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Madagascar News Forums Food for thought the domination of the Merina oligarchy

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    In the second half of the nineteenth century, under the government of Rainilaiarivony, the domination of the Merina oligarchy, says David Rasamuel (Revue d’études historiques Omaly sy anio, No. 15, 1982), is represented in the provinces by officers that ensure the command of the strong. They often act independently.
    No treatment of the royal state, they engage in gainful activities that lead them to exploit the people. “Abuses are becoming more and more frequent as one moves away from the capital of the Kingdom of Madagascar. “
    The historian, in a study on “Imerina deported in the nineteenth century,” recalls the situation Ikalamavony in Betsileo, which lends itself to such irregularities. The fort, located in the province of Fianarantsoa, ​​occupies a marginal position in the country bara border. It is a zone of insecurity suffered in this period, frequent incursions and bara locality escapes more or less in control of Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa.
    The term “deportation” may seem very strong, but as David Rasamuel says, he prefers to use instead of “andevo” slaves, or “gadralava” condemned in irons. According to him, how else to explain the situation of these people “forcibly transferred from their home country to a faraway place”?
    His study is from 1866 to 1896 and covers the acquisition means that slave or convict labour, conditions of work and life, and the situation at the time of their release.
    In the nineteenth century, the royal speech that have the force of laws and legislation such as codes 101 and 305 items of Ranavalona II, progressively abolish the legal means enslavement.
    Yet long after the official ban enacted in 1881, enslavement and slave trafficking continues “without limit” especially in parts of Betsileo. “It is not impossible that a part of the Provincial deported Imerina were slaves purchased by the governor appointed in 1866, after the 1870 and 1880 while he was responsible for leading the strong Ikalamavony. “
    Some articles of the law will promote besides, with that many offences carry conviction in irons, sometimes for a variable period to life. Placed at the head of a strong, the governor, among its functions, that of ensuring the implementation of laws in his constituency.
    However, according to David Rasamuel, no letters from the governor sent to the Queen or Prime Minister about the state of the condemned. “But there are surely doomed as stated in its official correspondence the presence in his entourage to andriambaventy, great judges. “He even gave details of their workforce, their judgements, the nature of convictions
    As well as become the condemned? And why are there no reaction from the central authorities and those of Antananarivo Fianarantsoa?
    The author then gives as reasons for this unclear situation, experienced by condemned to slavery exploited by the governor, the scarcity of correspondence sent by him to the Queen or Prime Minister, the complicity of the judges themselves, the little economic interest of the region to the kingdom and insecurity that exists in this border area where senior Merina officials do not want to make frequent visits.
    Governor reports sent to Ranavalona (II and III) or Prime Minister even more clearly highlight the insecurity that characterises the region in which is his forte. One example from 1884 speaks of an emergency that must be made with the “Foloalindahy” consisting of about fifty men in a village near the fort. The village was raided by Fahavalo (enemies or robbers). One of his assistants was himself killed in an expedition against looters in his constituency in 1886.


    We talk constantly of Tantara ny Andriana eto Madagascar. When will the Tantaran’ny andevo? “This sentence is launched by Condominas Professor in 1977, at the seminar held at the University Department of History of Madagascar on the theme of” Oral traditions and history. ” One of the actions taken by the resident general of France, Hippolyte Laroche in Madagascar, during his short stay, was to promulgate the decree of 26 September 1896 on the abolition of slavery throughout the island (see note ).
    In a study conducted by Bakoly Domenichini-Ramiaramanana and Jean-Pierre Domenichini on “aspects of slavery under the Merina monarchy according to the laws and regulations” (review of historical studies “Omaly sy anio” University Madagascar, January-June 1982), the two historians point out that the general resident came to the decision that being “fundamentally persuaded not have to cause any disorder.”
    Indeed, it is a local commission to study the general and specific situation of the company and of each
    individual. This then made several findings.
