The rivalry of black magic that resulted in the depopulation of Fuvahmulah

This is a fictions story that I have written based on black magic and mysticism in the Maldives. Black magic was practiced against a family in the island that lead to the depopulation of Fuvahmulah. It was believed that Fuvahmulah was depopulated thrice and no exact cause has been found till today. Some historians say the island was depopulated due to a deadly disease. This imaginary story ends in the depopulation of the island.–Yasir Salih

All the folk tales in this web site are protected by the copyright law (Law no: 23/2010. Copy right aa e aa gulhey ehen haggu thakuge gaanoon) of the republic of Maldives.


by Yasir Salih

Away back, there lived a beautiful green-eyed woman in Fuahmula called Hawwa Didi. Her complexion was olive and her hair was shiny black. She had thick, long eyelashes. Everyone in Fuvahmulah praised her beauty. She was so beautiful that her husband, Maabei, kept her in an underground cave, where nobody can see her. The couple had a seven-year old boy named Futhu.

Futhu too was green eyed, and was very active. As a result the couple had to watch him all the time. They lived on the beachside of Funaad ward of Fuvahmulah where they had a small hut surrounded by palm trees and densely covered bushes. Futhu had a white heron his father had caught him. Every day the heron went to the fresh water lake – Kilhi. The heron returned and stayed on a bent coconut tree that was near the hut. When the heron arrived, Futhu would climb up the coconut tree. And the heron allowed him to touch it. He also had a flock of tame pigeons that stayed in a pigeon house built in a tree located near the hut.

The ancient people of Fuahmulah believed deeply in Fureytha and Fanditha. To protect from Fureytha, they practiced Fanditha. Before Hawwa Didi’s grandfather – Ibrahimbe – died, he performed fanditha to protected his daughter and her husband. Hawwa Didi’s grandfather was the greatest Fanditha master in the history of the island. During his days many Sihuru performers and Fanditha men were jealous of his greatness. He encountered numerous Sihuru curses against him that sometimes threatened his life.

While the great family was living happily, a wicked man aimed at destroying them. A mighty Sihuru performer named Bondo Iburaa was jealous of Hawwa’ Didi’s family. He also regarded them as a superior race. He was so committed to destroy the couple and their son. But they were not aware of the wicked plans of Iburaa.

The Fanditha masters of that time believed that if there were family members with green eyes, they could not compete with them easily. And Ibura thought that they were inferior. Ibura’s intention was to destroy the family to become the most powerful man in the history of the island.

In the beginning, the wicked Ibura planned to possess the little boy. Ancient people of the island believed that a boy born in the middle of Maanakai would be protected from Fureytha and evil forces till the boy turned the age of eight. When he turned eight, Fanditha had to be performed to protect him. Ibura waited till the end of Fura Nakai to possess Futhu before his family performed Fanditha to protect him from Fureytha and evil Sihuru curses.

In the first night of Fura Nakai and when darkness stole the moonlight, Ibura began to perform Sihuru to possess Futhu. And Ibura also transformed into a Kandulabari, a mighty Fureytha of the high seas that can change to many evil forms.

He wrote devil Sihuru curses on a palm leaf and recited Sihuru spells that traumatized the island for a while. He waves pondered the reef of the island. Consequently, the little Futhu was possessed and changed to Kudafoolhu, a small but a powerful Fureytha that cause illnesses.

The following day, the heron noticed Futhu’s ear lobes were elongated.

“Oh!” “Your earlobes are elongated,” said the heron. “My son…what has happened to you?”

Kudafoolhu laughed and said, “My ears are always long.”

“No, It was not like that before.” “Your belly is also big now, ” said the puzzled heron. “I feel that this place has become strange and I think I shall leave this place.”

“This place is strange,” Futhu questioned surprisingly.

The heron did not know that Futhu had been possessed and changed to a Fureytha.

“I don’t know. I don’t even get enough fish to fill my appetite,” said the heron.

“Oh, really, maybe the water in Kilhi is too hot for the fish and they are dying due to that,” replied Futhu. “This is even a rainy season.” Futhu said self-confidently.

The Kandulabari  was killing and eating fish in the two lakes and the island Sea.

“But…your belly and earlobes…” again said the heron. “I fear that a Fureytha is living in this island and it is trying to haunt and eat you.”

Kudafoolhu laughed and said, “Nobody can harm me. I am the most powerful person on earth.”

