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#365
Madagascar
Keymaster

The Sacred Hills have a common privilege at first, their inhabitants are direct subjects of the king. But in addition, they each have their special prerogatives, says Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina.
The elders of the Twelve Mountains have the privilege of being the only ones invoked in prayers, namely the first six hills on the “Tantara” list (1953, Volume I). These are Ampandrana, Imerimanjaka, Alasora, Ambohidrabiby, Antananarivo and Ambohimanga.
The mountains to “ombivolavita” are the mountains devoted to the ancestors. At Fandroana, the king offers his “cattle”, the “ombivolavita”, but the delivery itself of the victims follows an established order. Ambohidrabiby has the privilege of being served first because it is called “Hasin’Imerina”. Next come and in order Ambohimanga, Antananarivo, Ambohidrontsy, Alasora, Ambohidratrimo, Ilafy and Namehana. “Ny ombivolavita no hanasinako azy, ary Vonizongo sy Vakinankaratra tsy nasiany trano sy rova. “
According to the “Tantara” of 1953, Andriatsoba and Andriatsileondrafy have their “Tranomanara”, but their residence is not among the sacred hills because these lords are not entitled to “ombivolavita”. On the other hand, Ralainanahary and Andriamasy
Receive “ombivolavita”.
Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina proposes a list “presumed arrested by Andrianampoinimerina”. “In my opinion, this list corresponds to that of the Tantara, because it is more in line with the wishes of Andrianampoinimerina. Ambohidrontsy (the ancestors of the ancestors), Ambohiniazy (allied royal ancestors), Ambohitrondrana (royal ancestors of the vassals, king, Friend), Kaloy (son and wife of the king), Amboatany and Merimandroso (military leaders).
Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina then interprets the concept of sacred hill.
First, it is a projection of the royal power and constitutes its base. Made sacred, a hill is seen on the summit esplanade Tranomasina or Tranomanara if the tomb does not yet, the stone where the sacrifice of “ombivolavita” is made during the Fandroana, and many other objects Of veneration.
These are not only symbols of royal power for the inhabitants. “They also appear as sources of the sovereign’s charism (or hasina).” The Sacred Hill acquires the “hasina” because it houses within it the remains of a recognized royal ancestor. “The king acquires it in two different but conjugate ways.” During the “fisehoana”, mounted on the “vatomasina”, the future king proclaimed heir to the “Twelve who reigned”. It then assumes the sacred, divine character by emanation of a “magico-religious effluve” of the “vatomasina” (Louis Michel).
This “hasina” is concretized by two acts. The first is the reception of the “toky” of all the high dignitaries andriana and hova, as a token of submission and recognition of the
Divine character of the king. The second is the reception of the “hasina” (volatsivaky).
Continuing his explanation, Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina specifies that Andrianampoinimerina knows how to raise the royal dignity that several of his predecessors would have degraded by their dissensions, even by their injustices. “The king must be devoted to the people, full of humanity and clemency, just and impartial. For its part, the people accept it as the absolute master of persons, property and land. “
The sovereignty of the king is thus materialized by the offering of “hasina”, such as “vidin’aina”, “volatsivaky”, the circumcision of a king’s child, slave enfranchisement, vodihena, The tax on land (Malzac, 1930).
“By extension, the people will also adopt as the basis of their thought the idea of ​​transferring
Power at all levels. The worship of ancestors follows naturally. “
Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina concludes: “This notion of hasina does not fail to surprise us so great is its hold on the Malagasy thought; We still find it in spite of the impact of new systems of values ​​required by relations with foreign countries or imposed by French colonization. “