Queen of Sheba Coin

Queen of Sheba Coin

A Story by Evyn Rubin

educational I hope


                                 Queen of Sheba Coin


Welcome to Sha’ar Sheqel News, where coins are a gate.


We are presently preparing to purchase three or more Queen of Sheba coins, at a reasonable price. These coins were issued by Somalia in 2002. We want one coin to keep, one coin to take to the swap meet, and one coin to send to Janet Cerullo.


When I was lovers with her, in the early ‘Eigthies, she told me some stories about the Queen of Sheba, based upon legends from her adopted faith of Islam, and shaped by her lesbian sensibilities. Some of her stories proved to be a little different from what one might read on the Internet, because the stories of Sheba I’ve seen so far on the Internet were shaped by straight people’s sensibilities, and there were two or three points of divergence.


What Cerullo told me was, that the Queen of Sheba had a woman lover named Bilkis. Sometimes they traveled together, and sometimes Bilkis stayed home. When Sheba and Bilkis were separated, they sent each other letters which were carried by a hoodhood bird.


At this point, Cerullo would make a sign, apparently the sign of the hoodhood bird, like an O.K. sign, with a circle and three loose fingers, an f-hand in A. S. L. Then she’d fly the sign, flapping the three loose fingers like a wing, across the horizon. I could just imagine.


The hoodhood bird must have had a long way to fly. Bilkis probably went on the first trip to Jerusalem, and then she may not have wanted to go again, because Sheba started a relationship in Jerusalem with Solomon. Probably what had drawn them to Jerusalem in the first place was as much the renown magical women’s court, as it was the renown wise King Solomon, but it was Solomon with whom Sheba became involved.


Cerullo also told me that the Queen of Sheba had very hairy legs, and that when she walked through a wading pool, she picked up her skirt and everyone observed that her legs were hairy. On the Internet, one can see how, to that simple fact, have been attached the most bizarre interpretations or explanations, which I won’t even repeat. Cerullo just dropped all that away because a woman having hairy legs didn’t need an explanation in her world.


Also, on the Internet, and in a book about women rulers by Guida M. Jackson, the Queen of Sheba and Bilkis, or Balkis, are treated as one person.  The Queen of Sheba was actually her title, and her personal name was Makeda, but, according to the standard legend, another one of her names was Bilkis, or Balkis.


My understanding is that in the Quran, Bilkis is explicitly mentioned, but was later interpreted away, in normative Islam, by blurring her together with Sheba, into one historical character. In contrast, Cerullo, matter of factly, regarded them as two people, two women, intimate with each other.


Over the centuries, Bilkis became invisible, because people wanted to make the option she represented be invisible. But Bilkis is alive and remembered, in an oral tradition, and honored, along with Makeda, Queen of Sheba.


The Queen of Sheba coin is made of aluminum and is part of a set of four, issued in 2002. Sheba is the highest denomination of the four and the only one featuring a person. Depicted on the other three are animals from the region, the horn of Africa.


I already have the camel coin which is shiny aluminum just a little bigger than a nickel. Its denomination is 10 shillings or scellini with both words included on the coin. I have read that scientists believe the first domestication of the camel took place in what is today Somalia. It would be interesting to know more of this history, too.


Also on the Somali camel coin is the abbreviation FAO, and the inscription "XXI Century Food Security." The FAO refers to a U.N. program for agricultural development, and its inclusion on the coin was a way of supporting this program.


May this story be for a help and not a hindrance. May all our peoples, in all our diversities be blessed, and may blessings abound for all.

© 2015 Evyn Rubin

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Added on March 24, 2011
Last Updated on May 27, 2015
Tags: lesbians, Islam, coins