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


Very few fishermen in Lake Tampolo live only on fishing, and many have rice fields, some of the cattle. It is certain that in Tampolo, as on practically all the lakes of Madagascar, the inhabitants content themselves with capturing sufficient quantities to ensure a minimum subsistence
In addition, fishermen are obliged to respect “fomba” (customs) and “fady” (prohibited). Thus, in the past, nets were “fady” (use defended by custom), “but it was not really an absolute prohibition, but rather a non-use of certain gear by the ancestors” (A Kiener, Senior Inspector of the Directorate of Water and Forests, 1960).
For a long time, the net is known in Madagascar, in particular the net-seine made of “hafotra” ropes. But in Tampolo, the custom, for reasons perhaps forgotten, forbade the net. “It’s only fairly recently that fishermen are tempted by its use, because of the large increases in production that it makes possible. “
Is also “fady”, the use of poison, especially that of the latex of a poisonous plant called “jemby”, whose bark is crushed and poured into the water. Fish die, but remain edible. “This poison is sometimes used today (1960), but fortunately quite rarely and its use constitutes an offense. “
A Raiamandreny (patriarch) of the fishermen of Rantolava tells the author the legend of the “lolorano” of the lake, evil evil spirit that can cause the death of human beings. When he wants to manifest himself, his action is preceded by the sudden appearance of a rainbow. At that moment, the canoe of his victim capsizes and she dies by drowning.
It is also traditional to kill an ox each year on the point of land that advances into the large central basin, in order to purge the lake of any impurity.
Another legend, but very pretty, is that of the Zazavavindrano or nymphs of the waters that live near the “vinany” (mouths). Moreover, “the word vinany which means maminany, that is to say, the dream of two waters (which meet), is not it already in itself very poetic”
Legend has it that these nymphs inhabit the dune that forms near the exit of the waters or the neighboring areas. In fact, men have always accumulated floating tree trunks in a calm zone, near the mouths, so that they can come to live or rest there. At the moment when the “vinany” yields under the thrust of the waters, the fishermen keep as much as possible these trees to avoid the departure of these divinities to the sea.
When it is desirable for the dune to give way under their thrust, the legend has it that these Zazavavindrano prepare with their little hands the way to the waters that have to go to the sea. But since they are not very Strong and unable to dig enough dune, it is usual for fishermen to help them by digging a canal.
For this work, the use of iron is formally prohibited so as not to hurt these young ladies hidden under the sand. Because of this, the inhabitants only use wooden paddles. If the work proves to be long and painful, an ox is killed to give strength to the workers. To the delight of all, the village eventually celebrates the expected miraculous fisheries with declining waters and the providential return of fish.