"Antemoro", in the Malagasy language, means "people of the coast". They live on the southeastern coast, mostly between Manakara and Farafangana. Antemoro, like the related Antanosy ethnic group, are most likely descendants of Arabs who settled in Madagascar in the 14th century. Their number is estimated to 427,000 (three percent of the population of Madagascar).
The original settlement of the Antemoro's Arab ancestors was probably close to the mouth of the Matitanana river. According to Antemoro oral tradition, the founding father of this group was Ramakararo, a sultan from Mecca.
Antemoro were once widely reputed for their astrologers, who would predict the future based on lunar phases. They were known all across Madagascar and acted as advisers at the court of many Malagasy kings. The pan-Madagascar tradition of the ombiasy (traditional Malagasy court or village astrologers) is probably rooted in this element of Antemoro culture.
Antemoro are also credited with introducing the written word to Madagascar using the Arabic alphabet to transcribe the language in a script called sorabe. This innovation occurred hundreds of years before early 19th-century missionaries from the London Missionary Society transcribed the Malagasy language for King Radama I using the Latin alphabet. The paper they produced for writing, called "antemoro paper" (or "antaimoro paper"), is still being manufactured, especially in the Ambalavao area.