"Is stubborness what we are well-known for ?" Malaza Favorite Tip by Norali

Malaza Favorites: 6 reviews and 9 photos

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  • Youngsters at the tip to watch the sun setting - Malaza
      Youngsters at the tip to watch the sun setting
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Favorite thing: ..or, "Malaza ~ The reported origins"

A brief attempt at describing the origins of "Malaza". "Malaza" literally means "Well-known". For years, I've been wondering what our beloved village could be well-known for. I've looked around & compared my "Malaza" to other villages in the area. Nothing could make it well-known, at lesser extent, better known than the others. Seems, however, that it was some Royal prerogative which contributed int turning this adjective into a village name.

The Merina area has known intestine wars (between kings who ruled small kingdoms within the Merina area, "intestine" as, at times, Kings who rueled parts of Imerina area were brothers, cousins or anyway related in one way or another) when reportedly late King Andrianampoinimerina (?) from Ambohimanga noticed settlement works on plots of land which were not that far from "his" Blue Hill. As those plots were part of his territory, he asked some of his staff members to fetch information about the settlers & their settlement. For the settlement occuring during a war period, it should have been a real concern as safety had to be insured & surveillance had to be strict.

When Nampoina's messengers hit the area that is now known as the heart of Malaza, they saw nine persons to whom they addressed the message from the King urging them "to leave the area & not to play Mosalahy" [editor's note mosalah = adventurers]. The king informally entitled the village the nickname of "Mosalahy" [editor's note: probably to indicate the area where those he considered as Mosalahy, at first hand, resided]. To messengers, the settlers explained the plots had always belonged to them.

--to be continued--

Fondest memory: ... Upon reception of the report, Nampoina sent them back to Malaza to ask the then-settlers & now-villagers to leave the area. In vain. The stubborn settlers had always built ramparts around their village, that hinderd the messengers efforts to join the heart of the village. Discouraged & scared, the latter thought about giving up their mission. They knew the King awaited their answer though. So they went, asking to talk with the villagers, transmitting the same message as in their previous encountering. Once again, the settlers asserted the plots belonged to them & they would not leave. The messengers returned to the King & reported about the situation (again!). Probably, the messengers managed to convince the King about the peaceful settlement... Anyhow, the King left them alone & tacitly allowed their settlement.

Later on, the King sacred a Vatolahy (: male stone) at the entry of the village. He name this sacred stone Ambatomalaza (where lies the well-known stone).
As time went by, when newcomers settled in the area outside the remparts. Whenever they wante to enter the heart of the village, they used to say "I'm going to Ambatomalaza". Bit by bit, "Ambatomalaza" was dropped down & replaced by the shorter nick of " Malaza", the name of our village since then.

**There is not any official written history about Malaza. I translated into English the description which a villager collected from oral reports from the ancients. The story had been transmitted through generations as lovan-tsofina (: heir of ears), hence my hesitation about exact period & even the very identity of the ruling King at that time. I am incline to believe this King was actually Nampoina as I've read in official texts & history books that this king used to transit at our village as he used our canal to reach Antananarivo (from Ambohimanga) & vice-versa. So, if there was an only king who knew Malaza, it should be him... Btw, King Nampoina reigned reigned 1787 to 1810.**

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 12, 2006
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