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


Most of the site names (cities, hills, capitals, valleys, lakes, etc.) correspond to a historical fact in the Great Island or are attached to a legend born of a real event.
Thus, to the West of the island Sainte-Marie, is Ampanangona. Ramaromanompo, king of Fulpointe and Betsimisaraka, the reserve to serve as a place of burial for the noble race of Zafindraminia. The prince had there erected a vast building made of wooden planks
Chosen to last. According to Barthelemy Huet de Froberville, Ramaromanompo wants to be buried there first. His body was deposited there in 1754 with all his jewels in solid gold (necklaces, chains, shackles …), his ingots of gold and silver …
Circumstances do not, however, allow this place to hide their burial for a long time. A few years later, the rich edifice was discovered by Europeans settled on Île aux Cailles, near Sainte-Marie. They find means to enter it at night and plunder it. This burglary is known to the inhabitants only by the sale of the wealth contained in the tomb. They file a complaint with Valigny, then governor of the French settlement on behalf of the Compagnie des Indes, who causes the guilty parties to be found. He grabs some and gets some jewelry. Others, more clever, find the means of concealing the material proofs of their offense and of escaping sentence. Nevertheless, publicly designated as having participated in the flight, they are expelled from the establishment.
“Weak and late reparation of authority for a monstrous sacrilege in the eyes of the people most inviolably attached to the worship of ancestors! “
Since then, these sacrileges have been renewed “with a fervor which can not be conceived. The bones of the dead themselves have not been respected, and have covered the ground of the island, which, thus profaned, has since ceased to be the place of burial of the considerable families of the Great Earth. “
In the north-west lies Lambo Island, which is part of a small archipelago. Its southern tip is called Ambalametsaka and it is there that the travelers make a small halt. In the time of Mayeur, in 1775, this place is famous by the tomb there. It is that of Matavy, granddaughter of the sakalava king, wife of Ratsimilaho, king of Fulpointe, and mother of Zanahary who succeeds his father.
Also in the province of Cap d’Ambre is the mountain Ankavaraky (Ankarana) described by Mayeur in his “Journey of the North”. Arriving at Mahafotoana, village of Lamboeny I (1710-1790), head of the province, he learns that “beyond the hills of Ankavaraky” exists a vast fertile plain surrounded on all sides by almost inaccessible rocks. It is watered by a beautiful river which takes its source mid-flank inside the hills “which enclose the tomb of the family of Lamboina and constitute the place of deposit of all its riches”.
According to his guides, the summit of the mountain is “of white coral like that found at the top of the sea, and that from time to time it was obliged to break it because it incessantly pushed back and embarrassed the Path “. As the inhabitants do not forbid it, Mayeur climbs on the mountain and discovers that all this is true. He promises, however, not to go beyond the entrance of the plain.
Mayeur notes that there is only one practicable road to the plain. He understands that this place is the refuge of the locals when the war between the Sakalava and them begins. “They are immune to any insult. The refugees cultivate the things necessary for their subsistence. There they have flocks which prosper. Women and children find the land of
Plantations, while the men hold the countryside and make head against the enemy. “
Moreover, everywhere the high mass of coral presents acute and fragile points which make it impossible to access it. As the river which crosses the plain, escaping through the rocks forms an outlet from which the enemy can seize, Lamboeny has a high dam built “to provide an abundance of water such that no one could venture to To cross it. At the first appearance of war, all the waters of the river were refluxed on this side, which formed an immense reservoir from which it then escaped into rapid torrents which nothing could resist.
Mayeur can not visit the Lamboeny (Ambatoaranana) burial site because he was not able to meet him to ask permission.