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History of Manda Island

Manda is an island of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya, known for the prosperous ninth century ports of Takwa and Manda town, the island is now linked by ferry to Lamu and it is the home to Manda Airport.

The Manda Toto island lies to the west of Manda Island, the Manda Island is separated from the mainland by the Mkanda Channel.

Both of Manda town and Takwa were abandoned due to lack of water at the nineteenth century.

The Manda town was first explored by Neville Chittick the archaeologist in 1965, the chief trading commodity in the town was elephant ivory, Mbutangrove poles was also important.

Early inhabitants of Manda Island constructed buildings with burnt square brick and stone and lime mortar, those building techniques are only found on islands and coastal areas of Kenya.

The brick and mortar technology is unique to the mentioned areas, where the bricks average is about 18 Cm, and they were brought from Sohar, these bricks probably arrived on Manda Island as Ballast in sailing ships entering the port, from the 9th century till the 11th century the buildings were also constructed from coral that was known as coral rag cut from dead coral reefs.

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