
Congolese and Katangan currency. Katanga also issued a 5 Francs gold coins, for sale to collectors.
The 100 Katangese Francs note is from the second series.
The firsts series was of inferior quality printing and all notes had a portrait of Moise Tshombe.
I no longer have any of these in my collection, unfortunately.
They have appreciated in value quite a bit.
The Autonomous State of South Kasai
existed very briefly as an autonomous state, from August 8th, 1960 to December 30th, 1961. It was ruled by Albert Kalonji, a chief of the Luba tribe.
Like Katanga, South Kasai initially overprinted Congo stamps until it could issue it's own designs.
There is also a souvenir sheet, depicting Albert Kalonji.
More information on South Kasai stamps is available here:http://www.imperial-collection.net/...kasai01.html
Some Congolese stamps:
The Republic of Biafra
was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria which existed from May 30th 1967 until it's surrender to Nigerian forces on January 15th 1970. The secession was lead by the Igbo tribe, based on economic, ethnic, cultural and religious differences with the predominantly Muslim peoples of the northern region of Nigeria.
Biafra was recognized by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Zambia. It received covert help from France and Portugal, and some very adventurous volunteers (like Rolf Steiner, who's book "The Last Adventurer" I highly recommend) and Count Carl Gustaf Ericsson von Rosen (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustaf_von_Rosen
Biafra's leader was Odumegwu Ojukwu, a military officer of the Igbo tribe and former governor of the eastern region of Nigeria.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Odumegwu_Ojukwu
The Biafran government issued banknotes and postage stamps. The postage stamps were used mostly within the country. The stamps are not recognized as legitimate by the major stamp catalogs and were not valid for international mail.
Biafran stamps were initially just overprinted Nigerian stamps (overprinted SOVEREIGN BIAFRA), but the newborn country soon issued it's own designs. The first stamps of Biafra were issued on 5 February 1968. These were printed in Portugal, as were the initial series of bank notes. This issue consisted of three values honoring Biafran "independence".
and First Anniversary Independence issues
Butterflies and Flowers, Mexico Olympics, 2nd Anniversary of Independence and Papal visit to Africa issues:
A couple of souvenir sheets:
This issue is from Gabon, but has a Biafran connection.
Some Biafran currency;
There was also a silver 1 pound coin, which I no longer have in my collection. I do not believe it ever circulated but was a collector issue.
Bank notes of the first and second series.
and a 1000 Pound bond.
More information on Biafran stamp issues is available here:http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/World_...logue/Biafra
I hope you enjoy this little trip back in time and snapshot of history. :D