The final months of the year are time of change in the Maldives, and a time for one of nature’s greatest journeys.
Something’s happening in Laamu; it’s old and new at the same time, and it’s big business.
Hooked in Huvadhu
Fishing in the Maldives is about far more than the pole, the line and the dhoni, with one small business helping get fish on board for thirty years
Innes and Islands
Hammond Innes is the only author to have written a novel based in Addu atoll…but when did he visit, and what did think about life in the United Suvadive Republic, 1963?
Birds of a Feather
Trouble in paradise can transform a dhooni into a kaalhu, but people and crows in the Maldives go way back
Stranger than Fiction
With little in the islands committed to writing, fact, fantasy and fanditha still converse regularly to produce the atolls’ stories.
Maldivian medicine has changed a lot over the years, but the old knowledge is needed for a little beys balance
Seventy-four years ago, thirty-nine men from Addu sailed for Colombo, but only two would come home
Redi or Not?
The Dhivehi dark ages stretch back through most of Maldivian history, but the mysterious glimmer of the Redhin remains
The Kanduhulhudhoo Candidate
Qualifying as an island is not always simple, but surely there’s room for one more in Gaafu Alif
Still drawing on tradition after 88 years, a few may follow in Maamaa Beyya’s trade, but none will have stories as sweet
Spirits of Saafu
In 21st century Maldives, there’s more junk and less jinn, but old habits die hard (if at all)
While much of the Maldives history starts and finishes in Male’, one man’s story goes much further
Very little of the country’s ancient history is on display, but this doesn’t mean it’s not there
Gaafu Alif Funadhoo seems like the perfect place for peace, tranquility, isolation and rejection. What secrets lie in the jungle?/p>
Portrait of an Atoll
Seeing Gaafu Alif atoll from the sky can reveal a lot about its islands, painting a unique picture of North Huvadhu
Darkness & Didis
Three Didis and countless versions of the dark events that saw the Maldives most famous sorcerer executed in 1953
Weeks of feverish preparation precede the month ramadan, to ensure everything is ready for the roadha
Island time is a flexible thing, except when it comes to the five daily prayers, and in Nilandhoo’s oldest mosque, an unusual device helps keep things on schedule (VIDEO INCLUDED)
The Sangu’s iconic image has come to symbolise an island life which sounds far different in reality
Lagoon yesterday or lagoon tomorrow? Fuvahmulah’s lakes are unusual, beautiful, and mysterious
Searching for the stupa that confirmed the Maldives’ Buddhist ancestry can be tough, unless you really know where to look
Life on RAF Gan was often nothing to write home about, though that depends on what stationery you use
The Maldives will never be famous for its agriculture but, true to form, Fuvahmulah is different
Message in an Atoll
Over a million a year hope to receive enlightenment in these isles, but who put the message in the bottle?
Long before the Maldives hit it big with tourism, coconuts and fished lubricated the economies. Could the kaashi theyo craze create some new cottage kunfuni ?(VIDEO INCLUDED)
In the Shade of Gan
Political tensions loomed over the return of foreign forces to Seenu Gan in 1957, casting a shadow that seems to have left a man’s murder obscured in time
More than a century after being offered as a coronation gift, what can we learn from this sultan’s swing?
Clues Over Koattey
Following clues left by HCP Bell 94 years ago, we set out to discover the secrets of Hithadhoo’s cultural reserve (VIDEO INCLUDED)
Cleaning the well is a vital part of island housekeeping. Here’s our guide to keeping the fresh water fresh.
Tales From Port T
Before Suvadive became Seenu or Gan became Coral Command, Addu was Port T, and Peter Doling’s fabulous book tells many tales
Hassan the Unlucky
Sultan of the Maldives; lord of the twelve thousand isles; surely one of the best jobs in the world. Isn’t it?
The lights dimmed and the moon took over. The creatures of the island shuffled for cover, and there he was
While the Maldives will never be famous for its street food, the gaadiya stalls of the capital offer authentic island eats for the inquisitive
Blending their own mixture of leaves, dried fruit, palm sugar and even tea, the Maldives’ matriarchs still take comfort in the reliable flavours of tradition
Long before foreigners started using the country’s beaches for relaxation and release, Maldivians were doing the same…sort of
A Tale of Two Islands
Even in the Maldives’ pristine isles, feuds tend to fester, but could Hulhumeedhoo’s environmental challenges have elevated its fighting into folklore?
