Sunday, 27 February 2011


Greg Forth at work
I had a stimulating lunch last week with Gregory Forth, Professor of Anthropology in the University of Alberta in Canada. Greg's regional specialisation is Southeast Asia, and the Indonesian archipelago in particular, where he's undertaken long-term ethnographic research on the islands of Sumba and Flores. He's written extensively about indigenous religion and ritual, and more recently ethnozoology and cryptozoology, as the following passage outlines:

In addition to numerous journal articles, this research has resulted in a monograph on folk ornithology (Nage birds, 2004) and has contributed substantially to another book entitled Images of the wildman in Southeast Asia (2008). [...] A major focus of the latter work is indigenous representations, found on Flores island and elsewhere, of hominoid creatures bearing a remarkable resemblance to palaeoanthropological reconstructions of pre-sapiens hominins. While conducting fieldwork on Flores in the 1980s, Professor Forth recorded information concerning a putative beings, now reputedly extinct but surviving in historical memory of local people; these have since been hypothetically linked with the fossil hominin, interpreted as a new species, Homo floresiensis, discovered by palaeoanthropologists working in western Flores in 2003. (University of Alberta Field Research Office: links added)

In more ways than one this is a fantastic subject, and Images of the Wildman a fascinating study (for an informed assessment see Andrew Strathern and Pamela Stewart's review in Anthropos 105 (2) (2010)). A significant part of the book is devoted to a survey of wildman rumours and traditions outside Southeast Asia, including a section on East Africa. I was fortunate to be one of the scholars Greg consulted when he was writing this, though we hadn't met until he visited Cambridge last week. With his blessing this section is copied in full below.

East Africa and the 'little furry men'

[from Gregory Forth, Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological Perspective (Routledge, 2008), pp. 217-220 (main text), p. 307 (footnotes).]

Besides Southeast Asia, Africa is the only region of the world that is home to great apes, including chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pygmy chimpanzees, Pan paniscus) and Lowland and Highland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei). The continent is also the site of possible early or ancient encounters of European and circum-Mediterranean peoples with large primates, perhaps most famously exemplified by Hanno's periplus (Yerkes and Yerkes 1929: 2-3; Reynolds 1967: 29-31). If apes are a significant source of wildman images, therefore, one might expect Africa to provide numerous exemplars. And if surviving or remembered pre-sapiens hominins were their hypothetical origin, then Africa, as the major locus of human evolution, should be prominent for this reason as well.

Unabridged English translation (1958)
Recorded both in areas where apes are attested and in regions where they are not, reports of African hominoids have been comprehensively reviewed by Bernard Heuvelmans (1980). One source is a report by Captain William Hichens, an Englishman and former civil servant, who in the 1920s, while hunting lions in the Wembere region of west central Tanzania, observed two creatures emerging from dense forest. Resembling 'little men', the creatures were tailless, covered in 'russet' hair, stood about 1.2 metres tall and walked erect (Hichens 1937: 373). Evidently familiar with local primate life, Hichens remarks that the creatures may have been monkeys, but 'were no ordinary monkeys, nor baboons, nor colobus, nor Sykes, nor any other kind found in Tanganyika' (ibid.). Wembere, it should be noted , lies east of the normal range of chimpanzees and gorillas. Hichens' efforts to follow the hominoids were in vain. Reacting with 'mingled fear and amazement', a native hunter accompanying the Englishman also saw the creatures. He identified them as 'agogwe', rarely encountered beings which, according to what villagers later told Captain Hichens, will weed and hoe people's gardens at night in exchange for food and millet beer.

These particulars suggest that the 'little furry men' are a category recognized by local Tanzanians. Yet available ethnography does not confirm that East Africans maintain a representation labelled 'agogwe' which substantially accords with the physical image reported by Hichens. Nor is it entirely clear from which language the name 'agogwe' derives. Hichens briefly mentioned his sighting in an earlier article, where he writes the name as 'ngogwe'. He appears to gloss this term as 'little men of the trees' and to identify it as a usage of the Iramba (or Nilamba) people (1928: 176). It is also in this article that Hichens specifies the creatures as tailless. Evidently drawing on Iramba lore, he further describes the 'ngogwe' as 'wailing a strange chant' as they travel (ibid.).[13]

Heuvelmans compares Hichens' report to two other accouts of East African hominoids. One refers briefly to 'little red men' inhabiting the eastern Kenyan region of Embu. According to an African who claimed to have seen 'scores' of these beings, they will pelt human intruders with small stones (S.V. Cook 1924: 25); but noticeably missing from this account is any explicit reference to body hair. The same omission characterizes a later report from Mozambique. Writing in response to Hichens' article, another Briton described how, from the deck of a cargo boat in 1937 and with the aid of a telescope, he was able to observe two 'little brown men' between 1.2 and 1.5 metres tall walking on a beach among a troop of baboons (Burgoyne 1938: 51).[14] The baboons appeared undisturbed by their presence. Referring to a similar sighting by an unnamed friend, the author vaguely refers to a native injunction on shooting the little men.

