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Madagascar News Forums Exposed The Existence of a Dwarf people in southern Madagascar Reply To: The Existence of a Dwarf people in southern Madagascar


Like all peoples, the ancient Malagasies devote themselves to a very special kind of trade, the Traite. It consists in exchanging slaves for goods brought by merchants who trade on the coasts of the country. We recall that there is a double current: slaves imported from Africa, but in a smaller number, the Masombika or Makoa, and those exported.
Until the end of the 18th century, the Treaty only affects coastal areas, which are the only ones in contact with foreign countries. Moreover, the Merina country, without access to the sea, could not have participated without intermediaries, Malagasy or European. But it was not until 1777 that a European, the Frenchman Nicholas Mayeur, entered Imerina, and Antananarivo was only reached in 1808 by Hugon.
Besides, the Merina do not have to have at this time a large number of slaves, since the great source of these “products” is the war in foreign territory. Before 1787, the Merina, divided into several principalities, fought only among themselves, at random from the caprices of their kings. They are not very murderous struggles by small armies, which leaves only a small amount of booty.
“It would even be more accurate to say that it was the neighboring peoples of the Merina, the Sakalava, Manendy, Sihanaka and Bezanozano who then engaged in fruitful raids in the merina country; Razzias from which they brought back, no doubt, many prisoners “(Jean Valette, architect-pal√©ographe).
When Andrianampoinimerina arrives on the throne of Ambohimanga, he begins with
Pacify and reunite the Imerina. Then he turns to the south. After conquering quasi-desert regions, he enters the Ankaratra, then Faratsiho, and is then in contact with the Betsileo which he reduces by fighting them or by dealing with them. These are fights in enemy countries, where opponents, such as Raomanalina, king of Lalangina, oppose a fierce resistance.
These wars of conquest continued under his son and successor, Radama Ier. Upon his accession, he must subdue a revolt of the Bezanozano of Ambatomanga, then carry out a hard campaign against Ambositra which is completely shaved. All these wars bring an abundance of booty, especially of slaves, whose flow poses to the Merina problems unknown until then.
This is the main reason that encourages Radama to undertake the conquest of the East to have access to the sea. This proves necessary to trade freely and to do without intermediaries antalaotra and European. “This notion had to impose itself on the mind of the Merina king in the years 1814-1815 and, importantly, for the evolution of his people, it met with the Malagasy policy of Sir Robert Farquhar then Governor of Mauritius. “
With the Treaty of Paris of 1814, the Franco-British contentious of the Indian Ocean is settled: France recovers the island Bourbon (Reunion Island), the Island of France, renamed Mauritius, with its dependencies Seychelles and Rodrigues , Becomes English possession. Madagascar remains the object of covetousness of the two colonial empires.
Farquhar understands that it is necessary to attach the king merina, whose power is increasing. He sent many emissaries, the last of whom, James Hastie, was responsible for sealing the Anglo-Merina alliance by including an international clause (Treaty of Vienna): the abolition of the Treaty by encouraging Radama to use his subjects Defeated to other more profitable activities “.
Yet to abolish the Treaty is to eliminate the indispensable currency of exchange against European products. And as Radama points out to Hastie, he “is not
Possible to make slaves who were his enemies work for him, hence the necessity of selling them. “
Finally, all this encounters a violent opposition of the assemblies of the ancients, for the Merina in general, especially them, will have to renounce real and immediate profits.
“It was also to engage in a sort of economic revolution, the results of which were scarcely to be seen. Hence the equivalent in compensation, indemnities granted to Radama, both in money, arms and uniforms.