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Madagascar
Keymaster

Before the birth of his daughter Raketaka, it was to his nephew Rakotobe that Radama I intended his succession. Thereafter, he changed his dispositions: he would give him his daughter Raketaka in marriage so that they would both reign together. “It was understood, however, that real and total sovereignty would belong only to the Queen. “
The King then entrusted the education of his nephew to the missionaries on their arrival, and the young prince benefited greatly. It must be said that “Radama had more than once repeated the Rev. Jones that he should not have indulgence or care for him if he showed himself weak or lazy in his studies. “
This rigor combined with his natural aptitudes makes him accomplish rapid progress. And although very young, he is admitted in “first division”, the students of Jones being divided into five divisions.
According to Simon Ayache, the court columnist, Raombana, owes this to Radama’s confidence in the education of missionaries, his journey to England and his own career. But in Antananarivo itself, it takes a lot of energy to Radama, “and also to his mother Rambolamasoandro who intervenes vigorously in this field” to overcome the general mistrust.
“If you wish to become wise and happy,” said the king, “and please me, send your children to the schools and let them learn, for the good and wise pupils will be honored by me.”
But neither Princess Raketaka nor Prince Rakotobe would ever marry, much less would reign. It is the first royal wife Ranavalona I who ascends the throne and “cleans” the court of the king’s supporters, the latter having prematurely turned his back. She pronounces the condemnation, among others, of Rakotobe and its parents.
When the new queen comes to power, noble and simple subjects must swear in two kinds of ritual ceremony.
The milefina omby is the most solemn. It is reserved for nobles and tribal leaders.
According to James Sibree (Madagascar and its inhabitants, 1873) “a calf is felled, then the head and tail are cut, the respective places of which are inverted. The front legs are also extended in place of the hind legs and reciprocally “. The beast is then cut open and spears are pushed into the flesh which still beats.
The chiefs and nobles who have to take an oath, hold speeches while one of the judges present takes the oath. The formula utters terrible imprecations against those who would perjure themselves by recognizing another sovereign.
“Those who attempt such a thing will be killed by virtue of the terrible and sacred character of this ceremony; let them be treated like this young black bull, slain, lying before us; And also those who would feed such a project in the depths of their hearts. And may this curse fall on their children and on the children of their children. “
The other ritual, the misotro vokaka, is reserved for the people. Pirogues filled with water were brought in, and a pinch of earth was taken from the tombs of the sovereigns of the Imerina (vokaka). The people invited to taste this water also pronounce a curse.
This kind of ceremony always strikes the people with terror and distances them from any desire for conspiracy or even revolt.