Mt. Longonot crater
A somewhat more detailed sketch of putative hominoids is offered by a professional big-game hunter, Roger Courtney (1940: 37-49) and concerns apelike creatures called 'mau men'. Found in the vicinity of Mount Longenot [Longonot] in Kenya, the beings were described to Courtney by his guide, a Muslim of mixed Boran and Mkamba descent named Ali (1940: 37-49). Ali had heard the story from his then deceased father, who claimed to have been struck over the head and abducted by a group of mau men while tending sheep on the slopes of the mountain, described as an old volcano full of caves. In this account, the mau are characterized as small, apparently tailless creatures resembling 'monkeys' more than humans. While their skin was 'white', their bodies were covered in long 'black' hair. Hair also hung over the eyes. The reputed eyewitness encountered the mau sitting on ledges inside a cave, around a central fire. Characterized as forest dwellers, the creatures are further described as reaching their caves by way of long underground passages. Apart from the fire and sticks and stones which they employed as weapons, the mau appeared to possess no technology; as Ali points out, they may even have obtained the fire from a natural volcanic source. Chattering like monkeys, they also seem to have lacked an intelligible language. The only indication of their diet is the sheep stolen from Ali's father.

Ali's father explicitly distinguished the mau from less 'wild' pygmies residing in the forests to the west of Lake Victoria, whom he had encountered in his travels. Indeed, in all respects except the use of fire and occupation of caves, the beings sound very much like chimpanzees, which can be similarly light-skinned and with which the shepherd may also have been familiar from his westward journeys. Although caution is always required in translating local colour terms, the long 'black' hair of the mau contrasts with that of the russet-haired agogwe. Even so, since normally dark-haired chimpanzees occasionally possess brown or reddish pelage, wayward chimps, straying some 200 kilometres beyond the eastern limit of their normal range in western Kenya, could conceivably explain Hichen's experience as well. Less readily accounted for is the hair hanging over the eyes of the mau. However, it is a point of interest that exactly the same feature is attributed to hominoidal beings reported from Central Africa.

Maasai X-files
Different from other East African images are hominoids - most of them apparently quite human (see Heuvelmans 1990a) - that numerous Maasai and other Kenyan tribesmen described in the 1970s to the French anthropologist Jacqueline Roumeguère-Eberhardt (1990). Among these is a figure Roumeguère designates anonymously as 'XI' (there are five Xs altogether) and describes as hairy-bodied, possessing long head hair and huge feet, heavy set and extremely strong. The head hair is dark; the body hair is reddish-brown or fawn among younger specimens (who could conceivably be of a size comparable to Hichens' agogwe) but darker or sometimes grey in adults. Standing as tall as a human (1.3-1.85 metres) and occasionally taller, the creatures are further depicted as wielding huge clubs, killing buffalo and carrying away the carcasses, consuming raw flesh and possibly employing a language. Despite their size and strength, they are not aggressive towards humans. These reports, Roumeguère suggests, could reflect a surviving non-sapiens hominin such as Homo habilis or Homo erectus. In his Preface to Roumeguère's book, Heuvelmans (1990a: 26-34), on the other hand, suggests a robust Australopithecine (presumably a Paranthropus).

