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Missionaries of t?ie L»M,S, 

No. IX.—CHRISTMAS, 1885. 


AU rights reterved. 






- i 



GASCAR. By C. Stâniland Wakb, Esq., M.A.I i 


By Capt. s. Pasfield Oliver, late R.A 17 


J. C. Thornb, L.M.S 27 


By W. Clayton Pickersgill, Esq., H.B.M.'s Vice-Consul .. 40 

L.M.S .... 44 




MADAGASCAR. By Rev. R. Baron, L.M.S 59 


Mr. H. E. Clark, F.F.M.A ... 78 

9.-AN UNDERGROUND RIVER. By Mr. W. Johnson, 

F.F.M.A «3 




Rev. J. Sibree, L.M.S 85 




13.— NATURAL HISTORY NOTES : T/ie Oldest Inhabitani of the 
Regenfs Park Gardens^ p. 16 — New Gênera of Malagasy 
Plants — New Malagasy Plants — The Orchids of Madagascar 
— Ihe *Agy* Tree— Madagascar Silk-wornis—Protective Re- 
semhlance in Insects 115 



16.— VARIETIES : Customs in Africa and New Guinea similar ta 

the ' Tsh'dràno' — The * Vàtolàhf—' Veiom-paràsy' 127 



Frontispiece.— Map of Valalafotsy, etc. By Rev. R. 

To FACE Page 83.— Map of West Ankaratra. By Mr. W. 


•.• T?ie Editors do not hold themselves responsible for every opinion 
expressed by those who contribute to the pages of the Annual, but only 
for the gênerai character ofthe articles as a whole. 







THE ANTANANARIVO Annual for Christmas 1883 contains 
an article by the Rev. L. Dahle on which I propose to 
make some observations. Mr. Dahle's conclusions, which he 
modestly terms his "hypothesis with regard to the origin of 
the Malagasy race éléments," are as follows :— (i) The island, 
or more probably only the coasts of it, was first occupied by 
East African tribes (i.e. by the VazîmbaX'and others related to 
them). (2) There was a séries of émigrations "from the island 
world in the east," peoples from which "took possession of the 
coasts of Madagascar, conquering the African natives, and 
afterwards intermarrying and mixing with them to such an 
extent as to become gradually one people with them, — a mixture 
of African and Malayo-Polynesian éléments." (3) The interîor 
of the island was now first inhabited by the African Vazimba, 
not very strong in number, who broke through the forests and 
took possession of the interior, especially Imèrina. (4) The 
Hova came from the east, and finding the coasts already 
occupied by a people partly of their own race, and being either 
unable or unwilling to fight with them, proceeded to the interior. 
There they settled in Imerina, not mixing with the people of 
African blood, and as they grew in strength, "the Vazimba, X 
who found themselves too weak to resist them, and were too 
fond of independence to submit to them, quietly retired towards 
the west." 

No. 9.— Christmas, 1885. 


Let us see what the évidence is on which Mr. Dahle's 
hypothesis is based. The first conclusion assumes {a) that 
Madagascar was iirst populated by East African tribes, and 
(i) that the Vazimba were of East African origin. The only 
évidence adduced in support of the statement {a) is the opinion 
of Dr. Hildebrandt that there is "a strong African élément 
in the Malagasy, especially in the coast tribes." Mr. Dahle, 
moreover, believes that much of a non-Malayo-Polynesian 
élément in the Malagasy language can be traced to African 
sources. In the paper read by me in 1869 before the Anthro- 
pological Society of London on this subject, référence was made 
to various facts in support of the opinion that the Malagasy 
are related to the peoples of Southern Africa. This inference, 
which I still believe to be a fair one, is the widest that the facts 
will allow, and it is very différent from the conclusion which 
would ascribe to the Malagasy an East African origin. It is 

y said, however, that the'^azimba at least had such an origin. 
Mr. Dahle admits he is noT able to prove that the Vazimba 
came from Africa, although he believes with Dr. Hildebrandt 
and others that they are identical with the Vazimba of East 
Africa. The similarity of name* is certainly very striking, but 
unfortunately we know so little of the Vazimba that, even if they 
were, as Mr. Dahle supposes, the original inhabitants of Ma- 
dagascar, it is almost impossible to détermine their race 

Dr. Prichard, in his Researches into the Physical Htstory of 
Mankind^ refers to the conjecture made by the Rev. W. Ellis j 
that the Vazimba were the tribe described by Rochon and 
other writers, under the name of *Kimos' or *Quimos,' as a 
nation of pigmies ; a notion more recently entertained by Capt. 
Oliver in the Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London 
(1870). In Dr. Prichard's Natural Htstory of Man (3rd éd., 
1848), the Vazimba described by Robert Drury are identified 
with the Ho va. The information as to the Vazimba given by 
Druryt is not altogether satisfactory. After remarking that 
the Madagascar people probably came first from Africa, he 

V says, "the V irzimbe rs, indeed, by their woolly heads must come 
from the more s outhern part of Africa." He adds, "Deean Toke- 
offu told Captain Macket they had a tradition of their coming 
on the island many years ago in large canoës." This tradition 
evidently relates to the Malagasy generally, or rather to the 
Sàkalàva branch of them, of whom Tokeoffu was then one of 

* Commander Cameron, however, sees in this name évidence of Malayan influence. Sce 
Report of Brit. Atsoc. 1879 ; p. 393. 

t I quote from an illustratod édition of his Adx*enturet^ published at Hull in 1807. 


the kings. As to the *Virzîmbers' themselves, Drury gives 
another description which would seem to show that he applied 
the name to différent peoples. Thus, while living in the country 
of Môrondàva, Drury had an attack of sickness, and he was 
sent to a Vazimba's house on the banks of the river 'Mernee* to 
be cured. He lived among those people for six months, and 
he States that they were almost of a différent species "from the 
others," meaning probably the Sakalava. He says, "their 
heads are of a peculiar shape, the hinder part and the forehead 
are almost as flat as a trencher ;" which he supposed to be 
owing to "a daily pressure of their children from the cradle ;" 
and he makes the important remark that "their hair is neither 
5îo long nor so woolly as that of the other nations." Thèse - , 
Vjjîîjiba had a peculiar language^r, probably, dialect, and^^^^ 
their religion was différent from that of the other natives, as 
they had no 'owleys' {ddy) in their houses, but they paid great 
regard to the new moon and to several animais, among others, 
a cogk^and a lizar d. At their meals they threw a bit of méat 
over their hea3sTbr the spirits, and they then threw four pièces 
more "to the sovereigns or rulers of the four quarters of the 
earth." They dressed their victuals much more agreeably than eu ^ 
"the other people;" they were ingfiiûûys ar tificer s in many /g^ 
particulars ; and they made curions ea rthenware, glazed within ^t f^ 
a nd with o^t. They appeared not to hâve âny gênerai govern-^ii^ 
ment, but they lived in little towns, each of which was a distinct 
and independent republic. Drury concludes, "there are some / 
of them, as I hâve heard, in other parts of the island, scattered Z 
up and down, who shift their habitations, which thèse were J 
wont to do formerly. It is no easy matter to détermine whether / 
thèse are not the original natives, or first inhabitants of the ' 

This description is of a forest people, of peaceful and primitive 
habits, but with sufiicient intelligence and docility to understand 
and accept the civilization of those with whom they came into 
contact. The wooUy-headed Vazimba of Drury are perhaps 
represented by the people described by Mr. Dahle, on the 
authority of the Rev. D. Jakobsen, as now dwelling among the 
Sakalava, and as being not very tall, of a very dark colour, 
and with rather a flat nose. Dr. Prichard seems to hâve 
balieved, however, that the Hova were described by Drury 
under the name of 'Virzimbers,' which agrées with the fact of the 
latter having Ifî^s^woolljLJiâir than the Sakalava. It is some- 
what remarkable that the dwarfs or Kinjos, who are thought by 1^ 
some writers to hâve been Vazimba, vnvere referred to by M. de 
Modave, the Governor of Fort Dauphin, as thick and squat, 


beini? lighter in _colour than the other islanders, while their 
hair was short aiïH woolly. The particulars given by Drury of 
i the Vazimba are important, as they prove the existence among 
'^ • them of a différence of ^hysical characters, such as are now 
Mirf found among the natives of AnkÔva ; and if the Hova are not a 
pure race, the Vazimba were probably not so either. I may 
\ ^ remark hère that there is at least as much évidence that the 
^y^fuÛ- Vazimba élément among the Malagasy is Negrito as that it is 
'' African. It is strange, nevertheless, that although Drury goes 
so far as to say that the V azimb a spoke a diflFerent language 
and had différent manners and customs from the other Mala- 
gasy, yet at the end of his book, while repeating that they differ 
in some points of religion, he adds, "but then it is to be under- 
stood, in the forms and manner of their worship and cérémonies; 
for they hâve owleys as others hâve, and entertain the same 
notions of a Suprême God, the lords of the four quarters of the 
world, spirîts, etc." The Rev. W. Ellis refers to this idea of 
the existence of lords of the four quarters of the earth, which 
he says is regarded in the interior as fabulous, although it 
I prevailed on some parts of the coast.* In other respects the 
I Vazimba, notwithstanding their physical différences, show little 
' to distinguish them from the other inKaBTtànt's'^f the country. 
The différence of language spoken of by Drury was probably 
only one of dialect, such as still exists among the varions tribes. 
Mr. Dahle states that the unity of language must now be con- 
sidered as a tolerably well-established fact, in support of which 
he makes the pertinent remark that the Hova hâve military 
stations in a good many places amongst other tribes, and people 
from other tribes often come to the Capital, and yet they appear 
not to be in need of interpreters in transacting business. When 
y Drury was living in the island, the Hova could equally well 
converse with other tribes. He relates that two Hova (*Amboer- 
lambo') ambassadors passed through his town on their way frora 
*Moherbo' (Mahàbo?) to their own country. Drury evidently had 
no difficulty in conversing with them. Mr. Dahle adduces the fact 
of the language spoken over the whole island being substantially 
the same as évidence in favour of the opinion that "the inhabi- 
tants of Madagascar, broadly speaking, are one people." 
There is hère a saving clause to provide for the existence of a 
non-Malayo-Polynesian élément in the Malagasy language. He 
mentions various words which are unquestionably the same in 
Malagasy as in some of the East African dialects, confirmïng 

• Hisiory of Madagascar ^ vol. i. p. 394. Mr. Ellis states (p. 369) that amonç the witnctfei 
summoned on the taking; of the Hova oath of allcgiance arc the four cardinal points of Al 


what was long since pointed out by other writers. But in 
accordance with the principle laid down by Mr. Dahle, that 
"similarity in the grammatical structure of the languages of 
peoples proves more than similarity of vocabulary," I would 
suggest that the présence of the words mentioned by him, while 
showing that the Malagasy hâve had close intercourse with 
their Ëast African neighbours, is not sufficient to prove the 
Airican origin of the primitive inhabitants of Madagascar. 

Mr. Dahle says (2) that there was a séries of émigrations/ 
firom the Eastern island world, peoples from which conquered | 
the African natives of Madagascar, intermarried with them and \ 
finally formed with them one people. Those emigrants are sup- 
posée to hâve belonged to tribes who spoke dialects of the 
Malayo-Polynesian language, or a language closely related to 
it, and to hâve had the Malayan type of feature, which, how- 
ever, they lost or had much modiiied by mixture with the 
African élément. Whether or not the peculiar physiognomy of 
the dark Malagasy is really due to "a mixture of African and 
Malayo-Polynesian éléments" is nevertheless very doubtful. M. 
Lesson was so much struck with the resemblance of the Papuans 
to the dark people of South Madagascar as to believe that the 
former had proceeded from this island ; and he appears to hâve 
been no less struck with the resemblance between the dark 
Malagasy and Kafirs of South Africa. What Lesson says of 
the Papuans applies equally to the Melanesians, agreeing with 
Mr. Dahle's statement that the Malagasy language is partly 
related to the Melanesian. In that case, however, we hâve no 
occasion to look for the admixture of an African élément to 
account for the physical peculiarities presented by the coast 
tribes of Madagascar. It is important in this connection to 
consider certain facts as to the distribution of the people on 
the western side of the island mentioned by Drury. He states, 
where speaking of the Sakalava chief Ratrlmanôngarivo, that 
"Saccalauvor was neither richer nor more powerful than other 
countriesy till his accession to the régal state." Drury goes on 
to say that the Sakalava king having expelled both his bro- 
thers, one of them fled to Feraingher fnear the river Onilàhy, 
which runs into St. Augustine's Bay) and settled in the country 
to the south ; while the other proceeded northward, passing 
through "the fine country where the c attle are kept, and where 
the Virzimbers at that time resided. .."TTTt .the Virzimbers fled 
frbm him on his first approach, but finding that his intentions 
were peaceable, and that he was only seeking a place of refuge 
for biroselfy they returned to their habitations, and lived under 
his jurisdiction." Ratrimanongarivo foUowed his brother's 



example, and "now caressed some of the Virzimbers, and gave 
them towns on the banks of the Mernee," According to Mr. 
Dahle's hypothesis, the Malayo-Polynesîan ancestors of the 
présent coast tribes acquired their 'African' features by inter- 
marriage with the Vazimba. From Drury's account, however, it 
is évident that the Sakalava were the same in physical charac- 
ters as they are now, and there is no évidence that they had 
intermixed with the Vazimba before Drury's time. He states 
that many of thèse people were then living in the Sakalava 
towns in that district, but this intercourse would not hâve taken 
place before the Sakalava occupied the country ; and elsewhere 
Drury says, "the Virzimbe rs till very Jately were under no 
government, and ot^ giT cTian ging their habitations." 1 he Sa- 
kalava used to go into thetf houses and take away anything 
they liked, and to prevent this intrusion, the Vazimba kept their 
houses well supplied with a kind of cow-tick, of which the other 
natives had much dread. When residing further south, Drury 
met with other members of the Vazimba stock. He refers to 
them as "people in the remote parts of this country, whose 
habitations are in secret recesses in the woods," and who "keep 
no cattle, lest the vociférations of their herds or flocks might 

possibly betray them, but content themselves with small 

plantations, and the products of nature." Drury's master, the 
chief's cow-keeper, had formerly lived after that manner, and 
was therefore "acquainted with some of their private settle- 

The Sakalava migrations referred to by Drury had evi - 
dently taken place not long before his time. Mr. Sibree thinks* 
that Ratrimanongarivo was the son of the chief Làhifôtsy, 
who, in the year 1649, conquered part of the country called 
Ménabè, and whose tribe had been rising into power tor some 
time previous to his reign. Mr. Sibree states that Lahifotsy, 
after crossing the St. Vincent River, conquered the Antan- 
gàndro. He does not say whether this was a kindred tribe, 
or whether it belonged to the Vazimba stock, but he refers' to 
a tradition, according to which the Antangandro retired 
precipitately, leaving the country open to the Sakalava. This 
shows that the conquering tribe did not intermix with the 
previous inhabitants of the country, whicb, according to 
Drury's account, must hâve then been very thinly populated. 
Curiously enough, although there is no évidence that the 
Sakalava intermarried with the earlier inhabitantîi, it would 
seem that their leader had European blood in his veins. Mr. 

* Antananarivo Annual, 1878; p. 57. [My information was, however, as thert 
gtatêd, «ntirelj derived from M. Ouillain'i book.— J.S.J 


Sibree mentions that, according to tradition, the grandfather 
of Lahifotsy was "a white foreigner who had by some accident 
corne into the country." He adds that both on the western 
and the eastern coasts a foreign élément has often been a 
means of exercising authority and chieftainship ; and he 
points out that many of the most powerful Bètsimisàraka 
chiefs were descended from European fathers. 

Mr. Dahle supposes (3) that the interior of the island was 
first inhabited when the Malayo-Polynesians conquered the 
'Vazimba, who then settled in Imerina. According to the 
hypothesis the Vazimba were not then a very strong body ; 
and yet not only did they succeed in breaking through the 
primeval forest, but they left behind them a number of indivi- 
duals sufficient by intermarriage to modify the physical char- 
acters of their conquerors to such an extent as to impress on 
them an Aftican physiognomy. Now, although we may well 
believe that the coast was inhabited before the interior of the 
islandy yet the interior need not hâve been occupied as the 
resuit of the advent of fresh peoples on the coast. There is 
indeed no évidence of an African people, Vazimba or other, 
having settled in Imerina owing to the influx of Malayo-Poly- 
nesian tribes. 

Mr. Dahle's fourth conclusion is that [à] a new body of 
emigi'ants from the east (the Hova") landed on the coast, from 
whence [b) they, by arrangement with the coast tribes, proceed- 
ed to Imerina. Hère {c) they found the Vazimba, who neither 
resisted nor submitted to them, but quietly retired towards 
the west, where they hâve been allowed to live as a separate 
tribe up to the présent time. The Hova hâve therefore {d) 
preserved the Maiayan character to a greater extent than the 
coast tribes. As to [a)^ the Eastern origin of the Hova proper 
is admitted by ail writers, but that they were the latest arrivais 
is by no means certain. The inhabitants of mountainous and 
forest régions are generally thought to hâve been the first 
settlers, who hâve been pushed forward by later corners. Pro- 
bably we hâve in the lighter colour of the Hova the best 
évidence of their arrivai in the island at a more récent date 
than the darker tribes. But this is not conclusive, as the 
olive complexion* of the Hova may be the resuit of intermar- 
riage between a lighter race, such as the Arabs or Indo- 

• It should be mcntioncd, howcver, that this complcxion has been a'i-oiintiHl for in other 
ways. Capt. Oliver says the Hova wear more clothing and expose thiir bodios Icss than 
anîr of the coast tribes ; "besides, living in a mountainous district at hi^^h olovations, with 
a cooler and more salubrious cliraate, generally conduces to faimcss of complexion." This 
reasoning will hardly apply in the présent casé, however, as ail the natives of the moun* 
tainoos rogioni of the interior are not light-coloured. 


f — — 

Chinese, with a darker race, such as the Vazimba are said to 
hâve been. Mr. ËUis points out that, although Ankova is 
the principal résidence of the olive-coloured races, yet there 
are quite as many black inhabitants of Ankova ; in fact, 
"there are comparatively few who are not black residing out 
of Imerina." The light-coloured ancestors of the Hova pro- 
bably settled in Imerina and intermarried with the Vazimba 
who then inhabited it, the Hova of the présent day being their 
descendants, and the Vazimba élément showing its influence 
particularly among the dark tribes of Ankova. 

