Souvenirs from Mayotte
Souvenirs from Mayotte are a delight to the senses, full of tropical scents and hues. The ylang-ylang flower has a delicate fragrance that translates beautifully into candles and bath products. Vanilla is another popular essence that can be used to perfume the air, or in baking cakes, cookies and pies. Coffee will go perfectly with the desserts you make using the vanilla, and Mayotte grows coffee beans. Purchase a few bags of your favorite blend to enjoy on lazy mornings. Musical instruments are a fun Mahoran souvenir, such as drums, dzendze and gabusi, but if you have no intention of starting a band, you may prefer fun refrigerator magnets, colorful key chains and picture postcards. Locally woven fabrics made into clothing, table linens, or wall hangings are a sophisticated memento, or you may choose to purchase gold and gemstone jewelry to adorn yourself with. Woven hats and bags, made from tropical leaves, are another fun option.
A Brief History of Mayotte
Mayotte is a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean, in-between Madagascar and Mozambique. The archipelago is densely populated, with 194,000 people in 374 sq km. The largest city is Mamoudzou, which is also the capital. In 1500, the first sultanate was established on the islands, called Mawuit, or islands of death. It passed through the hands of various sultanates until it was ceded to the French with the Comoro Islands in 1843. In the 1970's a series of referendums taken on the Comoro Islands resulted in Mayotte wishing to stay under French rule, while the rest of the islands wanted independence. Since then there has been a question of who Mayotte belongs to. The United Nations has taken up the matter several times, judging that it should be a part of the Comoro Islands. However, a 2009 referendum by the Mahoran people approved the change of status to French overseas department, making the islands eligible for social programs.