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

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    In order to be clear about the existence of a dwarf people in southern Madagascar, the governor of Fort Dauphin, Maudave, buys a prisoner Kimosy from his owner. Aged 30 to 32, she eats from morning to night, he says. “His thinness was very great on his arrival, which seemed to increase his size at sight; She grows fat every day, and when she is overweight, she will be a figure worth examining. “
    Maudave points out that the “deprivation of breasts” is not his only singularity. “We add that they are not regulated for the most part, but at the critical time, the blood is carried with great abundance to the hands and feet, which become red as scarlet. The Governor of Fort Dauphin continued his narration. The father of Maimbo, an antanosy wren, he relates, who makes an excursion into the country of the Quimos, is killed by them. One of the captains named Remouza (or Ramosa) who perished in an expedition, is the main informant of Maudave.
    The latter writes in his Journal (1768-1770): “Raimuza is the most learned of all the Madecas that I have seen so far; He understands the French very well, and knows the interior of the country. He has been in the country of Alfissach, and has seen vines there. He has dealt with the Quimos several times … “His information is then confirmed by others who have followed the same path.
    For Maudave, it is not surprising that there are dwarves in such a large country and also
    Populated as Madagascar. “But a race of dwarfs living together, obeying a leader of their own size, governed by their laws without ever mingling with strangers, presents a spectacle worthy of attention.” The Kimosy chief is said to have A more absolute and more respected authority than that of the other chiefs of the country. The government is hereditary, the eldest son or nearest relative always succeeds the deceased king.
    The Kimosy defend themselves vigorously from their enemies. Their neighbours often attack them to raid their cattle, “for this is the great cause of war in this country.” They have more than 30 villages, it seems, but increasingly, the perpetual incursions of the aggressors make them abandon several.
    It is said that when the Quimos are at peace with their neighbours, and see from their mountains, troops of travellers who must naturally cross their country, they expose on the road of the oxen which they attach to the trees, Other food for
    The use of these foreigners. “It is a warning not to stop on the way, and especially not to disturb the Quimos in their retreats. For Hebert, these are the manners of a peaceful population, preferring to abandon some victuals to foreigners of passage rather than to oppose them by force.
    According to Maudave, the people who do not have trouble with them are welcomed by them, notably the Whites of the Fort. Hebert writes, in this connection, that the information given is valid for the Kimosys already mentioned by Flacourt, who lived in the plains of Bas-Ionaivo and Menarahaka, for the French cross their country in four days’ march without Offer them resistance.
    Meanwhile, the chief who sells her the wife Kimosy, proposes to Maudave to bring him a man of the same race. “If the enterprise I made two months ago (April 1769) had been happier, I was planning to send a couple of Quimos to France … I do not want to send the woman alone, She would not see in the eyes of the public the truth of the history of this dwarven people. But when we have seen them in their ant-hills, and have made some of them pass through France, it will be necessary to give credit to my account. “
    Maudave brings to the end of his Memoir some clarifications on the Kimosy, which come to him from a chief of the Mahafaly, Rabefala. “On the 22nd of June, at Rabefala, there was a chief on the side of St. Augustine’s Bay towards the Mahafales, who came to that country to buy oxen.”
    Speaking of the Kimosy, the chief mahafaly mentions that for some time the little men are “very tormented by their neighbors, and that many villages have been burned.” They are generally 3-4 feet tall, large and stocky, with a long beard. “He assures that women have breasts, which is absolutely contrary to what others have told me and to the particular conformation of the little Quimos I have,” says Maudave.
    But J. C. Hébert, in finishing to present the Journal de Maudave, assures that the information furnished by this chief Mahafaly seems much closer to the truth. “However, Maudave prefers to give credit to the unusual and the strange. “


    Flacourt in 1658, Valgny in 1767, Sonnerat in 1770, but also Maudave a year earlier, are among the authors cited by J.-C. Hébert, who speak of “Pygmies” living in the South of Madagascar. But in fact, it is Kimosy, Flacourt said. According to Hébert, Racquimouchi is translated into modern Madagascan Ra-Kimosy. He explains that according to Sonnerat, it is the designation of the dwarf ancestor whose descendants, the “Zafi-Ra-Kimosy”, were of normal size. Only their cattle were small. Hebert points out that it is true that Malagasy wild zebus do not carry a magnifying glass or hump, and are generally smaller than the domesticated oxen. The naturalist is therefore well informed. The ethnologist adds that the name of the country Manatan is unidentifiable, however, the river cited is the Matitanana (see previous note). “At the pinch, the name of the country can be translated as who owns the land, mana (na) tany.”
