Dahlak Archipelago

From Academic Kids

The Dahlak archipelago is an island group located in the Red Sea off Massawa. It consists of two large and 124 small islands. The pearl fisheries there were known to the Romans and still produce a few pearls. Only four of the islands are permanently inhabited, of which Dahlak Kebir is the largest and most populated. The islands are a home for diverse marine life and sea-birds, and attract some tourists.

The people of the archipelago speak the Dahalik dialect. Some of the islands are linked by boat to Massawa.

G.W.B. Huntingford has identified a group of islands near Adulis called "Alalaiou" in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which were a source of tortoise shell, with the Dahlak archipelago. In the 7th century the group formed an independent Muslim state, but it was subsequently conquered by Yemen and later by the Ottoman Turks. Long part of Ethiopia, the islands became part of Eritrea following that country's independence in 1993.

The islands include Dahlak Kebir, Dhuladhiya, Dissei, Dohul, Erwa, Harat, Hermil, Isra-Tu, Nahleg, Norah and Shumma.

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