Alif Alif Ali
Natural, supernatural or naturally supernatural? The difference between the former is surely just our ability to explain
Sound the Alarm
While security is not normally an issue on the smaller islands, even the friendliest house must take some precautions against local thieves
Hulhumeedhoo is unique for a number of reasons, though a declining population isn’t one of them
The Maldive Shark
Inspiring millions of tourists and one famous writer, were today’s friendly fauna once fearsome?
Swimming is key for life and leisure in the islands, though modern developments mean people are increasingly confined to the land
From Perilous to Paradise
TripAdvisor review, H.C.P. Bell (1879): Many Maldivian tourists have been the ill-fated survivors of wrecks on the Atolls who have but exchanged a watery grave for a slower death from an insidious pest…6 out of 10!!
Iceland to Islands
A visit to the end of the world brings home the reality of climate change and its unpredictable consequences for an island nation
Secrets of Seenu
Firaq’s cave of wonders waits for a time when history and politics can find space to co-exist in the tiny islands
Diving is Free
While resorts have recently begun teaching tourists how to hold their breath, for most Maldivians (in the atolls, at least) free-diving is second nature.
Pariah of Paradise
Revered in Tamil Nadu and eaten in parts of Polynesia, Maldivian fruit bats are regarded with disdain – neither sacred nor snack
Keeping Time in Meedhoo
Ibrahim Didi keeps watch in the Maldives’ oldest cemetery as the sun and history still burn brightly
While Male’s cramped cars dream of what 15mph feels, Addu’s drivers can take the long road
With resorts on their way to outnumbering island communities, a ‘local’ culture of five stars and foreign guests will soon be more common than five prayers and fishermen
The importance of the house in Maldivian politics and identity may be declining, but they’re still much more than bricks (coral) and mortar
Straight roads cutting through the islands are an example of development policies that can often leave islanders unsure as to where they’re heading
The Maldives’ idyllic mystery has attracted a variety of explorers and academics whose patchwork of prose explains the country behind the fantasy
Perhaps there’s hope for us all in the fate of finolhu, though the waves will always be watching.
The shores are shifting, but you’re unlikely to hear too many people complaining about it
The Reality of Rilwan
Rilwan is not a fiction for the factions, though his story is rapidly becoming a history
Coke: Taste the Desalination
Visitors to the Maldives can literally taste the Indian Ocean thanks to perhaps the world’s most unusual Coke factory
Defence of the Realm
The capital’s defences have adapted to new threats, but its oldest adversary may be unstoppable
Capital Health Service
As 300 metric tonnes of trash threaten to contaminate Male every day, an army of entrepreneurs are cleansing the island city
Few foreigners have learned the Maldivian language and for those who try, mistakes are inevitable
Too Close to Home
The Kuramathi islanders have always lived in Rasdhoo atoll, and yet they haven’t been home for fifty years.
The Seenu Fairy
Truth is usually stranger than fiction, but this is a bird with more than a whiff of myth
While Abu al Barakat is said to have converted the Maldives to Islam, a competitor for his title lies below the equator
Tunny Side of Life
‘Maldive fish’ tourism has been a mainstay for centuries, with travellers of the dried sort heading overseas in exchange for basics commodities
Holding Back the Waves
After centuries of seclusion, Maldivian surfers are struggling now that their secret is out
Battuta to the Future
How would the Tangerine traveller’s story sound given the 21st century media treatment?
The Beautiful Game
Football is played on every island, though modern artificial turf pitches are still a rarity
Man’s Best Friend
A rarer sight in modern Maldives, the rhiya dhoni are still productive members of smaller island communities
Water, Water, All Around…
The pleasure of plentiful fresh water in the Indian Ocean is a privilege enjoyed by a select few
The stillness of a Maldivian night is perfect for reflecting on life, both on earth and further afield
The Slow Boat to Naifaru
Leave the hustle of the capital and journey into the atolls to glimpse the calm long forgotten by the city
Welcome to Big School
The lessons on the islands are more or less done, but school is still in session on the reef
Marrying into the Maldives
Marriage between Maldivians and foreigners is more common than ever, though officials ensure the course doesn’t run too smooth
Ladies and Gentlemen…
The Maldives slowly opened up to the world after World War II, though the man responsible for the initial introductions would not live to see it
Retired on the Reef
Off the coast of Felivaru in Lhaviyani Atoll, the bow of a mystery vessel juts awkwardly from the reef…
If any man was likely to introduce Addu atoll to English literature it was Hammond Innes
A Drop in the Ocean
Land makes up just one percent of sovereign territory in the ‘ocean nation’. How big is the Maldives?
Pride of Maldives
Stooped at 90 degrees, backs straight as a board, the women of the atolls rise early and sweep, sweep, sweep