Postage stamps and postal history of Mauritania
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Mauritania is a country in North Africa bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast. It was a constituent part of French West Africa from the mid-19th Century until it achieved independence in 1960.
Mauritania's first stamps were issued in 1906. They were in the common design used in all the French West African territories, featuring General Louis Faidherbe on the low values (1-10 centimes), oil palms on the middle values (20-75 centimes), and Dr. Noel Eugene Ballay, a colonial administrator, on the high values (1-5 francs). The showed both the territory name and the collective designation "Afrique Occidentale Francaise." A long series of definitive stamps followed in 1913 in a common design showing a family crossing the desert, which was in use for 25 years, until a new issue in 1938 which was in use until individual issues for the West African territories were discontinued after the Free French takeover in 1942. Thereafter, Mauritania used the stamps of French West Africa until independence. The first stamps of independent Mauritania were issued on January 20, 1960.
Since independence, Mauritania has issued a moderate number of colorful stamps, usually in denominations intended for normal postal purposes, not exploitation of collectors. Topics range widely, from internationally renowned personages, international organizations, wildlife and marine animals, sports, aviation, etc. The French African CFA franc was in use until 1973, when a new currency, the ougouya (UM) was introduced at a rate of 1 UM = 5 fr. CFA, resulting in stamp issues in the new currency.
The first stamps of independent Mauritania were issued in 1960. Before that, Mauritania used the stamps of Senegal.
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