Funi Aziri Bangwe is a historic open space in the city of Ikoni on Ngazidja Island, located in the Comoros in the Indian Ocean between the African continent and Madagascar. Named after the young crown prince of Hambu, it is a remarkable example of a seventeenth-century bangwe, or public square. Today it is used primarily as a site for weddings, heritage ceremonies, and traditional dances and rituals that define the local community.
Funi Aziri Bangwe | World Monuments Fund
Below is a view of the bangwe lined with low stone benches delimiting spaces
Sultan Said Ali bin Said Omar of Grande Comore (1897).
Said Ali bin Said Omar (born unknown, died 10. February 1916 in Tamatave), was the Sultan or King of Bambao. He was the last Sultan tibe or paramount king of the island of Ngazidja.
In 1841 the island of Mayotte was made a French colony. The French, the British and the Germans wanted to exercise power and trade on the Commores.
In 1886, the island of Ngazidja or (Grande Comore in French) comprised nine sultanates, but in 1886, the Sultan (paramount ruler and Sultan) of Bambao usurped the other sultanates and signed a treaty with French, granting France rights over the entire island. Ndzuwani (Anjouan), and Mwali sultanate (Mohéli island in French) became French protectorates the same year and a French résident was posted to each of the three islands.
The Order of the Star of the Comoros (French: “Order de l’Étoile des Comores”), also known as the “Order of Said Ali” was instituted to reward foreigners with an appropriate decoration in the European style.
In 1892 Sultan Said Ali bin Said Omar was banished to Réunion. On 9 April 1908, France declared the Comoros a single territory (Mayotte and dependencies) and attached it to the colony of Madagascar.
On 25 July 1912, the protectorate was abolished and Ngazidja, along with the three other islands, was annexed by France and the entire archipelago was constituted as a province of Madagascar. This was ratified on 23 February 1914.
Said Ali bin Said Omar went to court. The French judges awarded him a recompensation for his losses.
Saidi Ali ibn Saidi Omar died 10 February 1916 in Tamatave on Madagaskar. His son, Crownprince Said Houssein joined the French Foreign Legion on 4 August 1916.
First and last sultan Tibe of Ngazidja, he managed to unite all the sultanates on the island under one rulership.
Comoros in the Indian Ocean between the African continent and Madagascar
The archipelago of Comoros is situated in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean between the eastern coast of Africa and Madagascar.
It includes three volcanic islands, numerous coral reefs and uninhabited islets. Mayote, the most southern island, remains a French dependency, although claimed by Comoros.
Arriving no later than the 6th century AD, the first inhabitants of the Comoros are thought to have been African, Southeast Asian and Oceania settlers, and thus were ultimately populated by a series of groups from Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Malay Archipelago, and Madagascar.