It is said [p) that the new body of settlers proceeded to the 
interior by arrangement with the coast tribes. The opinion 
expressed by Mr. Dahie that the ancestors of the Hova landed 
on the west coast, and that the dark tribes allowed them to 
proceed to the interiôiri' is improbable in the extrême. The 
Rev. A. Walen remarks as to the Sakalava, that they hâve 
swom a mortal enmity against the Hova. Their hatred of 
this people is of very old date, "and has gained strengrth from 
the traditions of their forefathers, which hâve been handed 
down to the présent génération." It is shown even in their 
cérémonies. Moreover, Mr. ËUis states that the gênerai belief 
of the Hova was that they came from the south-east coast 
and gradually dispossessed the aborigines of the country ; 
and Mr. Sibree mentions* that "the progress of the Hova 
from the eastern coast to the highlands of the interior can be 
traced by the remains of the furnaces they made for the smelt- 
ing of iron." The Hova tradition and Mr. Walen's statement 
as to the enmity between the Sakalava and the Hova agrée 
with certain remarks made by Drury. He says, when speaking 
of the country of the Hova, which he calls 'Amboerlambo' 
(then divided into two kingdoms governed by two brothers}, 
that the king of the Sakalava would not permit his people to 
supply them with firearms. He adds, "before the Europeans 
had stocked the island with guns, they were too strong for 
the Saccalauvors in Deean Lohefute's (Làhifôtsy) time, but this 
king is at présent too powerful. They hâve a trade sometimes 
to Mattatana and Antenosa, but not sufiicient to furnish them 
with arms and ammunition." That statement as to the relative 
power of the Hova and the Sakalava before the time of Ratri- 
manongarivo disposes of Mn Dahle's argument drawn from 
the payment of tribute by the Hova to the king of Menabe up 
to 1820, and throws doubt on the native tradition that the 
Hova were at first looked upon with contempt by the other 

* Proc* Roy, Geog, Soc* Oct. 1879* 


$s« Their associations were chiefly with the east and 
h-east coastSy and I would submit that the opinion before 
-essed by me that individuals of a light stock gradually 
ad £rom thence to the interior, intermarrying with the 
ierinhabitantSy is more reasonable than that which supposes 
be of Malays to hâve landed on the west coast, or even 
he east, and to hâve been permitted by the coast tribes 
ass through their territory and settle in the intenor. 
r. Dahle supposes (c) that when the Hova reached Ime- 
» they found it inhabited by the Vazimba, who then quitted 
country and retired towards the west. However true the 
ler part of this supposition may be, the latter part is purely 
Dtheticaly and, so iar as 1 can judge, the évidence points 
;her way. The Vazimba are spoken of by Mr. Dahle as a 
k people who, after flying into the interior from one set 
nvadersy abandoned their homes once more when they 
id themselves threatened by the Hova. Ihis» however, is 
consistent with what we know of the early inhabitants of 
rina from their monuments and ihe évidence of tradition. 
Lrs erected by former générations on the summits of the 
mtains of Imerina and the other divisions of Ankova to 
memory of giants and other monstrous beings supposed 
3elong to a fabulous âge still exist, and are visited by 
people for prayer and sacrifice. On the tops of some of 
e mountains are also the vestiges of ancient villages. 
lis are met with throughout the whole of Ankova, and 
aently the sites of them are high places and groves. 
.r. £llis says the usual name for them is 'V azimb a/ i.e.V 
rs raised to the Vazimba. He refers particularly to the 
b of the renowned giant Rapèto, on the summit of the 
ntain Ambôhimiangàra. The wife of the giant was Ra-^ 
ao, and a clan still exists in Ambôdiràno who claim to 
descendants of the giant family.* The Vazimba must | 
efore hâve been very numerous and, according to the ^ 
inds connected with their high places, a powerful race. 
at has become of this race ? Surely they were not repre» 
,ed in Drury's time merely by the simple people described 
lim under the name of 'Virzimbers.' Thèse may hâve been 
»ng their descendants, as no doubt are the people calling 
nselves Vazimba who now live among the Sakalava. The 
ra themselves are, however, just as likely as any other 
pie to be représentatives of the Vazimba of tradition. Mn 

it* Dahle tpeaki of Rapeto and Rasoalao as the two last chiefa of the Vazimba. If 
I according to présent Hova tradition, it cannot be very reliable, ezcept only ai 
ice of the respect in which the Hova hold the memorj of the Vasimba. 


EUis, after referring to the fact that the Vazhnbar graves Jcor- y 
respond with the description given by Rochon of the /g-raves 
of the dwarfs or Kimos, states that it is somewhat ren>ferkable 
that many of the particulars gfiven by Rochon and other 
writers exactly correspond with the Hova, exceptinV their 
diminutive stature. He continues, "the Hovas are ceVrtainly 
below the gênerai stature of the Malagasy, and this may >easily 
hâve given rise to the report of their 'pygmean' dimensions. 
But in regard to valour, intelligence, activity, industry, courage, 
manufactures, productions, habitations, the Hovas are what 
Rochon describes the Kimos to be." It may be added that 
in the form of the head, the Hova appear^-to agrée somewhat 
with the Vazimba as described by Dru^. This writer says 
"their heads are of a peculiar shape, the hinder part and the 
forehead are almost as flat as a trencher." The Hova are said 
by Capt. Oliver to hâve "well-shaped heads, rather flattened 
at the back, with high foreheads," characters which were 
very noticeable in the ambassadors from the widow of Radàma, 
who visited London in 1835, ail of whom, according to Pri- 
chard's Natural History of Matiy bore the most striking resemb- 
lance to each other. 

That Drury's *Amboerlambo' were really Hova is shown by 
the "vast large ears, with silver plates in them, that glittered 
like comets," by which the men seen by Drury were distin- 
guished. Mr. Ellis mentions that Radama abolished ail the 
native distinctive marks of office, except one retained "in ; 
favour of vénérable men, or elders, who often wear a large 
^l^heavy silver ring hanging from each ear, its weight being 
, such as to pull d own the ea_r. like a cord, until the ring 
'.^ touches the shouldei's." Urury was told that sometimes the 
hole was so large that "a woman may put her hand through 
it." Mr. Pickersgill,* when travelling among the Sakalava, 
met with women who **had their ears bored and stretched, and 
the big ugly hole fîllod with a^i rcular wo oden ornament." 
Thèse people were ignorant of theTTovâ dîalect, which was 
accounted for by their having quite recently come from the 
west ; a statement which will allow us to believe that the 
spécial lahguage ascribed by Drury to his 'Virzimber' was 
merely a différent dialect. 

There are facts in the history of the Hova which prove that, 
ifnot aètually descended from theVVazimba, they were inti- 
mately connected with them. Mr. EÎIis "states that Rabiby, 
or Ralàmbo, "is usually mentioned in kabàrys as the ancestor 

• Annual, 1875. p. 88. 


of the présent race of princes in Imerina ; and, whatever may 
be the collatéral branch of his descent, the princes of Mada- 
gascar must be able to trace their pedigree from the renowned 
Ralambo." This prince, from whom many of the nobles in 
Imerina claim their origin, and who is supposed to hâve first 
taught the Malagasy to eat beef and pork, was the son of the 
Vazimba Andriamanèlo. ïhis chief was celebrated as the 
introducer or modifier of the ceremony of circumcision. Mr. 
Ellis States, moreover, tl^at by means of the fire-arms which 
Andriamanèlo obtained from traders on the coast, he subdued 
ail the other Vazimba and rendered himself the most powerful 
chieftain in that part of the island. It is true that a différent 
version is given by Mr. Dahle, who speaks of Andriamanèlo 
as a Hova chief who defeated the Vazimba by the use of *flying- 
iron,' i.e. iron spears. The father of the chief, who is named 
by Mr. Ellis Andriampônga, is no doubt, however, the same 
as Andrianampônga mentioned in the Antananarivo Annual 
for 1877 (p. 3 et seq,)^ a Hova chief who resided at Ifànongoâ- 
vana, the ancient seat of the Hova kings. He is said to hâve 
followed Andrianàhitràhitra, a Vazimba, who must be iden- 
tified with a chief of the same name who is the ninth in the 
line of Radama's descent given by Mr. Ellis. 

Mr. Dahle's fourth conclusion supposes [d] the Hova to 
bave preserved Malayan features to a greater extent than the 
coast tribes. Whether the Hova do really resemble the Ma- 
lays is, to say the least, an open question. Dr. Prichard, 
while believing them to belong to the Malayo-Polynesian 
stock, observes that they hâve not "the complexion of the 
Malays, but rather that of the Oceanic Polynesians." In 
Prichard's Natural History of Man it is said, however, that 
if the ambassadors from the Queen of the Hova may be consid- 
ered as spécimens of the Hova race, "it must be allowed that 
this tribe bas acquired a peculiar physiognomy, having nothing 
of the Chinese type, to which the proper Malays approximate ; 
neither bas it the almost European character of the Polynesian 
Islanders ;" an opinion in which, judging from the portraits I 
hâve seen, I quite coincide. Dr. Prichard quotas the opinion 
of William von Humboldt, given in his KawisprachCy that "it 
is certain that a tribe of people akin to the Malays must bave 
settled in Madagascar, and brought with them alanguagewhich 
entirely superseded and extinguished any pre-existin;^ dialect 
that may bave been spoken in the island." The Malagasy 
approaches, however, most nearly to the Tagala of the Philip- 
pine Islands, but Von Humboldt thought it might hâve 
originated from Java, ^'in times antécédent to the introduction 


of Indian refinement" in this island ; although, as he shows, 
the Malagasy contains Sanskrit words expressive even of 
common ideas. That view agrées with the suggestion made by 
Mr. ËUiSy and apparently accepted by Dr. Prichard, that the 
Hova migrated trom Java. In this case, however, the Hova 
shouldy which they do not, possess Malay ieatures, unless 
indeed they left that island before the advent there of the 
Mongoloid people from whom the Malays hâve sprung. Mr. 
A. H, Keane affirms that '^Malaysia was originally peopled by 
the Mahori [Polynesian] race, which atterwards became 
modified in vahous proportions by fusion with intruding peoples 
from the north ;" or, in other words, there was "a fusion of an 
original Mahori stock with various sub-Mongolian and other 
Asiatic peoples, resuiting in the présent Malay and sub-Malayan 
races of the Archipelago." Mr. Keane has since expressed 
before the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain his views 
as to the native populations of the Indian Archipelago. He 
States* that •* Western Malaysia is now almost exclusively 
occupied by the fair and yellow stocks from Indo-China, every- 
where intermingled in diverse proportions, but the fair, as the 
earliest arrivais, everywhere forming the substratum." He says 
further that although "the Malay is ethnically a mixed type, 
its speech is unmixed in structure, and fundamentally related 
to the Cambojan and other languages spoken by the tair races 
of Further India." li that be true of the Malays of Java, it 
must be true also of the Hova oi Madagascar, on the assumption 
that their ancestors came trom Java after the Malay race 
became establisked on this island. According to Mr. Keane's 
hypothesis, the Malays, although of mixed blood, are practically 
an Asiatic Mongoloid race who hâve exchanged their language 
for that of the tair or Caucasian race who preceded them in 
the Indian islands. The possession of this language by ail the 
Malagasy tribes is thereiore no proof that they are really one 
people, and still less that they, or any of them, are Malays. 

Mr. Dahle refers to the comparison made by me between the 
customs of the Malagasy and the Siamese, and he takes 
exception to my statement that "it is to the région inhabited by 
this and cognate peoples 1 would refer the origin of the Mala- 
gasy." My gênerai conclusion as to the race aiïïnities of this 
race was that, "while they présent many points of ageement, 
either original or derived, with the natives of the African 
continent, their closest relationship is with the Mongoloid 
peoples who inhabit the Asiatic région of Indo-China," that is, 

• Joumalt x88o ; p. 287. 


the re^afion from whence the ancestors of the Malays were 
derived. Mr. Dahle mentions the remark of an Arab geo^a- 
pher Ibn Seîd, that a tribe called Komr, who were "the 
brethren of the Chinese," had emigfrated to a great island in 
the west, which they called after their own name, and there 
built a town called Malay. Mr. Sibree, in a very interesting* 
paper on "Malat^asy Place-names/' read before the Royal 
Asiatic Society of Great Britain,* quotes from an old German 
work that the Arabie geographers wrote the name given by 
them to Madagascar eîther *Kamar* or *Komr', "the same word 
which enters into the name of the Comoro Group, to the north- 
west of Madagascar/' Mr. Sibree adds that thèse islands are 
called by the Arabs *Komair' or the *Lesser Komr,' and that this 
name as applied to Madagascar itself survived until the arrivai 
of the Portuguese. He also says that on one of the oldest maps 
the name 'Komortina' occurs in addition to ^Madagascar' and 
*San Lourenço.' 

The name Komr was that of the emigrating tribe, and 
possibly ît may be connected with that of a people in Further 
India who are regarded by Mr. Keane as representing the 
primitive stock from which the Polynesîans were derived. It îs 
true that Mr. Keane looks upon the Khmers or Cambodians, 
the people in question, as Caucasian, but this can hardly be 
correct if Ibn Seid was right in speaking of the Komr as the 
**brethren of the Chinese." The Arab writer may, however, 
hâve referred to another people of Indo-China. When the 
Khmers first reached this country, they found it occupîed by the 
Chams and the Chavas or Malays. The Chams had established 
apowerful empire, that of Ciampa, and, if not of the same origin 
as the Malays, they hâve like them a tonîc language. The 
Khmers, whose civilization is shown by M. Mourat to hâve 
been of Hindu origin, became intermixed with the Chams and 
other Mongoloid peoples, and the French writer thînks that, 
during the earlier centuries of theii* establishment in the south 
of Indo-China, they were also visited by hordes of Mongols and 
Thibetans. Thèse were followed by the peoples oftheThai race, 
including the Siamese and Burmese, who now occupy the 
country. The Siamese were the first to encroach on the king- 
dora which the Khmers had established on the ruins of that of 
the Chams, and they are said by M. Moura to agrée with the 
Khmers, not only in religion, but also in manners and customs ; 
and no doubt, as the latter mixed with the Chams, so the 

• youmal^ vol. xv., part 2. 
t L<i Royaume du Cambodge, 


Siamese became mixed with the Khmers. Thèse facts appear 
to furnish a complète justification for my assertion that the 
Malagasy are related to the Mongoloid peoples of Indo-China. 
The fact that the Malagasy speak a language belonging to the 
Malayo-Polynesian family shows only that they hâve corne 
under the same or analogous influences to those which led the 
Malays (assuming Mr. Keane's hypothesis to be correct) to 
accept a language which did not belong to theîr Mongoloid 

Little is known as to the cranial conformation of the Mala- 
gasy. As to the Polynesians, we hâve the authority of Dr. 
Topinard for saying that they approach the Malay type, which 
is short-headed, and by its orbital index, as well as its nasal 
index, it belongs to the same group as that of the Chinese, the 
Malay, and the American. Moreover, "the sub-nasal progna- 
thism of the Polynesian shows the influence of the yellow and 
black populations with which he has been mingled."* Elsewhere 
I hâve shewn that the Polynesians are entitled to be classed 
with the bearded races, but there is no doubt that among some 
of them at least the beard does not grow so readily as with 
Europeans. The Malagasy are less bearded than the Polyne- 
sians, and they are probably entitled to be classed with them as 
approaching brachycephaly. Dr. J. Barnard Davis gives the 
measurement of a Betsimisaraka calvarium, which he says ap- 
pears to be less dolichocephalic than the races of the continent 
of Africa, and he adds, "such seems to be the gênerai character 
of the skuUs of the people of Madagascar." It is possible that 
the Malagasy possess a strong élément of the pre-Malay popu- 
lation of the Indian Archipelago, which Mr. Keane supposes to 
be Caucasian, although the évidence in favour of that idea is 
very slight. Mr. Ellis remarks that **the vigour of health 
frequently gives a ruddy tinge to the countenance of the olive- 
coloured race ;" which removes them in complexion from the 
yellow hue of the Malays. Thiswould seem to approximate them 
to the wild tribes of Indo-China, but not necessarily so ; as Mr. 
Shearman, the Editor of the Briiish Burma Gazetteer ^note, p. 
155), remarks that he was much struck with the ruddiness of 
the complexion of the Burmans living several hundred miles 
above Mandalay. 

