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Malé is the capital and most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location.
From the mid 16th-century, the region came under the increasing influence of European colonial powers, with the Maldives becoming a British protectorate in 1887.
Arab Traders had converted populations in the Malabar Coast since the 7th century, and Muhammad Bin Qāsim had converted large swathes of Sindh to Islam at about the same time.
The Maldives remained a Buddhist kingdom for another five hundred years after the conversion of Malabar Coast and Sindh – perhaps as the south-westernmost Buddhist country.
In the Malabar language nale means four and diva island.
So that in that language the word signifies "four islands," while we, corrupting the name, call it Maldiva." The first Maldivians did not leave any archaeological artifacts.