For a student of Florenese representations, probably the most remarkable feature of Roumeguère's book is a Maasai report of one sort of Kenyan hominoid (distinguished as 'X4') being offered milk in a gourd container and, 'perhaps mistaking it for a fruit', attempting to eat the gourd. It is perhaps curious that, unlike the agogwe and similarly small creatures, nothing like Roumeguère's anonymous hominoid was reported during the colonial period in East Africa. On the other hand, there is arguably some resemblance to the 'Nandi bear', an early twentieth-century British term for a mysterious creature named 'chimoset' by the Nandi of Kenya and sometimes described by European eyewitnesses as a 'big hairy biped' or 'an enormous baboon' (Heuvelmans 1995: 490).[15]


[13] I am grateful to [x1] of Cambridge University for alerting me to Hichens' 1928 article. As is general in Bantu languages, the initial /a/ in 'agogwe' would appear to be the general noun class prefix for humans or humanlike beings. But since this is also applied to animals in some Bantu languages, it is not certain that the word denotes something locally classified as human, or even hominoid (Walsh, pers. comm., September 2006). On the other hand, the initial /n/ in 'ngogwe' is the usual Bantu prefix for nouns denoting animals; and in this connection, Walsh has suggested that, if 'agogwe' is not a misprint, Hichens may have substituted this for 'ngogwe', perhaps by way of correctio, in his 1937 piece. Referring to the Tanzanian Ihanzu people, Todd Sanders of the University of Toronto mentions as a possible comparison the term 'ahing'wi', denoting aboriginal but now invisible 'bush-dwelling creatures' that Ihanzu describe as having bodies divided laterally between a human half and a wooden half consisting of a log. The figure thus suggests the widespread image of the 'half-man' (see Needham 1980) and the partly vegetal 'green man', often considered a variant of the European wildman. Sanders further remarks that, as the Ihanzu word for 'log' is 'igogo', this image could conceivably be the source of Hichens' 'agogwe'. Another peculiarity of ahing'wi is their ability to produce porridge, milk, or meat from rocks, which they then leave in the bush for humans they favour (Sanders, pres. comm., September 2006) - an idea that suggests an inversion of the agogwe practice of receiving beer from people for whom they perform agricultural labours.

[14] Although Burgoyne entitles his article 'little furry men', this simply replicates Hichens' usage and Burgoyne does not actually describe the figures he saw as hairy.

[15] As the English name should suggst, other colonials likened the animal to a bear (no species of which is found in Africa). Heuvelmans reviews evidence suggesting that the Nandi Bear may indeed be a member of the Cynocephala (baboons and allies) of an unknown species (1995: 473-75); but in the end he favours an old and rather large ratel, or 'honey badger' (family Mustelidae), as the main source of the representation.


Burgoyne, Cuthberet 1938. Little furry men. Discovery 19: 51.

Cook, S. V. 1924. The leprachauns of Kwa Ngombe. Journal of the East [Africa and Uganda Natural] History Society 20: 24.

Courtney, Roger 1940. A Greenhorn in Africa. London: Herbert Jenkins Limited.

[Forth, Gregory. 2004. Nage Birds: Classification and Symbolism among an Eastern Indonesian People. London and New York: Routledge.]

[Forth, Gregory. 2008. Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological Perspective. London and New York: Routledge.]

Heuvelmans, Bernard 1980. Les bêtes humaines d'Afrique. Paris: Plon.

Heuvelmans, Bernard 1990a. Preface to Roumeguère-Eberhardt.

Heuvelmans, Bernard 1995. On the Track of Unknown Animals. Revised third English edition. London and New York: Kegan Paul International.

Hichens, William 1928. Africa's mystery beasts. The World Wide Magazine 62 (no. 369): 171-76.

Hichens, William 1937. African mystery beasts. Discovery 18: 369-73.

Reynolds, Vernon 1967. The Apes: The Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Orangutan and Gibbon - their History and their World. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co.

Roumeguère-Eberhardt, Jacqueline 1990. Le dossier X: les hominidés non identifiés des forêts d'Afrique. Paris: Editions Robert Laffont.

[Strathern, Andrew J. and Pamela J. Stewart. Review of Forth 2008. Anthropos 105 (2): 636-637.]

Yerkes, Robert M. and Ada W. Yerkes 1929. The Great Apes: A Study of Anthropoid Life. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Postcard from the Humphrey Winterton Collection
I've just added a visual postscript - the postcard picture of a pet rhino - to last September's post on the 'Imaginary Animals of Zanzibar'. I came across this while looking for photographs to illustrate a seminar on 'Images and counter-images of the Zanzibar Revolution' that I'm giving in Edinburgh next month. In preparation for this I've also been rereading one of my favourite books about the islands, Esmond Bradley Martin's Zanzibar: Tradition and Revolution (1978). This is unrivalled as a description of the foibles and follies of the Revolutionary Government at a time when there wasn't always a lot to laugh about. It includes the following vignette about the presence of another exotic beast in Zanzibar, or to be precise a pair of them: 