The chief difficulty in connection with the Malagasy is 
the existence side by side of dark tribes with frizzy hair 
and light tribes with straîght hair, ail speaking the same 
language and forming apparently but one race. There is a 

♦ Antkropology ; p. 478. 


similar phenomenon, however» in New Guinea, the light-coloured 
peoples of whichy and not the dark tribes, are supposed by 
Signor d'Albertis to represent the earliest inhabitants of the 
island. Dr. Comrie, on the other hand, came to the conclusion 
that the light and the dark peoples belong to the same race» an 
opinion which does not allow for the crossing of races which 
has undoubtedly taken place in New Guinea as well as in ail 
other parts of the Asiatic Archipelago. In a paper oh ^^The 
Papuans and the Polynestans" read by me in 1882 before the 
Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, the importance of 
the Negrito élément in determining the origin of the spécial 
peculiarities of the dark race of the Indian Archipelago was 
dwelt on, and référence was made to the opinion of Prof. Flower 
that the Negritos represent "an infantile, undeveloped, or 
primitive form of the type from which the African Negroes on 
the one hand, and the Melanesians on the other, with ail their 
various modifications, may hâve sprung." In the influence of 
that Negrito élément we hâve probably the. origin of some of 
the peculiarities of the Malagasy, but whether thèse hâve been 
impressed on the Mongoloid people who form the chief élément 
in the inhabitantH of Madagascar before or after their settlement 
in the island is doubtful. That the Negritos existed in Mada- 
gascar before the arrivai of the Malayo-Polynesian speaking 
people is extremely probable, and they may hâve aided in the 
formation of the physical characters of the Malagasy,* but the 
complète explanation of the origin of those characters will be 
possible only when the wider question of the origin of the 
Papuan and Melanesian races has been satisfactorily deter- 

Mr. A. H. Keane affirms that "Malaysia and Western Poly- 
nesia were originally occupied by two dark autochthonous 
types, for the présent to be held as distinct, — the Papuans 
mainly in the East, the Negritos mainly in the West." The 
Negritos are still represented by disjecia memhra in certain 
islands, but elsewhere "they bave been rather supplanted than 
absorbed by the intruding fair and yellow races from Indo- 
China." The Papuans are represented by compact masses in 
and about New Guinea ; elsewhere "they hâve rather been 
ftised with than supplanted by the fair and yellow races," the 
fusion resulting in the so-called *Alfuros' of Ceram and other 
islands west of New Guinea, and in the Melanesians of the 
Admiralty and other islands east of New Guinea. Therefore, 

• The Hova woman figiired at p. 137 of Mr. Ellis's Thrte VisiU to Madagascar présents 
a striking gênerai rescmblance of feature to thc^Negrito woman of North Luzon, one of the 
Philippine Islands, given in plate 8 of Gerland's AtUu der Ethnographie, 


if there has been any such fusion in Madagascar, we xnay 
suppose the dark élément to hâve been Papuan rather than 
African, and Mr. Dahle admits, what the Rev. R. S. Codrington 
has recently pointed out,* that there is a Melanesian élément 
in Malagasy. Mr. Codrington goes so far as to say that *ià 
very limited view of Malagasy grammar, obtained by one who is 
familiar with a Melanesian tongfue, shows so many points of 
resemblance that a list of words common to Malagasy and a 
Melanesian tongue comes to hâve a secondary value." Mr. 
Codrington sees so great a likeness, physically as well as in 
language, between the people of Madagascar and Fiji» for 
example» that they might be taken as branches of one common 
ancient stock» who hâve gone off east and west from the original 
seat of the race. He thinks, howevor» the most reasonable 
supposition is ''that the substratum of ail the races and 
languages is that ancient one ; but that as générations hâve 
corne on, and islands hâve been peopled by successive move- 
ments or accidents, the later immigrants hâve been more mixed 
with the foreign élément which is most conspicuous in the 
Malays," This opiniont agrées, on the whole, with the 
conclusions I hâve myselfarrived at as to the Malagasy; but 
in addition I see in the Hova the resuit of a still later 
introduction of a light élément, probably Arab, which is not 
wanting among the Papuans, although its influence with thero 
is not so observable. 

C. Staniland Wake. 



The oldest inhabitant in the zoological collection in the Régent* s Park has 
died. This interesting individual was a spécimen of the black parrot (Cora- 
copsis ntgra, L.J from Madagascar. It was presented to the Society by the 
late Mr. Charles Telfair, a correspond! ng member, so far back as July, 1830, 
just two years after the gardens were opened. This bird has therefore lived 
for fifty-K)ur years in the gardens. How old the parrot was when it arrived 
we cannot leam beyond the fact that it was represented as an **adult bird." 
The ancient parrot seemed until very recently to hâve carried his half-century 
of years lightly enough, nevertheless, his keeper remarked that he was a 
little dull of late, although he fed well. One moming, however, the parrot 
was found dead in his cage, having previously shown no symptoms of ill- 
health. — Land and Water. 

• Annual; 1882, p. 26. 

t In a more rccent Memoir **On the Languages of Melanesia," Mr. Codrington says : "Ona 
who is acquaintcd with one or two Melanesian languages finds himself at home with the 
▼ocabularies and grammars of ail the Océan languages, Melanesian, Poljrnesian, Indonesian, 
"lÂaliL^iay "--Journal of Anthrop, In*U Aug. 1884; p. 39. 



' * TUfADAGASCAR : or, Robert Drury's Journal, during 

^•^ Fifteen Vears' Capiivity on that Island, was first 
rablished on the 24th May, 1729, and is/' says Mr. William 
!^ee, "in many respects, one of the most interesting accounts 
hat appeared between the date of Robïnson Crusoe and 
he death of Defoe." Madagascar was a centre around which 
nuch of our author's genius in fictitious writing tums; and 
ilthough surrounded by savage human beings, the isolation 
if the English boy Drury is perfect. Many parts of the book, 
m religion, and the ongin of govemment, are avowedly the 
irork of an editor ; and there are occasional tums of humour 
"esembling Defoe, but the language rarely does so. It is 
iertain that there was a Robert Drury, — that he had been a 
aptive as stated, — that he wrote a large account of his adven- 
ures,— that he was seen, questioned, and could give any 
nfbrmation required,— after the publication of this book. In 
he latter part of his life Defoe had many imitators ; I think 
me of them very ably edited Drury's manuscript. Possibly 
Defoe may hâve read it and inserted some sentences, but as I 
im in doubl even of that, I cannot place the book in the list 
>f his Works." — Daniel Defoe ; His Life and hitherto unknown 
Writings ; by William Lee ; vol. i. p. 448. 

It is regarding the authenticity of this narrative, rather than 
he authorship or editing of the work, that I would hère make 
i few remarks, in the hope of eliciting from more qualified 
)ersons further light upon the subject. 

Having lately been occupied in drawîng up a Bibliography of 
eorks relating to Madagascar, I was naturally attracted by the 
)rominent position which Drury* s Journal has hitherto occupied 
is a standard authority on that island. EUis, Barbie du 
Jocage, Macé Descartes, Sibree, Mullens and others, hâve 
l11 taken for Gospel truth the statements as to the manners 
tnd customs of the tribes inhabiting the south and west coasts 
f Madagascar which are to be found in the curious relation of 
lobert Drury. 

I hâve not seen a copy of the first édition, but a copy of the 
econd is now before me, belonging to the London Library. 
rhe title of this is : — 

"Madagascar: or Robert Drury's Journal, during Fifteen 
fears' Captivity on that Island. Containing 


I. His Voyage to the East IndieSy and short Stay there. 

II. An Account of the Shipwreck of the Délave on the 
Island of Madagascar ; the Murder of Captain Younge and 
his Shîp's Company, except Admirai Bembo's son, and some 
few Others, who escaped the Hands of the barbarous Natives. 

III. His being taken into Captivity, hard Usage, Marriage, 
and Variety of Fortune. 

IV. His Travels through the Island, and Description of it; 
as to its Situation, Product, Manufactures, Commodities, &c. 

V. The Nature of the People, their Customs, Wars, Religion, 
and Policy : As also, The Conférences between the Author and 
some of their Chiefs, conceming the Christians and Their 

VI. His Rédemption from thence by Captain Mackett, 
Commander of the Prince of WaleSy in the East India Compan3r's 
Service. His Arrivai to Englandy and Second Voyage thither. 

VIL A Vocabulary of the Madagascar Language. 

The Whole is a Faithful Narrative of Matters of Facty inter- 
spersed with a Variety of surprising Incidents, and illustrated 
with a Sheet Map of Madagascar ^ and Cuts. 

Written by Himself ; digested into Order, and now published 
at the Request of his Friends. 

The Second Edition. 

LONDON: Printed, and Sold by J. Brotherton, in Cornhill; 
T. Worrall at the Judge's Head in Fleet street ; and J. Jackson 
near St James' Gate^ Pall-MalL MDCCXXXi. Price bound 
Six Shillings." 

Now nine years previously, in 1720, Defoe had written The 
Lifôy Adventures and Pyracies of the famous Captain Single ton ; 
and in 17 19 had appeared, by the same author, The King of 
the Pirates ; Being an Account of the famous Enterprizes of 
Captain Avery^ the Mock King of Madagascar, With his 
Ramhles and Piracies ; wherein ail the Sham accounts formerh 
published of him are detected. In two Letters from himself] 
one during his Stay at Madagascar^ and one since his Escapt 
from thence. 

AU thèse works, like Robinson Crusoe, were written as auto- 
biographies, and amongst the publishers for whom they were 
printed, there always appears the name of "J. Brotherton in 
Cornhill."* It may be remarked that the scène of a portion of 

♦ In the first édition of Drurys Journal now before me. and dated 1729, Brotherton's 
name does not appear, but those of W. Meadows, J. Marshall, and T. Worrall are given. 
It is also said that the book is to be had of "the Author, at Old T«Hn's CofFoo-houso in 
Birchin Lane." By the wav, the 'certificate* by Wm. Mackett is dut^ul May 7, 1728. but the 
date on tho titlo-pago is MDCCXXIX.— Ed. (J.s.) 



. Singleton's adventures is laid also in Madagascar, 
rding to Mr. Lee, "Defoe must hâve fait that, in writing a 
ce, his task was needless, as a recommendation. His brief 
lixnple address is therefore intended to aid the Utile artifice 
lie had merely edited Crusoe's own narrative" (p. 292). 
add to such an artifice (supposing Robert Drury's Journal 
\ fictitious), the editor, whoever he may be, inserts a 
ficate' before his préface, as foUows :— "This is to certiiy, 
Robert Drury, Fifteen Years a Slave in Madagascar, now 
f in London, was redeem'd from thence and brought into 
and, his Native Country, by Myself. I esteem him an 
3t, industrious Man, of good Réputation , and do firmly 
ve that the Account he gives of his Strange and Surpri- 
Adventures is Genuine and Authentick. May 7, 1728. — 

t us compare the two préfaces, viz. that of Crusoe with 
Df Drury : — 


«At the first Appearance of this 
Treatise, I roake no Doubt of its 
being taken for such another Romance 
as Robinson Cruso ;* but whoever 
expects to find hère the fine Inven- 
tions of a prolifick Brain will be 
deceiv'd ; for so far as every Body 
concem'd in the Publication knows, 
it is nothing else but a plain, honest 
Narrative 0/ Matter of Fact.\ 

The Original was wrote by Robert 
Drury^ which consisting of eight 
Quires in Folio^ each of near an 
hundred Pages, it was necessary to 
contracl it, and put it in a more 
agreeable Method : But he constantly 
attended the Transcriber, and also 
the Printer, so that the utmost Care 
has been taken to be well inform'd of 
every dubious, strange, and intricate 
Circumstance. And as to the large 
Proportion of Crédit which we give 
him, it will be found not to arise 
from an implicit Faith, for every 
Thing he might think proper to 
relate ; but from the strong Proof the 
Matters related receive by concurring 
'l'estimony, and the Nature of the 


ever the Story of any private 
Adventures in the World were 
making Publick, and were 
:able when Publish'd, the Editor 
Account thinks this will be so. 
^onders of this Man 's Life 
l ail that (he thinks) is to be 
extant ; the Life of one Man be- 
arce capable of a greater Vari- 
The Story is told with so much 
ity, with Seriousness, and with 
^ous Application of Events to 
ses to which wise M en always 
them, (viz,)f to the Instruction 
lers by this Exampie, and to 
and honour the Wisdom of 
lence in ail the variety of our 
Dstances, let them happen how 
Mail. The Editor believes the 
to be 2ijust His tory of Fact ; 
r is there any appearance of 
Q in it ; and however thinks, 
se ail such things are dispatch'd 
le Improvement of it, as well to 
version as to the Instruction of 
;ader, will be the same, and as 
le thinks, without further Comp- 
te the World, he does them a 
Service m the Publication." 

iis<y. Among the ministers educatcd at Newington Crrecn, where Defoe was educated, 
« mentions a Mr. Timothy Cruso. 

m italics in the^e places are Capt. Oliver's, and are not in the first édition. — £d. {}^^') 



Crusob (and Volume). 

"Thb Success the former Part of 
this Work has met with in the World, 
has yet been no other than is acknow- 
ledged to be due to the Surprizing 
Variety of the Subject, and to the 
agreeable Mannerof the Performance. 
Ail the Endeavours of curions People 
to reproach it with being a Romance, 
to search it for Errors in Geography, 
Inconsistency in the Relation, and 
Contradictions in the Fact, hâve 
proved abortive, and as impotent as 
malicious. The just Application of 
every Incident, the rehgious and 
useful Inferences drawn from every 
Part, are so many Testimonies to the 
good Design of making it publick; 
and must legitimate ail the Part that 
may be calPd Invention or Parable 
in the Story. The Second Part, if 
the Editor's opinion may pass, is 
(contraty to the Usage of Second 
Parts.) every Way as entertaining as 
the First, contains as strange and 
suiprizing Incidents, and as great 
a Variety of them ; nor is the Appli- 
cation less serions, or suitable ; and 
doubtless will, to the sober, as well as 
ingenious Reader, be every way as 
profitable and diverting ; and this 
makes the abridging this Work as 
scandalous, as it is knavish and 
ridiculous, seeing while to shorten 
the Book, that they may seem to 
reduce the Value, they strip it of ail 
those Reflections, as well religions 
as moral, which are not only the 
greatest Beauties of the Work, but 
are calculated for the infinité Advan- 
tage of the Reader. By this they 
leave the Work naked of its brightest 
Omaments ; and if they would, at 
the same Time prétend, that the 
Author has supply'd the Story ont 
of his Invention, they take firom it 
the Improvement, which alone recom- 
mends that Invention to wise and 
good Men.*' 

In both préfaces we find the religious ^^Reflections** and 
^^Applications** recommended for the ^^Instruction** ofthe reader; 
and the ^^Thing** in both instances is insisted upon as a just 

* Hère a^ain, the italics are not in the original édition. — £d. (J.S.) 


* 'The Account hère 

given of the Religion of thèse People, 
may be thought by some to be invent- 
ed by the Transcriber to serve an 
End, or Inclination of his own ; but 
80 far is this from being the Case, 
that the most to-be-suspected Part 
of the Account of this Religion is 

Fact, as related by Drury ; 

and were more strongly 

confirm'd with Additions ofthe same 
Nature, on strictly examining and 
interrogating the Author ; whose Cha- 
racter and Circumstances are also to 
be consider'd, as that he was but 14 
Years of Age when he embark'd on 
this unfortunate Voyage, his being 
educated at a Grammar- School ^lià 
in the Relipon of the Establish'd 
Church ; tnat ever since he came 
home he has firmly adher'd to the 
same, even to Bigotry ; so that it 
wou'd be a Weakness to imagine 
he was able or willing to in vent any 
such Thing, which might favour Free- 
thinking, or Natural Religion ^ in 
Opposition to Reveard; since they 
were Matters he scarce ever troubrd 
himself to enquire after. And in ail 
those Places where Religion is touch'd 
on, or the Original of Government, 
the Transcriber is only answerable 
for putting some Réélections in the 
Author's Mouth, which as it is the 
only Artifice hère us'd, he makes no 
Scruple to own, and confess that he 
cou'd not pass such remarkable and 
agreeable Topicks without making 
proper Applications,'^ and taking 
useful Instructions^ from them; yet 
the Love of thèse Subjects has not 
indue' d the Transcriber to alter any 
Facts, or add any Fiction of his own ; 
Mr. Drury must answer for every 
Occurrence, the Character of every 
Person, his Conversation or Business 
with them." 


listory or honest narrative of ^^Matter of FacL" When an 
luthor insists so strenuously on the credibility of his relation, 
lis readers are apt to suspect his veracity. 

M. Emile Blanchard in the Revue des Deux Mondes (1872}, 
ipeaking of Robert Drury^s Journaly writes :— 

"Robert Drury, racheté après quinze ans de servitude, 
etourna en Angleterre. Le récit de ses aventures, qui a été 
oublié, produisit une vive sensation chez nos voisins d'outre 
Vlanche. La véracité du narrateur a été afl5rmée ; pourtant, à 
quelques égards, le doute est légitime. Drury prétend qu'il 
itait esclave. Un Européen réduit en esclavage ! c'est impos- 
able, disent ceux qui connaissent les Malgaches ; on tue 
'Européen peut-être, on ne le place jamais dans une condition 

nfime" "Le prétendu esclave nous entretient en parti- 

:ulier de son genre de vie près du maitre." 
, According to a manuscript pencil note inserted after the 
préface of the copy of Drury s "Journal now before me, "Drury 
«ras a *Porter at the India House' {Hughes* Letters ; 2nd éd., 
London: 1773 ; vol. iii. p. 88) : this pretended Journal of his is 
:learly for most part a fiction, probably by Defoe." 

Mr. Knowles has pointed out, in Noies and Queries^ and the 
wndter has lately drawn attention to, the source whence Swift 
irew his nautical information in his description of the storm in 
the voyage to Brobdingnag ; in like manner I think that M. 
Blanchard has indicated the source of the descriptions of the 
Malagasy as depicted by the author of Robert Drury* s Journal. 
He says: — 

"Les procédés de la guerre chez les Malgaches, dont Fla- 
:ourt nous a instruits, sont décrits dans tous les détails par 
Robert Drury." 

"Dans la contrée ou demeura Drury, les coutumes, le genre 
le vie, les superstitions, ressemblent à ce que l'on a vu dans 
le pays autrefois habité par les Français. La confiance dans 
les ^'olts* est pareille, les ^ombiasses' entretiennent les mêmes 
idées ; le jeune captif anglais a rencontré un de ces hommes qui 
\renait de la province d'Anossi." 

"We know," says Mr. Lee, speaking of Defoe, "by the 
catalogue of his own library, that it was well stored with 
'Voyages and Travels.' His actual expérience ofthe sea was 
small ; and it must hâve been from books and men that he 
g^athered the professionalities so skilfully converted by his 
genius into a séries of imaginary voyages." Now the author 
of Drury s Journal undoubtedly had access to a standard 
French work, and I am curious to know whether such a book 
existed in Defoe's library, of which I hâve not seen the cata- 


logne. It is Histoire de la Grande Isle de Madagascar^ composa 
par le Sieur de Flacourl^ and dated 1661. 

How do I know, at first glance, that *Drury' had access to 
this work ? For the simple reason that he has adopted Flacourt's 
map, merely translating a few of the références, as, for in- 
stance: — In Flacourt's map, constructed in 1657, ^ tract of 
country marked ^'Pays riche en bestiaP* appears in Drury's map 
of 1729 as "A country inrich'd with cattle;" and so, further 
south, ^^Pays très fertile Abandonné et ruiné par les gtierres*' ap- 
pears as "A fruitfiiU Country abandon'd & ruin'd by the Wars." 
The spot where the Degrave was cast away, and the track 
of the Author s *Travells' are each carefully marked through 
those portions of the map unknown to the French authors. 

