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Maldives island Villa Stella - Ribudhoo island

Ribudhoo Island

The Maldives
From the air, they look like a thousand shimmering jewels in a sea of velvet, an artist’s fantasy or a photographer’s dream.
Villa Stella Maldive : Maldives islandThe Maldives, meaning ‘garland of island’, has occupied a special place in the hearts of its visitors, reflected even in the very first writing about it. Marco Polo called it ‘flowers of the Indies’; others believed it was ‘one of the wonders of the world’.

Dhaalu Atoll
The 1190 islands of the Maldivian archipelago are grouped in 19 geographical atolls. Dhaalu Atoll, 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the capital, known also as South Nilandhoo Atoll, is easily accessible by seaplane from the international airport. It counts eight inhabited islands and two resorts.

Ribudhoo, located at North-West of Dhaalu Atoll, is marketed as the ‘Jewelers Island’ in the British Admiralty Charts.
Villa Stella Maldive : Ribudhoo island South Nilandhoo atollThe island is famous for its skilled jewelers and craftsmen. Hundreds of years ago the Sultan banished his chief jeweler to Ribudhoo for stealing the gold that had been placed under his care. The exiled jeweler taught his skills to the islanders and they have continued to pass down this skill from father to son. Another version is that they developed their skills on gold taken from a shipwreck in the 1700s.

Beach The best beach of Ribudhoo (thundhi) is located on the southwestern end of the island.

In Ribudhoo, there are three mosques. The oldest mosque is located a few steps from Villa Stella and it has some woodcarving decorations. From the main mosque the muezzin calls the Muslims to prayer five times a day. The women’s mosque was completed in 1995 and it is surrounded by a beautiful garden.

The school is located around fifty meters in front of Villa Stella. It has a large courtyard with a volley court. The school was recently upgraded. There are three classrooms that host different groups of students during the day.

Jewelers Ribudhoo is famous in the entire archipelago for its finest gold handicrafts. Villa Stella Maldive : Jewelers of Ribudhoo island South Nilandhoo atollNecklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings are created according to an old process with traditional tools such as a little anvil and a kerosene lamp, the fulhi-batthi. Few families still work on the island, since many of them have gone to Malè or to other islands in order to benefit better businesses. The local jeweler generally works under a palm-tree. The entire family helps the jeweler with the production.

Crafts and Local Traditions
You might find in Ribudhoo other type of crafts or local traditions. You might discover the handcraft of the coconut rope and of mats made with rope and coconut leaves, the rhythm of the bodu-beru drums, the smoke of the hookah, a kind of nargilè where the tobacco is mixed with coconut palm syrup.

For many, the biggest disappointment about the Maldives is the lack of luscious tropical fruits and vegetables.
Villa Stella Maldive : foodVery little is grown, because there is limited arable land and the soil is thin and infertile. The coconut thrives, and almost everything else is imported. Fish and rice are the staple foods of the Maldivian people; meat and chicken are saved for special occasions. Below is a short list of the specialties that you could taste during your stay at Villa Stella: mas huni (crumbled tuna served with onions, herbs, coconut, chilly and spices), mas riha (fish curry with white rice), garudia (local fish soup served with rice, lime and chilly), rihakuru (boiled garudia that becomes a hot sauce), kurumba (juice and pulp of unripe coconuts), bambukeyo (fried slices of bread fruit), hedhikaa (selection of little sweets and savories served with a cup of tea). 

The most popular sport of the archipelago is football that is played all year round. In most of the islands there is a football ground and every afternoon the young boys from the islands play.

The frangipani (called also ‘temple flower’) is the flower-symbol of Ribudhoo. Majestic frangipani trees overhang the mosques and the delicate perfume of their flowers goes everywhere. The gum of this tree was used in traditional medicines especially the kind known as thoonu bes, a sharp treatment used to decapitate boils and alleviate swellings. Another use of the temple flower is for scaring away stray shrews that may come into the house. Temple flowers laid out on the floor are said to do the trick.


Photo Gallery Ribudhoo

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