Loama Resort Maldives is proud to announce two all-new guest excursions and a day packed with activities to celebrate International Day on Monuments & Sites 2015,
Do’s and Dhoni’s: A fascinating voyage to the island where Maldivian shipwrights build beautiful dhonis, the dhow-like sailing vessels, from time-honoured wisdom with no blueprints is among the ‘Cultural Conscience’ adventures launched to celebrate World Heritage Day at Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili.
traditionally referred to as World Heritage Day, this Saturday, 18th April, the annual UNESCO-endorsed commemoration of heritage sites of all sizes around the world.
VIPs will converge on the recently-opened resort on the paradise island of Maamigili at the Maldives’ northernmost frontier, Raa Atoll, for two days of cultural and heritage-themed activities, including an exclusive preview of the new Cultural Conscience Programme of adventures for guests.
Special guest speakers include Director of Department of Heritage, Ms Hawwa Nazla and Director of Maldives National Meseum, Mr Adam Naseer respected Maldivian architect Mr Ali Sahil, Loama Resort’s Heritage and Culture Manager Umair Badheeu, and a lecture on Maamigili’s ancient sunken baths currently under excavation by Ms Zaha Ahmed. The day will conclude with cocktails at Loama Art Gallery and then a special Maldivian buffet and dance by the women of Maakurathu, one of Maamigili’s neighbouring islands.
The new additions to the Cultural Conscience Programme are two half-day trips to neighbouring islands of cultural significance led by Loama’s Mr Badheeu, who is the Loama Museum curator as well as the curator of Loama Art Gallery.
The first trip, billed as Ibrahim Fulhu Museum & Baa. Kihaadhoo Craft-Making, is centred on a visit to the renowned Ibrahim Fulhu Museum at Baa. Kudarikulu with a guided tour by the museum’s founder and respected historian Ibraham Fulhu himself.
The second stop on this tour is Baa.Kihaadhoo, an island famous for its palm frond containers. A local lunch will be prepared for guests including seasonal varieties of fruits, Maldivian vegetable dishes and fresh seafood.
Loama Resort General Manager Andres Rubio said the first tour was an excellent introduction to the unique lifestyles of everyday Maldivians through a prism of the little-known yet fascinating history of Raa Atoll, former seat of Maldivian royalty. “Guests will learn traditional methods of craft and cuisine that have been passed down from father to son and mother to daughter for generations. It’s a highly recommended way to spend half a day,” Mr Rubio said. The second new tour is a visit to Alifushi Boat Yard, another half-day including travel time, which whisks guests into the mysteries, craft and ineffable beauty of the dhow-like Maldivian boat known as the Dhoni. One of the nation’s most common and versatile sea going vessels, the Dhoni has been built without blueprints for centuries in the Maldives. The knowledge of proportions and complex calculations of sizes are passed down from Maa-Vadi to Vadi (chief builder to builder) by word of mouth to specifications that have stood tests of time and the elements.
Culture and heritage: Loama Resort’s urbane General Manager Andres Rubio is all smiles as the resort gears up for this Saturday, April 18th’s World Heritage Day celebrations.
Mr Rubio said: “Alifushi is one of the most famous islands for boat building, with some of the most revered Maa-vadin (chief builders) in the country. This tour will take you to the heart of the boat building capital of Maldives, giving an insight into the nation’s sea-faring traditions, the key to success of the early settlers among these coral atolls, as well as some fascinating local lore and legend straight from the sea-horse’s mouth.”
They are additions to a programme which also includes a half-day excursion to Maakurathu Island, another fascinating insight into the warm and hospitable culture of the Maldivian natives, also led by Mr Badheeu.
The International Day on Monuments and Sites has been celebrated since it was endorsed by UNESCO in1983 after a suggestion a year earlier by the International Council on Monuments and Sites. This day is about more than ‘world’s heritage sites – it seeks to raise public awareness of the full diversity of cultural heritage places and landscapes whether they be of international, national or local significance. It also seeks to raise public awareness of the efforts required to protect and conserve such monuments and sites, to draw attention to their vulnerability, and call for urgent action if necessary