The heron was stunned and afraid of Kudafoolhu. But it did not show that it was scared. However, Kudafoolhu did not harm the heron. After a while the heron left the place forever.

The pigeons that were living happily near the hut also became anxious. The pigeons went out and came very late. Hawwa Didi and Maabei noticed the behavior of the pigeons as well. They noticed that the pigeons were not happy. But they did not know that Futhu was possessed. The pigeons were feeling unhappy because Futhu was possessed and changed to Kudafoolhu. Neither Hawwa Didi nor did Maabei knew that a Sihuru performer was trying to destroy them. They did not know that a powerful Sihuru performed by Iburaa had changed Futhu to Kudafoolhu.

Iburaa’s intention was to afflict an illness on Maabei and Hawwa Didi using Kudafoolhu who could cause illness. Hence that was the only way he could start destroying the family that had been protected by Fanditha.

One day when Maabei went fishing, Hawwa Didi went to collect wood. She smelt the scent of Screw pine near their hut. She was surprised to notice it. But she kept on collecting wood. All of a sudden she saw her son, who looked different.

She went numb when she saw his long ear lobes and the big belly. She also noticed his strange behavior.

“Oh my God!” said Hawwa Didi. “What has happened to your ears and belly? “Your ears are long, “she questioned her loving son.

Futhu laughed and said, “If it is long, then I like it.” “Ha, Ha, Ha…”

Shocked Hawwa Didi said, “My son, where have you been? Let’s go home.”

“No I won’t go.” “I will live and sleep in the jungle.”

Futhu who had changed to Kudafoolhu ran away. Hawwa Didi ran after Futhu, but he vanished.

When Maabei returned from fishing, Hawwa Didi told Maabei that Futhu who looked different had gone to the jungle. They both went to find him. While they were searching the jungle they saw him behind a palm tree. When they walked towards him, Kudafoolhu started running. Maabei and Hawwa Didi also ran after him. They almost touch touched him but suddenly Kudafoolhu disappeared. And Kudafoolhu appeared as a coconut shell and rested under dry palm leaves. They searched the whole jungle but they could not find him.

“Perhaps, a Fureytha has possessed him,” Hawwa Didi told Maabei. They decided to bring a Mudhim, man who leads the prayers, to find Futhu. “We must be quick to find a Mudhim or a Fanditha Master.”

When an old man came to pick young coconut, the coconut shell changed to Kudafoolhu. He drank and emptied the young coconuts the old men dropped before it landed on the ground. The old man in the palm tree was surprised to see a small boy picking coconuts before it was landing. He even shouted at Kudafoolhu that was seen as a little boy. But kudafoolhu drank all the coconuts and ran away.

The dazed old man met Maabei and Hawwa Didi who were walking through the jungle while they went to find a Mudhim. The old man told them that he saw a strange little boy who drank and emptied all the coconuts he plucked. They told him that the boy was probably their only son who might have been possessed by a Fureytha. And that they were going to find a Mudhim.

They finally found a mudhim. The couple told the Mudhim that they noticed strange ears and a belly in Futhu’s appearance.

“Where is he? the Mudhimbe asked. “He went to the jungle and ran away,” replied Hawwa Didi.

Mudhim asked to plant Kendulhu near the family’s hut. Then he climbed up a coconut tree and called – “Kudafoolhu, Kudafoolhu, Kudafoolhu.” All of a sudden it appeared from the jungle and sat in the middle of the Kedulhu plants that were planted in a circular formation. The Mudhim took Masdhaifiyohi, ritual knife, and tried to hit between two Kendhulhu. But Kudafoolhu laughed, “Ha, ha, ha…” “You are going to kill yourself.” Don’t do that.”

The Mudhim was frightened and embarrassed. He was trembling with fear. The Masdhafiyohi fell on to the ground. And kudafoolhu disappeared to the jungle again.

The terrified Mudhim told Hawwa Didi “Your son is possessed by a powerful Fureytha.”

“Somebody had performed an evil Sihuru to change your son to Kudafoolhu.”

“I fear that he has been possessed by a powerful Fureytha. Possibly, it is a Kandulabari”

“What is it?” Hawwa Didi asked .

“It is a Fureytha of the sea, it is very powerful.”

“Kandulabari,” she said to herself. “What is it?”

