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#367
Madagascar
Keymaster

The expression sacred hill of the Imerina sometimes seems to fascinate those who are interested in Madagascar. It is necessary, however, to explain this confused expression … “This is how Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina expresses himself in his” Notes on the Sacred Hills of Imerina “. He adds: “No doubt, the passage from any hill to the state of a sacred hill is a royal decision. He then refers to the “Tantara” version 1953 (Volume I) to enumerate the criteria of the sacred.
Concerning the “Hills of the Twelve who ruled”, he indicated that it was Ralambo who,
First, invokes the royal ancestors and the mountains where they reign and are buried. Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina wonders about his profound goal: “the birth of ancestor worship or the need to legitimize his accession to the throne, or invocation for some other more obscure reason”. In any case, all his successors adopt the formula, but it is from Andrianampoinimerina that the invocation of the Twelve hills and the Twelve who reigned, is codified.
“I remember my ancestors, for I am the master over the extent of the earth and the extent of the sky. And my ancestors, I remember: so for Ampandrana, it is Rafandrana …; For Merimanjaka, it is Rafohy and Rangita who are there; For Alasora, there is Andriamanelo; For Ambohidrabiby, there is Ralambo; For Antananarivo, there is Andrianjaka and Andriantsitakatrandriana and Andriamasinavalona the great- and Andriamasinavalona his son- who picked up in one this heart of the Imerina that here; For Ambohimanga, there is Andriambelomasina. Then I am the successor of all these, I inherit now, put in place of them, the Twelve who reigned … “
It is also a question of the “Hills of royal ancestors parents”. “… And the holy huts where are buried the royal ancestors …”. We can read in the I that are arranged and elevated to the rank of Sacred Hills BBO. Then again quoting Andrianampoinimerina, according to the “Tantara” of 1953, he writes: “I remember the ancestors: Ramorabe at Ambohidratrimo, Andrianjafy at Ilafy, Andrianambolanambo at Namehana. “.
The author still evokes the “Tantara” when he sets aside the case of Ambohidrontsy or Ambohihontsy: “This was sanctified by Andrianampoinimerina, for it was the land where Andriambelomasina, his grandfather, was born, Rova) are buried the placenta and membranes of any descendant of Rangorimena, presumed sister of Andriatsimitoviaminandriana, king of Ambohimanga. “
Concerning the “Hills of the royal ancestors friends” are emphasized: “Ambohiniary in Itasy, there is Andriambahoaka, king of Imamo; Ambohitrondrana in the Imamo, there is Andriamary or Andriamasy, king of Imamo. “
Fifth group of sacred hills, “Residences of important personages”: Kaloy where remains Ralainanahary, son that Andrianampoinimerina and Rabodo, “vaditsindranony” of Ambohimalaza, but especially it is there that live and then are buried the parents of the great King. Amboatany, fief of Andriamaheritsialaintany, military chief, but which is sacred only during his lifetime. Imerimandroso, a landing of the west guarded by Andrianamboamanjaka, brother of the lord of Amboatany (its sacrality is created by Andrianampoinimerina).
As for the “Hills of the Twelve Royal Women,” there is a problem, says Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina, for some of the wives of the king are not elevated to the rank of sacred hills, as the “Tantara” . He thus speaks of Ambohitrasina where is Rabodonimerina, of Ambohitrimanjaka where Ramisavola lives, of Ambohipoloalina where is Ramiangaly, of Tsiafahy where is Rasamoma.
On the other hand, those that follow are among the “Twelve Sacred Hills”: Ambohijoky where is Rabodonizimirahalahy, Fenoarivo where is Ravaonimerina, Ambohidrabiby where is Rasendrasoa, Alasora where Ramanantenasoa exiles to Kaloy, Ambohidratrimo where is Rambolamasoandro. According to the historian Andriamorasata (1967), three women resided in Fenoarivo, Ravaonimerina already mentioned, Ravalomisa and Razafitrimo. And the twelfth woman, Rabodozafimanjaka is not associated with any hill not even in Antsahadinta. According to Bruno Razafindrakoto-Hasina, the explanation to be given to this state of affairs would be in the importance of the role played by these women, who are all royal wives for reasons of state. Thus of Rambolamasoandro, heiress of Ambohidratrimo that she will leave to a son of Andrianampoinimerina, Radama I. In a next note we will speak of the list stopped by Andrianampoinimerina.