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Flipping through the “Glossary of Geographical Names of Madagascar” directed by Georges Kling, we have a confirmation of the meaning of Mahanoro, city of Toamasina. The word means “making happy”, “glad that ‘.
The first explanation of the name that comes to mind is simple: it’s the little river which waters that gave it to him. “Noro is employing speaking of circumcision, it is possible that this river played a role in some ceremonies. “
And there’s also the legend attributes the origin of the name to the happy influence of the clan Zafindranivy on the destinies of the city. Ifondrainy king of Zafindranivy, indeed saves from destruction by going to the armies of Radama Ier, during the conquest of the eastern coast of the Merina king. This dernier- whose sister Ifondrainy, Soamahanoro is the maîtresse- “granted the Zafindranivy a reward for their submission, the same rights as Hova notable for the greater prosperity of the town” (P. Latu ).
Speaking of waterway, talking Mahavavy, name given to two rivers, one south of the Betsiboka, the other to the north, which means “making female” or “makes low”. Georges Kling cites two reasons for this latest version, but, he says, “the first seems just as valid for Mahavavy South.”
The first interpretation suggests that the name was given by a magician antakarana, Tsimatahodrafy to protect the people by this “prophylactic”. It is well understood that the river must make weak enemies that have difficulties to cross when they attack. “
A second legend provides another reason for the appellation. At 80 km from Ambilobe, there is a famous and sacred site consists of two huge rocks called Zarandahy (from the man) and Zarambavy (from women) between which cascade Mahavavy. Indigenous come there and sacrifice “by seeking fulfillment of their vows,” for their two strange rocks have their story.
One day, couple, traveling with their children and luggage, camping by the stream. After the meal, the man through the water with the luggage, while the woman completes storing pots keeping both children. Suddenly the rain comes, so terrible that the stream soon became a river impossible to cross.
“And the couple, unable to meet, died on the spot where they now form the two rocks silhouette strange, one recalling a man with a burden, the other a woman with her children . And that’s why the river became creek, took the name of Mahavavy- making weakly because despite all their efforts, the couple never managed to merge. “
Mahavelona, ​​but another stream that crosses Foulpointe, means “making life”. This name was given by the chief Ratsimilaho the locality because, very sick, there would be recovered, despite the very bad reputation at the time, the climate of the region.
“According to oral tradition, long before the Merina occupation, during a funeral, one of the mourners bathe the body in the creek. Hardly the death had he touched the water rise again. “
Other rivers that deserves attention Mananara. This is the name of several rivers, but one gives its name to a city of
Toamasina Province. Two explanations are given that name. The first is “that rock,” which is explained without difficulty;
the second is “who has the reeds,” “nara” is the name of a species Betsimisaraka nearby reed “penja” and sometimes called “mita”.
If the latter interpretation can be accepted for the North Mananara located Betsimisaraka country, it is difficult to apply to the river Vangaindrnao in Antesaka country.
Mananjary is another Southeast River took the name after being called Masindrano (where water is sacred). Several directions are given to the word “is respected, honored,” “is comfortable” and perhaps it would be a distortion of Mananjara, “which trees” (Zara).