MALAGASY MYTHOLOGY is rooted in oral history and has been transmitted by storytelling (angano "story"), notably the Andriambahoaka epic, including the Ibonia cycle.
Traditional mythology in
Ancestors are generally viewed as a benevolent force in the life of the living, but among some Malagasy it is believed that the spirits of ancestors may become angatra (ghosts of the dead) if they are ignored or abused. Angatra are believed to haunt their own graves and bring disease and misfortune to those living who offended them. A particular type of angatra is kinoly: beings which look like people but have red eyes and long fingernails and disembowel living people. Rituals such as famadihana - rewrapping the bodies of the dead every 5–10 years in fresh lamba (handmade cloth) - are believed by some to prevent kinoly due to the traditional association of the lamba with hasina , the mystical and sacred life force. Beliefs relating to the powers and activities of the ancestors vary greatly from community to community within Madagascar.
The declarations or actions of ancestors are often the source of fady (taboos) that shape the social life of Malagasy communities. Across Madagascar, lemurs are often revered and protected by fady. In all of the origin myths of the Indri (in Betsimisaraka dialect: Babakoto), there is some connection of the lemur with humanity, usually through common ancestry. There are numerous accounts of the origin of the Indri in particular, but all characterize lemurs as sacred, and not to be hunted or harmed.
Malagasy mythology portrays a pygmy -like people called the Vazimba
as the original inhabitants. Some Malagasy believe that these original
inhabitants still live in the deepest recesses of the forest. In
certain communities (and particularly in the Highlands), the practice
of veneration of the dead can extend back to veneration of the Vazimba
as the most ancient of ancestors. The kings of some Malagasy tribes
claim a blood kinship to the Vazimba, including the Merina dynasty
that eventually ruled over all of Madagascar. The Merina claim Vazimba
ancestry through the royal line's founder, King
* ^ Ottino, P. (1983). Ancient Malagasy Dynastic Succession: The Merina Example. History in Africa, 10, 247-292. * ^ http://www.encyclopediemalgache.org/bins/teny2 * ^ A B C Littleton, C. Scott (2005). Gods, goddesses, and mythology. Marshall Cavendish. p. 74. ISBN 9780761475590 . Retrieved 2010-06-19.
* Paul Ottino, Myth and History: The Malagasy "Andriambahoaka" and
the Indonesian Legacy, History in Africa (1982).
* Colleen J. McElroy, Over the Lip of the World: Among the