The sega is a unique Mauritian art form that involves both song and dance. The sega originated among the slaves, who danced to express their homesickness and suffering, but is now performed and enjoyed by Mauritians from all backgrounds. The song is accompanied by a ravane (a drum covered with goatskin), a maravane (a box filled with stones that rattle when shaken) and a triangle. As a vocalist sings of hardship or love, the dancers move around each other with shuffling steps, and finally sit on the floor, bending backwards and forwards. One of the most famous sega singers was known as Ti-Frère. He revived the art form in the 1950s, and his composition "Anita" is one of the best-known sega songs. He died in 1992.
Mauritius has produced a number of novelists and poets. Most write in French, but recently, several have started to write in Creole. Malcolm de Chazal (1902-81) is the country's best-known writer (he was also a renowned painter). His books include Petrusmok (1951) and Sens Unique (1974) and were written in French. Another French writer, Yvan Lagesse, describes Mauritian life humorously in Comment vivre à l'Île Maurice en 25 leçons (How to live in Mauritius in 25 lessons). Robert Edward Hart, a half-French, half-Irish poet who lived on Mauritius, received the Order of the British Empire and the French Légion d'Honneur for his contributions to the island's cultural life. René Asgarally, Ramesh Ramdoyal and Dev Virahsawmy are writers who experiment with Creole idioms.

 Mauritian artists include Danielle Hitié, who paints local scenes such as Creole houses and Mauritian labourers. Serge Constantin sketches and produces lithographs and oils. Herve de Cotter reproduces scenes from everyday Mauritian life in acrylic, gouache and pastels. Vaco Baissac makes simple drawings that have the appearance of stained glass windows.

  Did you know?
In 1744, a ship called St. Géran was wrecked off the northeast coast of Mauritius during a storm. This event inspired French novelist Bernardin de Saint-Pierre to write Paul et Virginie, about two young lovers on Mauritius who are separated when Virginie is sent to France. She returns on the St. Géran and is drowned before she can be reunited with Paul.
A distinctive style of Mauritian architecture emerged during the rule of Mahé de La Bourdonnais in the 18th century. He brought artisans such as tinsmiths, carpenters, cabinetmakers and masons from France to train the slaves. Colonial houses were beautiful and spacious, with verandahs. The best example is the Eureka House. It was so called because Henri Leclezio, a speaker of the Legislative council, cried "eureka" when it was auctioned and his bid was accepted. The Government House at Port Louis is also a good example of 18th-century French colonial architecture.