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Country  Comoros
Population  16,276

Domoni (population 15,351) is the second largest city on the Comorian island of Anjouan in the Indian Ocean and is located on the east coast of the island. It was the capital of the island in the past while the present capital of Anjouan is Mutsamudu.


Map of Domoni


Domoni in the past, History of Domoni

In ancient times, Domoni was the capital of the Nzwani sultans. According to archaeological finds the town was established in the 12th century. Domoni was already a flourishing centre for trade in the 15th century with Africa, Persia, Arab countries, and India. Archaeological artifacts were traded with Japan. Ibn Majid Ibn, a navigator who travelled in this area frequently and who had guided Vasco da Gama to India, confirmed this port as a major trading centre. It was ruled in the 16th century by many chiefs (known as Feni) who controlled different parts of the island. Until the end of the 18th century, it was the capital of the Anjouan sultanate. It is home to a significant chirazienne (Shirazi) population who are descents of Sunni aristocratic immigrants from Shiraz, Persia, between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Domoni in the past, History of Domoni

Infighting among the chiefs of Anjouan resulted in their making an appeal to Europeans to broker a peace deal. Following this, Comoros initially became a French Protectorate in 1886, and in 1909, the French made it a part of their country. In 1975 the three islands formed a Republic of the Comoro Island. The first president of the Republic was Ahmed Abdallah, who hailed from Domoni and whose mausoleum is also located there. There were upheavals in the political dispensation in 1997 and again a rebellion in 2008 which was put down.

Mwenye Fani, who took the name Abdallah I when he became Sultan, transferred the capital from Domoni to Mutsamudu. Domoni is the birthplace of the first president of the Comorian Islands, Ahmed Abdallah, and of president Tadjidine ben Said Massonde. The third president was also resident of Domoni.

Geography and climate

Domoni Beautiful Landscapes of Domoni

Domoni is located on the east coast of Anjouan, also known as the island of Nzwani. Domoni is one of the three major towns of the island; the other two are Bambao and Mutsamdu, the latter is the capital of the island, in the western Indian Ocean. It is connected by road to Domoni, about 10 miles (16 km) away. Ngadzale-Ahajo lies to the southwest and Limbe and Koni-Djojdo lie to the northwest. The Ajajo River flows into the sea to the south. The airport on the island is in the village of Quani, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) to the north of Mutsamdu. The population of the town is 15,351. Bambao is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away to the north. The old town is divided into three neighbourhoods: Hari ya muji, Maweni and Momoni.

The weather data in relation to temperature and rainfall is for the period 2000 to 2012. The maximum and minimum average temperatures recorded are 23 °C (73 °F) in December and 15 °C (59 °F) in August respectively. The average annual rainfall recorded is 1,059 millimetres (41.7 in) with a maxium of 264 millimetres (10.4 in) in December and a minimum of 23 millimetres (0.91 in) in July.


Domoni Culture of Domoni

The town is renowned for its high quality wooden carvings. Delicate embroidery is made by local craftsmen. A colourful sight seen in the town is of women dabbing sandalwood paste on each others faces while sitting on the staircase of the houses. Domonis culture is described in two works by academics from Kansas State University, Marriage in Domoni by Martin Ottenheimer and Music of the Comoro Islands – Domoni by Martin and Harriet Ottenheimer. Women create music by using coconut shells, gongs, and sticks, as well as playing the tari (frame drum); men play on different musical instruments such as the fumba, dori, and msindio (drums), along with the gabus (lute), mzumara (double reed), nkayamba (rattle), and ndzedze (box zither). Wedding ceremonies feature a performance, a type of bullfight, evidence of the historical presence of the Portuguese at Domoni.

Domoni Culture of Domoni

The town has witnessed scenes of religious intolerance. Incidents of religious harassment of Christians in the premises of mosques in Domoni have been reported. In April 2001 leaders of the Christian community were questioned and threatened by Islamic religious groups. In one incident the father of a Christian leader had to pay a fine and the family live in exile from Domoni for a month.


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