    The first is that Imerina under the monarchy, the slaves are up just over a third of the population. The “Bulletin of Madagascar” of November 1966 indicates the results of the census conducted in 1896 for the four main districts of Imerina least nineteen villages whose results have not yet reached the general residence in the 12th March 1896: 216,697 slaves (36.19% of the population) to 337,637 free subjects (56.39%) and 44 354 noble (7.40%).
    But the slaves are not the number of subjects of the queen, therefore, “should not be too opposed to emancipation. Instead perhaps, despite the loss of registration tax sales. ” This is why the circular of 15 October 1896 Rasanjy who serves as prime minister, is the need to register freed slaves, as an individual and as a married subject with legitimate children, “as the were already free people. “
    Second finding of the study committee: “At least in Antananarivo, slave owners, they are many, regarded as already achieved a measure that indeed they were expecting.” They take “blithely” their party when they managed the new “wish of the Chamber of Deputies on the immediate emancipation of slaves in Madagascar.”
    Third finding, say the members of the commission, the slaves are not all poor. Some even have “real or personal property acquired by inheritance or their money.” Even if they are still considered “minor children” even married or have dependent family, and even if they can not dispose freely without the permission of their masters.
    These are not all of odious characters, say the members of the commission. These are people whose “generosity towards their slaves could be personal property given in any property or real estate pledged as
    usufruct. ” Moreover, many freedmen instead of separating from their former masters, they remain committed and continue to
    stay with them and we can hope that “freed slaves if they had good relations with their former masters, will be able to find freedom from want.”
    At 100 francs per person on average, all slaves Imerina, as recorded in 1896, then represent the actual market price, capital of about 22 million francs. The general residence esteem and to compensate for the loss by saying: “France will not hit on the people of Madagascar no extraordinary war contribution.


    A 10-year-old girl is fishing for the trap when she is “captured”. It is towards the last years of the “Kingdom of Madagascar”. She is then dragged to Ikalamavony Fort where she is kept with other people. She grew up there and had her first child, before being transferred as “gadralava” in a concession of the governor in Imerina. It is there that his descendants, one of whose daughters is the informant of David Rasamuel (academic review of historical studies “Omaly sy anio”, N ° 15, 1982), are still living after independence.
    It is from this testimony of the young captive she transmits to her daughter, that the author tries to reconstruct the history of the deportees of Ikalamavony. “According to her, these gadralava, brought to Imerina, are captured people, including children keeping cattle, fishing or working in the fields. “
    According to the author, this case is not unique because other children and adolescents disappear in this way in the nineteenth century. “Abduction is undoubtedly a common practice at the time, because we also reported the similar case of a little girl from Ambohimanganiovana who played in the fields. She was abducted and brought back to the Vorimahery, “the author wrote in the same university magazine, but in 1979.
    The kidnapping of existing people, David Rasamuel in search the responsible. According to her informant, this is an initiative of the governor of Ikalamavony who has himself launched these abductions: “Captured people … who obey him since he is the governor”, she maintains. But the author adds a precision to this assertion: she seems not to remember or she does not know that her mother “had been captured and then sold to the Komandy”. However, he adds, if they are not directly responsible or accomplices of slave traders, “the governor and his collaborators tolerate this practice since they buy the product”.
    In some cases, it is not a question of kidnapping, but of genuine raids organized by armed groups, as Decary specified in 1958. “The villages are then attacked in the evening, then the inhabitants and their property kidnapped, Villagers are women and children. “
    In 1961, Jean-Pierre Domenichini commented: “The looters had … support and allies among merina or betsileo officials. It is therefore difficult for David Rasamuel to conceive that “the grandees of the fort of Ikalamavony do not benefit from the booty from these raids”.
