"Zébus park in a royal compound" Ambohimanga Local Custom Tip by Norali
Ambohimanga Local Customs: 8 reviews and 12 photos
This is amongst most unexpected area in a royal fort: a zébu park. Indeed, in Manjakamiadana (the royal compound on Antananarivo hill), you would not find this.
Also, this is not a park for all types of zébus, only sacred zébus ("zébu" = "omby" in Malagasy). They are what one used to name "omby volavita", a type that presents a specific feature (black zébu with white patches on forehead, back, tail) and that is used for sacrifice in several circumstances and celebrations. Peasants who happen to have a zébu that has volavita feature doesn't possess this volavita zébu. De facto, volavita zébus belong to the King. The peasants would keep on breeding it but whenever the King needs one, they have to be ready to present their volavita zébus to the King.
For sure, zébu is really related to our culture. It is used as animal for sacrifice, so is cock. But I've never heard of pigs, ducks being animals for sacrifice.
Nowadays, though pork meat used(s) to be more expensive than zébu meat, zébu meat presents more value in local customs. For instane, we still talk about "vodihena" (the King had the right to require "vodihena": half of the rear part of zébu, it was an automatic right whenever a zébu was sacrificed). Vodihena is a sought-after part because it is tasty and is a first-choice for Malagasy dishes that requires tasty, tender meat but not too fat.
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