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


Everywhere in Madagascar, the father has the right to bequeath his property to whomever he wants, legitimate or adoptive children. When he disposes of them during his lifetime, his wealth is shared equally among all his heirs. This is the case, for example, among the Sakalava.
However, according to Alfred Grandidier, among the Anteboina or Sakalava of the North, there is a use that is not seen in those of the West and the South. They can of course dispose of their possessions as they pleased, provided that at the moment of death they declare their last wishes or, as they say, transplant their words (“mametsy volana”).
However, they can not attribute to the eldest son of the “vadibe” or the first wife a share inferior to that of the eldest sons of other women. Each of these must have a legacy the smaller the lower the rank of their mother. Moreover, they are obliged to give the younger son of the first wife a smaller share than the eldest son of the last wife, and so on.
By cons, in Betsimisaraka, Antemoro, Antanosy, Tanala, Bara, Mahafaly Sakalava Antankarana, Betsileo, the authority is passed from brother to brother rather than father to son for householders as to tribal leaders. Power passes legally to the eldest brother, then to the younger brother and so on; Then to the eldest son of the eldest brother, to the eldest son of the younger brother, and so on.
However, it is not uncommon for a chief who is considered an omnipotent to die before his death, designating his successor at his will, without respecting the custom. But “the people do not always accept as leader the one imposed upon them and they demand another.”
Women never inherit their husbands from ethnic groups other than Merina, unless there is a formal designation. Similarly, the husband does not inherit more from his wife who gives to the head of her family all that she gains and all that is given to him.
Another custom: the masters are the natural heirs of their slaves. However, the latter can not be sold at the death of their master and they remain in the family.
However, when one of them is too bad a subject and commits unpardonable misdeeds, “a speech is addressed to the spirits of the ancestors, to the lolo, to denounce the culprit, and exchange it for oxen.” But this is rarely the case.
In the Sakalava, the children must always take from the inheritance of their parents an important part which they give to the king, it is the “harihary”. When the deceased leaves neither father nor children, all his property must also be given to the king “under penalty of the whole family being plundered.”
Illegitimate children or “children of love”, when they have been recognized, inherit their father in the same way as legitimate children.
Finally, the Sakalava kings consider themselves the natural heirs of any European who dies in their states. If it is the head of a counter, they claim a right of inheritance or “harihary” on the goods contained in the stores; The more so because there were more bonds of friendship between the deceased and the king. “It is generally a collection of 10 to 15 objects of each kind that they operate. “
If the king is a blood brother to the deceased, he takes all his property without leaving anything to his widow or his children. “The Fihitra, the king’s bodyguards, watch at the door of the dying man and do not always wait until the unhappy man has breathed his last sigh to plunder his house and carry all the objects therein to the royal enclosure . “
It is according to the same principle that he claims to be the owner of the ships thrown on the coast by a tempest, or arriving in the roads with a damage. But while the former are always given up to plunder, for the latter, he content himself with a contribution in goods.
In the same vein, among the Antanosy, it is customary for a Malagasy who migrates into the Anosy can not cut the ears of his oxen in his own way. He must follow the use of the king in whom he lives, and who remains the owner of all his flock if he comes to abandon the country.