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"Famadihana in Merina region (Madagascar)" Africa Local Custom Tip by Norali

Africa Local Customs: 96 reviews and 214 photos

  Turning the bones...
by Norali

Hmmm... You are entering here in one of our mysterious local customs, that most of time, only Malagasy people understand.

Textually, "Famadihana" means "Returning" (the dead corpse, in this case). This custom is an ancestor worship rite (inheritated from SE Asia ..erm.. ancestors) of the two tribes of central highlands: the Merina (from Tana province) and Betsileo (from Fianarantsoa) people.

The tip and below travelogue rather deal with the Merina famadihana. I don't know whether it differs from the Betsileo rite or not. To be sure, I'd better stick to what I know. So far, this is released with my current knowledge of the rite, not documented. The text in the travelogue is mine, with the facts from the Famadihana preparations we had in our family in 1995 and pictures of a Famadihana in a peasant family (another family) in Merina region.

Click here to know more.

I hope the travelogue will grow with the time.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 15, 2004
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