n an island and state in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar: originally uninhabited, it was settled by the Dutch (1638--1710) then abandoned; taken by the French in 1715 and the British in 1810; became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1968. It is economically dependent on sugar. Official language: English; a French creole is widely spoken. Religion: Hindu majority, large Christian minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: Port Louis. Pop.: 1157000 (1998 est.). Area: 1865 sq. km (720 sq. miles), (Former name (1715--1810))
Mauritian adj, n
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