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Comoros Information - Page 2
It is thought that early inhabitants of the Comoros islands were of Malaysian and Polynesian origin. Colonists also came to the islands from Madagascar, the African mainland and the Middle East.

The Portuguese arrived in the islands in the early sixteenth century.

Between the mid nineteenth century and the early twentieth century the French established control over the islands.

In 1912 Comoros became a French colony, administered by the Governor General of Madagascar. After the Second World War Comoros was made an Overseas Territory of France.

Following a referendum in 1974 Comoros - Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan - unilaterally declared independence. Mayotte decided to remain with France.

A new Constitution, approved in 2001, gave greater autonomy to each of the islands in the Union.

Since gaining independence there have been over twenty coups or attempted coups.

Agriculture, fishing, and forestry provide a livelihood for the majority of the working population. The agricultural sector earns a significant percentage of the Union's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Agricultural crops include cassava, coconuts, bananas, pepper, cloves, vanilla and ylang-ylang.

Industry only provides a small percentage of the GDP. Comoros is known for perfume distillation as well as production of perfume essences.

Comoros has a developing tourist industry. On the small island of Moheli, inhabitants of the Parc Marin de Moheli practise community tourism which aims to alleviate poverty and promote environmental conservation.

Money remitted from Comorians working abroad is an important source of foreign exchange.

The legends, history and culture of Comoros are passed on through storytelling and poetry.

Traditional music and dance form an important part of special events and celebrations.

Crafts include pottery, carving, basketwork, embroidery and jewellery.

Football is popular in Comoros. Basketball is also played.

Water sports include snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day is 6 July (1975 - from France).

News from Comoros is available in Newslink.

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