“It is related to Budhevi, which is a supernatural creature that used to live in the Maldivian islands when the country was not converted to Islam.” “It is very powerful.”

Hawwa Didi was shocked, horrified. “But why should it possess him.”

“Perhaps somebody is jealous of you and your grandparents; so it may be trying to destroy you and your family,” Mudhim said.

She begged the Mudhim and asked him to retaliate against the Fureytha.

“I can’t go beyond this; it might attack us if we continue unsuccessful attempts.” The Mudhim replied. “Now your son is under the Kandulabari’s command.”

He was inexperienced to practice Fanditha against it as he had been a Mudhim of the island and was not a specialist Fanditha master.

“I can ask for the help of a prominent Fandithaveriya, Bondo Iburaa,”  But he said. “May be he can retaliate and destroy the Fureytha.”

As time went on, Maabei became ill. His illness became worse and worse. He laid in the hut days and nights. The heartbroken Hawwa Didi spent her life in complete sorrow. She was plunged into the profoundest of grief that can afflict a human soul; for in all other agonies, hope flickers however forlornly.

Neither Mudhim nor did Hawwa Didi knew that Futhu was possessed and changed to Kudafoolhu by Sihuru that was performed by Iburaa to destroy the family. Mudhim advised to ask for the help of Ibura, as he was a famous fanditha performer in the island.

The Mudhimbe and Ibura went to find Ibura. They walked through the narrow passage ways of the island and reached Baburu feeshigando, where he lived. “Ibura, please help us. Our son is haunted, they begged for his help.

“Oh! Where is he?, replied Ibura. “He is now living in the jungle,” Hawwa Did said. Three of them headed towards the hut. When they reached the hut, Ibura started practicing Fanditha. However, he was doing false Fanditha tricks to deceive them.

“I cannot retaliate against the Fureytha that had possessed your son,” Iburaa said. “It is too powerful. And there is no hope of curing him from the evil.”

And Ibura left the place with a wicked eye and a mockery smile.

Meanwhile Hawwa Did was worried about Maabei who was seriously ill.

Mudhim and Hawwa Didi decided to bring an eminent Fanditha master from another island. At that time, a master Fandithaveriya, called Kaleygefaanu, was in Addu atoll who was the most eminent Fandithaveriya of the northern part of the Maldives. He was a specialist master of Fanditha. Hawwa didi begged Mudhim to travel to Addu and bring Kaleygefaanu. Mudhim went to Addu.

When Kaleygefaanu was brought to Fuvahmulah, Maabei was in a dangerous condition. He caught a big grouper and tied a Thaveed in its tail. He then released it into the sea. The fish swam and returned. But one of its eyes was lost. Then he knew that Kandulabari was in the island trying to haunt the whole island.

“This is a mighty Fureytha of the high seas. The Fureytha eat fish and also human beings,” explained Kaleygefaanu.

“It is a devil of the sea. It can also change to human beings.”

Kaleygefaanu started his mighty Fanditha practices, with all his power. He knew that the Kandulabari had possessed Hawwa Didi’s son and had transformed into Kudafoolhu. He also knew that Kudafoolhu caused the illness.

Kaleygefaanu drew the silhouette of a Fehurihi, whale shark (the ancient people believe that the protectors of the mighty Kandulabari) on a palm leaf and set it on fire. He cast some mighty Fanditha spells and when the fire died down, Kudafoolhu was brought under Kaleygefaanu’s command. He then asked Kudafoolhu to locate the Kandulabari when the moon came out of the sky. Kaleygefaanu then cast some Fanditha spells that changed Kudafoolhu to a bat, so that it could fly over the island and find where the Kandulabari was inhabiting.

“Fly around the island and look for a luminous fireball,” he advised the bat. “And never ever shout at anything”. “If you see the fireball or the Fureytha, hide yourself under the branch of a tree”.

“Sure master,” The bat answered.”

“But, master, how can I identify it?” the bat asked Kaleygefaanu.

“When it is in the sky it will be seen as collection of mid ribs with luminous fireball, but while in the sea it is in the form of a huge monster,” Kaleygefaanu clarified.

While flying over the island, the bat saw a luminous fireball hovering towards Rasgefannu beach area of the island. The bat flew as hard as it could and reached the beach where the fireball had descended. The bat landed on a giant coconut tree. It gazed at the fireball and waited silently.