In 1666, Charpentier pnhlishedhis Htstotre de rétablissement de 
la Compagnie Françoise ; and in 1668, M. Souchu de Rennefort 
published Relation du premier voyage de la Compagnie des Indes 
Orientales en F Isle de Madagascar ou Dauphine ; so there was 
abundance of material available. 

The Rev. J. Richardson, of the London Missionary Society, 
places implicit faith in Drury's Vocabulary. He writes, in the 
firm conviction that Drury's narrative is unimpeachable, that 
afterhe hadbeen in Bétsiléo for a year, he "began to think that 
the langnage there spoken originally, while perhaps springing 
firom a common stock, was totally diflFerent from that spoken 
by the Hova." He says : "I changed my opinion, however, 
before I left ; and the perusal of Robert Drury's book, but 
more especially the Vocabulary, has quite convinced me that 
the langnage has really been one ail over the island. 

"I do not know that I hâve read anything about Madagascar 
that has given me such pleasure, and has set me oflF thinking so 

much, as has this Vocabulary of Drury In going through 

this Vocabulary I hâve come to the conclusion that Drury 
himself did not write it, in fact could noty but that it was wrttten 
from dictation. Drury was only 14 years of âge when he left 
England. From his eleventh year he had desired to go to sea, 
and thus being restless, it is likely he would not be well educa* 
ted. Then he was 14 years in captivity and associated only 
with sailors for another 14 years or so before his Adven turcs 
were written. Thus we might call him an uneducated man. 
The Vocabulary, however, is written with care, and we can see 
évidence of method and rule in ail the words. Let us remember 
too, that he was a cockney ; hence that ever recurring r." (Ak- 
NUAL, 1875; p. 99 J Mr. Richardson gives Drury's Malagasy 
Vocabulary in full, with the modem Hova équivalents, and 
remarks on the différences. 



To my mind, the "évidence of method and rule" in preparing 
ill thèse words given in the Vocabulary is clear, but it is also 
:onclusive that the words were transformed deliberately from a 
French vocabulary to adapt them to the pronunciation which a 
îuppôsed *cockney' tongne might be supposed to give. This is 
nerely a suggestion. The préface distinctly says the work 
vas written by the author and merely abridged and transcribed 
yy the editor, who remains anonymous. 

No ethnolocfist or philologist would dream of quoting Robinson 
Zrusoe as an original authority, so I must protest against Robert 
Drury's Journal hemg accepted as an unimpeachable record 
jflangnage and manners in West Madagascar, one hundred 
md eighty years ago. As to the veracity of the soùdisant 
3rury, take the foUowing passages : — 

"The only Good which I got at 
Bengali was, that I hère learnt to 
iwim, and I attain'd to be so great 
i Proficient in swimming that it was 
i common Practice for half a dozen 
>f us to tye a Rupee apiece in an 
landkerchief about our Middles, and 
(wim four or ôve Miles up or down the 
^iver ; and when we came on Shoar, 
he Gentees or Moors would lend us 
Hoaths to put on while we staid ; 
hus we U8*d to sit and regale our- 
elves for a few Hours with Arrack 
'unch and a Dinner, and then swim 
»ack again'' (p. 8). 

Yet this was where he was accustomed, as a common prac- 
ice, to swim five miles up or down and five miles back, total 
en miles, to dinner ! Drury may be a good authority on 
iwimming and crocodiles, but his editor must hâve sought 
ind found more crédible accounts of Madagascar on the shelves 
)f his well-stocked library. 

Since writing the foregoing paragraphs I hâve noticed another 
aannerism, which seems to give additional reason for arriving 
it the conclusion that either the editor of Captain Singleton 
md the editor of Robert Drury were one and the same person, 
\r that the editor of the latter aped the style of the former con- 
liderably :— 

**lT vex'd me to be stopt by a 
River, not above an hundred Yards 
over. At length, I reroembred when 
I was at Bengali^ where are the 
largest Alligators in the World, and 
who hâve been so bold, as to take a 
Man out of a shallow Beat ; that if 
we came off from the Shore in the 
Night, we made a small Fire at the 
Head, and another at the Stem of the 
Boat, which the Alligator would not 
corne near*' (p. 301). 

Captain Singleton. 

"But the case in short was this: 
laptain— (I forbearhis name at pre- 
ent, fora particular reason )» Captain 
if the Ëast India merchant-shi 
lound afterwards for Cbina^' (p. 154 


Robert Drury. 

. . . *'and sent such Word to the 
Captain (whose Name I must not 
déclare, being sworn to the contrary), 
desiring me to go on Shoar" (p. x;]. 


In the description of the After-voyage of Robert Drury in 
1719, it is noticeable that he is made to say that Tulea, a good 
harbonr, is well described in the Waggoner. This, I take it, 
means some current book of sailing directions, and from it the 
technical description of varions parts of the coast has evidently 
been taken. 

Robert Drury also states, or, rather, his editor states for 
him : "I hâve read the A Has GeographicuSy and suppose it to 
be a Collection of ail that has been wrote of this Island. And 
notwithstanding I find some Things there mention'd of which 
I give no Account, I see no Reason to départ from any Thing 
herein contain'd, nor to add any Thing to it ; I relate only 
what I saw, and knew myself." 

I hâve before me a map purporting to be Ancienne Carte 
Topographique de Vlsle de Madagascar. Réduite d* après le Dessin 
Original^ de M. Robert y fait en 1727. This is in a copy of 
Rochon's Voyage à Mculagascar* which was not published until 
1 791, but it indicates the existence of a map in 1727, in which 
we find the names of varions Dians mentioned by Drury, 
and to which his editor, it appears to me, can hâve had access. 
Is it not remarkable that the names of thèse Dians should 
be marked in Robert's map of 1727, and not in the maps 
taken from Flacourt, illustrating Robert Drury's narrative 
in 1729 and 1731 ? 

S. ?• OUVER. 

[I am indebted for the preceding paper to the kindness of my friend Dr. 
Rost, Ph.D.y of the India Office, who, with the author's permissioni sent 
me the MS., together with the foUowing additional particulars in confir« 
mation of his theory, in a note from Captain Oliver to Dr. Rost. 

Writing from Gosport, under date March gth, 18851 Captain Oliver says X'-^ 

"My dear Dr. Rost, 

"Since writing to you in re *Roberi Drury^ I hâve found that the 
author of the narrative has taken the description of the rite of circum- 
cision from Flacourt*s work (1661). Flacourt also relates the stories 
of two wrecks on the south coast of Madagascar, in 161 8, in both of 
which are épisodes strangely resembling Drury's story, which is said 
to hâve occurred a hundred years after. A young man named Pitre 
is shipwrecked and falls into the hands of a chief, and another chief 
purchases him, he spends several years in a species of captivity with 
the Malagasy, is given a Malagasy wife, etc. etc. 

♦ Curiouslv cnough, Rochon, who wrote in Mauritius, docs not allude to Robert Drury's 
hiftoij, whicL, it may be supposed, wouid be notorious at Xsle de Maacaregne, where Captain 
Mackett» hii d>eUTerer, tradea in 17x9. 


•'Rochon also describes a man, named 'Robert/ who was captured by 
the pirates and lived several years in Madagascar. Drury*s narrative 
was published in 1729. Robert's map was published in 1727. M. de 
Malesherbe gave Robert's MSS. and MS. map to Abbé Rochon (date 
not mentioned), and the map was dedicated in 1725 to the Duc de 

**Mr. J. Richardson, in his notes on Drury's Vocabulary, says : 
*His untrained ear would prevent him from detecting the r in andn'ana, 
and he would very likely pronounce it dean^* and down goes dea, and 
doubtless another an to make up dn'an ; doubtless the word stands for 
andrianaJ (Ant. Ann. 1875 ; p. 99.) 

"In Flacourt (1661) the words Andrian and Dian are used throughout 
in their proper sensé, and doubtless the author of Drury got his 
Dean from the French Dian^ etc. 

"Excuse this hurried note. I am trying to get a publisher to print 
an édition of Robert Drury ^ to which I should like to write an intro- 
duction and make annotations beneath the original text. I can show 
some curions parallels. My idea is that Drury had made a voyage or 
two to Madagascar, had been among^ if not of^ the pirates ; and that 
his brains were picked by Defoe or one of his contemporaries, who 
based the imaginary captivity of Drury on the stories in Flacourt and 
other writers. The map is Flacourt's, certainly, The religious inter- 
ludes and préface are uncommonly like Defoe's method of preaching 
moralities, etc. 

"Is there any book in your Library giving 'Sailing Instructions,' or 
such like, to the £ast Indies between 1650^1720, which describes the 
coasts of Madagascar ? 

"Believe me, 

"Yours faithfuUy, 
"S. P. Oliver." 

Dr Rost has also forwarded me, with leave to publish it, the following 
letter from the Registrar and Superintendent of Records at the India OfiQce, 
in reply to enquiries made by Captain Oliver. The particulars hère given 
appear to me rather to confirm than to discrédit the genuineness of Drury' s 

I will not attempt in a mère note to discuss the theory hère put forward 
80 ingeniously by Captain Oliver. I cannot say that the points be has 
advanced - although well worthy of attention, and probably tbrowing light 
upon the manner in which the book was written, — hâve convinced me that 
it is not, on the whole, a genuine production and substantially accurate and 
reliable. The subject, however, could not be properly discussed without 
a careful examination of Flacourt and other early books on Madagascar, 
and a detailed comparison of them with Drury' s work ; and this I cannot 
attempt in the présent number of the Annual. But I hope that in a 
future number some one will go thoroughly into the subject and favour the 
Editors with the resuit of his enquiries. Meanwhile, I should rest content 
with the Scottish form of verdict, **Not proven." 

James Sibree, Jun. (Ed.)] 

* In the fini édition of Drury i Journal thii word ii uniformly spelt 'Z>«mm.'— >Ed. (J.8.) 


"India Office, S.W. 
,,Q. "26th January, 1885. 

"I am directed to acknowledge ihe receipt of your letter of the 4th 
December, 1884, making certain enquiries regarding Robert Drurys 
Journal and some of the vessels named therein. 

**In reply I am to state that, in the opinion of Dr. Rost, the Librarian 
to this Office, the names of people, places, etc., given throughout Robert 
Drur}'*s narrative and in his Vocabulary represent, with very few excep- 
tions, true and genuine Malagasy words, which could neither hâve been 
forged nor taken from the few vocabularies (French, Dutch and German) 
previously published. This would appear to indicate that Drury really 
visited Madagascar, as he states. 

"With regard to the ships, etc., named by him, it should be borne in 
mind that prior to 1 702 there existed two East India Companies — the 
Old or London Company, and the New English Company. The former 
had no such ship as the De Grave, nor any commander named Young or 
Younge, but the New Company had the De Grave as one of the first 
three vessels they sent to India. The United Company had no vessel 
named Drake prior to 1721, in which yeai a vessel of that name sailed, 
on i7th June, from Portsmouth, under Commander W. Whitaker, for St. 
Helena* and Bencoolen, returning home on 8th June, 1723. The first 
commander named William Mackett, employed by the United Company, 
commanded the iV/^-^//>j^(a/^ on a voyage to Fort St. George, 1721 — 3. 
The United Company had no vessel Sarah, nor a Commander Bloom in 
their service, but, prior to the amalgamation in 1702, there was a ship 
Sarah in the employ of the New or English Company. There was no 
Prince of Wales in the employ of the United Company, but the Princess 
of Wales, commanded by Captain Wm. Mackett, is probably the ship 
meant. The United Company had neither a Mercury nor a Henry in 
their service, neither had they a Commander White or Harvey, but a 
Mercury and a Henry sailed for the East Indies in 17 15 and 171 6 
respectively, and it is possible that thèse vessels may hâve been specially 
licensed by the East India Company. 

"The Admiralty can probably give you any information you require 
regarding the H. M. S. Winchelsea mentioned by Robert Drury. With 
regard to the alleged trading in slaves by the Mercury, I may state that 
the East India Company's ships never traded in slaves. They occasion- 
ally called at the West India Islands on the outward or the return 
voyage, but never for slaving purposes. 

**I am to add that there is no copy of the first édition of Robert Drury t 
Journal in the Library of this Office. 

"I am, Sir, 

**Your obedient servant, 

"G. C. DANVEkâ, 

"Captaîn S. P. Oliver. "Registrar and Superintendent of Records.** 

* It is noteworthy that a part of the eastem table-laad or plateau and headland of St. 
Helexu ii called *Bencoolen,' indicating the former connection oetween St. Helena and tht 
Eatt ladU trade.--«,P.o. 



EVER since the invention of printing and the multiplication 
of books thereby, elementary éducation has spread in 
ever-widening circles. AU who hâve desired to teach, to inform, 
and to enlighten, hâve hastened to bring the printing press into 
their service, and to supplément and complément their oral 
teaching with the printed book. This is especially true of 
members of the Church of Christ, who claim to hold, either as 
individuals or as corporations, a divine commission to teach ail 
peoples and people of ail classes what they regard as the highest 
and most important truths. But a nexus is required between the 
printed book and the many who are desired to use it ; and this 
is found in the extension and diffusion of elementary éducation, 
thus making attainable to the many the arts of reading and 
writing and some training in thinking and feeling. In ail 
countries attempts to propagate Christianity hâve extended 
elementary éducation ; in some countries they hâve founded it. 
Madagascar is one of thèse latter, in which elementary éducation 
has risen and progressed concurrently with Christianity. The 
first missionaries of the Cross in Madagascar were Christians 
of the Roman communion, who, in the seventeenth century, set- 
tled with military colonists from Europe at several points on 
the coast ; but of their labours there seem to be no traceable 
results save a few spécimens of their catechisms, in which 
Malagasy words appear in a very imperfect and almost unre- 
cognizable form. 

Firsi Period : 1820- 1836. The arrivai at Antanànarivo of 
the Rev. D. Jones, of the London Missionary Society, on Oct. 3rd, 
1820, is the real starting-point of Christian missions and elemen- 
tary éducation in Madagascar. At that time the Malagasy 
language may be said to hâve been but a 'tongue.' Mr. Jones 
says that he could not find more than six persons who wrote 
Malagasy words in Arabie characters. Doubtless in the province 
of Màtitànana, among the descendants ot the Arab settlers 
of some centuries ago, there were many who could so write 
Malagasy words ; but thèse literates seem to hâve had no désire 
to impart the art of writing to natives ; it seems rather that 
they jealously kept it to themselves as a means of power and 
distinction. Very shortly after Mr. Jones's arrivai he began a 
school at Ifidlrana (near the spot on which the Prime Minister's 
house now stands) with three scholars placed by King Radàma I. 
under his care. Thèse three scholars were Rakôto (son of the 


king's sisler), Rahàrolàhy, and Ramahaoly (better known as 
Rainifiringa). The two latter becarae successively governors of 

Another school was begun at Ambôdin' Andohàlo, with 
sixteen scholars, by the Rev. D. Grriffiths in the foUowing year, 
and a third by the Rev. J. Jeffreys at Ambôhimitsimbina, with 
twelve scholars, in 1822. 

A few months subsequently the missionaries abandoned 
teaching in English and adopted the vernacular. From this 
time till they set up the first printing press at Arabàtonakànga 
in 1826, they were obliged to use manuscript reading lessons in 
teaching their scholars to read. In 1824 the three schools were 
united in one central school at Ambodin' Andohàlo, and the Ma- 
dagascar Missionary School Society, comprising natives and 
Europeans, was formed to promote the extension of schools to the 
principal villages in Imèrina. This School Society established a 
repository at Iraarivolànitra for the sale of school materials and 
other contributions in kind. Twelve or thirteen village schools 
were formed soon after, and by March, 1826, as shown in the 
School Society's Report, the foUowing were the total returns : — 

No. of Schools 30 No. of Teachers 30 

,, ,, Scholars 2051 „ ,, Assistants 36 

Average Attendance 1705 ,, ,, Monitors 258 

From the report of expenditure it appears that the average 
cost of thèse schools vf as 3 j. ^d. per scholar in average atten- 
dance. Among the places at which schools were established 
were the following : Ambôhimanàrina, Anôsizàto, Anjànahàry, 
Alasôra, Ambàtomànga, Tsiafàhy, Ihàranandriana, Ambôhi- 
dratrimo, Ambàtolàmpy, Soàvinimèrina, Ampanànina, Antôn- 
gona, Antsàhadlnta, Fènoarlvo, Ambôhimànga, Ilàfy, Bètsiza- 
raina, Ambôatàny, Namèhana, Mèrimandrôso, Ambôhidrabiby, 
Ambôhimalàza, and Ambôhimànambôla. Of the teachers who 
were then engaged in thèse schools, Rainisôa Ràtsimandisa is 
probably the sole survivor ; among those of them who hâve 
more recently passed away, Rainifiringa, Governor of Tama- 
tave, Ràtsilainga, pastor of Antsàmpanimahàzo, and Raini- 
mamônjisôa, pastor of Anàlakèly, will be best known and 
remembered. From 1826 to 1832 the number of scholars 
seems to hâve increasedbut slowly. Returns made in 1828 and 
1832 give the following totals : — 

1828. No. of Schools 38 No. of Teachers 4A 

Il »» 

Scholars 2309 ,, ,, Assistants 

Average Attendance 14^9 

X833. No. of Schools about 00 

„ „ Scholars „ 3500 


It is quite clear that King Radama's authority and,1rom 18289 
that of his successor alone secured most of thèse scholars. At 
first the people feared to commit their children to foreigners, 
whom they connected with the foreign slave dealers, and whom 
they suspected of cannibalism ; and probably after they had 
discovered that their fears on this score were groundless, their 
suspicions as to the intentions of their Sovereign were almost 
as formidable. So great was the aversion of some to the 
éducation of their children that they hid them in rice-pits, 
where some were smothered, rather than produce them to be 
taught ; others bought slave children and caused them to 
personate their own children in attending school, thus in part 
leading to a prohibition against the teaching of slaves. One 
minor cause of parents' dislike to their children entering the 
schools, and one which has prevailed even till now, was the 
difficulty and uncertainty of getting their children freed from 
attending school at a reasonable âge. King Radama, and 
Malagasy governments in later times, hâve alike sought, though 
without avowing it, in patronizing and promoting schools, to 
strengthen their hold on the most serviceable and capable of 
their subjects ; and one can readily perceive that schools, ruled 
by a govemment based onfànompôana (i.e. forced and unpaid 
service), might, to many of the people, assume the aspect of a 
new means of oppression. That this was felt by the first mis- 
sionaries as early as 1828 is shown by the foUowing quotation 
from the report of the School Society for that year : — 

"In order to obviate or lessen the préjudices cherished by some 
of the parents, who reluctantly allow their children to attend the 
schools, or to continue long in them, a gênerai régulation has 
been formed that, as soon as scholars are able to read with facil- 
ity, to Write a good legible hand, to repeat the whole of the 
catechisms, and hâve advanced in arithmetic through the rules 
of fellowship and proportion, they shall be at liberty to be with- 
drawn, and their vacancies filled up by new pupils. The com- 
petency of the scholars to leave is determined by the mission- 
aries at the monthly examinations." 