1992 reprint (Nairobi: Book Corner Ltd.)
 "On holidays such as Idd, those who remain in Zanzibar town dress up in their finest clothes and there is dancing and singing in the streets. The two Indian elephants at the Bwawani Hotel then receive great attention from the populace, and children even bring nuts and bread to them. The history of these elephants is an amusing tale. In 1974, the Indian government gave them to the government of Zanzibar as a present. They arrived on the Mapinduzi's maiden voyage. When this ship anchored in the harbour, the elephant handlers cermoniously presented them to the Africans who were supposed to take care of them. But there was one major problem: the elephants would only respond to commands in Hindi, and resolutely refused to learn Swahili. Rather embarrassed, the government decided that the Bwawani Hotel should provide for these two gentle but obstinate pachyderms, named Indirani and Govindon. The Bwawani now gives elephant rides for fifteen shillings, but there are few Zanzibaris prepared to pay the price. They like watching them, though; and these are the only Indian elephants in all East Africa. In the mornings, they are walked from their enclosure near the Marahubi Palace by a couple of attendants to the kitchen area of the Bwawani Hotel, where the hotel's staff feed them left-over food and lots of bread. They stand idly around the hotel until around 11 a.m., when their attendants walk them back to their enclosure, and their hard day's work is completed. Karume would not have approved of their example." (1978: 107)

Postcard showing Bwawani swimming pool
The reference here is to the first president of Zanzibar, Abeid Amani Karume, who planned the Bwawani Hotel before his assassination in 1972. The management of the hotel was handed over to an Indian hotel chain, Oberoi (Martin 1978: 4), and it was the Hindi-speaking staff who were later asked to look after the two monolingual elephants. These tuskers may have lived the life of Riley, but apart from providing entertainment and occasional rides, they had a more practical use to Zanzibaris at the time, unmentioned by my good friend Esmond (who is now an expert on the illegal ivory trade, but not quite as inactive as his Wikipedia article implies). It seems that their dung was in much demand as a fumigant (mafusho) for expelling (or perhaps merely calming down) spirits (mashetani), in particular those that caused certain kinds of illness in children. Boys and girls from the town collected the fresh elephant dung from Maruhubi (near the veterinary clinic, where the elephants were kept overnight), from outside the Bwawani (by the hotel's rubbish dump, where they were fed), and from the road between the two. My wife remembers doing this with others when she was in her early teens (around the time that Esmond Bradley Martin wrote his book): they used sticks to collect and bag the dung, took it home, and then left it out in the sun to dry. When the dung was dessicated one of the boys would take it and sell it to Saleh Madawa, Stone Town's principal supplier of traditional potions and charms, who would sell it on to his customers in turn -- presumably at a good profit.

Saleh Madawa's shop in July 2006
I don't know whether elephant dung can still be bought in Saleh Madawa's shop: if so then it must be sourced from the mainland, because the two Indian elephants are long gone. My guess is that recipes for elephant dung fumigant also originate on the nearby continent. It is widely used in eastern Tanzania to treat degedege (e.g. Makundi et al. 2006; Warsame et al. 2007; Foster and Vilendrer 2009), which is the Swahili name for the illness believed to cause infant convulsions, often identified as cerebral malaria. Mama J recalls that in Zanzibar town the dried elephant dung is mixed together with onion and garlic skins before being used to fumigate (kufukiza) a poorly child, and garlic is among a number of additional ingredients mentioned in the literature. The understanding and treatment of degedege is a subject all in itself, and I'll no doubt return to it in future posts. Given his antipathy to other machinations of the devil (Walsh and Goldman 2007: 1149), I like to think that Sheikh Karume would have approved of this particular use of the Revolutionary Government's elephants, and not just because it helped to keep the road to Maruhubi clean. 


Foster, Deshka and Stacie Vilendrer 2009. Two treatments, one disease: childhood malaria management in Tanga, Tanzania. Malaria Journal 8: 240 (online).

Makundi, Emmanuel, Hamisi Malebo, Paulo Mhame, Andrew Kitua and Marian Warsame 2006. Role of traditional healers in the management of severe malaria among children below five years of age: the case of Kilosa and Handeni Districts, Tanzania. Malaria Journal 5: 58 (online).

Martin, Esmond Bradley 1978. Zanzibar: Tradition and Revolution. London: Hamish Hamilton.

