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Traditions and legends

Taboos and traditions: The Fady in Madagascar

Famadihana

As a traveler in Madagascar, you will hear about fadys sooner or later. Fady is the Malagasy word for taboo and probably derives from the Indonesian “pady”. But taboo is not the only meaning of this word, it is also used to call something sacred. Fadys are rules that concern situations as well as people, animals, locations or a certain …

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Where the name Vazaha for white people comes from

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a young king with his wife at Madagascar’s west coast. This king loved to speak to his people and do Kabarys (speeches). One day, a baby began to cry during one of his Kabarys. The mother could not calm the baby and it cried on and on, and the king …

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Famadihana – Turning the deads

Famadihana

Madagascar’s always good for a surprise, I already knew this since my first trip there in 1995. But this time many years after, my travel would offer really different experiences than ever before. I was with my guests on the way to South Madagascar, and we did a stopover in a comfortable hotel about 170 km south of the capital, …

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The animal which brings death

Aye-Aye

There is no other animal in Madagascar from which people tell so much myths and legends like the Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). It is fady in the whole northern part of Madagascar, which means taboo. Unfortunately, this fady does not mean – like in chameleons – that Malagasy people must not touch the animal. On the contrary: Many inhabitants of Madagascar …

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Why the biggest lemur of the world is called Babakoto

Once upon a time in a small village in Madagascar, a Bezanozano man (a tribe living in the east of the country) prepared a small basket. He asked his little son Koto to come with him deep into the forest to find the hive of wild bees and collect honey.  After some hours, they found a hive  on a high …

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Lake Tritriva

Lake Tritriva is an emerald green lake, located about 15 km from Antsirabe in Madagascar’s central highlands. The next town is Belazao, which is easy to reach via RN34 by 4×4. The lake is of volcanic origin, approximately 160 m deep and part of the eponymic mountain Vakinankaratra region. People of lake Tritriva tell the legend of Rabeniomby and Ravolahanta, …

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The empire of the Vazimba

Have you ever been to a vast place where you could not walk normally? This is a story about a strange, magical and beautiful place. It was somewhen before the 16th century, when some people took a boat and traveled on the Mozambique channel. After a few days, they arrived on a highland with an amazing large beach. They called …

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The crocodiles’ lake

The crocodiles’ lake is located in northern Madagascar between the cities of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) and Ambilobe. The next town western of the lake is Anivorana Nord, part of region Antsiranana, and well to reach via RN6. Actually the lake itself is called Antagnavo, of volcanic origin and known for its numerous, partially very huge growing crocodiles (Crocodilus niloticus madagascariensis). …

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