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BITS OF CULTURE - Comoros
 
Languages
Map
Cultural Values
Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
Health Care Values
Diet
Interesting Facts
 

Languages

Official language:
Shikomoro (a Swahili-Arab)

Other languages:
Arabic
French

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Map



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Cultural Values
  • A unique Cormoran tradition is the grande mariage which translates the Big Wedding. It's usually a prearranged union between an older man and a younger woman, and the man must pay for the two- to nine-day public festivity (toirab) that caters for the entire village.
  • He's also expected to buy an expensive dowry for his bride, which can include precious clothing, gold and jewelry.
  • The wedding will often leave the groom in financial ruin for the rest of his life, but the villagers will, ironically enough, confer wisdom and status upon him for the doing. As compensation for his remaining life of poverty, he gets to wear a special sash m'ruma, which signifies his status as a wandruwadzima or grand notable.






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Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
 
Health Care Values

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Diet
  • Most standard meals include a combination of rice and meat, beefed up with any of the locally produced spices such as vanilla, cardoman, coriander, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fish and seafood, such as tuna, grouper and octopus, get used in a lot of meals, along with other meats like chicken, goat and mutton.


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Interesting Facts
  • Comoran women are particularly fond of a yellowish paste made from sandalwood and coral (m'sidzanou) and applied to the face as either a full mask or in a dappled pattern.
  • In Comoros certain landholdings called magnahouli are controlled by women and inherited through the female line, apparently in observance of a surviving matriarchal African tradition.

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