Walsh, Martin and Helle Goldman 2007. Killing the king: the demonization and extermination of the Zanzibar leopard. In Edmond Dounias, Elisabeth Motte-Florac and Margaret Dunham (eds.) Le symbolisme des animaux: l'animal, clef de voûte de la relation entre le homme et la nature? Paris: Éditions de l'IRD. 1133-1182.

Warsame, Marian, 
Omari Kimbute, Zena Machinda, Patricia Ruddy, Majaja Melkisedick, Thomas Peto, Isabela Ribeiro, Andrew Kitua, Goran Tomson and Melba Gomes 2007. Recognition, perceptions and treatment practices for severe malaria in rural Tanzania: implications for accessing rectal artesunate as a pre-referral. PLoS ONE 2 (1): e149 (online).

Friday, 4 February 2011


Bajau child at sea (source:
One of the enduring mysteries of Indian Ocean history is how and why speakers of a Bornean language came to settle on the island of Madagascar. The Dutch explorer Frederik de Houtman (1603) drew attention to the similarities between Malay and Malagasy more than two centuries before Wilhelm von Humboldt (1836-39) proposed the name Malayo-Polynesian for the language family to which they both belong, now classified as a branch of the Austronesian language phylum. Subsequent scholars speculated on the nature of ancient contacts between Indonesia and East Africa, and a various theories were advanced about the settlement of Madagascar. The puzzle deepened when Otto Christian Dahl (1951) concluded that Malagasy is most closely related to Ma'anyan and the East Barito languages of southeastern Borneo, a hypothesis that is now widely accepted. How did the Bornean ancestors of the Malagasy, members of a group that has no apparent maritime tradition, reach Madagascar? Were they brought on the vessels of Malay (Srivijayan) or Bajau ('sea nomad') traders and/or raiders visiting the coast of East Africa, as some have suggested? How did they pick up the smattering of Bantu vocabulary and linguistic habits that are evident in Malagasy? Was Madagascar already settled by Africans before their arrival, as Dahl argued?

Festschrift for Professor Claude Allibert
These and other questions about the nature of Austronesian voyages and settlement in the western Indian Ocean remain unanswered, though our knowledge is advancing all the time. Last weekend I received my copy of Civilisations des mondes insulaires (2010), a collection of papers written in honour of Professor Claude Allibert, best known for his archaeological and historical research in the Comoros and Madagascar. I was pleased to find that a number of the thirty-plus contributions to this weighty volume have a direct bearing on the Austronesian problem. These include a review of the cultivated plants introduced by the first Austronesian migrants to Madagascar by Philippe Beaujard, and a discussion of the genetic evidence for the settlement of the Comoros and Madagascar by Axel Ducourneau. The first paper I read, though, was 'The Maldives connection: pre-modern Malay world shipping across the Indian Ocean' by Pierre-Yves Manguin, not just because it was in English, but because of its relevance to my own contribution about a particular set of historical traditions on the East African coast.

Aerial view of the Maldives (from
These traditions, about a foreign people called Diba (Wadiba), Debuli (Wadebuli), and variants thereof, have been recorded in scattered locations between the Lamu archipelago in the north and Kilwa (and thereabouts) in the south. The Diba et al. are sometimes described as unwelcome slave-raiders and invaders, and in other sources as the bearers of new cultural practices, technologies (maritime, architectural), and agricultural crops. There is no consensus on who the Diba and Debuli were: commentators have identified them as visitors of Arabian, Persian, Indian, Laccadive or Maldive origin. Harold Ingrams (1931: 47-48) considered but rejected the possibility, raised by Archdeacon Dale (1920: 13), that they might have been Malay. Some traditions as well as one version of the ethnonym (Dubuki) imply a connection with Madagascar, while the name Diba (ultimately from Sanskrit dvipa, 'island') could refer to inhabitants of any of the islands in the Indian Ocean, not just the Laccadives and Maldives. These and other features of the traditions suggest that the Diba et al. might have been Austronesians, though the evidence for this is equivocal. It is clear that the recorded traditions conflate different historical events, and in my paper I concluded as follows:

Unless we read the Diba/Debuli traditions very selectively, we cannot interpret them as evidence for interaction with a single group of visitors to the East African coast. And if they contain a deep memory of Austronesian contacts and trade, then this has evidently been overlain by other memories of interaction with outsiders, Persians, Arabs, Indian, and Portuguese included. (2010: 469).

