Death funeral Malagasy vision

Vision of Malagasy death and funeral

By Property-Madagascar.

Death funeral Malagasy vision

Death funeral Malagasy vision

Diana and Mahajanga real estate agencies
Death funeral Malagasy vision. Death, for the Malagasy traditional religion, marks the passage from the human being rank to the high ranking of ancestor (Razana). This last will dominate from another world the new generations which will fear it and will honour it in their turn. Three important ceremonies accompany death. It is about the funeral, the “Famadihana” (exhumation) and the sacrifices. Of course the forms of which can take these ceremonies differ according to the areas.


Rites observed in Imerina
After the deceased was washed, clothed then covered with a “Lamba Mena” (shroud, silk fabric part) it can be exposed a little while to the close relations. Then the deceased is put in the coffin and transported to the tomb. Sometimes this transport is the occasion of an ultimate turn on the death own grounds.

Rites observed in Mahafaly and Antandroy countries
The coffin is violently shaken in all the directions by the team of carriers, who execute a jerky dance while the women clap hands and that other men hold up their assagai. Once the deceased carried with its tomb and buried, a monument in its memory is high there. The sacrifice of one or more zebus accompanies the ceremony which can proceed over several days with night vigils accompanied by songs and dances. The festival will be completed by a feast during which the meat will be shared between all the guests. The importance of the festival is in touch with the wealth of the deceased and it is sometimes a herd of several tens see hundreds of heads which will be the object of the sacrifice. Certain tombs decorated with hundreds of horns pairs bear witnesses to the importance and the wealth of the deceased.

Famadihana: The deaths turning
There exist several circumstances to the practice of Famadihana. The first finds its framework when the deceased could not be buried in the tomb of family at the time of the death. Its alive close relations then must, a few years later, bring it back to the family vault. This operation, realized in dry season, for health reasons, is always the occasion to express its joy and to celebrate the event. The second circumstance is essential towards each deceased in the Malagasy traditional religious concept, since the alives must honour their ancestors. We think that the ancestor is cold and thus needs a new shroud. The ceremony of Famadihana is fixed in theory several years after the death. The Mpanandro (astrologer) determines the day and the hour for it.
The body then is exhumed then wrapped in a plait “tsihy” which will be carried by two men whereas a group of close relations, men, women and children go in procession, the ones singing, the others playing musical instrument. Jokes are exchanged with the people met and even with death. Lastly, once arrived at the family vault, the deceased is again wrapped of a new “Lamba Mena” (tissu material) after having been the object of special attentions (honey oiling, gift of tobacco, rice or alcohol). Then before it reinstates its residence, the habit wants that we do to it seven times the turn of the tomb. The whole ceremony is performed in a festival and rejoicing atmosphere. The music, the songs and the rhythms are interfered with the sacrifice of a zebu and with the share of meat. A speech in memory of the death and to the destiny of the alives closes the ceremony.

Funerary arts

Being called to become Ancestor or “Razana” one day, the Malagasy will give more the great attention to his final residence near which its “terrestrial” house never will be but a place to visit. We will not be astonished that, in certain ethnos groups, it is truly question of Funerary Arts.
In Betsileo:
Along certain roads of the Fianarantsoa province, we can observe very beautiful graves made of piled up flat stones, and topped with monoliths. In the old days the habit was also to set up near the wood posts called “Teza”. They were not to be maintained, in order to turn over one day to dust.

In Antanosy :
The tradition here is to raise commemorative stones. They form sometimes impressive ensembles as with the km No 32 between Strong Dolphin and Holy Luce, where draw up more than 100 steles.
In Antandroy:
The tombs are made of a heap of stones called “Valavato” (enclosed stone). The surface thus delimited is papered of bucranes and is planted these well known carved posts called “Aloalo”.
In Mahafaly:
The Mahafaly tombs resemble to those of Antandroy, with Aloalo figuring the scenes of the daily life, and laid out according to a well defined order. Another trend chooses to replace the stones by the mortar: true mausoleums painted of bright colors, decorated with geometrical portraits or reasons. In the medium is often detached a sacred small house.
In the hinterland of Morondava, certain Sakalava Vezo clans resort readily to sculptures of birds, vases or humans worked in false-camphor tree considered rot-resistant. The puzzle of the erotic sculptures as for it still remains: to give to the deceasedes a little good times, to represent the perenniality of vital flow?

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