    Another author mentioned by Hébert, Maudave. Upon his arrival at Fort Dauphin in September 1768, he became acquainted with the Memoir of Valgny. As early as April 1769, he planned an expedition into the interior to bring back alive a “couple of Pygmies”. Valgny does not appear to participate. The expedition proceeds towards the valley of Ambolo and brings back vine plants, but no pair of Pygmies. It was more inland that we should have headed, “towards the country Anachimoussi” already mentioned by Flacourt.
    Maudave’s later memoir on the Quimos met an extraordinary success. Indeed, Commerson immediately adopted the thesis of the existence of Pygmies and “informed the learned world of then”. The fascicule remains manuscript is titled Memory on a singular people named the Quimos, living in the middle of the island of Madagascar towards the 22 ° of southern latitude.
    He introduces it by referring to Valgny’s “badly drafted writing” on some peculiarities of an “extraordinary people who have lived from time immemorial in this island.” It is a dwarven people, living in society, governed by a chief, protected by civil laws and exercising the right of war for their defense and their safety. Maudave indicates that this trait of this nation was necessary, but it does not strike him at first, for in his work on Madagascar Flacourt seems to reject the story of these little men, A fable told in their songs by the players of “herravou” (zither on calabash).
    Moreover, at the time, pointed out Hébert, the Pygmies of Equatorial Africa are not yet known and are the subject of fables or narratives little credible. They will not be rediscovered in Africa until the spring of 1870, by Schweinfurth.
    Maudave decides to send an expedition to the discovery of the
    “Pygmy countries”. “She had no success by the infidelity and cowardice of the guides, but at least I gained the advantage of assuring myself that there really is a nation of dwarfs inhabiting a country of this island. “
    The author of the Memoir mentions that these people are called the Quimos or Kimos,
    60 leagues northwest of Fort Dauphin, beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, west of the country of Matitanana, in a valley surrounded by high mountains. This joins the location given by Flacourt. It’s about the center of the island. The Kimosy work the land, he continues, and are more laborious than other local populations. They raise many cattle, and their abundance often excites the neighboring nations, who make incursions into their country to remove their cattle.
    “These little men defend themselves to the best of their ability, they forge very well the iron, and make sagaies longer and stronger than those which are commonly used in the island. They
    They say, with great skill and vigor. J. C. Hébert notes these remarks which are paradoxical. For a dwarf population, he emphasizes, their weapons, among others, should be commensurate with their size.
    Small (between 3 feet and 3 feet 10 inches, according to Maudave), men wear a long, rounded beard. It is said that women have no “breasts” and that they breastfeed their children with cow’s milk. Hébert points out that the Malagasy people do not use cow’s milk to feed their very young children.
    To be sure of this, Maudave brought from the country of the Mandrare River, which forms a border between Anosy and the West, a prisoner of war Kimosy of about thirty years, whom he bought from his owner, a chief . She has no chest, he confirms, “his arms are very long and his hands look pretty like the turn of an ape’s paws.”


    In the 17th century, Étienne de Flacourt questioned certain accounts of the Pygmies in the South (see previous note).
    “Some have wished to make believe that there were Giants and Pygmies; I have informed myself on purpose; They are fables told by the players of herravou (players of zither on calabash). I saw a place near Itapera where there are a lot of standing stones, where I was told that they were Pygmies buried there. These Pygmies had come in great numbers to a race in the country of Anossi, from which they were pushed as far as the river of Itapere, which, being unable to pass, for lack of boats, they were all put to death; And to mark this victory, the victors buried them all and erected these stones. “
    A century later, in 1767, Valgny arrives at Fort-Dauphin, preceding a few months, the attempt to relocate Maudave. Located in the Ile de France (Mauritius), he can re-read the writings of Flacourt and the passage on the Pygmies retains his attention. On his arrival at Fort Dauphin, he handed Maudave a “special memory on the Kimosses,” which was to awaken the curiosity of his chief.
