CULTURE AND TRADITION OF THE HIGHLAND
(First cutting of hair)Which means “ The baby’s first cutting of hair ”, when a baby reaches its third month, his hair is cut for the first time, for this, the mother choose a person having good hair, so she hopes that the baby’s hair will be like those of that person, at the moment of the cutting, the person can’t turn back.
THE ZAFIMANIRY CULTURE
Proclamed International Patrimony by the UNESCO in 2001. The Zafimaniry land is found in the province of Fianarantsoa,
at Ambositra, the wood work know how of the Zafimaniry is specific and original.
The Zafimaniry wood work know how belong to their integral daily lives,
they show an artistic and remarkable skill.Nearly all the wood surface (pillars, windows, tools, . . . )
all useful toolos such as kitchen utensils, purely decorating articles (honey box, trays) are worked on and have finely
sculpted motifs which show their conception of life and death.
Before the wedding day, there is the engagement ceremony, or “ fanateram-bodiondry ”
which happens as follow, all the families are gathered both sides, the bride and groom’s families take an
“ orator ” along with them, during their speeches, they give information about each families origin, with
offensive expressions sometimes, each orator wants to have the last worried, at the end of the engagement ceremony,
money are offered to the groom’s parents, with all coins and bills existing in Madagascar.
Circumcision in the high Plateau is different from the “ Sambatra ”, circumcision in the East part of the island. It is an individual circumcision, for the Malagasy people, an uncircumcised man is not considered as a true man, no woman will want to marry him, and he has no right to be buried in the family tomb. The aim of circumcision is to make a boy a man, and to purify him from, birth impurity, but scientifically, it is also a protection against penis inflammation, which is a disease in hot climate countries. The instrument used to cut the prepuce can be a knife, a pair of scissors, for the Bara and the Antandroy in the South, a sharp bamboo part can be used. On the eve of the operation, all members of the family sing and dances, and wish the little boy’s wealth, strength, good health in the future. The families put a banana trunk in the little boy’s parent’s home, as a wish for them to have many male descendants, circumcision is done at dawn, a group of men go and fetch sacred water “ ranomahery ” (pourful water) in mountain source. At their return, families will welcome them with much hostility, and interdict them not to come back to the village. The sacred water must be brought by a man whose parents are still alive, it is used to wash the surgeon’s hands, the knife and the wound. The prepuce is then swallowed by the grand father with banana.
It is the familial tomb for all the families generation
FAMADIHANA OR EXHUMATION OR THE TURNING OF THE CORPSE
This tradition is very common in all High Plateau regions.
The Merina, Betsileo and the Vakinankaratra, Exhumation occurs during 3 days from June to August.
The main reason for exhumation, for the Malagasy it is forbidden to just leave their ancestors in tombs, those who do not practise
exhumation does not deserve to bring his father’s name. In a sense, the Malagasy believe that life and death are interdependent,
they believe in ancestors, and that ancestors bring blessings. It is a honour for the families to have festivities, many zebus and pigs are killed,
with a large quantity of rice, and without forgetting alcoholic drinks, shrouds for the died, women buy new rice dresses.
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