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#344
Madagascar
Keymaster

We devote this Note to some great women, little known as much as the Malagasy sovereigns, but who, at their level, have each contributed to the history of the Imerina. They are, in general, wives or daughters of kings.
Thus of Ranavalonandriambelo- masina who is the eldest daughter of Andriambelomasina and the mother of the famous king Andrianampoini-merina. She marries Andriamia-ramanjaka, Lord of Anjafy, near Kaloy, north of Ambohimanga. It is known that for reasons that are still difficult to understand, Andria-nampoinimerina determines that the successors to the throne of Antananarivo would be taken, preferably, in the branch of women: his mother, grandmother Rasoherimananitany, His sister Ralesoka, his nieces Rabodonandriantompo and Ratavanandriana.
Among the ancestors of the great monarch, one can also cite Rangorinimerina, mother of Andriam- belomasina and wife of Andrian-tsimitoviaminandriandrazaka, that of the sons of Andria-masinavalona- the elder who reigns in Ambohimanga.
One can also evoke some of his many women. Rabodonimerina is the first. By itself, nothing attaches itself to its name. But since she can not have children, she adopts two brothers, Rakotovahiny and her eldest Rabodolahy. The latter is, in principle, the oldest of the children of Andrianampoinimerina. However, he is noted for his assassination attempts against his adoptive father and the young prince Ledama.
Ramanantenasoa, princess of Alasora, is the mother of Ramavolahy the bearded, eldest son of Andrianampoinimerina. Woman of remarkable beauty and “no less great frivolity,” she is said to be the daughter of Andria-navalonjafy, king of Alasora defeated by the great monarch.
Ramavolahy, it is said, inherits the defects of his mother. And he, too, wanted to make an attempt on his father’s life towards the end of his days.
Rambolamasoandro, cousin of Andrianampoinimerina, is queen of Ambohidratrimo. At the moment when the king of Ambohimanga acceded to the throne, he married her to seal the political union of his subjects, the Tsimahafotsy, and those of Rambolamasoandro, the Marovatana. This is Ledama’s mother. The latter denounces her to her father for committing adultery.
From the territory of Alasora, Andrianampoinimerina also takes for wife Rabodozafi-manjaka, daughter of the wren Ratsira, also ousted during the extension of the territory of Ambohimanga. Andrianampoinimerina places her at the head of the Mamoladahy (Antsaha-dinta and its surroundings) and she is helped by her father. However, when the latter dies, she is confronted with the clan of her half-brothers who persist in wanting to inherit their father Ratsira. Intestine struggles broke out, culminating in the fragmentation of the Menabe (a territory directly dependent on the king, contrary to the menakely, a seigniorial stronghold). Suspected by Andrianampoinimerina of disloyal maneuvers, Rabodo-zafimanjaka is subjected to the test of the tanguin and dies.
In another era, we can speak of Raketaka, daughter of the princess sakalava Rasalimo (of Menabe) and Radama Ier. When the latter turns its back, a party tries to put her on the throne because her father has nicknamed her “my rider who drives the horns of my kingdom.”
This is contrary to the decision of Andrianampoinimerina, who in his lifetime already gives instructions on his succession: his son Ledama first, succeeded by his wife, Princess Ramavo, whom the great peace-maker of Imerina loves Many and calls Rabodonandrianam-poinimerina. It takes the name this Ranavalona I at its accession. Some say she is much older than her 36-year-old husband.
As for Radama II, he has, for his misfortune, a concubine named Mary Rasoamieja and who gives him a son called John, or Jaona, or Jones, depending on the mood of his parents.
Under the pretext that she becomes a Christian, she breaks with Radama. But in reality, it is said, it is the vexation of being forsaken by the king for another favorite, which causes him to break with him. She even managed to slander him with Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony. This will soon result in the death of the king.
Recall that, because his father, Andriamananitany has it of a woman hova, Andriamitondra must renounce the throne. However, his uncle Andriamanelo did not totally dismiss him since he named him the head of the royal ceremonies, the Velondraiamandreny or Velon-draisireny. We know that Andriama-nanitany has another son, a noble woman this time. It is Andrianamboninolona whose descendants form the clan of the nobles who bear this name.
We can not forget the queens vazimba Rafohy and Rangita of Imerimanjaka, grandmother and mother of Andriamanelo and Andriamananitany. Before dying, Rangita designates his successor: “Andriamanelo will have on Thursday, Andriamananitany on Friday. An imaginative way of saying that the eldest succeeds him first, then his younger.