Madagascar between popular traditions and curiosities

Lemurs, Madagascar monkeys

All know the typical monkeys of Madagascar calls "lemurs" that, in reality, include many species. Have recently been discovered in Madagascar two new species of lemurs. The mouse lemure Goodman (Microcebus lehilahytsara) is a little bigger than a mouse, has a white stripe on the nose, hair brown, orange and white and round ears. Scholars of the German Primate Center and the University of Göttingen together with some local colleagues have analyzed its genetic heritage and have concluded that they were faced with a species completely new. The second species, Mirza zaza, was named in honor of children who live in the island: mirza zaza in Malagasy means child. IT is a nocturnal species that weighs approximately 300 grams and is great as a gray squirrel. The lemurs only live in Madagascar and are considered to be among the primates in greater danger of extinction. The discovery of two new species shows how essential it is to defend the forests of island, threatened by fire, cut out to make room for the pasture, or for the production of coal (WWF).

Famadihana, the link between the living and the dead

The link between living and dead is underlined by a custom, practiced especially by the Merina and Betsileo calling FAMADIHANA (exhumation) where the corpse of the dead (or better what remains of it) is brought to light to be rewound into a new shroud and to be brought around to be able to render an account directly changes occurring after his death. It is a ceremony very costly because of the great feast that it follows that can last several days and for the invited that are numerically many. This is a moment of communion with the dead with ancestor so that it is celebrated, and this in return protects your family.
It is considered a grave offense for the deceased postpone the famadihana if the family is able to deal with the costs. The ceremony takes place during winter, between July and September is generally after about 3-5 years (but also up to 10) in which the family of the deceased has time to prepare the feast. Although is not usually perform the Famadihana outside the areas of the central highlands of the Merina and Betsileo however common to all the Malagasy people a great deal of respect for the death and for the strength and authority that have ancestors.

The game of Solitaire in Madagascar

It is a game made by one person only, as the word itself says, and has unknown sources : is used a wheel of wood with 36 holes containing the balls made of various colored mineral. You begin by removing the central ball and play then, as in dama, "eating" the other beads saltandole in all directions. The aim of the game is to remain with a single ball. It sounds easy but this is not the case. It is a nice souvenirs to take home after a trip.

The "Fossa" puma of Madagascar

In addition to the Lemurs, the forests of Madagascar lives another single animal that is not found anywhere else in the world: the Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Similar to a small puma, belongs to the family of viverridi, such as the ruddy mongoose and the genette. It is carnivore and the lemurs are precisely its preferred prey. Color of reddish-brown, weighs about 10 Kg in males and the 5/7 in females. The body is about 80 cm long., plus as many due to its long tail and has a height of about 40 cm. The paws have retractable nails and, therefore, is an excellent climber. Solitary and nocturnal habits, and the largest carnivore in Madagascar, but it is a strong risk of extinction. Even if protected, it seems do not remain more than 2,500 individuals in the free state, due to hunting of man. Has a hunting area of about a square kilometers that olfactory brand with its special anal glands. In Madagascar had filled the niche of wild cats that here do not exist in nature. Can live in even a dozen years and reaches sexual maturity at about four.

The Malagasy struggle

The fight against Madagascar's practice is primarily in coastal villages. To Analavava, to the north-west of Madagascar, calm sunday is interrupted by "Moraingy" (the name of this fight). The villages are encountered in a square where you form a circle and you challenge the opponents of a village against other. A contestant can walk around the circle throwing glances of challenge until they find someone who accepts .... even if not always. This type of fight requires agility and quickness of movements and is accompanied by sounds, songs and shouts of the spectators and incite the young (and also the less profit) which clash and demonstrate its strength and virility. In the past was practiced this fight for to train in the battles. By watching this fight is known as many mastichino in continuation the leaves of the kat (a plant exciting that helps to not feel the pain). Also kids very young people are involved in the fight competitively between them.

Mpanandro, mystical figure of the villages in Madagascar

The MPANANDRO (the divine) is a person very important in the village because it has the role of astrologer and has the knowledge of the "VINTANA" where the fate and ordered by the position of the moon, the sun and the stars, every moment has different values of force active or passive and the positions are different as the level of forces: est is superior to west and the north is higher than the south. The north east is then considered to be the best location. People build the houses in north-south axis and reserve a northeast corner for prayer. Guests are seated in a position on the north side and the kitchen is to the south. The Mpanandro is consulted to determine which is the best day of good omen for celebrations such as a wedding or an unearthing and also activities such as a trip, the work, a meeting. A method used to predict the future is the SIKIDY which consists of the divinization and consulted with the ancestors through the seeds. The MPISIKIDY are those who know interpret these seeds outrightly sitting with a mat in northeast corner of the house in front of a sacred stone.

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