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Mayotte, The People of Mayotte

The population of Mayotte was 170,879 in 2002. Most of the people of Mayotte, called Mahorais, live in villages or small towns, including Mamoudzou (1991 population, 20,450), Dzaoudzi (8,257), Pamanzi Be, and Chingoni. Since 1975, when Mayotte chose to remain a French territory, there has been extensive immigration from the other islands of the Comoros, and the Comorian element in the population is now in a clear majority. The population is 98 percent Muslim. During the 19th century a large number of migrants from Madagascar settled on the island. Many of these were non-Muslims and some embraced Roman Catholicism after the French occupation. Loan-words from Malagasy, the language of Madagascar, have significantly added to the Shimahore language spoken by the Mahorais. A Malagasy dialect, Kibushi, was still spoken in 40 percent of the rural villages in 1975.

 
 

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