Statistics of the schools for 1833-1835 are missing, but we 
are informed by Messrs. Freeman and Johns, in their Narrative 
of the Persécution^ that "the number of schools increased until 
they amounted to nearly 100, containing nominally about 4000 
scholars, to whom were imparted the éléments of instruction 
and of religious truth. Probably some 10,000 to 15,000 altoge- 
ther passed through the mission schools during the period 
under review" '1820- 1835). Reading primers, catechisms, 
tracts, hymn-books, and portions of the Scriptures were largely 


produced and distributed among the scholars. With what 
importance elementary éducation was regarded, and how neces- 
sary to its advancement the supervision of the missionary was 
deemed to be, will appear from the foUowing extract from a 
letter written by the missionaries on March 3rd, 1828 : "Thèse 
[country] schools require in so early a stage of their existence 
the most vigilant attention and superintendence on our part. 
Unless they be regularly visited, the expenses incurred in their 
formation and support would be wasted. The name of a school 
might indeed continue for a time, but any solid improvement 
in the scholars could not reasonably be expected. We are 
either efficient or not as the schools are encouraged and sup- 
ported. Even the translation and printing of the Scriptures 
would be in vain, unless there are readers ; and readers can 
only be obtained in the schools. To which we may add that 
without the schools we hâve not even hearers. in brief, without 
schools we labour, translate, print, and preach in vain. With 
them we are indulging the pleasing hope that extensive good 
is springing up." 

Some of the missionaries, however, after their departure from 
the island in 1836, and after persécution had tested the value 
of their labours, seem to hâve entertained a suspicion, if not a 
conviction, that they had devoted themselves somewhat too 
exclusively to the teaching of the young. They mention two 
facts as tending to sustain this view : one was "that the major- 
ity of natives converted to a profession of the Gospel, so as to 
afford crédible évidence of genuine faith and repentance, con- 
sisted of aduUs not trained up in the mission schoolSy but impressed 
by the preaching of the Gospel, or by conversation with those 
who through grâce had believed ;" the other was "that most 
of those who embraced the truth voluntarily and immediately 
commenced learning to ready however much engaged in secular 
business, or however much advanced in life." 

That greater spiritual results did not follow the teaching of 
the young may to us now find a sufficient explanation in the 
fact that the majority of the parents of the scholars disliked 
and distrusted the schools, and that their influence over their 
children would probably largely counteract the influence and 
teaching of the school. As then, so now, it seems to the writer 
that the most strenuous and systematic efforts to train the 
young will often be disappointing unless by persevering kindly 
labours among their parents, their good-will towards, and 
confidence in, the schools can be secured. 

On the departure of the missionaries in 1836, and the out- 
break of the Queen's hostility to Christianity, ail schools were 


broken up; and from that date to the re- establishment of mis- 
sions in 1862, whatever teaching was carried on was secret and 
domiciliary. The Government required that ail the bookswhich 
had been distributed by the missionaries should be given up, 
and very many were thus removed from the hands of the people. 
,One resuit of the scarcity of books that followed was, that the 
missionaries found on their return in 1862 that many more 
persons could read from manuscript than from printed books. In 
reviewing the work of elementary éducation as it was carried 
on during this first period of missionary labours, the principal 
facts to which one is disposed to give prominence are : — 

1. That although Arabie characters had been introduced 
and used in writing Malagasy speech, their use was so limited 
that the first English missionaries had practically a clear field 
in which to introduce the Roman characters. They were able, in 
conjunction with King Radama, to settle for ail time that in 
thèse characters the vernacular speech should be written ; and 
not only so, but they determined the use of thèse characters by 
a phonetic principle, giving to every consonantal and vowel 
Sound, with perhaps two exceptions, its own proper letter. The 
importance of this to the work of elementary éducation can 
scarcely be over-estimated by those who know the comparative 
difficulty and facility with which English children and Malagasy 
children respectively learn to read and write in tMr own tongue. 

2. The scholars were provided and their attehdance super- 
vised by government authority after a capricious fashion,. with 
scarcely any déférence to the wishes of the parents ; and the 
cost of the schools was borne by the mission aided by voluntary 
contributions. Such was probably the best possible way of 
doing the work that was done, but précédents were thereby 
established which, in this later period of missionary effort, can 
only with great difficulty be departed from. 

3. The work of elementary éducation was almost entîrely 
confined to Antananarivo and about a hundred villages within 
a circle of 20 miles' radius. 

Second Period: 1862- 1868. This opens with the arrivai and 
settlement of missionaries of the L. M. S. at Antananarivo 
in August and September, 1862. Among thèse was a trained 
schoolmaster, Mr. C. H. Stagg, who soon opened a school in a 
wooden building at Ambodin' Andohalo, on the spot where a 
central school was first formed in 1824. 

Jesuit missionaries also arrived at Antananarivo the same 
yrar and started schools ; a missionary of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel commenced work at Tamatave in 
August, 1 864 ; missionaries of the Church Missionary Society 


established two stations on the east coast at Vôhimàro (Nov. 
1864) and Andôvorànto (Nov. 1866); the Norwegian Missionary 
Society started its mission at Betàfo in North Bètsilèo in 1867; 
and the Friends' Foreign Mission Association in the same year 
commenced educational work in Antananarivo in close co-ope- 
ration with the London Missionary Society. 

During this period the missionaries received no help from the 
native Grovernment in establishing schools or securing scholars ; 
under the Government of Radama II. they enjoyed liberty in 
the pursuit of their labours, and toleration under the Government 
of Queen Ràsohèrina. Schools were only established where 
there were people who wished to hâve them, and the scholars 
were children whose parents desired them to be taught. 

The foUowing statistics for this period are taïcen from A 
Brie/ Revtew of the L. M. S, Mission in Madagascar. From 1861 
to 1870: — 


















No. of Schools 
No. of Scholars 

The joumey of Queen Rasoherina to the east coast in 1867 
was doubtless the cause of the temporary decrease in that year. 
More would probably hâve been done by the L. M. S. Mission- 
aries in organising and superintending schools and in training 
teachers during thèse years but for the early death of Mr. 
Stagg in February, 1864. From that time till 1870 the work of 
training teachers was practically in abeyance. 

Third Period : from 1869 to the présent time. A decided 
change in the policy of the rulers of Madagascar towards Chris- 
tianity, as indicated by a séries of very interesting events with 
which most readers of this magazine are familiar, serves as a 
suitable starting-point for this period. In September, 1869, ^^ 
became évident to the people of Imerina that their rulers had 
publicly renounced the idols and were favourably disposed to 
the extension of Christianity ; and this very naturally caused a 
change in the disposition of most of the people towards it, — 
from being indiflFerent, if not hostile, they became inquisitive. 

Towards the close of 1869 about 120 natives were sent out 
from the Christian congrégations in Antananarivo to various 
parts of Imerina to teach what they could of the Fïvavàhana 
('the Praying'). Thèse men started schools and gathered the 
children inlo them ; and by the close of 1870, as the resuit of 
the combined efforts of the foreign missionaries and the native 
Christians, the number of schools in Imerina had risen from 28 


to 359, and the number of scholars from 1735 to 15,837. Such 
a large numerical increase in less than two years was made 
possible by the change of policy mentioned above, and is 
sufficient justification for regarding it as inaugurating a new 
period in the history of elementary éducation in this 

The foUowing is a résumé of circumstances which hâve ail 
contributed more or less to the great progress, either in quantity 
or quality or in both, which elementary éducation has made 
from 1870 to the présent time : — 

(a) Settlement of missionaries of the London Mission, of 
the Jesuits, and of the Norwegian Mission, in South Betsileo. 
{à) Increase of missionaries of the London Mission, of the 
Friends* Mission, and of thé Jesuits, in Imerina. [c] Settlement 
of missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Imerina. {d) Settlement of missionaries of the London 
Mission in Antsihànaka and Ibôina. {e) Training and settle- 
ment in various parts of the country of native evangelists 
or catechists and school teachers. (/) The steps taken by 
missionaries of various societies, and notably those of the 
London and the Friends' Missions, to organise their work 
in elementary éducation and provide for eflFective examination 
of the schools. {g) The spasmodic and irregular,- but well- 
meant, efforts of the Malagasy Government and officiais, 
by proclamations and speeches and by the registration of scho- 
lars, to advance elementary éducation. 

Some may be disposed to question whether elementary éduca- 
tion has been advanced by missionaries of any one society 
invading a part of the country previously occupied by another, 
and competing with them for the éducation of the children. It 
will be seen that I hâve answered the question affirmatively, 
but I hâve no désire to emphasise the affirmation, as I am well 
aware that compétition among foreign missionaries tends to 
retard the progress of the people towards independence and 
self-help. None can doubt that the action of the Government 
and its officiais, stimulated by the growth of sentiments favour- 
able to éducation among the most advanced of the people, has, 
more than anything else, prepared the way for the great exten- 
sion of elementary éducation during the past sixteen years. 
But this alone would hâve accomplished little in the absence of 
the organised work which has been carried on by the various 
missionary societies within the same period. This organised 
work divides itself under five heads :— (a) Direct teaching of 
the missionaries. {d) Training of school teachers. {c) Con- 
tribution of the greater portion of the teachers' salaries, [d) 


Superintendence and examination of the schools. [é) Prépa- 
ration and publication of school books. 

The action of the Government and its officiais has hitherto 
been confined to the enrôlaient of scholars, the exertion of an 
irregnlar and intermittent pressure on the parents to send their 
children to school, the expression on various public occasions 
of the favour with which it regards the educational movement, 
and the freeing of school teachers from fanompoana, 

The Government has not aided in building a single school- 
house, in training teachers, or in supporting schools ; nor has it 
made any arrangements for raising funds for school purposes 
by local action of any kind. This statement is not to be under- 
stood as implying that the writer thinks the Government should 
or could hâve done any of thèse things. Its hands are often 
tied from effecting good, possibly mischief also, by the System 
oi/anompoana on which it is based. I distinguish between the 
action of the Government and the personal interest of the Queen 
of Madagascar and her Prime Minister in elementary éducation. 
The latter fînds expression in large contributions to the Palace 
Church, which supports about a dozen evangelists and school 
teachers at various centres in Imerina. 

Nearly five years ago a new Code of Laws appeared, in which 
a section was devoted to "Laws relating to Schools in Ime- 
rina." I herewith give a summary of the provisions of this 
section, and after each I state how far thèse enactments hâve 
become operative. 

(a) That ail children between eight and sixteen years of âge 
shall attend some school, and shall be registered by duly 
appointed government officers. 

(The latter part has been very fairly carried out once, but no 
effective means is employed to secure the registration of 
children as soon as they reach school âge.) 

{b) That anv parent or guardian failing to comply with this 
law shall be nned one dollar, and the child be compelled to 
attend school. 

(No attempt has been made to carry this out in a single 

{c) Thaty in the first instance, the parents or guardians shall 
hâve free choice of the school in which they wish their children 
to leam, but that afterwards the children shall not be removed 
to another .school unless, they hâve passed the examination 
required by the Government, and due notice shall hâve been 
given to the chief officer of éducation. 

(The first clause was fairly carried out in the registration of 
1882 ; the remainder has only been foUowed in a few instances.) 



[d) That annual examinations in reading, writing, and 
arithmetic shall be conducted by officers appointed by the 
Government, and certificates given to the scholars who pass, by 
which they shall be ireed from compulsory attendance at school. 

fThîs has not yet been attempted.) 

\é) That missionaries and evangelists shall be at liberty to 
examine schools, but shall be required to give previous notice 
of such examination to the chief officer of éducation. 

(This has been very generally carried out.) 

(f) That examination and a government certificate shall be 
necessary to an appointment as teacher, and that no teacher, 
duly appointed, shall be at liberty to give up his teaching 
witnout the permission of the Government. 

(The Government issues certificates to ail who are nominated 
as school teachers, and requires removals and transferences of 
teachers to be notified to it, but it has not yet undertaken 
the examination of teachers.) 

{g\ That in every village where there is a school, a school 
agent [màsoivbho^ lit. *eyes behind') shall be appointed to keep 
an eye on the school and report to the chief officer of éducation. 

(The school agent receives no rémunération, and he finds his 
own interest better served by maintaining friendly relations 
with delinquent parents than by informing against them.) 

Soon after the promulgation of thèse laws, officers were sent 
throughout Imerina to enrol the children of school âge, and 
appoint the school agents. The following numbers are taken 
from a return made by them in 1882 : — 

No. of 




Total no. 



Total no. 










London \ j 

and \ 

Friends» ) j| 

Rom. Catholic 

Anglican . . . 

























i,i67' Toials 



146,521 2,712 



Of the 146,521 scholars, it was estimated that 22,200 Were 
not such as could be required to attend school, thus leaving 
124,321 as the number of children in Imerina who should be 
attending school. 


The enrolment appears to hâve been carried out impartially ; 
wherever there were schools of various dénominations, the 
parents were allowed freely to choose to which of thèse their 
children should be attached. No government returns of the 
number of scholars enrolled outside Imerina hâve been publishecl. 

Now what proportion of the 124,321 scholars mentioned 

above were actually attending school in 1884? From very 

complète statistics published by the L. M. S. and F. F. M. A. 

it appears that at the examinations conducted by missionaries 

of thèse two societies there were présent 38,515 scholars, comîng 

from 736 schools, and of thèse, 17,982 were able at least to read 

a verse chosen by the examiner from the Gospels. In the 

absence of similar statistics from the other missionary societies 

represented hère, I measure their corn by this bushel. The 

resuit gives for the whole of Imerina : — 

Scholars attending school more or less frequently 55.305 

,, able to read .... 25,857 

It is difficult to estimate with anything like accuracy the 
extent of elementary éducation throughout the island ; but the 
foUowing table gives a summary of the materials I hâve at 
hand : — 

Elementary Schools in Madagascar. 



No. of 

No. on 

No. ezamined 

in attendance. 

No. able 
to read. 


Imerina . . . 


















• • 























East coast 





Roman \ 
Catholic ; 

Imerina, \ 
Betsileo, > . . 
Eastcoast ' 









* Examined. t Attending School. X Estimated* 


The population of Imerina is usually estimated at 1,000,000. 
Speaking roughly, we may say that about one-tenth of the 
population of Imerina are registered as scholars ; rather less 
than one-half of thèse are actually attending school ; and about 
one-half of those in attendance are able to read. 

The preceding table of elementary schools has been compiled 
from statistics I hâve at hand shewing elementary éducation in 
connexion with the L.M.S. and F. F. M. A. for the three central 
provinces of Imerina, Antsihanaka, and Betsileo ; but owing 
to the hostile opérations of the French on the east and north- 
west coasts, mission work has been almost completely disor- 
ganised in those parts, and reliable statistics are not forth- 
coming. The Rev. L. Dahle, superintendent of the Norwegian 
Mission, has favoured me with statistics of their missions in 
South-west Imerina and Betsileo ; and Bishop Kestell-Cornish, 
of the Anglican Mission, with statistics of their schools in Ime- 
rina and an estimate of others on the east coast. Statistics of 
the Roman Catholic schools in Imerina and Betsileo and on 
the east coast are not attainable. Many of thèse last-mentioned 
schools, in the absence of the missionaries, hâve coUapsed; 
many are still being carried on. 

To enable readers to form a clearer conception of the character 
of the schools referred to in the above statistics, the foUowing 
notes are appended : — 

School Buildings, ^-Othmlûin^s solely appropriated to school 
purposes, the number is very small, and they are only to be found 
in the Capital and at some of the mission stations. As a rule, the 
meeting-house for the congrégation on the Sunday is the school- 
house during the week. Most of thèse buildings away from the 
Capital are long and rectangular in shape, with walls of adobe or 
mud, and roof of grass, rushes, or poorly burnt tiles. Light and 
air are admitted through the doorways and two or three large 
square aperture3 made in the walls. The interior is by no means 
calculated to gratify a sensé of beauty, the walls in many cases 
being unplastered, the roof timbers festooned with ancient cob- 
webs, and the mud floor but partially covered with rush mats. 

Apparalus, — The apparatus found in the schools is exceed- 
ingly meagre, — in most cases nothing more than a few lesson- 
sheets and the text-books for the teacher's use ; in a few, in 
addition to thèse, one may see a few desks, a blackboard, and 
one or two maps. The children usually sit on the floor. 

Course of Instruction, — This perhaps can be best illustrated 
by giving the '^Standards of Instruction and Examination" 
adopted by the L. M. S. and F. F. M. A. They are trans- 
lated hère for the beneiit of the English reader. 


Il 1É 

Isli 5Ï . 1 









î ri 





















18"^ = = 







1 i 


■ i 

Ji - J 1 



















' i 


Out of 38,515 children présent at examînations based on the 
above standards, the passes in Standard VI. were :— 

Reading, 498; Writing, 120; Arithmetic, 45. 

The largest number of passes were in Standard IV. of Read- 
ing, and Standards III. of Writing and Arithmetic. 

