Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Clarence Maloney writes

5 October 2005

People of the Maldive Islands

People of the Maldive Islands by Clarence Maloney (Mumbai/Chennai, Orient Longman, 1980) is a comprehensive book (441 pages) focusing on the culture history and sociology of the Divehi people. It is the only comprehensive book written by a scholar dealing with this subject.

The book is described by the publisher as follows: "In his study, Dr Clarence Maloney reconstructs the cultural histroy of the people, with a basis in his long experience not only in the Maldives, but also in South India and Sri Lanka. The Maldivian peole's myths, origins, language, religion, political and economic systems, and customs make up this fascinating look at an old culture now being stirred by the inevitable forces of modernity."

The book is mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide to Maldives as "the best general reference on the history of the country," and is one of the few books listed on Maldives recommended by the US Department of State.

The chapters are:

  • The Land and its Resources
  • Origins
  • Myths, and Legends
  • The Earliest Maldivians
  • The Buddhist Period and the Divehi Language
  • Computation, Skills, and Arts
  • The Political System
  • Islam and Social Control
  • The Old Religion
  • The Texture of Society
  • Kinship and Family
  • Behavior; and
  • New Stresses in an Old Nation

There is also a useful Appendix containing all the known mentions of Maldives in ancient and medieval literature of other countries.

Dr Maloney has spent much of his life in South Asia, has a PhD in South Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and has written 9 books on the peoples and cultures of this world area. He can be contacted at

This book is hardly available in the Maldives, but the publisher, Orient Longman in Mumbai and Chennai, still has a few copies available. It is also available via internet on eBay, iWon, and Amazon.

Kodaikanal International School

This school is in the mountains of South India, at a cool elevation of 7100 feet (2100 m) in the resort town of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, not far from the city of Madurai. It is an excellent school, quite accessible from Maldives.

This school opened in 1901 for missionaries' children, but later it became a well-known international school, and was the first in India to adopt the International Baccalureate (IB) system, while it is also recognized by American and Indian accrediting systems. It runs from Kindergarten through Grade 12, and has boarding facilities for students above 4th grade. It has a strong reputation especially in science, music, communications technology, business, environment, and social service. The medium of instruction is English, while 6 other languages are also taught. The current Principal is from Australia, the Vice Principal is from Canada, and students and staff come from many countries.

Information can be obtained from its website, or from the Admissions officer, Ms S Lockwood, by email

If a few families in Maldives are interested, a representative from the school might visit Male to provide further information.

Clarence Maloney was a former student, teacher, and parent of a child currently in the school