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#275
Madagascar
Keymaster

We continue the presentation of “lakana gasy” such as this Berthélémy Huet de Froberville, in his manuscript, the “Great Dictionary of Madagascar,” which refers to many authors. Speaking of canoes, he said that the Mayeur traveler differs with Legentil (see previous note) in the description of Malagasy canoes. In the first, the boards canoe consists of seventeen parts, not including banks whose number varies proportions.
“The keel is a single piece of wood, taken from a tree called hasina, resinous very high and right. They call this piece and worked montsifo. Three adapted boards on each side, form the canoe. As the back is wider than the front, these plates are wider in the border portion for the stern. “
The boards are usually made of wood “sary” or “tatamaka”. In their work, however, manufacturers are following the process indicated by Legentil. There, he said, seven, eight to nine seats in each boat, placed equidistant. In the middle and on the front there are two, one on the other, both drilled for masts whose foot rests on the keel.
The sails used, two on each boat, are made of big cloths. They also serve as tents to camp in places where fishermen calling. Because every night they touch ground. And if once, they were using the paddle, “for some time, they know rowing. The rudder is a large oar made of the same wood as the keel. It is subject to stern by straps. When you are sailing and the winds are strong, there are up to four oars. “
Mayeur also adds the canoes one piece, called “lakantongotra ‘have almost the same shape as the vessels planks. The description of their construction is similar to that of Legentil. He talks about one of the canoes reach up to eight thousands with his crew of nine people. The boat makes the Eastern Cape in Foulpointe, “sometimes under sail, sometimes to paddle and still outside the reef in a similar boat as safely as he would have done in a large boat “.
The author cites a “fact rather strange.” Having received the Baron Benyowski order to go to Foulpointe Antongil Bay, with many people as possible, he embarks on a new dugout benches. “I left with one hundred and twenty pots, twenty passengers, ammunition, weapons and effects. And the crew was composed of twenty people, which was in any hundred and sixty men. “The Baron does not see land, learning that only one boat arrived, can not recover from his surprise” to many “and” however, it is true that we were more embarrassed that charge. “
The “natural” living on the coast, islands and riverbanks are almost all manufacturers Mayeur says. And “we are amazed at the rooms give the various forms and proportions that they shall have to report accurately. When one thinks they have no lines, no rules, no compass and that they manage with only four miserable emergency tools that would shame our poorest workers! “
Fressanges, speaking of their buildings, fits into the details with the authors cited above. “After cutting a number of trees, they work them with axes and form boards, not knowing the use of the saw which infinitely shorten their work. They assemble the boards covering them and then bind with remote string distance. They add members to strengthen. They introduce into the seams leaves ravinala lieu tow. These canoes will sail and oars. It is with them they sehasardent to whaling. “
They make their expeditions to the Comoros Islands and Fressanges does not name other than “war canoes”
At the time when Legentil trip to Madagascar, island unfamiliar journeys by sea “than mundane.” Benyowski, basing its establishment in Antongil Bay, show them the way of the Comoros islands and since there is no year in which they are to do an expedition to procure slaves.