Lack of female circumscision was probably
the reason for HanŰkedŲe
Havva to be so unkindly teased. Female circumcision
is a particularly barbaric custom still practised in many
parts of the Arab countries and elsewhere in the world colonised
by the Arabs. There is no evidence that it was practised
in the Maldives in living memory. With the growing influence
of mullahs in the Maldives and their attempt at recolonisation,
there is no reason why it would not be reinstituted.
Abu-Dawud Sulaiman bin Al-Aash'ath Al-Azdi
as-Sijistani. Sunan Abu-Dawud: Kitab el-Adab (Book 41).
"Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to
perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon
him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better
for a woman and more desirable for a husband."
Told by the
late Magieduruge Ibrahim Didi of Fua Mulaku Island
Collected & translated by Xavier Romero-Frias
To read the Standard Indic transcription correctly
in this document, please right click
here and select Save Target As...
and browse to your Fonts folder to download and
install TROM2DR.TTF (file size: 46 kB). If you
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of this font
is an island on
the long coral reef fringing the western side of Huvadu
Atoll. Takuru was born and raised in Nadöalla. His
parents were poor, ignorant and backward people, so he
received no schooling. From the time of his childhood
he used to do menial works instead of learning how to
read and write, and as time went by he became rude and
he came of age, he realized the girls did not want to
talk with him and that no one esteemed him. They said
he was the poorest and least educated man in his island.
But instead of accepting his fate, Takuru was unhappy,
for he resented being despised by everyone.
Having decided to put an end to his
wretched condition, Takuru left his home island and
sailed southwards to Adödöu Atoll. In the
hope that his luck would improve, the young man tried
staying in different islands, but nobody paid much attention
to him and the only tasks they would give him would
be mere rough, hard work.
Takuru loathed toiling in unskilled
jobs. What he longed for was to be respected and live
a more refined life. But his way of talking was uncouth
and he did not know any good stories or how to discuss
interesting things, so he could not get along with the
wealthier and more distinguished islanders.
is an island between Abuhera, the narrow southern
end of Hitadu Island, and Maradu. Now it is uninhabited
but formerly there was a cluster of shabby dwellings
there where the caretakers of the coconut plantation
lived. Most trees on HanŰkedŲe belonged to wealthy
families of Hitadu and it is said that the caretakers
there used to live in abject conditions of poverty.
Finally he ended up in the impoverished
island of Hanôkedöe. He settled there and
climbed palm trees and harvested coconuts for rich people.
Takuru became used to the hard work and meager income
and lived in an untidy little shack, like everyone else
in the island. He was quite depressed, because his lot
had not improved at all since he had left his home island,
"When I was living in Huvadu Atoll things were
not worse than here," Takuru pondered.
storyteller acknowledged that the name given to
this girl not only implied that HanŰkedŲe was
her native island.,There was also a certain unkind
implication by others in HanŰkedŲe regarding the
dimensions of the periphery of Havva's genital
In the Addu dialect, HanŰkedŲe means "piece
of skin". It was this unfortunate pun that
was used to insult and embarrass Havva.
But time went by and after three years of this dull
life, he married a young woman named Hanôkedöe
Havva. She was a dark-skinned and somewhat thickset
girl. Since she had lived in the extreme poverty of
all Hanôkedöe islanders, she was as steeped
in ignorance and darkness as Takuru himself. And yet
he liked her very much because she always looked at
him with admiration in her eyes and this gave the young
man a much-needed dose of optimism.
Havva's genital condition was probably
pendent labia minora a condition common
in Bushman women of southern Aftica.
Source: Baker, J.R. "The
‘Hottentot Venus’". Race,
Oxford University Press, 1974; Athens, Ga, Foundation
for Human Understanding, 1981, pp. 313-319.
reproduced in www.heretical.com
Kindly supplied to this website by Dr Brian
One dark rainy night in their little miserable home,
Takuru confided an ambitious plan to Hanôkedöe
Havva, "I am only a poor man now," he told
her, "but I have a plan for returning to my island
in a few years rich and respected." Then he warned
her not to tell anyone about it. The young woman agreed
and duly kept the secret.
Takuru and Havva lived humbly in Hanôkedöe
for another year. They were quite happy if they could
have ignored the limitations of their poverty. But all
that time Takuru deeply loathed to be ever surrounded
by the bunch of coarse people that lived in Hanôkedöe.
His ambitions were set somewhere else and, with the
exception of his wife, he treated everyone else in that
benighted island with persistent contempt.
External genitalia of a Bushman woman standing
upright. (Source: Baker, J.R)
Finally the day came when Takuru decided
that it was time to prepare to move back to Nadöalla.
A few months before leaving, he stopped shaving and
began grow a long beard. One day he took all his hard-earned
savings and went to Hitadu. There he bought beautiful
white clothes for himself: a white shirt, a mundöu
of the best quality and a finely knitted taìkiha
(white skull-cap). Since there was no money left
to buy clothes for his wife, Takuru told her to be patient.
And even though she was quite poorly dressed, the young
woman didnít complain because her husband had explained
her that this was part of his plan to become rich.
When the Southwest Monsoon began to
blow, Takuru took his few possessions and sailed with
Hanôkedöe Havva on a northbound batteli
back to the island of his birth. Reaching Huvadu Atoll,
the boat stopped first at the island of Fiori. Takuru
decided that it would be a good idea to try his plan
right there before reaching his own island. Thus he
donned his new white clothes, covered his head with
his taìkiha and went ashore. Adopting
a proud, aloof attitude, he informed everyone that he
had just completed four years of studies in Arabia.
