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How Did Massawa Get Its Name? [Video]

According to the author Jonathan Miran,  Massawa means "Shout loudly"

"Most theories advanced seem to agree on the lingusitic roots of the word Massawa, which would be a Tigre word derived from the Ge'ez word Mesuwa', meaning "cry, loud call." According to one version, a fisherman from Dahlak, surpised by a storm, was thrown by the winds with his boat onto an uninhabited island that was situated very close to the mainland. Following his return to Dahlak, he described it as so small that if one shouted strong enough he could make himself heard on the other side of the island. From that point onward, the Daalakis who began to settle there called it "Massawa." The other version relates that before the causeways connecting Massawa to mainland were built (1870), when traders came to the port their caravans, they reached Gherar on the mainland, and had to shout to the boatmen on Massawa Island to come and get them and their goods to the island-town."

Source: Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa, p. 123 by Jonathan Miran.

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