    In his “Excerpt from a few papers on the island of Madagascar,” one senses that the Pygmies of whom he speaks and to whom he seems to give the first, the denomination of “Kimosses”, “would not be so Different from the other races of Madagascar, if not the size “(JC Hébert, 1973).
    According to Valgny, “all the different nations do not seem to differ from origin, except perhaps the Louha-Lambou (Amboalambo, sobriquet given to the Merina), since all have frizzy hair and configuration A fairly similar face. We shall also distinguish that which is in the interior of the island, and which is called Kimosse. Although it is similar to the others by the woolly hair and the features of the face, it essentially differs from it by the smallness of the waist, which is only about three feet high. At Fort Dauphin there is a Kimosse woman about 30 years old. She has no breasts, and it has been said that the other women of the nation, in wanting the same, nourished their children with cow’s milk. “

    The author relates that for a long time he knew that the South of Madagascar formerly inhabited by a “race of dwarfs” was conquered by others of a larger size. In a decisive battle, the latter kill a large number of “these little men”, put the bodies in heaps and cover them with earth. “What had formed the mounds (hillocks) that one sees today. As he inquired about the natives, he learned that the plain was three days’ march northward and that it was called “Ambouve in Manantan”.
    Continuing his narrative, he mentions a chief from the vicinity of Fort Dauphin who talks to him about the Kimosy. “The little men are fighting like devils and if they had rifles like us, it would not be good to go home. And he concludes by indicating that the notion of Kimosy is constant in Madagascar. “It is probable that the vanquished people have taken refuge where their descendants are today. “
    Het also speaks of Sonnerat, a conscientious informant, who left France in 1768. He remained three years in the Mascarene islands and on the Malagasy shores, before returning to Madagascar on a second voyage in 1780-1781. From the arrival of the naturalist Commerson to Mauritius, he was attached to his person and accompanied him on his travels. Especially on the East and South coasts of Madagascar, from August 1770 to January 1771, before accompanying Poivre aux Molucques.
    It was not until 1782, according to Hébert, that his “Journey to the East Indies and China” appeared, from 1774 to 1781, in which he dealt with manners, religion, the sciences and the arts of the Indians , Chinese, Pégouins (Pegou) and Madécasses, in two volumes.
    The information he gives on Madagascar is interesting, for “if he knows the work of Flacourt, he does not plagiarize it and his information appears firsthand”. One finds that he gives an opinion different from that of his master, Commerson, of which he does not even speak. His Notes are probably written “before Commerson learned from Maudave the existence of Pygmies in the Southeast”.
    He nevertheless suggests that he knows the legend of a dwarf race. “The country of Manantan or Racquimouchi forms a small province situated at the source of the river Manantan… The soil is so arid that only the cambards (chilly roots) and the banana trees come from it. It contains 2,000 inhabitants, governed by six chiefs, descended from a small man of three feet, and though they are of an ordinary size, they have preserved the name of Zapheraquimouch, which means dwarf. This apparently suggests that the island contains a dwarf race. “


    “It does not take decades without an ethnographic expedition or a single researcher, does not leave to discover the residual populations of Madagascar”, writes JC Hébert in 1973. And to add: “On the faith of some ancient works Or vague information about isolated groups living on the fringe of well-known ethnic groups that are improperly called tribes, the myth is born. “
    Sometimes, he adds, it is among the Vazimba that one ventures, or among the Beosy even fewer and more enigmatic and whom Schimang, a German ethnographer, can study in 1964. Sometimes it is In the impenetrable forest of the East that Dr. Gernböck,
    An Austrian ethnologist, studied the same populations a year earlier. “She thought she was recovering dwarf populations in the upper Sakaleona valley in 1961.” Sometimes it was in the xerophytic bush of the south-east that Molet directed his research during several missions (1952, 1965). “But it’s especially about the Kimosy that we think we can talk about Pygmies, without ever having really met them. “
    In any case, various authors address this issue as early as the seventeenth century.
    According to Étienne de Flacourt (1658), the myth was born of the Kimosy much more than Pygmies – fables of the players of cithars on calabash (herravou). At the time, when Herbert writes on the subject, the terroir Kimosy indicated by Flacourt, is inhabited by descendants of this people mixed with Bara. Its limits do not change: it encompasses the Menarahaka valley and the Ivohibory chain, located between Ihosy and Ivohibe.
