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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


In his policy of reunification and enlargement of his kingdom, Andrianampoinimerina (1745-1810) turned to Andrantsay, in the present Vakinankaratra. Accompanied by his son Laidama who succeeded him under the name of Radama I and who made his baptism of fire, he wanted to take Fandanana, a stronghold where Andriamanalina-Betsileo reigned. The battle is rough and finally the king of the Imerina returns empty-handed in his capital. He returned a year later, dividing his troops into two groups, one of which was led by his son.
This one must arrive by the West and Andrianampoinimerina by the East. The king passes by Ambodiala whom he easily defeats. He shares his troops again and sends a part to the rescue of his son. Then he reached Manazary and Ambohidranandriana. He is accompanied by Zanadrangorinimerina (the son of Rangorinimerina of his maternal grandmother’s clan), Tantsaha and Manisotra, all valiant warriors. As soon as he approaches his army, all the inhabitants barricade themselves in the well protected village.
As usual, Andrianampoinimerina begins by negotiating by calling the descendants of Andriamasoandro, son of Ralambo with his third wife, to submit without fighting. They refuse. The king reiterates his appeal but in vain. The battle begins. The battle is rude. The king was even wounded during the assaults.
At the end of five days, the Andriamasoandro know a crushing defeat following the death of their chief, Andriamanimahamiry, but also and especially because the sovereign merina cuts the whole system
Of water in the village. The latter falls, open, it is said, by the Council of the Wise in the face of the crucial problem arising from the cut of the water.
Andrianampoinimerina installs the Zanadrangorinimerina and gives them Bekáka name given to the plain of Ambohimanarivo, and Lavadrano, together of the rice fields of Ambohidranandriana and Ambohitsimanova. That is to say, almost the whole of the fief of Ambohidranandriana with the exception of Tongarivo. And as the lord died in battle, Andrianampoinimerina decreed that his sons (all those who bear the name of the father or Zanadray) will be dispossessed of any estate for shooting at him. This measure, however, affects only the Andriamanimahamiry family, which he relegates among the “Havanandriana” without a fief, “and not all the Andriamasoandro”, says Emmanuel Fauroux.
In addition, at the time pronounce the name of the lord defeated is taboo. Some historians claim that his body is even left unburied. But according to the present Zanadray, it is buried in the northeast of the “Kianja”, a large square situated at the zoro firarazana, a sacred corner of the Malagasy in general, and Merina in particular, at his request. For he would have said during his lifetime that he wanted to be buried simply, “where his people could see him”.
With the merina conquest, work to develop the vast fertile plains of Ambohimanarivo, largely abandoned until then because they were indefensible against possible aggressions, is continuing since there are no enemies to to fear. A garrison of merina soldiers is even installed there and the village becomes the political and administrative center at the expense of Ambohidranandriana. A tendency to division then appears. This is especially true of the swarming of the tombs. The tomb of common origin would be in Miadanimerina where it would have been buried Andrianjafimasoandro, direct descendant of Andriamasoandro, died during the march of the Andriamasoandro towards Ambohidranandriana.

Besides this tomb, the oldest tombs in the country (except the Andrianovs) are the three that are found in Ambohimitsivalana. Emmanuel Fauroux explains these “tombs of the three brothers” as belonging to the Andriamasoandro. The one of the Zanadray is located the most to the north because they are of the elder line; The Marolahy is in the center; And that of the Maromena, of the younger line, is built to the south. However, the current Zanadray argue that only their lineage is from Andriamasoandro and that behind the words “three brothers”, it is mostly to hear “brothers of blood”, the departure of the Imerina being made on the basis of a ” A pact linking the Andriana to their dependents.
In all cases, originally there is only one “Famadihana”, the three tombs being open simultaneously. Subsequently, from 1860-1880, the “lineages” organized separate ceremonies. Then the two tombs of the north prove to be too small, two others are built: the one says Rafilibera for the Zanadray and that of Ambohimanatrika for the Marolahy.
Much later, the mesalliance begins to be seen among the Andriamasoandro who want to preserve their descendants from the physical and mental consequences of endogamy. The tomb of the Zanadrainy at Ambohimitsivalana is no longer open, even for exhumations, for the spoils of ancestors can not be touched by people who no longer have “pure blood”. On the other hand, the tomb of Amboninandrainarivo called Rafilibera is still used.