Attainments of TeacAers.— T^ot more than one-sixth of the 
teachers employed in the schools hâve had any training ; and 
conceming the trained teachers it may be safely affirmed that 
their average ability is rather less than that of a pupil-teacher 
in his third year of apprenticeship in a public elementary 
school in England. Of the fîve-sixths it may just as safely be 
affirmed that their average ability is not beyond that of Stan- 
dard V. The Committee of the L. M. S. has lately arranged 
for examinations for teachers. Thèse examinations are held 
annually, in December, and are of two grades, each grade being 
divided into two classes. The minimum attainment for a pass 
in the lower grade is Standard V. in Reading and Standard 
rV. in Writing, Arithmetic, and Scripture. The requirements 
of the upper grade examination are as follows : — 

Reading. — Good reading from any book or newspaper chosen 
by the examiner. 

Writing. — To write legibly and clearly an essay, containing 
not less than 300 words, on some common subject chosen by the 

Arithmetic. — Everything coVered by the largest book on 
arithmetic published hère [Ftanara-marika lehtbé). 

Scripture. — The two catechisms included in the school stan* 
dards, and the Gospel by Matthew. 

Grammar and Analysis. — Everything covered by the largest 
book on the subject that has been published hère [Gramara sy 

Geography. — Everything covered by Geografy Generaly. 

School Management. — Five lectures delivercd to students in 
the Normal School. 

Less than a third of the maximum in any one of thèse 
subjects, and less than one half of the total maximum, means 
failure. AU who gain two-thirds of the total maximum receive 
a certifîcate of the first class ; ail who gain from one-half to 
two-thirds receive a second-class certificate. For honours, 
provision is made for an examination in English [First Eng- 
lish Lesson book and First English Reading book), 

Drawing. — A free-hand drawing from an easy copy or easy 

Geometry. — Euclid, Book I. 

Algebra,— As far as Simple Equations (inclusive;. 


It will be évident from the whole of the foregoing that, 
while the goodwill of the Malagasy Government and that of 
raany of the people has •presented abundant opportunity for 
establishing and carrying on the work of elementary insjtruc- 
tion, it is to the efforts and labours of the missionary societies 
that this work owes its origin and chief maintenance. The 
importance of it in contributing to the accomplishment of the 
high aims of Christian missions hère and to the advancement 
of civilization and commerce cannot be overrated. It is laying 
the only satisfactory foundation, a broad and sure one based 
on the intelligence of the people, for the grand superstructure 
of national Christianity, enlightened, honest, and libéral 
government, genuine patriotism, and civilization and commerce. 
Can Christian missionaries hâve confidence in any narrower 
basis on which to raise and to secure the stability of such an 
édifice r 

J. C. Thorne. 



SCESE.^Flace of'ùuhlic assembly in Antanànartvo. Great gathering 
of Imèrina clans, iVaitingfor the King, 

Enter a Hova of Alashra, who is recognised hy another of Amèi6hi- 
mànga, The latter ris es. 

Am. Hova. — A welcome, friend, arrived ail safe and well ! 

Al. Hova. — By heaven's blessing. How are you at home ? 

And what's the news across the Mamba now r 

Am. Hova. — We're fairly well, but as for news there's none. 

The wars hâve ceased ; we plant our fields unarmed, 
And sleep without a guard ; our cattle feed 
Untended save by children, and our wives 
Might walk a league from home and meet no ill. 
The news has come with you. How fared you south ? 

Al. Hova.— Not badly, but there's not much trade just now. 

The King has sent an embassy down there, 
And ail the folks are wondering what it bodes. 

Am. Hova. — The Betsileo, you mean ? 

Al. Hova.~ Yes, why d'you smile \ 


Am. Hova. — l'm thinking of a story I once heard 

About that precious tribe. 

Al. Hova. — Let's hear it then, 

And while the time. 

Am. Hova.— My neighbour had a horse; 

He bought ît of a white man from Maurice 
And took it from the coast to Betsileo, 
A présent for their king. And ail the way 
Across the country inland, this old nag 
Received no end of human courtesy ; 
The people bowed politely on the road 
And gave it : "How d'you do, Sir ?" and "Good 

[^Commoiion and amusement near the head of the crowd, which makes 
a way and alUnos Firinga the Fçolto^ass down the o^en centre ^ dancîng'.'] 

It's daft old Dunghill. 
Al. Hova. — Well, you nasty name. 

FooL. — 'Twere better yours were Dunghill too. 

Al. Hova . — How so ? 

FoOL. — You'd hâve fit place to put your manners in. 

Am. Hova. — You're hit, my friend. 

f'To FoolJ Firinga, why d'you dance î 

FoOL.— To get an appetite. 

Al. Hova.— And why get that ? 

FooL. — Because the King will bring tough words to eat, 

And I don't want to hâve the stomach ache. 

\£nter the King and his train 0/ attendants t followed by singer s and 
shell blawers. Drums, eic, Assembly rises and makes obeisance,'] 

All. — We bail the King ! 

King. — The King is safe and well. 

FOOL. — [rising alone a/ter the assembly has reseated itsel/J] 

A salutation, Master. 

[^Amtêsement in the crowd»'] 

King.— Why behind, 

Firinga ? Surely not from halling heart ? 

FoOL.— The bucket's up soon in shallow wells, Sire. 

King.— And brings cold drinking when the well is deep. 

Eh ! good Firinga ? 

[^Crowd tries to incite Pool to refly,"] 
Skveral.— Answer him agalUé 


An OFFICER.— [«^^ir the King,'\ 

ïhe Sovereijçn says there's room for you up hère. 

FOOL.— \Seating himself near the Hova of Alasora and kis com» 

fanion, ^ 1 

Pray tell ray Master, l'm more snug with fools. | 

IDrums and shells. Officers command attention. The King takes a 
spear and rises to speak!\ 

KiNG.— Attend to me, ye clansmen of the hills, 

For words of mine are ever at your ears, 
And l'm become like one who weeds a field, 
And weeding, often looks to harvest time ; 
Imerina is now a multitude, 
And if I show you not the way to go, 
The feet of some will wander, and they'll fall. 
Your duty, therefore, is your summons hère, 
And foremost yours, North-Mamba men. 
We'll hear no more the lazy slave's excuse 
Who's bidden go for fuel and replies : 
"l've only just returned from herding kine." 
You shall not dare to vex your neighbours' minds 
With boast of how you made your chieftain King, 
Nor vaunt of having used your heads as shields 
In days when they were captive to our war. 
This land of ours shall know no rival tribes. 
For ail are equal when they come to me ; 
By great God's gift the kingdom's mine. 
Is't Xye, or No, O mountain Merina ? 

All.— It's Aye ! 

\Shells and prolonged native cheersJ\ 

KiNG. — And all this isle, mid torrent seas, 

Shall hang around me like a royal robe; 
The west shall send'us wild Imenabe, 
Our dawn shall lead the undivided east, 
The boastful south shall climb from Betsileo, 
The north from reedy Hanaka shall stream ; 
There's Boina too, they've launched their fleet 

They wait but rising tide, and all the tribes 
Shall each be first-bom son to me the King. 
Is't Aye to that, Imerina ? 

All.— It's Aye! 

{Shell'hlmtiing and cheers.'] 
KiNG. — And hère shall stand the witness of my words, 

[A large stone is sêt up on end in the ground."] 


A witness most oblivious of ail fear ; 
And he who dares to fan our smouldering feuds, 
Whate'er his rank, whate'er his wealth or famé, 
Shall hither corne, a traitor to his doom. 
Is't Aye, or No, Imerina ? 

All. — It's Aye ! 

KiNG. — And now hear law for me, Imerina. 

There hâve been kings who owned none; they 

had sons 
Beloved, and wives beloved, and friends beloved, 
And favourites seeking favours at their heels ; 
And thèse, like hungry hawks from lawless air. 
Came swooping on the fledglings of your wealth 
And soared beyond your spears. They would 

To buy your jewels, robes, your fighting bull, 
And hâve them fetched to look at, with the price, 
But never stooped to pay you or retum 
The treasures which your hearts refused to yield. 
But that shall cease, Imerina, shall cease ; 
Yea, though Ralesoka, my sister hère, 
Who's orphaned and yet childless, as you know, 
Should use her kinship and her precedence 
To obtain a single real's worth by fraud, 
l'U make the guilt pay double to your grief. 
No kite builds hère upon our crags with me. 
For you and I are eagles, and my swoop 
Shall ne'er leave wailing in the homes of friends. 
Let every one his eyrie rule in peace, 
And I upon the topmost rock will guard, 
Your father and your King. 

All. — It's Aye, it's Aye ! 

[Sheils ; drums ; lon^-coniinued cheers, Fool leafs up and leads 
the crowd in a dance o/joy,'] 



The foregotng "Fragment" is founded upon the first of Andrîanampôinimèrina'f recorded 

"Waiting for the King.'* — Andrianampoinimerina, father of Radàma I ; sec following paper. 

"Alasôra." — One of the ancient royal towni of Imerina, the central province, and situated 
febout four mdes to the S.S.E. of Antananarivo. 

"Ambohimânga/' — The ancient capital of Imerina, situated about eleven miles north of 

"Mimba.'" — A small boundanr stream which flows about half-way between Antananarivo 
knd Ambohimânga» The people of Ihe lattdr town and its neighbourhood are caUed Avàra- 
dxiao, *Nortfa of the watar/ 



'*Daft old Dunghill/* — This is the literal meaning of the word ûringa^ which is, howcver, 
frequently used as a personal name among the Malagasy, probably from some idea that an 
evil-sounding name averts daneer from 'the evil eye.' 

"Mid torrent seas." — One ot the names given to Madagascar in public speeches is Ny am- 
von* ny tîaka^ 'The (land in the) midst of tne seas,' or *the flood.' 

"Iraénabé." — A Sakalava province on the western seaboard, formerly one of the two great 
kingdoms into which the numerous Sakalava tribes were divided, the other bcing Iboina. 

"Undividcd east." — The most important tribe on the eastem side of Madagascar is the 
Bètsimisàraka^ *Many not separate. 

"Bètsilèo." — The tribe and district to the south of Imcrina. 'Many nnconquered' is the 
meaning of the name. The story told about the tribe is preserved in a Hova proverb which 
ta3rs : Adaladala toa Betsileo : miarahaba soavaly ! 'Foolish like the Betsileo : saluting a 
horse !' 

"Hànaka." — Abbreviated from Antsihânaka, a district which dérives its name from exten- 
sire kànaka, lakes or marshes. It lies about a hundred miles to the north of Imerina, and 
contains the largest lakc in Madagascar, the Alaotra. 

"Bôina." — A Sakalava province in the north-wcst, of which Môjangà is the chicf town. It 
is traversed by the Bètsiboka and many other navigable rivers. 

"The witness of my word." — A large slab or block of undresscd granité rock was often 
erected as a mémorial of agreements. 

*'You and I are eaeles." — The Hova of Antananarivo are called Vôromahêry, the name of 
a species of falcon (Alco minor, Bp.), which is the nearest approach to an eagle known in the 
interior of Madagascar. 




ANDRIANAMPOINIMERINA, the father of Radàma I. and founder of the 
Hova dominion, must hâve been born between the years 1740 and 1750, as 
he died in 18 10 at the âge of 60 or 70. He reigned, according to a MS. 
list of kings in my possession, 2^ years (1787-1810), though Mr. Ellis states 
that his reign extended from 25 to 35 years. He was a man of great energy 
and force ot character, and made a deep impression upon the minds of the 
people. Many anecdotes concerning him are current, some of which hâve 
oeen printed in Teny Sha (magazine). Agood accountof him may be seen in 
Ellis's Hîstory of Madagascar, vol. IL, pp. 122 — 128, or in Ny Tantàran' 
ny Andr)ana }lo Madagascar by the Jesuit missionaries. The followine: 
speech is one of several* which were preserved originally by tradition and 
committed to writing after the arrivai of the first missionaries in 1820. 
Although speeches so transmitled cannot be relied on as being perfectly 
accurate, there seenis little doubt that thèse are substantially correct. The 
style of the one hère translated diifers much from any modem composition, 
and abounds in phrases and allusions that attest its âge. I hâve tried in 
my translation to keep as hear to the original as possible, even at the risk 
of making the English somewh^t stiff ; but of course the archaic colour of 
the original cannot easily be preserved in a translation. In several places 
I hâve departed from the printed text in favour of readings found in a MS. 
copy which came under my notice after the book of Kahary was printed, 
or hâve adopted changes suggested by natives. Some of the phrases of the 

* See MalagOiy Kabàry (1873), pp» z — 13 ; and Mpanblo-Uaina^ vol. II., pp. 338«^347» 


original are hopelessly obscure, and the text cannot be considered free from 
corruption. Though tbis speech contains much that may interest any 
reader, I bave been induced to try and translate it chiefly ror the sake of 
those who, in the course of their Malagasy studies, will read the Kàbary 
in the original, and who will, I hope, welcome this attempt to put into 
readable Énglish what may perhaps be considered the most classical example 
ûf older Malagasy composition. 


THE words spoken by Andrlanampôinîmèrina to Radama, 
and to his relations, and to ail his friends, when he was 
very ill at Ambôhipô. There were présent Andrlamahèritsla- 
laintàny, Andrîankôtonavàlona, Andrlamàmbavôla, Andrian- 
tsfra, Ralàla, Rainimahày, Andrlanasôlo, Andrlantsôlo, and 
Andrlantsiambazàha ; ail the men of weight were there, for ail 
but "the twelve" were summoned to attend. But the words he 
was in the habit of saying continually to the "twelve" formed 
the substance of his speech. 

"This is what I say to ail of you, my relations and friends, 
for now symptoms of disease hâve corne, for God is taking me 
away, and that is why I call you together. For now that the 
command of the Creator hath corne, and my days are finished, 
and I am going home to heaven, behold Ilàhidàma, for he is 
young ; and there too are yourselves ; for it is only my flesh 
that will lie buried, but my spirit and my mind will still remain 
with you and with Idàma. 

"First of ail then, my comrades, behold Radama ; for I 
did not beget him, but coughed him out of my mouth ; and I 
did not intend that he should hâve our kingdom, but it has 
come to him as a gift from God ; and, behold, I commit him to 
your care, therefore hâve an eye to him as he goes, and suffer 
him not to bear shame, lest we should be left without a succes- 
sor, but offer a fàditra* for him, and remove from him ill 
omens ; for the oflFering of ayââf^'^^ï is powerful, and ill omens 
prevent from attaining manly strength. But yet I shall not be 
far oflF, but shall whisper to him wherever he may be. 

"And in the second place, my comrades, this kingdom of 
ours had its boundaries fîxed by the word of Andriamàsinavà- 
lona, and was left by him with Andriantsimitôviàminandriana 
and Andriambèlomàsina, and was left by the Twelve Sovereigns 
with me and with you, and is now left by me with you and 
Uahidama ; for to secure it I counted my life as nothing, and 
you exerted yourselves to the utmost ; and behold hère are ail 

* Faditrat oSerin^s to avcrt evil. 


of you who wrought together with me. There too is RAhàdi- 
bàto* as your companion. Therefore you will injure yourselves, 
my comradeSy if you allow Radama to leave me without a 
worthy successor, and if he will not believe your words ; for 
assuredly the kingdom is not his, but yours ; for it was you 
whose heads were crushed, and whose legs were broken, and 
who used up the last dregs of your strength, and counted your 
lives as nothing, in order that I, lambôasalàma, should possess 

"Again, in the third place, comradesy whatever was your 
strength, and whatever good deeds you accomplished for me, — 
for never was there a king stronger or more famous than I (but 
only thirty, including little children, at Ambôniloha, who went 
to spy me, were (ever) killed by mef) — yet if I had not been 
supported by you, neither war nor counsel would hâve been 
been vigorous. But take heed to Ilahiadàma, for if he had 
been a fool not worthy to succeed me, God would not hâve 
given him to us ; but it seems he is worthy to be my successor, 
seeing he has been left by God to be your charge. But this 
only is my request : let not anything be forbidden him, my 
comrades ; for he is a man both excellent and young and also a 
sovereign ; therefore forbid him not, if there is anything he 
desires. Take not away the food loved by the child ; for he is 
by no means a fool. But yet I shall not be far away, but shall 
be always near his side. 

'<And in the fourth place, comrades, Ilahidama is as a 
little bird to whom you will give food already prepared ; and 
he will hâve many matters to think about, but it is you will 
both do and command. And do not allow Ilahidama to incur 
guilt ; for if the king becomes guilty, the land will become 
a wildernessji ; and do not render him unpopular by actions 
done by you out of his sight And take heed, comrades, 
lest there should be those not guilty of death, or lest there 
should be those guilty of ofFences that might be settled by a 
fine, or by the payment of a very small sum of money, or 
that might be settled simply by the présentation of hàsina^\ 
and you cry out against them that they, together with their 
wives and children, should be sold into slavery and should lose 
ail their property. For it is better to hâve a foolish sovereign 

* Rahodibato was the name of an idol. See Tantaran^ ny Andriana (1875), p. 60. 

t Beaakana, the royal palace. See Hùt. of Madr. vol. i. p. 100, and Taniaran* ny An» 
driana, p. 89. 

* The référence of the above obscure sentence has not, to my knowledge, receÎTed any satis- 
£actory explanation. 

§ Literally : lest the vèro should g^w tall. The vero {Andro^ogon hirhu^ L.) if a commoo 
grass in certain districts, and often grows to the height of seven or eight feet. 
Il Hasina^ money presented as a token of allegiance. 


than foolish councillors ; and it is only they who hâve wise ad- 
visers who really reign and are kings that secure peace and 
prosperity; for it is you, comrades» who will hâve the control of 

"Again, in addition to that, my comrades, if you love me, 
take heed to what will be for the good of Idama ; and when you 
remember me, go to him and do to him as you hâve been wont 
to do to me. And do not tell him what is untrue or deceive 
him, for the sovereign has no relations nor any real brothers 
and sîsters, but they who obey his laws and believe his words 
are his relations. And if there is anything he wishes done 
which in any way touches the laws of the kingdom, meet 
together and consult about it, I beg you ; for *a single finger 
cannot catch a louse,* and a single tree does not make a forest,' 
but the thoughts of the many constitute a govemment ; and he 
will by no means reject true counsel that has been considered by 
the many ; for he is a descendant of (me) the many-eyed bull. 

