Yotin kòrtá

Our participant Girvin Eustatia tells about these shiny objects. “My father was a collector of coins, and he gave me these. I really didn’t know what to do with them. After some time I got the idea to turn them into cufflinks. The goldsmith who used to live in Landhuis Habaai made the cufflinks for me. I use them to this day.”

In the late 18th century trade stagnated in Curaçao. Imports exceeded exports leading to a shortage of coins. In order to stimulate the money supply, governor Lauffer made a bold decision. He had 8000 Spanish pesos cut into 4 pieces and gave each quarter piece the value of 3 reales. The new coins were called guillotine because of the production method, a clear reference to the French revolution.

In Papiamentu the name became yotin kòrtá.

“The new coins were called guillotine because of this method.”