The Tomb of Thulusdhoo

Photography : © Naj

Photography : © Naj

On the eastern side of Kaafu Thulusdhoo stands a tomb, defaced and derelict. Without a name and seemingly without a history.

Far away from the island’s graveyard, the ziyaarath overlooks the channel where surfers ride waves that sweep into the atoll from the Laccadive Sea.

The only explanation available from the people of the island is that the tomb holds a head – a disembodied head – that washed up on the island long before living memory.

As the story goes, the head was taken out to the deep sea in a sack and weighed down not once, but twice, each time washing up on the beach again soon after. The third time, the islanders took the hint and laid the persistent head to rest.

Today, the tomb is littered with old work benches, broken surfboards, and graffiti. The political artwork shows that even the dead aren’t beyond politics in the modern Maldives.

The mystery itself tells of the fragile local history on these tiny islands, and the importance of preserving it.