The folk takes in Maldivian culture remain a hidden part of the country’s heritage. Here’s what you must know about the folktales of the paradise isles.
It should come as no surprise that Maldivian folktales contain a great many stories centred on coconuts. The coconut tree is not only the national tree of the archipelago but also a key ingredient in some of Maldivian cuisine’s finest curries and sambals. Like the Bo tree in India, the coconut tree is holy in the Maldives. In most folk renderings, it is claimed that the coconut tree is connected to a wizard who buried the skulls of the first Maldivian settlers and transformed them into trees.
The Impact of the Religious Conversion
The Maldives was a Buddhist nation once but converted to Islam in the 12th century. According to folk stories, the Maldivian islands are haunted by Rannamaari, a demon who demanded sacrifices from the local population. A Moroccan Scholar called Abul Barakat supposedly succeeded in subduing the demon by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, or so locals believe.
Tuna fish is another inseparable element in local culture and Maldivian folklore is also full of fish tales that include a seafarer named Bodu who defeated a mythical tree dubbed Dagas for tunas to be able to live freely in Maldivian waters. This is why some of the best things to do in Maldives include digging into tuna soups such as Garudhiya.
Some folktales also concentrate on the end of the Maldives as the country has faced submersion since several decades. This is the reason why tourists should flock to Adaaran Select Meedhupparu and other holiday hotspots in the country while it is still above ground.