    In his History of the Great Isle (1656), Flacourt specifies that this territory is not very large.
    “The country of the Anachimoussi is a country through which passes the river of Iongh-aivo (Ionaivo), bordered on the east by this river, on the south by the country of Manamboule (Manambolo) and to the West, by Great mountains. It is a country rich in cattle, rice, yams and other provisions, and a great people: the Great is called Ratsilia; To the north, there is the Manharac River (Menarahaka) and the Erindgranes (the Arindrano) through which the river originates. It is a very small province, containing only four small days. “
    However, the valleys of Ionaivo and Itomampy do not
    Twentieth century. Yet, a myth tells us that Kimosy venture to Tolagnaro where the Antanosy defeat them. What is astonishing, but the myth must nevertheless have a background of truth. Flacourt draws the map of this region of the Kimosy, from the information given by the buyers of cattle that take these valleys inland to the country of Vohitsangombe, rich in cattle.
    One of them is Foucquembourg, who makes several journeys in seventeen months. They lead him to the countries Masikoro, Antandroy, Mahafaly, in the valleys of Manambolo, Ionaivo and among the Kimosy.
    Another treatise, Francois Guitault, made an unfortunate expedition. Flacourt says:
    “On the 15th of May (16th), I had notice that eight negroes who had been led with him by Francois Guitault
    80 leagues from the Fort (Fort Dauphin) to treat the cattle, had all left with his cattle and that he had remained alone in the country of the Anachimoussi (Kimosy) … Guitault, against my defenses, had been far treaty. “
    Another expedition led by Le Roy, accompanied by 18 French, was assassinated on the return of the high valley of the Ionaivo.
    All these “coureurs de bois and plains” know the country Kimosy very well,
    Purpose of their expeditions. According to Hébert, this explains why Flacourt has so authoritatively asserted that the narratives which claim to see Pygmies in the Zanachimoussi or Kimosy “were only fables of storytellers.” Because it has first-hand information.
    More than three hundred years later, herds of oxen coming from the bara country bound for Fort-Dauphin, take the track that follows the RN7, by Betroka and Beraketa. This, despite a greater distance, constitutes a much easier route.
    “There are no roads or trails to reach Fort Dauphin by the high valleys of the Ionaivo or the Itomampy, which are very rugged, wooded and suitable for ambushes. “


    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-paléographe).
    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.


    Slavery is a real institution in the Great Island. “Modernism”, introduced from the reign of Radama I, has no hold on customs and customs. The slave market of Anjoma in Antaninarenina and its annex to Analakely are very busy. It is in vain that the missionaries preach in the pulpit, exhort, threaten. “The population turns a deaf ear when it does not engage in tumultuous demonstrations” (Revue de Madagascar, special Antananarivo, 1952). Of the kind that sounds in the temple of Ampamarinana during an anti-slavery sermon of the Rev. Standing in 1892.
    Nevertheless, the codes published by the royal government formally condemn the slave trade and implicitly slavery. However, in 1896, Alfred Grandidier declared that two-thirds of the Tananarivian population, 50 to 60,000, were slaves. In 1895, more than half of the inhabitants of Imerina were servile.
    Until the end of the reign of Andrianampoinimerina in 1810, the only foreign trade of the island, resulted in the slave trade. It is from this human traffic that the sovereign, the nobles, and the hova merchants derive their resources in foreign currency, valued in silver piastres.
    Apart from domestic or slave slaves, the exportable mass is mainly made up of prisoners of war, ordinary criminals or political criminals. All means are good to procure it. Thus expeditions are carried out against enemy or rebel villages, at the end of which the persons in working order are conveyed to the coast, linked to each other. The prisoners who are incapable of it, the infirm, the women who have lost their charms, the vacillating children, are often abandoned to their fate, if not killed without pity.
    “Frequent and numerous bargainings took place annually on several thousand individuals, subject to the payment of a duty of two dollars and a half per head for the benefit of the royal treasury. For this reason, the prosperity of old Antananarivo was sealed with tears and blood. This lasted until the exportation of cattle supplanted that of man. The slave trade was condemned in 1814 by the Congress of Vienna.
