The island has interesting historical and fascinating sites, hosting one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique, after Ilha de Mozambique. As early as AD600 Arab traders had established contact with the local inhabitants and subsequently found fortified trading posts along the coastline. Via these trading posts slaves, gold and ivory were shipped to the Arab world. The Arabs constructed the Fort of Forma de Cisterna even before the Portuguese occupation.
Vasco da Gama rested on the island in 1502. At the time of the first Portuguesecontactthese islands were called the Maluane Islands because the local population generally Muslim traders designed woven cloth - both in silk and cotton and dyed with local indigo. This cloth was called Maluane and much sought after on the mainland.
Today, the island is now a far quieter place, known for its silversmiths and beautiful quiet beaches.