    He then summarizes that these are so many different possibilities that allow the governor to acquire a particular workforce. According to her informant, who always refers to the words of her old captive mother, before sending these people to Imerina, he assembled them in Ikalamavony. “These gadralava were then locked up together in a cell waiting for their deportation. There, they lived in unenviable conditions. “
    The informant insists: “They were gathered in a kind of garage … we kept them there like we would raise chickens. “
    When these people who lose their freedom (slaves, convicts, prisoners of war, captives …), are quite numerous, they are entrusted to “Manamboninahitra” (officers) and “miaramila” (soldiers) charged to convey them in Imerina. For this, “the deportees, connected to one another, travel by night, and by day they hide or, more exactly, they are forced to hide …”
    According to Domenichini, the prisoners are “tied with the same rope to the hands and the neck … The people are hindered and led by nocturnal marches to the cave of the forest of Imaina. “
    Lastly, David Rasamuel pointed out that it was under the same conditions that the Bara deported the Betsileo who had been taken prisoner during their raids and destined for sale in the Sakalava country in 1883. That is, at a time when trafficking Slaves is already banned throughout the Kingdom of


    The situation of the fort of Ikalamavony, distant and little controlled, leaves to the local authorities merina a great freedom of action. “It is not difficult for the governor to acquire, by using all means, legal or illegal, a personal labor, whether slaves or prisoners. This is how David Rasamuel explains the existence of the “deportees of Ikalamavony towards the Imerina nineteenth century” (Omaly sy anio historical review, No. 15, 1982). Initiators of this business is the appointed governor in the Ikalamavony region
    In 1866.
    The latter remained at his post for twenty years. According to the author, he takes advantage of this to recruit a large “contingent” of men. In response to letters from Ranavalona II dated 1868 and 1882, which gives him instructions on the recruitment of Miaramila
    (Military) in the Foloalindahy (army), the governor specifies at the outset that only the Ambaniandro (merina) can be engaged.
    Thus, in the list of new recruits he sent to the Prime Minister in 1882, they were “free subjects from the six districts of Imerina, Mainty and Merina settled in the province” . For the author, if there are only Ambaniandro in the garrison to guard the fort, “there is no evidence that another contingent of Betsileo and Andevo was recruited, not to be enrolled in The Foloalindahy, but for labor needs, servile or not. ” The governor and commander of the fort certainly derives the most advantages in this affair.
    Moreover, other letters mention the “ankizilahy” (slaves) that the governor has in his residence. Yet he officially declared to his hierarchy only the minimum, no more than ten, of the adult men he would have bought from a private individual. This is at least what is read in his report of 17 February 1886 to Ranavalona III.
    These men, he explains, serve as emissaries of confidence for certain missions (1883 report). Or accompany him, in the same way as the soldiers, in his expeditions (report of 1884). Sometimes he charged them to trade on the coast
    (Report of February 17, 1866) …
    “In fact, the governor speaks of only a few slaves – those he keeps at the fort for
    Not to arouse the suspicions of the administration, the means of their acquisition (purchase) and their legal attributions. But he ignores the more or less regular practices
    Evoked by the author’s informants.
    The latter indicates that some official reports allow to suppose other means to obtain prisoners or slaves, such as the wars against the fahavalo (enemies) whose attacks are frequent in the zone of Ikalamavony. The letters of
    “Komandy” do not say clearly the fate reserved for prisoners of war, they do not even signal their existence.
    Here is what he wrote in a report to the Prime Minister on a confrontation against “jirika” (robbers) who
    Attacked a village: “The confrontation was hard. The enemy were defeated … and a good number killed and wounded, but they were dragged into the forest so that they could not be counted. “
    This is quite unlikely, for David Rasamuel, for, according to him, the military forces would not have let brigands escape, if not murderers, without pursuing them in order to capture them to punish them. It is all the more incomprehensible that they can recover all the booty. Thus, the governor’s reports do not reflect all realities on the ground.
    To carry out his study, the author finds an informant. It is the descendant of a “deportee” who directly holds her account of her mother. “This one had really lived the history of the gadralava (condemned for a long duration if not in perpetuity) or mpanompo. So she calls the captured people away from home. Against their will certainly, but they submit because before leaving, they find themselves some time in the garrison of the fort and in fact, they are only bending to the will of the governor.


