The Antemoro (or Antaimoro) are an ethnic group of Madagascar living on the southeastern coast, mostly between Manakara and Farafangana. Numbering around 500,000, this ethnic group traces its origins back to Arab settlers who arrived from Mecca in the 15th or 16th century. Upon settling in Madagascar, these Arabs converted the Antemoro to Islam; the religion was soon abandoned in favor of traditional beliefs and practices associated with respect for the ancestors, although remnants of Islam remain in fady such as the prohibition against consuming pork. In the 16th century an Antemoro kingdom was established, supplanting the power of the earlier Zafiraminia, who also descended from Arab seafarers. The Antemoro soon developed a reputation as powerful sorcerers and astrologers, in large part owing to their monopoly on knowledge of writing, termed sorabe, which uses the Arabic script to transcribe the Malagasy language. Antemoro ombiasy (astrologer sages) migrated throughout the island, where they practiced their arts for local communities, served as advisers to kings, and even founded new principalities. This Antemoro mobility and their creation of a network of powerful spiritual advisers across the island is credited with forcing an awareness among Malagasy of communities beyond their own and sparking a sense of a common Malagasy identity. The Antemoro kingdom was disbanded in the late 19th century following an uprising of the Antemoro commoners against the noble class. Today the Antemoro remain clustered around the southeast coastal homeland, where they grow rice and coffee, produce salt, and manufacture charms. The Antemoro often leave their homeland for six to ten months out of the year or more to work as ombiasy offering charms, spells, divinations and other arcane services. Nearly every village in Madagascar has an ombiasy, and many are either Antemoro themselves or have traveled to the Antemoro homeland to receive training. The community’s historic production of Antemoro paper, a flower-embedded paper traditionally used to record secret knowledge using sorabe, is another major source of income as the paper is commonly sold to tourists and exported overseas.