Sunday, May 27, 2018
Lakshadweep

Land

Land   ❯   Climate   ❯    Islands   ❯   Flora and Fauna

Islands
▪ Introduction  ▪ Androth   ▪ Agatti   ▪ Bitra   ▪ Kadmat    ▪ Kalpeni  ▪ Suheli    ▪ Kavaratti   ▪ Amini   ▪ Bangaram  ▪ Chetlat  ▪ Kiltan  ▪ Minicoy  ▪ Pitti or Pakshi Pitti

Amini

Amini is situated at 11o7' north latitude and 72o 44' east longitude. It is about 3kms long and 1.6km wide. It is oblong and leaves a very shallow all around. The island lies 304kms south-west of Mangalore.

Amini was one of the first to be inhabited. The nearby islands were inhabited by people from this island and they were mainly tenants of the landlords of Amini. There is a formation of coral sandstone sand stone on the eastern and western beaches which is cut and used for building houses by the local people.

Since 1799 the island had been under the British and was the seat of the Monegar, the officer in whom was vested all revenue and judicial functions. Amini still retains its importance as the seat of the Tehsildar for the Aminidivi group of islands. Vasco da Gama visited the island on his second voyage and noted the superior quality of coir prepared by the islanders.

In a deal to secure the safe passage of the island vessels from the sea pirates, the Portuguese Emperor demanded 1000 candies (1 candy 20 maunds) of Amini coir every year in 1530. Having failed to secure this trade the Portuguese established their authority on the entire Aminidive group by force. Sheikh Zeinuddin records that the Portuguese slew a vast number of islanders and made captives of more than 500 inhabitants. They burnt everything and greater part of the mosque and houses.

In Amini there were talented craftsmen who can make beautiful walking sticks with tortoise and coconut shells. The island is also known for its stone engravers who carve beautiful flower motifs on hard coral stone. The people have a rich tradition of folk song. The boat songs peculiar to the Aminidivi group attaining its highest form in this island. The song sing of legends from Islamic history and love themes and some themes are made extempore to praise a visiting VIP or to depict a particular island situation. The songs begin at a low pace and gather momentum as the oars strike the water more rapidly, adding to the rhythm of the oars and gives a greater speed to the boat.

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