    It was to ask Radama for the abolition of this trade that-following Lesage and Chardenoux-James Hastie, become for the purposes of the consular agent cause of the government of Mauritius, presented himself to the king, July 17, 1817 “In order not to be pointed out to the European princes as an enemy of civilization”, the sovereign merina consents to suppress the “export” of the slaves on 11 October 1820. In return he receives benefits in kind in the form of European products and In cash (the Equivalent). In addition, 20 young people among the grandsons receive instruction and technical training in London or Port Louis.
    To the premature death of Radama in 1828, his wife Ranavalona I inherited the power. Under the pressure of the curators of the Court, diviners and sorcerers worried about the progress of civilization and Christianity, it adopted, after its first years of reign, “an attitude hostile to the Europeans and their innovations. It seems to him that their attendance and their contributions make him his disloyal subjects “.
    In the first place, in order to break with the decisions of her deceased husband, she considers “incompatible with the respect due to good traditions” – it tolerates and even favors the slave trade. Trading resumes with the opportunities offered by the markets of India, America and Mascareignes (La Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigue). “While markets are generally on the coasts, Antananarivo is nevertheless a transit center and a place where administrative authorizations are negotiated. 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 repressed only at the moment of the French conquest. One of the first decisions taken by Joseph Gallieni is to abolish slavery. “The merina monarchy would not have been easily suppressed as it was by Gallieni, if it had not been entirely undermined and corroded by the double cancer of corvée and slavery. For most of the inhabitants of Antananarivo, the French conquest was really a liberation “(sic).


    Succeeding her husband, Radama I, Ranavalona I makes little change to the organization of “miaramila” (which have common needs) established by the deceased king (see previous note). In fact, it only changes their name and calls them “Foloalindahy” (the hundred thousand men). This denomination is still carried by the present Army.
    Similarly, under his son, Radama II, a single reform is found. It puts into the hands of a single personality, the power of prime minister and the chief command of the Army which, before, are two separate powers. Until the end of the Hova government, three prime ministers must enjoy this privilege. They are Rainivoninahitriniony, son of Rainiharo, his younger brother Rainilaiarivony, and Ratsimbazafy under the protectorate.
    Pursuing the history of the Army, the academician Régis Rajemisa-Raolison (“Dictionnaire
    Geographical and historical background of Madagascar “) writes that, on the other hand, with Rasoherina, there are rather notable changes in the status of” miaramila “. It divides them first into three bodies.
    The “Ankotralahy”, made up of the majority of the soldiers, go to war and serve as troops of occupation and colonization. During official ceremonies and other major events, they wear a red jacket and white trousers. This is what gave rise to this phrase, which became a proverb: “Salasala toa ankotralahy: arahabain-tsy andriana; Tsy arabaina, avela miakanjo jaky. Translation: who perplexed as an “ankotralahy”: they greet him, he is not a nobleman; He is not saluted, but he is clothed in purple.
    Then come the “Dimanjatolahy”, the five hundred men, but in reality, they are one thousand five hundred. They are, as it were, the forces of order. They are taken among the “Ankotralahy” and ensure order and security in the cities. They also keep prisoners of war.
    The third body is that of the “Maranitra” and the “Tsaingoka”. During official ceremonies or royal exits, they served as guards and escorts at the queen’s procession.
    Rasoherina also fixes the duration of military service which until then has not been defined. Once elderly, the soldiers return to the civil state (borizano veterans). It also continues to educate the soldiers. An Englishman, Lorett, is in charge of it.
    Under Ranavalona II, this instruction is even more advanced. Lorett is replaced by another officer, in the person of Wbling. In addition, a group of soldiers is entrusted to a French officer, Noyal, who has one of the sons of Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony, Radilofera, who has recently returned from France.
    The former, instructed by Wbling, are called “Tsatsimenitra,” and the latter, instructed by Noyal and Radilofera, are called “Sarizenitra.”
    It is also under Ranavalona II that the Ministry of the Army is “definitely and solidly” strengthened with its services.
    Finally, under Ranavalona III, are created the “Kadetra” (Cadets) composed of young people of Antananarivo, instructed separately by three officers. They are two Englishmen, Colonel Shevington and Major Graves, and a Frenchman, Captain Lavoisot.
