Two Thousand Isles © 2017 Design by Naj
Shipwrecks, like this one in Vaavu atoll, have long played a significant role in the destiny of Dhivehi culture
All cultures find some excuse to light the fires on special occasion, but why do Maldivians do it?
The timeless image of Maldivian women’s dress is synonymous with Dhivehi culture, but today it’s more likely to be found in your pocket than on the street.
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
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?
Styles come and styles go, but when will the Maldivian monobrow make a comeback?
Fuvahmulah may no longer be a hard place to visit, but it’s still not easy to leave
If coral-stone walls could talk, what stories they’d tell
Trouble in paradise can transform a dhooni into a kaalhu, but people and crows in the Maldives go way back
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
The Dhivehi dark ages stretch back through most of Maldivian history, but the mysterious glimmer of the Redhin remains
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
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
While others have downed tools, the blacksmith is still striking a blow for tradition
Sun, sea, sand, and shrines. There’s more to ‘ziyaaraiy kurun’ than you’d think
Sometimes the old ways are the best, and the sweetest
Very little of the country’s ancient history is on display, but this doesn’t mean it’s not there
Part man, part myth, Andhiri Andhirin is the man the Maldives loves to hate
Gaafu Alif Funadhoo seems like the perfect place for peace, tranquility, isolation and rejection. What secrets lie in the jungle?/p>
Seeing Gaafu Alif atoll from the sky can reveal a lot about its islands, painting a unique picture of North Huvadhu
They’re out there, collecting the Maldives’ least wanted. But what are they?
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
Fuvahmulah is unique for many reasons, but cricket wasn’t one of them, until now
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
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)
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?
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.
Before Suvadive became Seenu or Gan became Coral Command, Addu was Port T, and Peter Doling’s fabulous book tells many tales
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 pestilence of the past may be gone, the prime suspects remain at large
If the streets of Male’ themselves could talk, what would they say?
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
Even in the Maldives’ pristine isles, feuds tend to fester, but could Hulhumeedhoo’s environmental challenges have elevated its fighting into folklore?
Natural, supernatural or naturally supernatural? The difference between the former is surely just our ability to explain
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
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
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!!
A visit to the end of the world brings home the reality of climate change and its unpredictable consequences for an island nation
Firaq’s cave of wonders waits for a time when history and politics can find space to co-exist in the tiny islands
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.
Revered in Tamil Nadu and eaten in parts of Polynesia, Maldivian fruit bats are regarded with disdain – neither sacred nor snack
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.
Cancel the excursions whenever the Maldives’ capital becomes quarrelsome
The shores are shifting, but you’re unlikely to hear too many people complaining about it
Special swell receives warm welcome as wave arrivals continue to grow
Rilwan is not a fiction for the factions, though his story is rapidly becoming a history
Visitors to the Maldives can literally taste the Indian Ocean thanks to perhaps the world’s most unusual Coke factory
On the eastern side of the island lies a tomb with a disembodied history
Nobody’s home in the lost city, but the money is waterproof
Returning to the atolls can be tough; to an island in the storm
The capital’s defences have adapted to new threats, but its oldest adversary may be unstoppable
As 300 metric tonnes of trash threaten to contaminate Male every day, an army of entrepreneurs are cleansing the island city
Male’s newest attraction is building quite an audience
Few foreigners have learned the Maldivian language and for those who try, mistakes are inevitable
Asking a Maldivian their name is a question not easily answered
The Kuramathi islanders have always lived in Rasdhoo atoll, and yet they haven’t been home for fifty years.
Truth is usually stranger than fiction, but this is a bird with more than a whiff of myth
What happens when modernity drives a bridge through 900 years of folklore?
While Abu al Barakat is said to have converted the Maldives to Islam, a competitor for his title lies below the equator
A typical tale from the streets of the cramped capital
Other than sleepy Maldivians, joali contain stories about past MaldivIan glories
Meet d’Artagnon – a green turtle musketeering with disabilities
Abdul Hameed, aged 78, once worked as a prayer reciter. Now he smiles
Fellow mammals untrammelled by gravity’s shambles
‘Maldive fish’ tourism has been a mainstay for centuries, with travellers of the dried sort heading overseas in exchange for basics commodities
After centuries of seclusion, Maldivian surfers are struggling now that their secret is out
How would the Tangerine traveller’s story sound given the 21st century media treatment?
Declassified document sheds light on dark period in UK-Maldives relations
Old habits die hard when darkness falls in the atolls
The Grey Heron is found throughout Maldivian culture, but what does the Dhooni-do?
Football is played on every island, though modern artificial turf pitches are still a rarity
A rarer sight in modern Maldives, the rhiya dhoni are still productive members of smaller island communities
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
Leave the hustle of the capital and journey into the atolls to glimpse the calm long forgotten by the city
The country’s healthcare system is burdened by ailments old and new
The lessons on the islands are more or less done, but school is still in session on the reef
Marriage between Maldivians and foreigners is more common than ever, though officials ensure the course doesn’t run too smooth
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
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
Land makes up just one percent of sovereign territory in the ‘ocean nation’. How big is the Maldives?
Stooped at 90 degrees, backs straight as a board, the women of the atolls rise early and sweep, sweep, sweep
A tiny island which continues to embody the iconic island experience
This oasis in Addu allows guests to combine the best of both Maldives
To say a place feels like home can be a cliché, but Nilandhoo’s guest house will make you feel like a real islander
A privileged view of life in the heart of Maldives, Hithadhoo’s newest guest house is the best place from which to explore
Two millenia to count the Maldives’ islands. How long will it take to count the stories?