    As we have already written, slavery was an institution in the Big Island. “Modernism”, introduced from the reign of Radama Ier, has no control over the uses and customs. The slave market in Antaninarenina Anjoma and Annex Analakely are very busy. It is in vain that the missionaries preach in the pulpit, exhort, threaten. “The people turned a deaf ear when it does not engage in tumultuous protests” (Journal of Madagascar, Antananarivo Special, 1952). The kind that sounded in the temple Ampamarinana at an anti-slavery sermons Rev. Standing in 1892.
    Yet the codes published by the Royal Government formally condemn trafficking and implicitly slavery. However, in 1896, Alfred Grandidider says that two-thirds of the population tananarivienne, 50 000 to 60 000 people are slaves. And in 1895, more than half of the inhabitants of Imerina is servile.
    Until the end of the reign of Andrianampoinimerina in 1810, the only foreign trade of the island, comes down to the slave trade. It is this human trafficking that the sovereign, the nobles and merchants Hova derive their foreign exchange resources, valued in silver dollars.
    Apart from the box or domestic slaves exportable mass is mostly made of prisoners of war, common criminals or political offenders. All means are good to get them. Thus expeditions are conducted against the enemies or rebellious villages at the end of which the people in working order is routed to the coast, linked to each other. Prisoners who can not, the infirm, the women who lost their charms, the flickering children are often left on their own if not killed mercilessly.
    “The frequent and numerous negotiations carried each year several thousand individuals, subject to the payment of a fee of two dollars and a half a head in favor of the royal treasury. The prosperity of the old Antananarivo was, therefore, sealed in blood and tears. This lasted until the livestock export has supplanted that of man. “The slave trade was condemned in 1814 by the Congress of Vienna.
    For Radama Ier ask the abolition of the trade as- a result of Lesage and Chardenoux- James Hastie, become for the sake of the cause consular officer of the Government of Mauritius, has the King on July 17 1817.
    “Not to be reported to the European princes as enemy of civilization”, the Merina ruler agrees to remove the “export” of slaves, October 11, 1820. He received in return for benefits in kind in the form of European products and species (equivalent). In addition, 20 young people from the son of the Great receive instruction and technical training in London or Port Louis.
    At Radama premature death in 1828, his wife Ranavalona I inherited power. Under pressure from conservatives of the Court, soothsayers and sorcerers concerned about the progress of civilization and Christianity, it shall, after his first years of reign, “a hostile attitude to the Europeans and their innovations. It seems to him that their frequentation and their contributions make him his subjects disloyal.
    First, to break with the decisions of her late husband-it deems “incompatible with the respect due to the good traditions” – it tolerates and even promotes the slave trade. Milking starts over again thanks to opportunities in the markets of India, America and the Mascarene Islands (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodriguez). “If markets are generally held on the coasts, Antananarivo is not less a transit center and a place where the administrative authorizations to negotiate. Ch. Robequain wrote in 1949: “The Rova appears as a nest of raptors of great slave traders in the service of culture and the sugar industry. “
    This trade will be suppressed at the time of the French conquest. One of the first decisions of Joseph Gallieni is to abolish slavery. “The Merina monarchy would not have been easily removed she was by Gallieni, if it had been completely undermined and eroded by the double cancer drudgery and slavery. For most inhabitants of Antananarivo, the French conquest was really liberating.


    Like all peoples, ancient Malagasy engage in a kind of very special trade Trafficking. It involves swapping of slaves against goods made by traders who trade on the coasts of the country. We remember that there is a double current: slaves imported from Africa, but in smaller numbers, the Masombika or Makoa, and those exported.
    Until the late eighteenth century, the slave only affects coastal areas, only in contact with foreign countries. In addition, the Merina country without access to the sea, could not participate without intermediaries, Malagasy and European. But it was not until 1777 that a European, the French Nicholas Mayeur penetrates Imerina and Antananarivo is reached in 1808 by Hugon.
    Moreover, Merina should at this time have a large number of slaves, as the largest source of these “products” is the war on foreign soil. But before 1787 the Merina divided into several principalities fighting is between them, at random whims of their chieftains. These are some deadly struggles by small armies, leaving only a small booty.