The bat saw three fishermen catching lobsters on the reef using a huge flame that was blazed on dry palm leaves. The fishermen saw a small fireball coming towards them. It dashed into the shallow water, a few inches away from them. The terror-stricken fishermen threw the lobsters they had caught and ran towards the bushes. All of a sudden, the bat saw a monster coming out of the sea and eating the three fishermen.

The bat flew towards where Kaleygefaanu was staying. And it explained to Kaleygefaanu about what it saw.

Kaleygefaanu planned to burn the Kandulabari in Maanakai.

Maanakai encountered the island. It was a dark, strange night. A cool wind descended on the island. Kaleygefaanu and Kudafoolhu went to Rasgefannu beach to perform a powerful Fanditha to burn the fureytha.

Meanwhile Ibura and his friends were enjoying in the Baburu feeshigando with the hope quick demise of Hawwa Didi’s family. They laughed and mocked.

While they were on Rasgefannu beach, creepy insects rattled in the thick lush vegetation. Unseeing eyes stared through the bushes. The sky was also mysteriously dark. They collected fish entrails on the beach. And buried a big hook, which was at the end of a strong chain. When darkness stole the island, Kaleygefaanu asked everyone on the island to remain indoors.

“Be silent my son, don’t murmur a single word ,” the Fanditha master cautioned.

The Fureytha in the form of a Kandulabari smelling of rotting fish grew tall like a coconut tree and bent down towards the heap of fish entrails. It started eating the fish entrails and ate the hook too, which was caught in its mouth. Kaleygefaanu cast some Fanditha spells and it started burning.

“My spirit will haunt the island and the island would be depopulated,” The burning fureytha warned.

Unfortunately, the people of Fuvahmulah were fighting against an unknown deadly disease.

“Please perform a Fanditha to drive away the Fureytha that had possessed Futhu,” Hawwa Didi begged Kaleygefaanu.

“Futhu can be disposed in Maanakai, “Kaleygefaanu said.

After 14 nights, in the eve of Maanakai, Kudafoolhu became a powerful Fureytha. Kaleygefaanu drew a silhouette of the Fureytha on the ground and hit it with the Masdhaifiyohi. But the Fureytha appeared in front of kaleygefaanu and said: “you are going to destroy yourself.” The fureytha laughed and roared. However the daring Kaleygefaanu continued his mighty Fanditha curses and burnt the fureytha completely. At the same time, the mighty fanditha curses afflicted Ibura who were commanding the Fureytha. And fire engulfed Ibura’s body. He was burnt. Kaleygefaanu rushed towards a harege and took a bokkura. He rowed himself towards Addu.

Meanwhile, the illness of Maabei became extremely worse. It turned into a deadly disease. In the end Maabei died. The deadly disease hit everyone in the island. Soon there were deaths in every family. Horror and despair overtook everyone. Hawwa Didi too had become a victim of the disease. And she also died of the disease. After few weeks the island was depopulated. Thereafter, the spirit of the burnt Fureytha itself lived alone on the island and its sea.



After several years, the burnt Fureytha in the form of a log was washed ashore on the beach of Meedhoo island. One day, the Katheeb of the island saw it on the beach and carried it home. After many days, on the day of Eid, the Fureytha changed itself to a young man and stood on the road so that it would be asked to go to a house for saying Mauloodh and to have lunch.

“Come to my house for saying Mauloodh and to have lunch,” Katheeb invited the strange man.

“Where did you come from”, Katheeb asked the strange man.

“I am a man from a distance island. I fell on to the sea while I was sleeping in my Odi that was traveling off shore of this island.”

“But how did you survive and reach this island?

“When I fell on to the sea, I swam as much as I could. Then I stood on a big fish that came and rescued me.” The man answered. “It brought me to this island.”

“But now I want to stay on the island”, the Fureytha in the form of a strange man said.

After meeting this strange man, the Katheeb invited him to stay in his house. At night in the form of a Fureytha, it killed fish and people of the island as well. Thereafter, people of Meedhoo started dying. And also fishing became poor near the Island Sea.

The people of Meedhoo island decided to go to Male’ to get a good Fandithaveriya. They went to Male’ and met a master Fandithaveriya, Abdullahbe. He agreed to go to Meedhoo Island and help the people. While Abdullahbe’s Odi was offshore of Meedhoo Island, he knew that a powerful Fureytha was haunting the island. The crew member and Abdullahbe himself could not disembark unless the power of the Fureytha was weakened.