    When colonization began, the resident general, Hippolyte Laroche, established the militias to ensure order in an urban environment, the French army being occupied in subduing the Menalamba.
    Under colonization, especially during the two world wars in which they are distinguished, that of Indochina and that of Algeria, Malagasy fighters are engaged to defend the
    Motherland or Metropolitan France, as they call France. This is the famous 12th Battalion.
    They are integrated into the French Army and these veterans, like their counterparts on the continent, receive a retirement pension until today. It is the same with their widows.
    It was not until June 26, 1960, that the Malagasy Army was born, and it was Colonel Gabriel Ramanantsoa who assumed the functions of Chief of the General Staff of the Army,
    And Air of the Malagasy Republic. Promoted general of brigade in 1961, it is entrusted in 1962, the whole Madagascan Army.


    If the tricolor, the national anthem and the Constitution are the first symbols of the Republic, Madagascar, Independence and national sovereignty are especially the Army composed of “miaramila”, which have common needs.
    Under Andrianampoinimerina, the idea of ​​creating an organized body in which to regroup the soldiers is barely sketched out and it is only if they have a name, the lahindefona, men with spear. Once the war is over, these fighters go home.
    Father Callet, in his “Tantara ny Andriana eto Madagascar”, reports an anecdote about this. One day, after a brilliant victory, Andrianampoinimerina asks his “lahindefona” what is sweetest (mamy) for them. And these answer: “To do your will, sir! “
    “Do not hide the truth from me,” replied the sovereign, no doubt guessing that they were saying this to please him. “What is most dear to you now is to go back to your wives and children, for it is sweet to go home” (mamy ny mody).
    His son and successor, Radama I, began the real organization of the troop corps which, from that date, took the name “soridany”, then that of “miaramila”.
    He begins by recruiting, in addition to simple soldiers enlisted as in the time of his father,
    100 men taken from the rich class he has earned serious instruction and for which he creates ranks. Namely a general troop leader (10 honors) who has under him three senior officers (9, 8 and 7 honors). The 6 honors are chiefs of a centuria and each under his orders, a 5 honors and five honors who respectively command 20 men. These seven officers are called “fito lahy miandry zato” (seven men commanding one hundred).
    These first thousand educated soldiers made their debut at Maharivo, where, notwithstanding a considerable number of deaths due to hunger, they deserved well from their king. On his return, Radama, encouraged by the trial, instructed thirteen thousand new recruits whom he took in the six territories of the Imerina, with the exception of the Vakinankaratra, and whom he had instructed at Isahafa by the English Brady and Carren and the French Robin “(Régis Rajemisa-Raolison,” Geographical and Historical Dictionary of Madagascar “).
    The young king also translates the formulas of military command into Malagasy and establishes a parallel between the European and merina military ranks. For example, the rank of 2nd class equals an honor and so on until the 12 honors, marshal.
    Radama appreciates his soldiers and especially, he counts on them. He is the first to call them “tandroky ny fanjakana”, or “hidy sy rakotry ny tany”, or “tandroka aron’ny vozona” (protective horns of the neck) ). The sovereign, on the other hand, wants his troops to take the oath to be worthy of the confidence he places in them. Hence the solemn ceremony at Isahafa, where the soldiers all promise not to retreat. “Whoever turns his back on the enemy, perishes alive by fire! “
    Thereafter, evidence is given that this oath does not remain a dead letter or vain word. During the expedition to the sihanaka country, a few men whose general himself, Andriankotonavalona, ​​simulated a retreat – “which was not considered strategic” – before an enemy who has the advantage of numbers. They are burned alive.
    Radama I dreamed, day by day, of perfecting his army, to the smallest external details.
    In 1823, after the second Menabe expedition, he ordered all the soldiers to have their hair cut, for at that time the men had as long hair as the women. This especially troubles the wives, accustomed to see their husbands with long hair. They hold a meeting at Ambatoroka and delegate some of them to protest with the king. The latter, far from bending, threatened to kill the leader of the mutiny.
    Father Callet, in his book, reports two versions of this incident, one of which announces the killing for the leader and imprisonment for the most virulent of the demonstrators.


