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Velanaagey Family: Prominent members of the Malé nobility circa 1900

Seated on the chair is Malingey Hassan Velaanaa Manikfan. He was the chief admiral of the naval militia. Standing from left is Velaanaa Manikfan's younger son Velaanaagey Ibrahim Didi; their relative Foolhumaagey Ismail Didi and Valaanaa Manikfan's elder son Velaanaagey Mohamed Didi. The little girl sitting on her grandfather's lap is probably Mohamed Didi's eldest daughter Valaanaagey (also known as Velidhoogey) Tuttu Didi. Her mother was Athireegey Tuttudon Didi daughter of Athireegey Ibrahim Dorhimeyna Kilegefan.
Note that Velaanaagey Ibrahim Didi in this photograph is not the more well known person of that name who was the vice president of the first Maldive republic (1953). The person here is the vice president's uncle.

Hassan Velaanaa Manikfan was the son of Malin Manikfan, son of Beeru Hassan Didi and Zeinab Didi daughter of Ibrahim Sirajeddine Chief Justice. Sirajeddine's father was Kateeb Ahmed Mohyeddine son of Hassan Tajuddine Chief Justice and well known historical chronicler. Sirajeddine's mother was Fatima Rani Kilegefan daughter of Ibrahim Iskander II King of Twelve Thousand Isles and Sultan of the Maldives and Aysha daughter of Hassan Hakuraa Thakurufan of Thakandu.

Prominent members of the Borah Indian merchant community in Malé  - 21 July 1938

The foreign merchants who controlled most of the export, import and retail trade in Malé from the mid-nineteenth century until the early 1960s consisted mainly of Borah Ismaili Mohamedans. They were originally from the Indian province of Bombay but had considerable business and family connections in Colombo. Here they call at the entrance of the public reception hall of the Royal Etherekoilu Court to pay their respects to Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander King of Twelve Thousand Isles and Sultan of the Maldives on the occasion of his coronation or koli ceremony. The merchants are being received by Velaanaagey Mohamed Didi, Under Secretary of State for the Interior. The merchants presented the sovereign with a grandfather clock

Koli ceremony to proclaim a coronation in Malé

Coronation proclamations of kings and queens and other important state announcements were made by a herald who walked the inner ring road of Malé. At intersections the herald would call out the proclamation and beat his gong, called koli, a number of times. The coronation koli ceremony was slightly different, with the proclamation read by an official known as the Aboonayake. This photograph shows the procession proclaiming the coronation of Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander King of Twelve Thousand Isles and Sultan of the Maldives. Here the herald, Koli Kalhu Tuttu, with his gong and baton walks past the guards' platform (Faaravereenge Arhi) outside the public reception hall of the Royal Etherekolu Court to make his exit to an outer courtyard through the guards' gate (Faaravereenge Doraarhi). A household militia officer of the Kudibeykalun regiment stands guard at the gate. Behind the herald is a deputy to the Maabandeyri or the chief of palace staff. Behind him is the Aboonayake, who on this occasion, was the Minister of the Interior Prince Hassan Farid Didi. Behind the Aboonayake is Velaanaagey Mohamed Didi, Under Secretary of State for the Interior. The coronation ceremony was attended by Sir Andrew Coldicott, K.C.M.G; C.B.E, Governor of Ceylon as the representive of George VI King of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India, accompanied by a Royal Navy Guard of Honour.


Close-up: the Aboonakaye and his Under Secretary of State



Close-up: With gong in his left hand and baton in the right, the koli herald, Koli Kalhu Tuttu, marches past the guards' platform towards the guards' gate. When not in use the gong usually hangs from the chain seen above on the right. The gong suspended from the other chain is the hour gong. Guardsmen on duty operated an hour glass before the days of mechanical clocks. Begining at the conclusion of the sunset drum beat called naaba, guardsmen would strike the hour gong every three hours during the night, to mark the change of the night watch.

King in procession in the late 1930s

A household miltiaman holds the state parasol called haiykolhu over the head of Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander King of Twelve Thousand Isles and Sultan of the Maldives as he walks on the street of Malé. Someone asked the site editor if the king was taking a call on his mobile phone. No they did not quite have mobile technology in the 1930s and 40s! A few paces behind on the right is the Prince Ali Nooreddine Manippulu, the sovereign's elder son. Like many of his grandchildren, such as the Prince Ibrahim Nooreddine and the Prince Sayyid Ali, Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander was an accomplished sportsman and took a keen interest in tennis and photography.


Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander King of Twelve Thousand Isles and Sultan of the Maldives and entourage proceed in state on the streets of his capital. Early 1940s.


Coronation Proclamation



Teachers, callers to prayer and readers of the sermon! City dwellers and wayfarers! Dignitaries and commoners! Minors and adults! Women and men! All you subjects hear this, witness this and understand this!

The Sultan and Conquering Hero Hassan Izzuddine Iskander by Sublime Peace, the Immaculate, the Exalted, of the Golden Race, pure and majestic Warrior of the World, King. Claiming their royal status from his noble Dynasty, reigned several kings. Among them was the Sultan Mohamed Imaduddine Iskander by Sublime Peace, the Immaculate, the Exalted, descended from the Moon and the Sun, endowed with the knowledge of the Arts and the Sciences, pure and majestic Warrior of the World, King. To Him was begotten by conception in the royal womb of the Likeness of a Thousand Perfect Pearls in the Realm of Kings, a Gracious Blessing to the World and the Royal Canopy the Princess and Queen Consort Zuleikha, the Prince Hassan Izzudine, Ruler and Reigning Prince. To Him was begotten by conception in the royal womb of the Likeness of a Thousand Steadfast Steps, a Gracious Blessing to the World and the Royal Canopy the Princess Aishah, the Sultan Mohamed Mueenuddine the Second Iskander, by Sublime Peace, the Immaculate, the Exalted, descended from the Moon and the Sun, endowed with the knowledge of the Arts and the Sciences, pure and majestic Warrior of the World, King. To Him was begotten by conception in the royal womb of the Likeness of a Thousand Perfect Pearls in the Realm of Kings, a Gracious Blessing to the World and the Royal Canopy the Princess and Queen Consort Zuleikha, the Prince Hassan, who shall from this day forward be called Sultan Hassan Nooreddine the Second, by Sublime Peace, the Immaculate, the Exalted, descended from the Moon and the Sun, endowed with the knowledge of the Arts and the Sciences, pure and majestic Warrior of the World, King.

Know this and understand this!

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