Maldives History

The early Maldives history is unknown because of the lack of historical data. However, archaeologists indicated that the islands of Maldives were inhabited around 1500 BC and the Redin people were perhaps the earliest of the explorers.

There is no data about the origin of human settlement in Maldives though it is believed that around 500 BC Aryan immigrants from Indian subcontinent made permanent settlements in that land.

The Maldives is a fully independent nation from July 26, 1965 and a Republic from November 11, 1968. The islands of Maldives were under Muslim control from 12th century and then the Portuguese invasion in 1518 captured the land for next 15 years. Maldives became a British province in 1987 and remained so until 26 July 1965.

Maldives is located along the ancient marine trade routes and it is believed the early explorers and traders stopped themselves in Maldives during their way to Far East. The early travelers include Chinese historian Ma Huan and famous Arab traveler Ibn Batuta. As trade along the sea routes blossomed the Maldives became an important halt for Arab traders.

The travelers also brought the influence of Islam into Maldives. It is believed that Moroccan traveler Abu Barakat Yusuf started converting Maldives people to Islam. Today, Maldives is perhaps the only country with a 100% Sunni Muslim population.

From the early days, Maldives was famous for two products – the money cowrie and fish. Maldives was the mint of the cowrie currency and large quantities of this currencies used to export from this land to various parts of the world. Traders would call over to collect cowries in exchange for rice, spices and luxury items.

Maldives fish, the boiled, smoked, cured and dried tuna was an astonishing quality product with a nutritious, ebony colored and textured fillet. Maldives fish was an ideal source of protein during sea voyage and its rarity made it a prized delicacy in most of the Indian subcontinent.

According to the famous explorer Marco Polo, Maldives is ‘The Flower of the Indies,’ while the great traveler Ibn Batuta referred to the Maldives as ‘one of the wonders of the world.’ The Maldives has been a constant source of attraction to the traders and travelers as well as to the nature lovers and explorers.

Maldives History Related Articles


History of the Maldives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Maldives is an isolated nation and is among the smallest and poorest countries in the world. In olden times, the islands provided the main source of cowrie shells, Read more...


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