Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tribes: Antandroy

Dear Reader,

It is a great pleasure for me to share with you my knowledge and my
research about the Malagasy tribe of "Antandroy." As I am Malagasy,
it is important for me to know about the other tribes. Madagascar has
18 tribes but I will only discuss one. This tribe is very different
if we compare it to the others because of its culture and history—but
my research is focused especially on culture: tradition, music and
the basic meal.

We call "Antandroy" the tribe which is located in the south of
Madagascar near Tulear, Ampany and Ambovobe. This tribe has its own
tradition which makes it different from others. For example, if a man
wants to impress a woman or to get her to be his wife he should steal
a cattle. For the Antandroy tradition, if you never steal cattle or
cannot steal cattle you are not really considered a real man because
there is much value in this. Even in the family, father does not
consider his son as a man if he is not able to steal cattle. As the
saying goes, "Stealing cattle makes you a man." This tribe does not
give value to material things. For them, a rich person is a person
who has many cattle and it is not like the European model of wealth
with a beautiful car or a big house—for them cattle is enough to make
a person rich.

When there is a death, this tribe practices a kind of tradition which
is specific to them. IF the person who is dead is a person aged about
100 years people should not show sadness but instead they sho9uld show
happiness because the person has reached the age that everyone would
want to get to. If the person who is dead has a lot of cattle, all of
these cattle must be killed before his funeral so they keep the corpse
for a long time until all of the cattle are killed and they share the
meat of the cattle to all the people who assist in the funeral. They
might keep the corpse for three months before it is buried. There is
also a musician who celebrates the funeral and accompanies the corpse
which is called Razana until they get to the graveyard. They put the
casket inside the ditch and cover it with many rocks.
The basic meal of Antandroy is cassava. They are different from other
tribes which have the basic meal of rice. Antandroy prefer to eat
mean of cattle rather than fish. Their life depends on this and the
majority of the men work as butchers.

The Antandroy music is different. They still keep traditional music
that their ancestors left to them as a legacy and that music is
called, by their ancestors, tsapiky. This music is now popular in all
of Madagascar.

To conclude, Antandroy tribe is a tribe which is unique culturally.
If one day you visit Madagascar I advise you to visit Tulear where you
will find the Antandroy people and I hope you will see some cultural

Sincerely yours,


Anonymous said...

Bull! I'm married to an Atandroy and spent 6 years plus amongst them. I even learnt to speak 'Tandroy. And you would be? Imerina I'd guess, am I wrong? Why do I never find Atandroy writing about themselves but always others, usually their colonisers or traditional enemies (like the Imerina).

Anonymous said...

you are great Andris but you seemed to be confused, stealing cattle is the BARA's custom it's not practised by the Antandroy men/ thank you;!! oh i forget something I am Malagasy,
stay blessed;!!!

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lequita hicks said...

I have a question? How do I find out about my Malagasy heritage? My great great(3) grandmother was taken from her mother at age 12 (not sure if it was after she came to America of in Africa) but I do know that she was from Madagascar and my great grandmother called her a Malagasy. I only know her married name and the only information I was able to find was a 1880 census with her name on it. Can anyone help me ñ