    “It would be even more accurate to say that it is the neighboring peoples Merina, Sakalava, Manendy, Sihanaka and Bezanozano who then indulged in successful raids in Merina country; raids where they brought, there is no doubt, many prisoners “(Jean Valette, architect palaeographer).
    When Andrianampoinimerina arrives on the throne of Ambohimanga, it first pacify and unite Imerina. Then he turns to the south. After conquering desert-regions it enters Ankaratra and Faratsiho, and is then in contact with the Betsileo it reduces by fighting or dealing with them. These are struggles in enemy countries, which opponents such Raomanalina king of Lalangina, fiercely resisted.
    These wars of conquest continues under his son and successor, Radama Ier. Upon his arrival, he must put down a revolt of Bezanozano Ambatomanga and lead a hard campaign against Ambositra which is completely shaved. All these wars bring an abundance of spoils, especially slaves, whose flow poses to Merina hitherto unknown problems.
    This is the main reason prompting Radama Ier to undertake the conquest of the East to have access to the sea. This is necessary to trade freely and dispense intermediate Antalaotra and European. “This concept had to impose the spirit of the Merina king in the 1814-1815 years, something crucial for the development of its people, she met with the Malagasy political Sir Robert Farquhar then governor of Mauritius. “
    With the Treaty of Paris of 1814, the Franco-British dispute in the Indian Ocean is set: France recovers Bourbon Island (Reunion), the Isle of France, renamed Mauritius and its dependencies Seychelles and Rodrigues , became a British possession. Madagascar is the object of desire of the two colonial empires.
    Farquhar understands the need to attach the Merina king, whose power is growing. He sent many emissaries whose latest James Hastie is responsible for sealing the Anglo-Merina alliance by including an international scope clause (Treaty of Vienna): the abolition of the slave trade by encouraging Radama to use “his vanquished subjects To other more profitable activities “.
    However, remove the slave is to suppress the essential bargaining chip against European products. And as Radama points out to Hastie, “it is not possible for him to make slaves who were his enemies work for him, hence the necessity of selling them.”
    Finally, all this encounter violent opposition assemblies of elders, because the Merina in general, especially the latter, will forfeit real profits, and immediate. “It was also to engage in a kind of economic revolution, which we hardly saw the results. “Hence the equivalent in return, compensation awarded to Radama, both money and weapons and uniforms.


    Fihaonana, thus formerly were called markets. Meeting places, they have been and what meetings! Before the reunification of Imerina Andrianampoinimerina by the different princes and lords of the country spend their time warring among themselves, plundering, raiding, enslaving the vanquished. However, they conclude an agreement by which “neutral” meeting places are open to market their spoils of war, recover their property taken away by their “brothers (or cousins) enemies”, buy weapons and ammunition …
    So they established a weekly calendar of events: Sunday at Ambohidratrimo for all; Monday at Alatsinainy-Ambazaha for Zanamihoatra, Anosizato and Antananarivo; Tuesday at Talata-Volonondry for Mandiavato and Tsimahafotsy; Wednesday at Alarobia-Amboanjobe specializing in the slave trade between Famailahy, Manisotra and Alasora; Thursday at Alakamisy-Antanamalaza for Vakiniadiana and Alasora; Friday at Anjoma-Analaroa for all North and South; Saturday at Asabotsy-Ambohimirimo, market day slaves.
    There are also points of contact with foreigners where they acquire products Imerina the Vazaha not being allowed to enter: Ampamoizankova in the Northeast and Angavokely east …
    Ampamoizankova where it separates from Hova (which disappear forever), the rest has been notorious. Formerly, White has been called “man-eaters” (vazaha homana olona) and the worst curses we could throw at someone, is to be
    “Sold” to Ampamoizankova (mivarina Ampamoizankova eo), where we descend towards the coast. At the time of Andrianampoinimerina it evokes Toamasina, boarding point for slaves.