"And yet again, my comrades, take care of his life. Do what 
will make him reach old âge, and what will render him popular 
with his subjects, that he may possess the whole of the land ; 
but yet what will make him lasting and long-lived is the 
principal thing, for he who has but a short life has but little 
sovereignty. This then is what I say to you, my relations and 
fiîends, every day, and what I déclare in your hearing again at 
the présent time." 

And when ail the friends of Andrianampoinimerina heard 
thèse words, they ail sobbed and wept and could make no 
answer. Then said Andrianampoinimerina : "Ail of you go 
home and sleep over thèse words of mine." 

And when they had gone, he sent for Rahàgamainty, and 
Rahàgafôtsy, and Andriampinôana, and ail their companions. 
And on the foUowing day he summoned them into the présence 
of his wives and children. 

Then he spoke thus : "O Idama, O my first-born ; yea, 
thou crumb of my life, may I die before thee. Thou art not 
like a man, but like a god fallen (to the earth), and thou wast 
not begotten by me, but coughed out of my mouth and fashioned 
by the Creator. I am not dead if I bave thee, for I hâve a 
splendid bull. My companions are ail gone, and I alone 
remain. And behold thyself, O Idamalahy, for thou art the red 
wandf always near the bull. And see ! only we two are related 

* This proverbial expression, though not in harmon^ with our taste, is verj commonly 
osed, even by preachers, as an illustration of the need of union. 

t Tehi'inefM, i.e. the red wand of the keeper. Another reading is ièha-maina^ pats, suçh 
«s would be given to the ozen. 


to one another, therefore let me and our ancestors not be without 
successors, thou crumb of my life ; for this land as&uredly 
belonged to others» but God gave it to us. 

"For consider ! those men are a large well - tempered 
knife : when used in cutting, it does not become blunt ; they 
are a spear with a well-fitting socket : when hurled at a marl^ 
it will not bend ; they, O comrade, are Tangèna* that has been 
carefully charged and will not be partial in judging. You 
will indeed be a man when supported by them. 

"First of ail, Sire, behold my wives and children ; treat 
them as the descendants of Andriamasinavalona, and take 
no treasure from them, for they bore hardships ; show them 
favour, for you are their glory and protection ; for you will be 
hère as the successor of the Twelve Sovereigns and of rayself. 

"And again, in the second place, O Idama, do not indulge 
your relations, or give encouragement to servants ; for if those 
who are secretly disaffected to you acquire power, the govern- 
ment will be oppressive; for one's relations are the people who 
will not show becoming respect, and it is the disposition of 
slaves to be extravagant. t Let them not be like cattle allowed 
to stray, for they are both spoil and héritage ; they are like a 
hundred measures of rice mixed in the store basket, not to be 
eaten by your wife, nor by your children ; but yet they must be 
treated like a dog that eats a sheep, and the life must pay the 
penalty, if they do anything that is not proper in the kingdom. 
They are the very people who should be made examples of the 
power of the law, for they are the silver ring of the ancients, 
and the thick làmbayX sl protection against the moming frost, 
and a shelter against the sultry wind. They are a couch on 
which one may recline ; they are an omament and pride. 

"O Idama, I am going home, and I shall leave you as my 
successor. What wondrous historiés you hâve heard and seen ! 
How great was my power and my famé ! There is not a 
mountain I did not climb, nor a hillside on which I did not 
fight. For God who gave me the land gave it without reserve ; 
and I to whom He gave it was prospered and received a blessing 
from my ancestors. For lambôasalàma was my name, but I 
gained an increase of people, and§ acquired power hère in the 
middle of the island, and became famous as Andrianampoin- 

* Tangâfta, the fruit of the Tanghinia venenifera^ Poir, used in the poison ordeal. See 
Ellis's Hiit* of Madr. vol. I. pp. 458—486. 

t In the Malagasy there is hero a play on the words andèvo (slave) and mandivona 

t The outer robe wrapping ail round the body. 

^ Namfian^ ny amàantanatv anarana ahû, 'uie people gave me an additional iiam«.' 


"I verily swept my courtyard ail round before I was free 
fh>m clatter and confusion. I had my door surrounded by 
Dthers before I could secure a home for myself. I used up 
jverything, even to the smallest possessions, before I gained 
Briends. I vomited liver and bile before I was able to establish 
myself firmly. And that was not ail, for I had to gîve the 
:x>oked in exchange for the raw before I obtained what was 
complète ; and I bore hardships and ate and drank the blood of 
anknown beasts. 

"O Idama, might is indeed no match for mind, for the 
sweet is surely found among the bitter; and I count you a 
Fortunate one among kings, being supported by those old bulls. 
For if you see that they are well supported, you will not want 
wild cattle.* For if you had none but them, even if a stone 
should be bored by them, it would be pierced (for no animal 
exceeds the crocodile) ; therefore sufFer them not to be over- 
come whilst in our retinue, and do not permit them to be injured 
by talebearers ; for the way I gained this land was thus : they 
were a buckler no bail could pierce, and a wooden shield coming 
between me and the spears. They made their lives of no 
account in order that I should be king and possess thèse lands. 

"And whatever is to be considered or to be done, in any 
matter touching the kingdom, send for them to deliberate with 
jrou, for they will on no account reject your plans. For let them, 
if any, be the ones to use a large-eyed needle and tear as they 
sew ; for who but they were bruised and crushed ? Therefore 
they will not dare to deceive you. Let them not be treated as 
bald-headed men following in the footsteps of others, and let 
them not be treated as grey-haired men wearily dragging 
themselves along ; for the dead hâve successors, and the living 
tiave shadows ; the reason why people hâve children is that 
thèse may become their substitutes ; therefore I shall lie down 
in confidence, O Idama, having you. 

"And this also I say to you, O friend (for you are verily a 
descendant of Ramôrabè and a child of Ralèsoka ; you are 
ïLSsuredly not of Imàrovàtana, but a genuine Tsimàhafôtsy) : 
Do not act like the tsingàlayf that knows its own cattle ; do not 
be afraid of correcting your own children ; for it would be 
better even to prétend not to love those that belong to you. 
But show favour to your chieftains and relations, if they are 
loyal to you. But yet even those stone locks and wooden 

* The wild cattle will ail be his, as they will corne and join his herds. 

f Ttingala are insects found in water and said to cause death if swallowed. Cattle are often 
dlled by swallowing a tstngala ; but the natives say that only strange cattle are thus poisoned. 
>ee AnnuAL, 1884 ; pp. 22, 23. 

{ Reading hùly vaio sy manda mafy^ instead of the printed text. 


walls,$.ifâiey show undue familiarity and say : "I will do it, for it 
does nôt matter/' and blind-fold you, let them be eut into equal 
parts and cast down the stream ; eut them into small pièces, 
and give them to the dogs ; for I never made any bargain with 
them, but our relation was simply that of doing good to one 
another; and let it be rather about other matters that you 
shew favour, but let not the kingdom be govemed with partial- 

"And if, on the contrary, they do not ehange from what they 
hâve done to me, and seek what will render you sole ruler, do 
not ehange them, but see that their good deeds are reeorded ; 
though they should die in the daytime, let them be alive again 
by night ; for they east away their lives to make me king hère 
in the midst of the floods.* 

"And this is what I say to you to be attended to by you and 
to be your eharge. For a long time to eome this will not be 
forgotten ; after I am gone I shall still be remembered ; there* 
fore seek what will eonsolidate this, and that by whieh it may 
grow; for you alone, O Ilahidama, are the proteetor of the 
kingdom, and if your way of goveming is good, and you do not 
deviate from the présent policy, even though you should not go 
forth from Ambôhimànga and Antanànarlvo, there is nothing 
that should prevent you from possessing this island ; for the 
name of those g^ns of mine is *Not many in the island.'" 

And when he went to Ambohipo, this was the ehief burden 
of his talk from day to day, and at Isoàvimàsoàndro too, when 
his friends and relations were assembled there, or in the 
présence of Ilahidama and his wives and children, for his 
disease was at this time clinging to him. 

And Andrianampoinimerina said too : "Thou art hère, O 
Idama, représentative of the Twelve Sovereigns and of me, and 
there too are you my companions ; see that you do what will 
make this land strong, that Radama may hâve his heart's 
content, that your wives and children may abide in peace ; for 
if the land is spacious, the sovereign obeyed is potent, and 
reigns so as to hâve his commands carried out. 

"Also let not this land be regarded as the charge of Idama 
alone, my comrades, for it is difficult to bear the name of an 
illustrious father, and it is hard to secure the kingdom to the 
sovereign ; sufFer not my children to quarrel, for I hâve given 
you and hâve left with Ilahidama my commands and my word ; 
and I now repeat them to you that each one may bear them in 
mind and treasure them up. 

^ **Afàvon^ ny riaka" a aame often uied bj the Mala^jr in tpeaking of the whole isUnd. 



'*But Ilahidama is not to be imitated by others, he îs not to 
be allowed to be a king incurring blâme, he is not to be treated 
as a master without power to control his own possessions. 
Ilahidama is not to be treated as if the arum were to be prefer- 
red before the banana, or as if the smaller timbers were to be 
chosen before the corner-posts ; he is not to be envied in ruling 
nor to be checked in reigning, for the land and kingdom is his. 

"And this too I say to you, O Ilahidama : Imèrina has been 
gathered into one, but behold, the sea is the border of my rice 
ground,* O Lahidama. And yet behold, Imàvot shall be mis- 
tress of the latter end, O Ilahidama." 

Thèse were the words left by Andrianampoinimerina with 
Ilahidama and with the friends in whom he had confidence. 

And Andrianampoinimerina said also to Ilahidama : "When 
the time of my going home to rest has corne, let me be hère 
with father and mother ; for you would never know why you 
should love father and mother, if I were not to be buried at 
Ambohimanga, lest Ambohimanga should become a deserted 
place, and there would be no reason for loving the land, if it 
did not contain the sepulchres of the fathers. 

"But when, on the other hand, the time of your going home 
to rest shall at length come, you shall lie at Antananarivo, to 
the north of *the row of seven tombs,' J in a Une with them, but 
a little higher." 

Thèse were the words spoken by Andrianampoinimerina to 

Translated by William E. Cousins 


THE ethnology of Madagascar, though a study of much interest, is one 
that présents many difficulties. A great deal has been written on the 
subject, but we are not yet in possession of ail the material necessary for 
solving satisfactorily the questions involved in it. if indeed they are capable of 
a solution. Our knowledge of the dialects of the différent tribes, their 
manners and customs, their traditions and history, is as yet too meagre to be 

* Tliis phrase is a great favourite and appears to hâve had much influence on the policy of 
snbseqaent Hova sovereigns. The whole of Madagascar is oftcn spoken of as "A^v finari- 
hmvan Andrianampoinimerina^^ "That marked out bv the words of Andriananipoinimerina." 

t Imavo, the original name of Queen Rànavàlona I. ; see TantararC ny Andriana, p. 11, 

X Lit. *thc scvcn houses,' i.e. the row of .incient royal tombs within the Palace enclosure, 
•ottUi of the palace called Trànovola. 


of much service in our investigations, or to yield sufficient data upon which to 
found reliable inferences. But our knowledge of the Malagasy people is 
growing every year, and together with investigations into the language, the 
folk-lore, etc., fùrther enquiry might certainly be made into the éléments of 
the Malagasy people and their origin. What I am able to contnbute at 
présent is inaeed very little, and that little only in the way of suggestions ; 
thèse, however, may perhaps contain something which other writers, more at 
liberty to deal fully with the subject, may avail thems^lves of. I shall first 
say a few words about the tribal names of the Malagasy and point out soroe 
conclusions which may probably be drawTi from thèse names. 

I.— The names of the tribes, or what we generally call tribes, of Mada- 
gascar are apparently of very différent origin. We hâve several tribal names 
derived from the nature of the country in which the tribes in question live. 
Such names, for instance, are Tanala ('inhabitants of the forest') ; Bètàni- 
mena ('inhabitants of the red land') ; Bèzànozàno ('the bush-people') ; Antsi- 
hànaka ('the people at the lake*) ; Antankàrana ('the people of the cliflfs') ; 
Antandrôy ('the dwellers among the ?-ôy shrubs') ; Antanôsy (the inhabitants 
of the islands'), so called on account of the small nésy (islands) near the 
coast-line occupied by them ; and Taimôro ('inhabitants of the coast'), the 
7Î2/ in this word replaces the gênerai Tan, at least this is the explanation 
I hâve had given.* Thèse names are of course not of any service to us in 
searching for the ethnological divisions of the people, but of mère geograph- 
ical interest. Then there are some tribal names which seem to be derived 
from the common oiip^ments of the people ; e.g. the Taisàka. from misàka 
(root sàka)y to catcnwïïn TTTeTiand. This name originates, according to the 
explanation given me by natives, in the custom followed by thistribe of catch - 
ing small fish, etc., by hand. 

Several tribal names in Madagascar, and especially the names of the 

largest tribes, seem to hâve sprung from certain old sayin^s of the people, 

and are as insignificant with regard to ethnology"âs they can possibly be. 

The large tribe on the east coast is called Bètsimisàraka ('the many who do 

not separate'), and the well-known tribe to the south of Imèrina is called 

Bètsileo ('the many who are unconquerable'). The name B ètsimisàrak a one 

would think the tribe had given themselves. As to the Bètsileo . it is doubtfii] 

whether they bave given themselves this name, or whether they hâve got it 

from others ; différent opinions are entertained by the people themselves on 

this point. The dérivation of Sàkalàva . the name of the tribe (or, rather, the 

common name of a great many tribes) inhabiting the western and northern 

parts of the island, is much disputed. The opinion of some is that it means 

'long cats't {sàka, a cat ; lava, long). If that be its meaning, the name 

must hâve been given to them by the Hova, who are called by the Sakalava 

Ambôalàmbo [amboa, a dog ; lâmbo^ a boar). According to what I hâve 

heard from Mr. Walen and Mr. Lindo, who hâve lived for some time in the 

Sakalava country, the Sakalava themselves say that this explanation 

of their name originated with their enemies, the Hova, and that the 

right meaning of the word is, *the inhabitants of the broad and long plain* 

{saka^ny, the breadth ; làva-fiy, the length) Other explanations are also given 

(cf. Rev. J. Richardson's Malagasy-English Dictionary), But it is easy to see 

that, whichever explanation we take to be the true one, it does not help us in 

investigating the origin of the tribe in question. To the south of the Sakalava 

we hâve the M àhafàl y tribe (i.e. 'those who cause joy'). How this tribe, the 

most fierce an3 bloodthirsty one in the whole of Madagascar, got this name, 

♦ For another possible moaning of this tribal name, see AnnUAL, 1882 ; p. 28. — EDS. 
t The late Dr. M» liens \v;is, we bclieve, the first and the only writer who broachcd this 
idea ; see Twtlve Moniha in Madagascar, p. 168. — Eds. 


I do not know. I should not be at ail surprised to find that both the Mahafaly 
and Sakalava obtained their tribal names firom some native corruption of 
foreign words ; the tendency to such corruption is, at any rate, quite strong 
enough to produce very ludicrous results. Both thèse names are certainly 

We hâve still two large tribes left to be considered, viz. the Hova and the 
Bàra. As to the word Hova.* I know nothing whatever as to its original 
meaning, and it may,. for ougnt I know, point to the origin of the tribe. It 
must be remembered, however, that the gênerai use of the word among the 
natives is to dénote a spécial class of the inhabitants of Imerina, not the tribe 
as a whole. The natives hâve now become accustomed to the sensé of the 
word in which Ëuropean's generally use it, which is, however, différent from 
their own primary use of it. As a tribe they are called Ambànilànitra ('those 
under the sky'), or Ambàniàndro ('those under the day'). 

The explanation of the word Bara is of a différent character. Mr. Dahle, 
in his Norwegian work on Maaa^ascar,t says that it is derived from the 
vcrb tnibàra or mibàrahàra, and compares it with the Greek barbares, 
Mr. Richardson, in his Dictionary^ suggests that the word Bara is the same 
as the bar occurring in Zanzibar, I hâve questioned several of the natives as 
to the meaning of the word, and they think that it has nothing to do with 
tnibarabara ; this word is given only in its reduplicative form in Mr. 
Richardson's Dictionary, and this, I believe, is correct, as it does not seem to 
be in use in its primary form. But even if the word Bara has any connection 
with tnibarabaray it affords no due in our search for the origin of the tribe so 
named, as it seems to be only a nickname given to them by others. If the 
dérivation of the name should be proved to be from the word bar^ and this 
word be an East African one, the case would be différent, but this seems to 
me to be very doubtful. 

In addition to the tribes above mentioned, which represent the chief divi- 
sions of the Malagasy people, there is a tribe in the western part of the island 
which seems to be only a remuant of a former tribe or nation, and the exis- 
tence of which at the présent time has even been disputed, viz. the Vazimba . 
As the name of this tribe is found in East Africa (cf. Annual, 1883; f). Ô^)» 
the name seems to point to the origin of the tribe. Yet varions opinions are 
held on this subject ; Mr. Dahle, for instance, says that the V^zimbaXwere 
**purely African" (Annual, 1883, page 24), whilst the late Dr. MïïlT^ïï^ says 
that "âiere is nothing African about them" {Twelve Months in Madagas- 
car ^ page 179). That the Vazimba ^vere an African tribe seems, in my 
opinion, quite clear. I shall. however, further on corne back to this question ; 
in the meantime I shall proceed to make some remarks on what the tribal 
names in Madagascar seem to teach us. 

If we look through thèse names as already given we shall find that, excep- 
ting those of the Hova and the Bara (which names may hâve something to 
do with the origin of those tribes), ail owe their origin to the kind of country 
in which the tribes live, their occupations, etc. ; and that ail are alike in not 
signifying anything as to the origin of the people (except, of course, the name 
regarded as a word of a certain language). Not a single one of ail thèse names 
seems to hâve been introduced together with the people themselves ; for, on the 
one hand, we can easily explain them on other grounds, and, on the other hand, 
they hâve not been shown to bave any connection with tribal names in other 
parts of the world. We hâve only one exception to this, that of the Vazimba. 
We find no trace of this name in any Malagasy word now known that will 

• A Hova in Betsileo mcans a tompanÙHnkPIy or an afuîrtatm (a petty chicftain, or one in 
poesetsion of a fief)* Iq Imèrina it snmetimcs uu ans 'inastcr,' if uscd by a «Uvc— iîDSi 
t Mâdagtucar ogUtU Beboerc \ Christiania : 1677. 


explain it as being derived from the dwelling-place of the tribe or other local 
circurastances ; but we find among East African tribes names which are very 
likely connected with it. This différence between the names of the majority of 
the tribes and the name of the Vazimba is the first point worthy of notice. 
While the name of the Vazimba seems to point to their having haa a différent 
orig^in from that of the other tribes, the names of ail thèse other tribes seem to 
indicate tribal divisions more or less akin to each other. I shall first speak of 
the Vazimba and the other tribes, and then say a few words about the compo- 
nents of thèse other tribes, both the African and the non-African, and also 
about the différent éléments of the non-African components. 

