Tanga: coin of Portuguese India (16th-20th centuries); 1/16 rupia or 12 réis


1 tanga, 1952: Portuguese India

1 tanga, 1952: Portuguese India

1 TANGA - REPÚBLICA PORTUGUESA: 1 tanga, Portuguese Republic.

ESTADO DA ÍNDIA - 1952: State of India, 1952.

Coat of arms of Portuguese India during 1935-1961.

Mintage: 9.600.000.

  • Bronze: 20 mm - 4 g
  • Reference price: 7$

COIN TANGA — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. PORTUGUESE INDIA (16th-20th centuries): tanga = 1/16 rupia = 12 réis (at different times the ratios between the coins were different)
  2. SRI LANKA, PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION (16th-17th centuries): tanga = 1/5 xerafim

The name of the tanga coin literally means "bandage on the thighs" in Portuguese. However, this interpretation of the etymology of this term in the context of numismatics is obviously wrong.
A more plausible version of the British Encyclopedia ("Britannica"), which provides the following information: tanga — an ancient silver and gold coin of Afghanistan (most likely it is one of the names of the ancient Afghan rupee).
The influence of the culture of Afghanistan and Pakistan on the lands of northern and western India was indeed significant. Therefore, the assumption about the "Afghan roots" of the origin of the name of the coin of Portuguese India seems plausible. In addition, it is possible affinity of the tanga coin with the Turkic tenga and tenge, or with the Tibetan tangka.