    The year 1969, in the Bulletin of Madagascar of April, then of June and July, and finally of August, the archivist paleographer Jean Valette publishes an important work on “The Mission Lesage with Radama I 1816-1817” With the edition of the newspapers of Lesage and Doderlein. It also accompanies many comments and notes.
    According to E. R. Brygoo, the “Medical comments on a trip to Antananarivo in 1817” are of particular interest to the epidemiologist. Indeed, the death by illness, in less than four months, between December 23, 1816 and April 10, 1817, of fifteen of the forty-one adult Europeans is a very heavy balance. They are eight civilian officers, three other members and about thirty soldiers of Captain Lesage in Antananarivo. According to Brygoo, there is no doubt as to the etiology of the malaria, nor the origin of the contamination. Most of the subjects are infested shortly after their landing and probably during their stay in Toamasina. Excerpts.
    “The climate of Antananarivo passes for very unhealthy from the middle of November to the beginning of March; And even during the rest of the year, it can not be considered good. Whites generally have a yellow and bilious complexion. “The fever begins with a shudder from abundant sweat, and then, almost suddenly, one is seized with an icy cold. The description of the access is precise.
    The incubation period is silent. The troop is in good health and, as of the date
    12 December, Lesage can write: “Yet no one had yet suffered in his health nor groaned from deprivation of food. The only thing we could complain about was the inclemency of the season and our great tiredness. Tiredness, Brygoo believes, is certainly an aggravating factor. The first, Young falls ill on December 16, less than a month after landing in Toamasina on November 18. The duration of the minimum malaria incubation is two weeks. The form of the disease in Young, rapidly fatal (death on December 23, in six days) corresponds to “a pernicious malaria of first invasion”.
    The simultaneous or almost simultaneous explosion of the cases is, moreover, in favor of a massive contamination either in Toamasina or in the very first days of the journey. Excerpts.
    December 23: “M. Bidard, still very ill; Most Indians and soldiers are sick; The bugle and Mr. Young are both in a worrying state as well as most of the mission members. “
    The clinical form presented by some is typical of the “third form”. For Hector, Lesage writes: December 22, “… (he) was almost shivering in his turn since I returned from the king.” On 23 December, “Hector had recovered himself this morning.” On 24 December, “… Hector had a relapse at the same time.”
    For Lesage, on the 23rd of December, “after breakfast I was seized with my fever, Cephalgia, eye pains.” On December 24, “I was much better this morning.” On 26 December,
    “On the evening of the 24th, I had a relapse and was very ill all night.”
    Lesage, moreover, says: “The disease manifested itself in all, as I have been told, in the same manner with ups and downs, as in intermittent fever, accompanied by more or less delirium. He also mentions: “I took quinine all the time. It is doubtless why, although severely affected, he can escape from it.

    The second wave of mortality (12 March-10 April) is manifested after the return to the East Coast, giving everyone the opportunity of a “particularly serious re-infestation for already debilitated organizations”. The detachment is back in Toamasina on 27 February. They have been in Andevoranto since the 22nd and, instead of embarking immediately, are awaiting on the spot an improvement of their state of health, exposing themselves thus again to the contamination.
    The heavy balance of the expedition, of which more than one member out of three died of malaria, is undoubtedly not foreign to the sinister reputation that must later have the tracking East-Antananarivo. A. Le Roy de Méricourt wrote in 1870 (“Encyclopedic Dictionary of Medical Sciences”, article on Madagascar): “However, very few days of walking in this city (Antananarivo) we find very unhealthy localities such as Valley of Beforona, one of the most formidable points of Madagascar, which was the place of detention of the illustrious traveler Ida Pfeiffer and which must be crossed to go, from Tamatave to Emyrne. The Hovas of the interior, themselves, who go to the coast, are often victims either by crossing the forests or shortly after their arrival on the coasts of the effluvia against which they do not enjoy a greater Immunity than Europeans. “
    Brygoo wonders if the sanitary failure of this expedition which follows the shorter path of the eastern forest is not one of the causes of the choice of the western route for the conquest of Antananarivo in 1895. However, because of the numbers, this is “a real hecatomb, 6,700 deaths, a health disaster”, according to Jean Lemure, of which 72% of deaths are due to malaria.