He wrote a powerful Fanditha in his Masdhafiyohi and pierced into a big shark head and threw it into the sea. Suddenly, a Fehurihi jumped out of the sea and swallowed the shark head. Then Abdullahbe performed a Fandithat that burnt the Fehurihi.

“Will the Kandulabari be destroyed when it burns,” the crew members asked Abdullabe.

“No these fishes are the protectors of this mighty devil. Their leader will appear in the form of a Fehurihi near the island sea when the moon comes out of the sky.”

“But the Kandulabari is a mighty Fureytha of the sea and their protectors will be weakened by fire,” Abdullahbe explained.

When the Fehurihi was burnt completely they were able to disembark.

At night Abdullahbe showed the people of the island a hovering glow of light over their island. He explained that a powerful Fureytha of the seas haunted the island. Abdullahbe then went to the house of the Katheeb. As soon as he entered, the Fureytha in the form of a young man left the house through the back door.

“Who is that”, Abdullahbe asked the Katheeb.

“He is a man from a distant island”, Katheeb replied.


Abdullahbe then explained everything to the Katheeb. The Katheeb instructed that Sangu, conch be blown to assemble all the people of the island. When everyone was gathered they looked for the strange man who was not to be seen among them. Everyone started looking for him.

He was found hiding in the vicinity of an unused cemetery.

“We must now burn the Fureytha.”

“But how can we burn it when we don’t see it? The people of the island told Abdullahbe.

“We have to wait till the moon comes out of the sky.”

He wrote a mighty Fanditha charms on his Masdhafiyohi and pierced it on to a shark head and gave it to the people of the island to use as a bait to catch the Fehurihi.

The people of the island knotted one end of a rope to a huge coconut tree and threw the shark head into the sea. When the Fehurihi was caught, he recited some Fanditha spells and hit the Fehurihi with the Masdhafiyohi. While it was burning the Fureytha in the form of a young man appeared in front of Abdullahbe. But it was weak and powerless.

Abdullah be questioned the Fureytha, “How did you come to be on Meedhoo?”

“I saw the island without any protection by Fanditha and arrived in the shape of a log and later changed to a young man during the Eid and was invited to the house of the Katheeb and he agreed to keep me in his house”, the Fureytha explained.

“I killed and ate the people of the island.” “I too ate the fish around the sea.” “While in the sea, I am in the form of a Kandulabari.” “At night I come to the island and eat people.” I also live as a young man.”

Abdullahbe performed Fanditha and tied a Thaveedh in the young man’s arm to drive away the Fureytha. He then asked the people of the island to catch an owl. Kaleygefaanu asked the man grow small.

The Fureytha that was shrinking said it would haunt the island and the sea around it, and that strange thing would happen on the islands nearby Meedhoo. When the Fureytha shrank to a size of a small stone, Abdullahbe put it into a Badi and tied it in one of the wings of the owl that was under Abdullahbe’s command. He then asked the owl to flyaway from the island.

Abdullahbe ordered all the people of the island to gather Unimal and Kashimal to protect the island from Fureytha and evil Fanditha curses. He cast a mighty Fanditha and told the people of the island to put the flowers into the surrounding sea. Then he drew an ano around the island to protect it from evil forces.

Thereafter the island was protected from Fureytha and evil Fanditha curses. And, Futhu and the people of the island lived happily forever.




Fuvahmula: the only one-island-atoll, third largest island, in the Maldives archipelago

Funaad: a ward of Fuvahmula

Kulhi: one of two fresh water lakes found in Fuvahmula


Heron: a bird

Kilhi, one of two fresh water lakes found in the island, to catch fish.

Fureytha: devil that is believed to be able to change to many evil forms

Fanditha: a

Fandithaveruya: a person who performs fanditha



Kudafoolhu: powerful but small devil

Kandulabari: powerful devil of the sea

Screwpine: tree



Masdhafiyouhi: ritual knife used by fandithaveriya

Budhevi: spiritual leader of all dhevi

Grouper: fish


Fehurihi: whale shark



Log -wooden brick

Eid: a festival after Ramazan or haj..!?!?

Katheeb – island chief

Meedhoo: an island in Addu atoll, located in the south of the Maldives

Male – the capital of the Maldives

Odi: boat

Unimaa: a plant

Kashimaa: a plant


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