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Some ancient authors say that some Malagasy once captured lemurs and after casting them, put loops of string in their ears to be able to recognize them later, then release them into the forests where they let them fatten before To take them back. “We suppose that this use has now disappeared” (Louis Molet, ethnologist of Orstom, 1962).
Later, the inhabitants of the Big Island mark their pets according to different methods. However, dogs, cats or even horses are easily recognizable. Besides, they do not allow themselves to be easily robbed or excited to such an extent that they are taken from their owners. Therefore it is not customary to “mark” them. Yes
Sometimes they cut their tails or ears, it’s never a property mark.
But when it comes to animals or birds living in flocks or flocks, it is no longer the case. “There may be disputes between owners of poultry. Some believe they recognize their chickens in the neighbor, others complain of seeing the geese of other mowing their young plants of rice. These birds must therefore be marked, and various methods, more or less durable, must be employed.
Thus to the young ducks, the feathers of the rump are plucked, which is then clothed only with a light velvet down.
“Unfortunately, these feathers grow back and you have to repeat the operation quite often, which becomes tedious when the ducks grow up. “
Geese, as their Malagasy name indicates (gisa), are introduced by the British (geese). To mark them, some Sihanaka breeders of the Alaotra use dyeing. “They packed aniline powder bags at the market and put a pinch on their backs, between the two wings of their birds. The impalpable grains penetrate into the down and dissolve in consequence of the incessant baths of the birds. “
Everything changes when it comes to the ox, the noble animal par excellence. “An owner not only knows each of the animals of his flock to the point of being able to describe the size, the dress and the shape of the horns from memory, but he has borne their hereditary mark, his coat of arms. “
These marks have evocative names that make it possible to recognize them: “earring”, “ax iron”, “zither racks” … And according to their regular disposition, they also constitute talking figures: “tail of catfish “” Goat’s hoof “,” wild boar’s hoof “,” comb teeth “, etc.
These formerly special cuts to oxen are increasingly being applied to others
Pets, such as pigs or goats.
The Merina and the Sihanaka, who let their pigs wander through the marshes, cut their ears in a banal way and without refinement, but sufficient to recognize them.
On the other hand, the Mahafaly raising quantities of goats
Than to their oxen. So they also cut their ears. To show
Their attachment to their domestic animals, they sometimes place near or on their tombs, sculpted posts surmounted by strange animals with goat’s horns and the bump of zebu, and whose ears carry delicate cuttings …