    When the king finally reunite the territories of Imerina it completely organized in all fields, he decided to establish “tsena” (markets) instead of these meeting points and other places. He is afraid, in fact, that “evil spirit” that
    prevailed in their creation, persists. However, before the reaction of the people who feel the need to maintain the schedule and tickets Fihaonana, not too disturbing their daily lives, the wise counselor eventually Hagamainty reason the sovereign. He is the only king, the squabbles between princelings are forever abolished, and people can indulge in peace with farm work and livestock. The King is not convinced so far and create lead markets in the Avaradrano.
    In a public speech, he explains the role of these “business palace” whose installation is part of its economic policy: places of exchange between producers and consumers where the raiders and thieves do not have their place. Everyone must do everything to turn that bringing any product merchantable “if only that cooked cassava,” who are spending their money, especially large and wealthy kingdom that must be the engine. Moreover, controllers, “masochistic ivoho” King, there monitor the behavior of the latter.
    September and markets are open in the Avaradrano: Alahady-Lanifasana for Andrianteloray (postponed to Monday in Ranavalona II, first Christian queen); Alatsinainy-Merimandroso for Tsimahafotsy; Talata-Volonondry for Mandiavato; Alarobia-Namehana (now under Sabotsy Ranavalona I) for Tsimiamboholahy; Alakamisy-Ambohipanga to this locality; Sabotsy-Ambato for Anativolo.
    As for Friday Andrianampoinimerina asks his Voromahery (Eagles) to install Anjoma of Fiadanana for all inhabitants of Imerina. His son later move this market Antaninarenina, in order to build a Palace of wood.
    When the king saw that the trial is successful and that the “products” marketed remained agricultural, other daily markets are created: Alahady-Soarano, Talata-Amoronkay, Alarobia Amboanjobe-and-Alarobia Ambatomanga, Alakamisy-Ambohipeno, Alakamisy -Ambohibalala and Alakamisy-Antanamalaza, Anjoma-Manazary, Anjoma Ambatomitsangana-and-Anjoma Analaroa, Asabotsy Andoharanofotsy-and-Asabotsy Anosibe.


    For a contract to an uncertain date, between 1826 and 1828 Radama Ier grants the house Blancard extremely detrimental monopoly to trade with Madagascar Bourbon. Which raises rather violent reactions from the French authorities.
    These, after trying unsuccessfully to develop a common policy with the British authorities of Mauritius, “whose trade is equally aggrieved” (Jean Valette), decide to act alone, by force if necessary. But in Paris, if we understand the concerns of Bourbon and if we accept the idea of ​​military intervention, it is still very cautious. Essentially, it seems, for reasons of credits.
    At the time, the reinforcements largely composed of troops Noires Yolofs- recruited in Senegal, to complement the garrison of Sainte-Marie island are only paltry forces preventing any action. “By cons, they worried the Merina authorities and could only make them more reluctant to accept, for any negotiations, the resumption of trade relations, lack of resources, the French authorities could not obtain by force.”
    Finally, in order to reassure the Merina authorities, the governor of Bourbon must repeatedly send the Madagascan coast naval officers. They will be responsible on the one hand, to discreetly report on the state of mind; secondly, “to reassure the intentions of France.” Among these officers, Commander Louis Joseph Victor Carpentin, commanding the corvette “Seine” performs a short mission in Foulpointe and Toamasina. The day before his departure for the Big Island, Count Cheffontaines, Governor of Bourbon, gave him “instructions”.
    According to Jean Valette, two points need to be raised concerning these instructions. The first concerns the sudden interest brought to Robin. Until 1827, in fact, the French authorities neglect this character, the same suspect because of his desertion. The second point is reflected by a reference to the possibility of the presence of Radama Toamasina. And this allusion shows “the ambiguity of the French policy towards the sovereign.” The French authorities wish to negotiate with him, yet they refuse to recognize his authority over Madagascar. And engage him negotiations would come to recognize. This does not lack complicate things.
