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In the Bulletin of Madagascar of May-June 1972, the researcher Leonardo Ramaroson gives the various hypotheses that relate to the origin of the word Ifandanana or Ifandàna. This is the name of three historic localities as he explains.
“Andrianampoinimerina confessed helplessly before the Ifandanana of the Vakinankaratra (Callet, Tantara ny Andriana, 622); Radama I was right in the Ifandanana of the southern Betsileo only by famine (Callet, pp. 1071-1072), but some five hundred years earlier (according to Rainitovo, p. 97) Andrianahitrahetra had been able to hunt without Too many difficulties, the Vazimba, apparently from Ifandanana located about 35 km East-South-East of Tananarive (Callet). “
In any case, it seems here a confrontation between the conquering Merina and their neighbors, the Betsileo of the North (Vakinankaratra) and those of the South (Vohibato) which
Refuse their domination.
The Ifandàna of the Betsileo is, as the Academician Regis Rajemisa-Raolison describes, a rock located east of Ambalavao, on the right bank of Manantana, and famous in the annals of this country. “On the summit of the south was a fortress reputed to be impregnable. Radama I, in 1811, made the siege and could not subdue it by cannon, but the famine opened the doors to him. He shaved it and passed all the defenders to the sword. We can still see the bones of the victims, without burial, at the foot of the rocks “(Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Madagascar, 1960s).
To support his various hypotheses, Leonard Ramaroson refers to various authors, most notably Callet, Rainitovo, Webber, Richardson, Dubois, Abinal and Malzac, Rajemisa-Raolison, Veyrières de Meritens. Thus, he gives four hypotheses which, in general, are based on the possible meanings of the word Ifandanana: ‘fanda’, ‘fandana’ and ‘fandàna’, ‘anda’, ‘andana’ and ‘ Lana “and” lanana “,” da “,” dana “and” danana “,” nda “,” ndana “and” ndana “…
Rainitovo links the denomination of Ifandanana to the word “mandà” (to refuse). According to him, the Vazimba of the locality (near the capital) refused to submit to the merina wren “in a less happy or less decided manner than the Betsileo of the North and those of the South who would have refused until the end “To serve the greatest sovereigns of Antananarivo.
“This is quite possible, since the form andàna de mandà, heard in the province by Webber, gives the example andàko izy (I deny it, I deny it), a provincial expression. “
Dubois proposes “lana” which gives the verbal substantive “fandana” or which is used to exhaust, or simply “difficult to access”. This, according to Rajemisa-Raolison, can approach the current “lanaka” or exhausted merina.
And Leonard Ramaroson commented: “Now what mountains could be described as difficult to access in a more adequate way than our three historic mountains supposedly or indeed impregnable”
Webber and Richardson propose that “da” could give the verb “mandà” (celebrating) and the noun “fandàna” (act of celebrating or “place of celebration”).
This is not surprising to Leonard Ramaroson.
“That a mountain which, in some ways, is cut off from its neighbors, was specially chosen to be a high place of worship, it is nothing but very normal. “
Finally, de Veyrières, which is based on the root “andana” of a word used in an old proverb, can include the sense of action to enjoy freedom, and form a “fandanana”, a place where one enjoys the freedom. Because in the proverb of reference, “ampandanina” is clearly opposed to “afatotra”: “Afatotra manito tady, ampandanin-tsy mahalany”; In other words, “Tie, pull on the rope to eat further, and when they are fed, they can not finish their ration.

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