Aerial view of the Maldives (from
Nevertheless, I remain attracted by a selective reading of the Diba traditions. Sacleux (1939: 538) defined Swahili Mdiba as the name for an indigenous inhabitant of the Maldives, and Lydekker (1919: 90-91) was led to believe that the Wadiba of Bajuni tradition came from the Laccadive islands. In his paper, Pierre-Yves Manguin reviews the documentary evidence for historical connections between insular Southeast Asia and these continguous archipelagos, which are often treated as one in the early literature. The evidence is impressive, and includes the suggestion that the Maldivian (Dhivehi) name for the Chagos archipelago, Folovahi (and variants), is derived from Malay Pulo Weh, an island off the northwestern tip of Sumatra which is on the old sailing route to the Maldives. Manguin argues that in addition to the direct and well-known route between the Maldives and the coast of Somalia, Austronesian voyagers may also have used Diego Garcia and the Chagos islands as a stepping stone to reach Madagascar and the East African coast. In any event these different journeys involve passing through the Maldives.

A boxfish in the Maldives (from
Other kinds of evidence, from maritime technology (Manguin 2000) and comparative linguistics (Tom Hoogervorst, personal communication, April 2010), support the hypothesis that the Maldives were an important staging point for Austronesian exploration and expeditions into the western Indian Ocean. We know from Buzurg ibn Shahriyar's Book of the Marvels of India that Indonesians were raiding and trading on Pemba and the mainland coast (down to Sofala) in the 10th century (Mauny 1965: 7-8), and they may well have been doing so for some time. Two centuries later Al-Idrisi reported that merchants from Sumatra were still trading with the East African coast, where "they understand one another's language" (Mauny 1965: 14). These facts fit well with some of the Diba and Debuli traditions, including one Pemban historian's repeated reference to the people of "Diba and Jawa" together, as though they were a single entity (Ingrams 1931: 125). Jawa, of course, is the island of Java (Yawadvipa in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana). Can it be that his garbled history and others like it are showing us a glimpse of events that happened so long ago? I'm tempted to say yes. The Maldives connection certainly deserves a closer look.

Aerial view of the Maldives (from

Beaujard, Philippe 2010. Les plantes cultivées apportées par les premiers migrants austronésiens à Madagascar. In Radimilahy and Rajaonarimanana (2010). 357-385.

Dale, Godfrey 1920. The Peoples of Zanzibar: Their Customs and Religious Beliefs. Westminster: Universities' Mission to Central Africa.

Dahl, Otto Christian 1951. Malgache et Maanjan: une comparaison linguistique. Oslo: Egede Institutett.

Ducourneau, Alex 2010. Approche phylogéographique du peuplement de l'océan Indien occidental. In Radimilahy and Rajaonarimanana (2010). 855-871.

de Houtman, Frederik 1603. Spraeck ende woord-boeck, inde Maleysche ende Madagaskarsche Talen met vele Arabische ende Turcse woorden. Amsterdam.

Aerial view of the Maldives (from
von Humboldt, Wilhelm 1836-39. Über die Kawi-Sprache auf der Insel Java (3 vols.). Berlin.

Ingrams, Harold 1931. Zanzibar, its History and its People. London: H. F. & G. Witherby.

Lydekker, C. J. W. 1919. The "mtepe" dhau of the Bajun islands. Man 19 (46): 88-92.

Manguin, Pierre-Yves 2000. Les techniques de construction navale aux Maldives originaires d'Asie du Sud-Est. Techniques & Culture 35-36: 21-47.

Manguin, Pierre-Yves 2010. The Maldives connection. In Radimilahy and Rajaonarimanana (2010). 261-284.

Mauny, Raymond 1965. The Wakwak and the Indonesian invasion in East Africa in 945 A.D. Studia 15: 7-16. 

Radimilahy, Chantal and Narivelo Rajaonarimanana (eds.) 2010. Civilisations des mondes insulaires (Madagascar, îles du canal de Mozambique, Mascareignes, Polynésie, Guyanes): Mélanges en l'honneur du Professeur Claude Allibert. Paris: Karthala.

Sacleux, Charles 1939.Dictionnaire Swahili-Français. Paris: Institut d'Ethnologie.

Walsh, Martin 2010. Deep memories or symbolic statements? The Diba, Debuli and related traditions of the East African coast. In Radimilahy and Rajaonarimanana (2010). 453-476.