Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Comoros, History

Pre-colonial era :In the 6th century AD(some said 1st century) Austronesian people inhabited Comoros in Nzwani. Comoros had been developed in phases in ancient times. From 11th to 15th

centuries, trade developed with Madagascar and Middle east. Then came the Arabs Yemen. Arab merchants first brought Arab Islamic Influence to the Islands. Arabs traded for slaves in Africa, increasing the spread and dominance of Arab culture. They constructed large mosques. By 19th century, the influence of Arabic-speaking Sunni Persians from Shiraz, Iran dominated the Islands.
European contact and French Colonization :
Portuguese explorers first visited the archipelago in 1505. In 1793, Malagasy warriors from Madagascar first started raiding the islands for slaves, and later settled and seized control in many locations . France first established colonial rules in the Comoros in 1841, the the Malagasy King Of Mayotte,signed the treaty of april 1841 which ceded the Island to the French authorities.
In 1886, Moheli was plced under French protecionby its Queen Salima Machimba. That same year, after consolidating his auuthority over all of Grande Comore, Sultan Said Ali agreedto French protection of his Island, though retained his sovereignity until 1909.Also in 1909, Sultan Said Muhamed of Anjouan abdicated in favour of French rule. The Comoros waas officially made a french colony in 1912, and the islands were placed under the administration of the French colonial governor general of Madagascar in 1914.
The Comoros served as a way station for merchants sailing to the far east and India until the opening of the Suez canal significantly reduced trffic passing through the Mozambique Channel.
An 1808 map refers to the islands as "Camora";


Sultan Said Ali bin Said Omar of Grande Comore (1897)