Mayotte, also known as the ‘Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte’ is a North African island situated in the Mozambique channel. It is part of the Comoro archipelago consisting of 18 islands like the Big Comoros, Anjouan and Moheli. The word Mayotte is derived from the Swahili word ‘maote’. The capital of Mayotte is Mamoudzou. The people living in Mayotte are called Mahorais and the languages spoken here are Mahorian which is a dialect of the Swahili language and the official language is French. Islam is the most followed religion in Mayotte. Mayotte is known for its unique and rare fauna like the green turtle and some bird species which are not found in other parts of the world.
Since 1843, Mayotte has been under the French rule along with the other Comoro islands. Even when a chance was given to the people of Mayotte, they voted unanimously to retain the French connection. Mayotte also chose to forego the independence that was given in 2009 and remain as an overseas collectivity of France. And thus they now exercise their voting rights every year since 2008 to elect 2 members to the French senate and one candidate to the French National assembly.
The chief occupation of the people of Mayotte is agriculture including fishing and livestock raising. Food items and other essential commodities are all imported from France and Mayotte depends heavily on the assistance of the French government to keep its economy alive. Since Mayotte is in a remote location, tourism is difficult to promote though it is a scenic island.
The culture of Mayotte is deeply influenced by the French culture. Their music which is the ‘taraab’ music of Zanzibaar is also very similar to French music. The diversity in their culture lies in the fact that there is a strong French connect to Mayotte, there is a huge muslim population giving it an Arabian touch and its location in North Africa gives an African connection too. Painting, art, sculpting and various handicraft forms are also famous here and they all reflect the multiple cultures as explained.
The Mayotte airport connects it to many cities around the world. Apart from this, cities inside the Comoro islands are also connected by airways, there are taxis for public transport on road and ships to serve as waterways.
The currency used in Mayotte is Euro. Whereas in Comoros the currency used is Comoran Franc.
The official flag of Mayotte is nothing but the official flag of France itself. However, Mayotte in itself has a local flag which comprises of a white flag with MAYOTTE written in red capitals. Below this is a coat of arms symbolizing the archipelago.