Twelve, sacred number, which only the merina sovereigns can display. Twelve hills to the twelve Rova; Twelve women, at least known and judged official. Andrianampoinimerina used this figure well. When one looks at a non-exhaustive list of the “important” wives of the great monarch (there are 18 of them), one finds that most are at a degree of kinship more or less close to his maternal grandfather, the king of Ambohimanga Andriambelomasina, while others are raised to the rank of women or simple concubines to establish its sovereignty over the six territories of the Imerina.
His main wife, his ‘vadibe’, is Rabodonimerina. She is her cousin since she is the daughter of her maternal aunt, Renibodonimerina, who is, moreover, her “vady lova”, the wife he inherited. Rabodonimerina has no children and adopts her nephew Rabodolahy whom the king has always regarded as his son and thus as a possible successor. But pushed by his jealousy against Laidama, feeling fanned by his adoptive mother, he takes it into his head to kill him and his father. Andrianampoinimerina is obliged to put them both to death, according to its principle of the equality of all before the law. Rabodonimerina is “hidden” (buried) in Namehana.
Concubine first, repudiated and then resumed as wife at the same time as her own daughter Rasamoma (of a first bed), Ramanantenasoa has almost the same fate. She is the daughter of Andrianavalonjafy of Alasora, ally of the great king. It is also one of the five concubines that he uses to pacify the Vakinisisaony and that he installs on the hill of his father. She will give him two children (four according to some authors) including Ramavolahy the bearded. Once it reaches its objective, Andrianampoinimerina releases of its links Ramanantenasoa which convolces in just wedding with Andriamora, grandson of the ancient king of Antananarivo, Andrianamboatsimarofy.
Later, the great monarch decides to resume it, this time as wife, with Rasamoma. But in the meantime, furious about his father’s decision to designate Laidama as his successor, Ramavolahy also revolts and keeps on killing his younger son and finally tackling his father. Again the king condemned him to death. On the other hand, he spares his mother. However, she asks to leave Alasora with her children and the monarch installs her first in Ambohimangakely then in Kaloy where she ends her life. It is only under Radama II that his ashes will be transferred to Alasora.
Another royal wife who also made hers, is Rambolamasoandro, mother of Laidama. She is also the daughter of one of her concubines, Ratomponimarovatana who allows him to pacify the Marovatana: he thanks her when he reaches his goal to take as wife Rambolamasoandro. She gives him five children, but that does not prevent her from having a lover to whom she often visits, secretly agrees.
But one day, Laidama surprised her stealthily disappearing. He then attaches a chick to a cock and places them in a corner of the royal box of Ambohimanga. Obviously, the chick is screaming to call his mother and astonished at so much uproar, Andrianampoinimerina rushes. Seeing the two poultry, he asks his son the reason for such a masquerade. Laidama answers: “The chick remains with his father and his mother misses him. The king understands the allusion and sends his followers Rambolamasoandro taken in flagrante delicto. It has been necessary that she should not be found with a sentence of death, so great is the fury and humiliation of the sovereign. He is content, however, to repudiate it. Rambolamasoandro will not be long to console himself with another husband in Anosimanjaka.
Another royal wife whose story is well known is Rabodozafimanjaka, daughter of Andriantsira of Alasora whom he places at Mahazo when he defeats him, while he installs his daughter at Antsahadinta. But she begs the king to place her father near her, which he does by decreeing, however, that two-thirds of the property belongs to her. At the death of Andriantsira, Rabodozafimanjaka has quarrels with his half-brothers who believe that one-third of the property granted to their father is theirs. What she refuses. These disputes resulted in internal strife and the fief was again broken up. Suspicioned by her royal husband of disloyal maneuvers to weaken her, she is subjected to the test of the tanguin and does not survive. She was first buried in a neighboring village before her remains were transferred to Antahadinta, also under Radama II. But some site curators say they are always where they are hidden.
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