The people believed him and were impressed. They invited
him into their houses, and gave him good food and gifts.
Takuruís instant success took him by surprise and he
concluded, "My plan really works!"
But that same night Takuru was invited
to take part in a Mauluìdu
and he felt anxious. Right before going, when his wife
was helping him to arrange his white clothes, he became
a bit nervous and Hanôkedöe Havva reminded
him, "you see itís not always so easy."
Knowing he must go or lose face, Takuru
developed a bold plan of action and hoped for the best.
That night the most venerable old men of the island
gathered around him and sat down inside the haruge
(shed). After a while, when everything was ready,
Takuru was asked to begin the Mauluìdu. He swallowed
his fear, and maintaining a dignified attitude, he began
by chanting nonsense, combining Divehi words and Arabic
haaduu deìhaaaduuu matibandeì muhailu
Vaaduudaturuhadaifuuu haaduu deìhaaaduuu
Gadduudaturuhadaifuuu haaduu deìhaaaduuu
this manner he begins the same chant with the
name of certain islands in Huvadu Atoll that are
fancied to sound like Arabic (Diyadu, Nilandu,
Funadu, KandŲuhulÝudu, Daandu, Devvadu, Tinadu,
Ratafandu, including some uninhabited islands
too, like Meradu, Mahaddu, Haždu and Maždu).
His poise was such that he convinced
everyone that he knew what he was saying. Thus, Takuru
fared even better than he had expected and was very
satisfied with the results.
Back aboard the next day Hanôkedöe
Havva could not hide her delight and kept staring at
her husband opening her eyes very wide in an admiring
way. Takuru looked back at his wifeís sweet round face
and felt so flattered he had to smile.
Upon arriving to Nadöalla, his
fame preceded him. The people on his boat had informed
everyone that a very great and holy man was about to
disembark. Thus, the men women and children of the island
were waiting for him at the beach and Takuru didnít
disappoint them He caused a very good impression disembarking
in his immaculate white clothes, striking a grave posture.
During the months that followed Takuru
managed extremely well. The islanders seemed to have
totally forgotten his humble origins; now everyone had
a high regard for him. The important people of the island
sought advice from him, and often even asked him to
lead prayers in the mosque. He was invited to recite
religious chants in the houses of Nadöalla and
other islands. He was always given choice food and gifts
and treated with deference in the best households. In
time Takuru became wealthy and influential, and Hanôkedöe
Havva was very pleased with him. She enjoyed her status
as a respectable woman, for she now could afford fine
clothes and gold ornaments.
Many years passed and Takuru and his
wife lived very well and had children. But, inevitably,
one day their happiness came to an end.
island lies further east in the same atoll and
it is reputed for its learned men and excellent
[astrologer/black magician- ed] from the
island of Vaìdu, who was well-versed in Arabic,
appeared one evening in Nadöalla right before sunset.
Usually, whenever Takuru heard that an important person
was expected in his island, he made an excuse to get
firewood from a deserted island nearby. Thus he carefully
avoided those who could have unmasked him. But this
man was an unassuming person who arrived quietly and
caught Takuru completely off-guard.
The scholar entered a house while Takuru
was chanting in a corner, pretending to read from a
book opened on a wooden holder by a lamp.
hatarudannagili faskanloìtari gobunneiyffaaantelaaaa
A sandalwood stick was burning in front
of him. Carefully listening to Takuruís chant, the learned
man could hardly believe his ears. He wondered, "What
is he reciting?"
Going to stand next to Takuru, the
man from Vaìdu glanced at the book and noticed
that it was written in bold Arabic characters. "Were
you reading this?" he interrupted Takuru pointing
at one page of the open book.
Having been respected in Nadöalla
for years, Takuru replied "Yes," serenely
and with arrogance.
"You are an impostor!" declared
the man from Vaìdu and began reading in clear
and fluent Arabic from the same book. "I am on
my way to Havaru Tinadu and I will tell the Atoll Chief
Suddenly Takuruís expression changed.
Filled with fear, he begged the learned man not to tell
anyone. He told him about his sad and hopeless youth,
hoping to warm the old nakatteriyaís heart. But
the man was relentless in his resolve. He left the house
and went about asking questions to find out more about
Takuru from the people of Nadöalla.
The next day the man from Vaìdu
sailed to the capital island of the Atoll and spoke
to the Atoll Chief, revealing the truth about Takuru:
"There is a wretched man on the island of Nadöalla
who claims that he is a learned person who spent four
years studying in Arabia. The truth is that he actually
spent that time in Hanôkedöe climbing coconut
The Atoll Chief sent a party of men
to Nadöalla to find Takuru. They found him cowering
in his home and brought him to Havaru Tinadu by force.
After giving him a hundred lashes, he was sent back
to Nadöalla unceremoniously.
When Takuru was unmasked, Havva thought
she would die of shame. Everyone teased and mocked her
on the street and women and children made catcalls right
by her house the whole day and a great part of the night,
so she didnít even dare to get out. Feeling deeply disappointed
and betrayed by her husband, Hanôkedöe Havva
left Takuru. One night while he was sleeping, the young
woman furtively went aboard a doìni and
sailed back to Adödöu Atoll without leaving
Takuru would never see his wife again.
He remained in Nadöalla the rest of his life in
a state of dejection and despair. Even in his old age
he was the poorest and least respected man of the island.