    Carpentin therefore embarked with food, medicines, Artillery soldiers and military workers that leave the colony of St. Mary, the command of Acting is ensured by Jean-Louis Carayon. This done, he goes to Foulpointe. To obey the instructions, is primarily involved in collecting information on Merina forces stationed in this position and the fortifications are high there, “and with what is envisaged in case of attack.”
    In Toamasina, the military aspect also plays an important role, but the key is spent on Robin. Carpentin several interviews with him. The portrait he traces is fairly accurate. Yet John Valletta highlights several information obtained by Captain lack pinpoint accuracy. “It is curious to note some errors, especially on the English presence, but also on the relationship between Merina and Sakalava. “
    The distance is large enough between the western and eastern coasts, and Western news should arrive that deformed Toamasina. “If the thing is already apparent in interviews with a character as well placed and so knowledgeable that Robin, that should it be among contractors and other individuals?


    The Malagasy’s worship ancestors very thorough. So it is a task that is imposed on all, without distinction of rank or wealth, except in some areas and in some clans to celebrate the dead buried for some time, with the greatest possible pomp, late the dry season.
    Formerly, the Famadihana, “turning ceremony of the dead and often change the tomb” (Marie-Robert Rason) lasts several days, at least three. It is also an opportunity for different groups of Mpilalao (troops Hira gasy) compete control before connoisseurs. For them it is a real contest on which their reputation is forged. The night before, the deceased kin go to the tomb. Then, turning to the four cardinal points, the oldest familiar spirit, warns that the next day they will be transported in a better burial.
    On that day, early, the guests arrive dressed in their best clothes. The procession is formed. First come the slaves singing loudly, then Mpilalao whose drumbeats reverberate “in the drowned valleys of mist.” Then come the parents carried on the backs of slaves. “Some of them proudly assume, and dancing, the lambamena (shrouds) that should wrap the remains. “Finally, guests filanjana close the procession waving slowly to reach the tomb when, towards the east, the sky begins to glow, because the tomb should be opened with the first rays of the sun.
    A long moment of silence was observed, cut by sobs and tears. Everyone talks about his ancestors. Parents enter the tomb, wrapped the remains lapel new mats and white Lamba, and carry them out at arms, where they are greeted by
    clamor. The oldest, standing on top of the grave, cries when you come out dead, “Who goes there? “Inside, a voice responds with the name of the deceased or the deceased. While singing and music erupt while we walk the remains, still at the end of the arm above the heads up a tent in which they have to spend the night and where, according to a specific ritual, coating them new and rich lambamena. The ceremony begins for all the inhabitants of the grave.
    “Curious detail: it is prohibited to those who have touched the bodies of washing hands before eating and having gorged rum. “Many cattle were slaughtered the day before or early in the morning to be served” with enormous meals “that will last all day and all night, watered whole demijohns of rum which one makes a point to empty. The Mpilalao finally enter the fray, “carefully stuffed and gray.” Different troops are onslaught of brilliance. “The drum bearings, hands beats, the screams of the audience that fuel the rivalry between the different groups and the screams of children fighting in the dust, give a dazzling impression. “
    At the dawn of the third day, dead parents recover crying, helped a little by this drunk alcohol the night. Then transports the remains swathed in their new shrouds to their new (or old) last home, which should not, however, gain directly. The mpanandro (soothsayer) consulted to determine the date of Famadihana, time of opening and closing the grave …, it has established a rather circuitous route. And it is true that we make many detours, “which in the minds of the assistants will have the effect to delay as long as possible, the hour of death.” All this, always to the sound of loud music Mpilalao.
    Arrivals to the spoils were again paraded at arms, three or seven times around the tomb, accompanied by joyful shouts. Finally, they are placed inside and sealed the stone entrance. new mats and white Lamba who wrapped the remains exiting the tomb we argue. Whoever will seize will be fortunate all his life; widower, the man will soon have a companion who will make his happiness; barren woman will soon be a mother; poor, you will become rich without delay … And the music and dancing furiously resume before a speaker do praise the dead and boasts the brilliant actions which have illustrated their lives. Finally, assistance separates.