Culture of the Indian Ocean Islands

Culture Of The Indian Ocean Islands

Culture of the Indian Ocean Islands

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The culture of the Indian Ocean islands reflects the ethnic diversity, history, politics, music, dance, food, drink, arts, sports and international influences in that region. The area includes Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba Island), Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Comoros, RĂ©union, Mayotte, Rodrigues, Agalega, Cargados Carajos and, historically, Chagos Archipelago and Diego Garcia.



Early history

Perhaps the earliest explorers of the region were Arab. Indeed, Arabs knew of the Mascarenes, naming Mauritius "Dina Machrek" (Isle of the East), Rodrigues Dina Harobi (Abandoned Isle) and RĂ©union Dina Moghraib (Western Isle). This is testified by the planisphere of Cantino, made at Sagres. They also knew of Comoros or Madagascar.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar was possibly one of the first islands in the Indian Ocean to be inhabited; the people were mostly of African origin.

Madagascar

<!---->Archeologists place the first arrival of humans on the island to the years between 200 and 500 AD, when seafarers from Sulawesi, arrived in their outrigger canoes. The feat represented the western-most branch of the great Austronesian expansion. Medieval Arab navigators and geographers may have known about Madagascar. Various names labelled the island off the southern coast of Ophir (Africa): Phebol, Cernea, Menuthias, Medruthis, Sherbezat, Camarcada, and the Island of the Moon.

Madagascar gets its current name from Marco Polo, the fourteenth-century Italian explorer, who described...
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