II. — It is at présent generally admitted that, broadly speaking, there are 
two chief éléments in the Malagasy people : one African, and the other 
Malayo-Polynesian. Much uncertainty and obscurity, however, prevails as 
regards détails. With respect to the Vazimba as compared with the other 
tribes, many particulars besides the names point very distinctly to a différence 
of origin. We know from the traditions of the Hova that the Vazimba were 
conquered by them and were then driven out of the interior of the country. 
The Hova regard them as a différent people from themselves, and acknow- 
ledge that the part of the country which they at présent inhabit, i.e. Iroèrina, 
formerly belonged to the Vazimba. There is no such distinction between the 
inhabitants of the interior and the other tribes as apparently existed between 
them ail and the Vazimba. 

ThayV azimba s eem to hâve been owners of ail the country now inhabited 
by the HW^TTO Betsileo ; at least I hâve been told by the natives that their 
tombs are to be found throughout the interior of the island. This shows that 
the tribe must hâve been one of considérable size, although the country at 
the time of their living hère may hâve been very thinly populated. The 
Vazimba were probably a tribe or people of one origin ; their name does not 
appear to be a combination of différent Malagasy words or derived from local 
circumstances, habits, etc., but one most probably carried with them from the 
country from whence they came, and which they retained ; ail which seems 
to indicate that there must at one time hâve been a large immigration to this 
island. Probably war with other tribes, or some other calamity, was the cause 
of their first leaving their native land ; and somehow or other they arrived in 
this country. The number of individuals belonging to the tribe would pro- 
bably be small on their first arrivai hère, compared with their numbers later 
on, but probably an entire tribe, or at least a large part of such tribe, set out 
for a new country at the same time 

It is generally thought that the African inhabitants of Madagascar at 
first occupied only the coast, and that they were driven thence to the interior 
by the Malayo-Polynesian tribes, who came afterwards. . Many circum- 
stances appear to me to make it more probable that the Vazimba, who most 
likely were the first inhabitants of this country, at once, or very soon after 
their arrivai, and not after having been driven away from the coast, caroeup to 
the interior. The African tribes generally are not much averse to living near 
the sea, but still they prefer being inland ; and as the shores of Madagascar 
are known to be very unhealthy to new comers, thèse tribes very likely went 
inland. There they grew to be a large people, inhabiting, though sparsely, 
the whole of the central provinces of the island. 

One of the greatest difflculties with regard to the Vazimba is their fote 
later on. There is at the présent day a tribe of that name m Ihe western 
part of Madagascar, but it is only a small one. Their language is the same 
as that of the Sakalava, and they themselves are incorporated into the 
Sakalava tribes.* How is this to be accounted for? It seems indeed, for 

• Annual, X883, p. a3. 


several reasons, to be much easier to explain ail the facts if we could regard 
the Vaziroba as a 'Malagasy* tribe originally, — that is, as having the same 
origin as the other peoples — than if we regard them as an African race. Some 
sugfi^estions on this point may be offered. 

We mav certainly présume that the V ^imb a did not leave a country 
inhabited by them, probably for a long time, without a stniggle ; and they 
may, in the wars wnich ensued, and which ended in their expulsion, hâve 
been very much reduced in numbers. Indeed the great révérence and fear of 
the Vazimba on the part of the Hova seem to indicate that much atrocity was 
committed ; and we know also from wars of a later date that the Hova could 
commit very cruel deeds. Ail the Vazimba could not hâve escaped ; some of 
them most certainly were made slaves. 

Reduced then in number, the Vazimba went westwards. They did not 
come to an unoccupied country, but to an inhabited région. Somehow or 
other they seem to hâve got on tolerably well with the tribes in the west, and 
even came to be regarded as one of those tribes. This was no doubt owine 
especially to the common hatred of the Hova entertained bv themselves and 
the tribes to whose country they came. The strength of the Vazimba as a 
separate tribe having been broken, they gradually leamed the language. and 
adopted the manners, of the people around them. 

If this be the true stoty of the Va zimba (about which, however, one cannot 
speak positively), the Anican élément in the Malagasy people as a whole 
must be accounted for in another way. 

III.— The Vazim ba we regard then as the first inhabitants of Madagascar 
and occupyingf ohly^the interior ; the other tribes of the island origi nated bv 
immigration to the coast later on. From whence thèse tribes came is well 
known, as the language, among other things, clearly shows that they consist 
of Malayo-Polvnesian éléments and an Amcan one ; but several questions 
yet require to be answered. 

The first question is : Which of thèse two éléments of the Malagasy people 
may be supposed to hâve come first ? I do not think this can be decided ; 
but the resuit which we see in the intermixture of the Malayo-Polynesians 
and the Africans may be explained, whichever of the two were the first 
immigrants. When we see how decidedly the Malayo-Polynesian élément 
prevails in the language, especially in the structure of it, one would be 
mclined to say that the Malayo-Polynesians were the first ; as indeed I think 
they were. ftut we know well from the history of other countries that a 
resuit equal to what we see in Madagascar may hâve been arrived at in other 
ways ; as an example of which may be instanced the Anglo -Saxon invasion 
of britain. 

With regard to other questions, we hâve, I think, more to guide us. It is 
not likely that very large parties of either of the two peoples came at o^e 
time ; nor is it likely that either élément was for a long time left alone. The 
most probable supposition is that an immigration in small parties, with no 
long mterval between their successive arrivais, went on for a long time, and 
that an influx both of Malayo-Polynesians and of Afiricans went on side by 

What especially makes me think of an immigration in small parties is the 
character of the tribal names. In accordance with what has been said before, 
we hâve no names (except that of the Vazimba, of which we do not speak 
hère) which shew from whence the immigrants came. If any single large 
tribe had arrived on the island and had time to settle down, and for a long 

geriod to grow strong and cover a large territory, we should certainly hâve 
ad such names preserved ; and their non- existence seems to indicate that a 
mixture of peoples from différent parts occurred soon after the settleraent 
took placei and that the différent names of the tribes gradually came into 


• ^^^ 

existenc^together with the tribes themselves. This seems to be the most 
likely explanation of the names of the smaller tribes. As to the large tribes, 
one would be inclined to think that they, from the time of the arrivai of thetr 
ancestors, had each been one single tribe. Apart from what bas been 
advanced from the character of the names, the traditions of thèse large 
tribes, and their condition up to the présent time, tend to show that they 
are a combination of various smaller tribes, whose bond of union is, however, 
not very close. That such names as Sakalava, Betsileo, and Betsimisaraka, 
being names of great divisions of the people, hâve been forraed may of course 
point to the fact that from the time of their settlement there has been some- 
thing which has united the différent tribes, but the ties hâve certainly been 
veryloose;* this is évident from two facts especially : {à) petly wars bave 
continually been going on belween différent divisions of tribes (as, for instance, 
those of the Sakalava j, as if between différent tribes ; {b) the boundary lines 
between the tribes in many places are not very distinct, but people belonging 
to différent tribes live together in friendly relations, and many small towns 
belong half to one tribe and half to the anolher. 

The prominent élément in the population has been the Malayo-Polynesian. 
With regard to this, is seems to me that there is agréât incongruity between, 
on the one hand, the language, and, on the other, Ûx^ physiognomy, etc., of 
most of the tribes in Madagascar. As has been pointed out by various 
writers, the Malagasy language is very nearly akin to the Malayo- Polynesian 
group of languages ; and especially has much stress been laid upon the 
similarity of structure. That an African élément exists is generally admitted, 
but undoubtedly the Malagasy language is mainly a Malayo Polynesian one. 
But the African admixture seems to be much more prépondérant in regard to 
the complexion, etc., of the majority of the Malagasy. How is this to be 
explained ? It seems to me to be quite in accordance with what we should 
expect when two races, like the two of which the Malagasy are supposed to 
consist, meet and intermingle with each other. Although the Africans hâve 
been strong in number and hâve formed a large proportion of the people, the 
other tribal élément has subdued them ; and the language, manners, etc., of 
the latter hâve been impressed upon the African élément of the population. 

If the tribes from the Eastern Archipelago, as well as those from Africa, 
arrived hère m small parties, the Africans, as a rule, were probably not 
subdued in war, as was the case with the Vazimba, but they became by 
degrees accustomed to yield to the will and superior intelligence of the others. 
This certainly is in accord with tradition, or rather the absence of tradition, 
as there is nowhere in the country, so far as I know, any account of such 
warfare as that which must hâve been waged between the Hova and the 
Vazimba ; and in no part of the country are there any traditions of a people 
which was regarded as quite a différent nation, as we find to be the case in 
the inland provinces with regard to the Vazimba. 1 hère are certainly stories 
enough about petty wars, but only skirmishes, such as are yet fought occa- 
sionally, especially in the Sakalava country, and which generally end when 
some nine or ten men are killed. The wars of the Hova of laier date, in 
which they subdued the différent inland tribes, are also in many respects 
very différent from the war which resulted in the expulsion of fhe Vazimba. 

1 readily acknowledge that objections may be made to the view hère 
advanced about the immigration being in smnll parties. But the supposition 

• Any who will look carefuU^* into the facts givcn by M. Guillain in his book on the SalU" 
lava, cntitled Documents sur histoire... de la partie occidentale de Afadaçascar, or will read m^ 
paper in Annual, 1878, pp. 53-65, condcnsed from M. Guillain, *'Thc Sakalava : theif 
Ongin, Conque^ and Subjection," will see that the Saknlnva con!ii!«t of a large nttmber oi 
diftinct tribes onl^ looselv connectcd logetlier by having formerly been ittbdued by one of 
thmr number.—ii'D. (j.s.) 

-- - ' 


that the coast was inhabited by a large African population, and this having 
been conquered by a large party of Malayo-Polynesian invaders arriving at 
one tiroe, bas its great difficulties also. It is very improbable that sufficiently 
large parties of thèse arrived as to be able to conquer the people already 
settled in the country. The whole population being substantially one, and the 
combination of the African and the other élément being, to a great extent, 
the same ail over the island, seems to make such a theory improbable also. 
The island is very large and, except in a very few places, very thinly popula- 
ted ; and if a numerous African people had settled hère, and large portions 
of other tribes had arrived who really could risk a war and conquer them, we 
should hâve expected to see the two éléments more distinct ly separated; for 
instance, an Anican élément in the interior, and a much more purely Malayo- 
Polynesian one in other parts of the island, just as is the case in several of 
the islands of the Malay Archipelago. 

But an objection mignt be urged against the view hère advanced, derived 
from the common name, Malagasy, by which we call thèse people, viz. that 
the Malagasy had known themselves as one nation, and that this nation 
ireally sprang from one Malayo-Polynesian tribe which found its way to 
this country, only intermixed with some African éléments. As to any argu- 
ment derived from the name Malagasy, I do not consider this of much 
weight, as I think Mr. EUis is right in his opinion of the name when he 
says that it was given by strangers.* 

IV.— The difiEerence between the varions tribes of the island in physiog- 
nomy, colour, etc., is of great interest, and some remarks must be offered 
upon this point. 

The différence between the varions tribes of Madagascar has, as far as I am 
aware, been mainly derived from the strength of the one or the other of the 
two éléments, the African and the Malayo-Polynesian. This has been argued 
from various circum stances, such as the hair, the language, etc. The climate 
of the différent parts of the island has also been taken into considération. 

It would be worthy of study, and no doubt an interesting task, to inves- 
tigate the différent dialects with a view of ascertaining whether the two 
main éléments of the Malagasy language are distributed in accordance with 
the prevailing type of the différent tribes ; that is to say, whether the dialects 
of the Hova and the lighter tribes hâve more of the Malayan élément in them, 
and whether the dialects of the darker peoples contain more derived from 
Afncan sources. Although no such investigation has yet been made, I 
believe that in most instances, no spécial or marked correspondence between 
the two could be proved to exist. The Hova and the Betsileo are not a 
little différent in appearance, yet their dialects are very much the same. 
The Sakalava are dark in complexion, while the Mahafaly are tolerably 
light ; yet certainly the dialect of the Mahafaly does not approach the Ma- 
layan nearer than does the dialect of the Sakalava, as the differepce in com- 
plexion of the two peoples would lead one to think might be the case. 

It is a well known fact that climate affects the complexion to a great 
degree. Dr, Livingstone says that the tribes of the interior of A fric a are 
lighter than the population on the coast ; and we find the same thing in 
other parts of the world. But this is not sufficient to explain the différence 
found hère in Madagascar. The Hova and the Betsileo bave both for a 
long time lived in the central parts of the country, while the Mahafaly and 
oeighbouring tribes live on the coast ; yet we find a pretty strongly marked 
différence between thèse tribes inhabitmg the same districts. 

* WXvin Hùiory of Madagascar ; vol. I., p. 3. [Strictly speaking, Mr. £llis hère only 
rtfen to the woxtl 'Madagasctr/ ai having oeen given by foreigneri ; but 'MalagaBy* (of 
«Madegasse') it probably d«riy«d from 'Madagaiear.'— Eds.j 


I do not think this différence can be satisfactorily explained as long as we 
only bear in* mind the two main éléments of the Malagasy nation ; we roust 
also take into considération the différences there may be in the constituents 
of each of thèse two main éléments. The différences that may possibly be 
pointed ont within the African tribe or tribes which hâve settied in Mada- 
gascar, is a question into which I hâve not entered ; I shall only say a few 
words about the other component of the Malagasy people, the Malayo-Poly- 
nesian one. 

I hâve called this component the Malayo-Polynesian one, in accordance 
with what has generally been done by writers on the ethnology of Madagas- 
car. This name indicates, of course, that this component consists of différ- 
ent éléments ; but, as far as I hâve seen, this distinction has been brought 
to bear very little on the explanation of the différences between the tribes in 
Madagascar. It may nevertheless hâve a great deal to do with them. 

As has been said above, the immigration was probably not effected ail at 
one time. As the différent tribes of the great Malayan and Polynesian races 
are very daring and skilful sailors, we may easily suppose also that several 
of thèse tribes hâve come to Madagascar. Now there is a considérable 
différence between the différent tribes of each of thèse great stocks ; and 
as for the complexion of the Polynesians, for instance,, it "varies between 
light and dark-brown."* We hâve in this différence very much to aid us 
towards an explanation of the différences in the tribes of Madagascar. 

It is well known to every one who is at ail acquainted with Madagascar 
that a great différence exists between the Hova and the other tribes, varying 
of course with thèse non- Hova tribes. If I were to say anything about the 
différent origin of the Hova, on the one hand, and the majority of the other 
tribes, on the other, I should say that the Hova are most likely Malayans, 
and the other tribes mainly Polynesians. Physiognomy, t)rpe of the tribes, 
and their history in Madagascar, etc., ail seem to agrée with such a hypo- 
thesis. As to the type of the Hova, much at least which I hâve seen about 
the Malays is in great accordance with the whole character of the Hova. 
The probability of the Hova being the first of the invaders from the east 
who migrated to the interior of the country, is not opposed to this view 
either. A Malayan tribe would be more likely to think of starting for the 
interior than the Polynesians, who are more accustomed than the Malayans 
to the coast, since most of the islands inhabited by them are so small that 
the great majority of them are coast tribes and fond of the sea. If the major- 
ity of the eastern immigrants were Polynesians, and the Hova were Malayans, 
the reason why the Hova were the first of the eastern tribes who started for 
the interior would also. in so far, be clear to us, as they were looked upon 
as strangers. They may, of course, hâve dwelt some time on the coast, even 
a lone time, for ail we know, and perhaps the growth of the différent tribes 
and the jealousy caused by the increase of the population caused them to 

Speaking of the différent complexion, etc., of the tribes of Madagascar, 
I must add a few words respecting the différence between the éléments of 
the différent tribes. I shall, however, confine myself to the Hova. When 
we say that the Hova are of lighter complexion than the other tribes, we 
must not forget that, even if this holds good in regard to the tribe as such, 
there are a great many individuals among them who are darker than many 
members of the other tribes. I do not refer to the Mozambique slaves 
imported in récent years, of whom a great many may be seen hère, but only 
of those who really belong to the Hova tribe. Many reasons may be given 
for this différence of complexion, for instance, intermarriage in former times, 

* Onmdemannt MUnom-SibUotlUk ; ir. 2, 14. 


différent social position, etc., ail of which are matters treated of in any 
ethological work. A ver^ noticeable fact is the dislike of tl)e people to 
intermarriage between dififerent classes, and the conséquent préservation of 
the peculiarities of thèse différent classes. Some hours* journey to the north 
of the Capital are certain small towns, which from old times hâve had the 
right of preventing any one from living there except the native inhabitants 
of the place and their children ; and the inhabitants of thèse towns are 
remarkably light in complexion. Many of the Hova, and especially many 
the leading people, are very dark indeed ; and in Antananarivo people may 
be seen of ail shades of colour, from those' who are as black as African 
negroes, to nobles and others so light that the reddish colour of the cheeks 
is clearly visible, thus very much approximating to the Aryan races of India. 
It will be seen that in thèse notes I hâve not taken into considération ail 
the éléments of the Malagasy people, but only their main components ; hence 
I hâve made no référence to the Arabs, or to the Hindu settlers, who are 
also foaod in Madagascar, chiefiy in the north-westem portions of the 




MUCH has been written, especially during the last few 
year», on almost every conceivable topic connected 
with Madagascar. We hâve had disquisitions on the ethno- 
logy, language, customs, proverbs, folk-lore, and superstitions 
of the people ; articles devoted to the fauna and flora ; reports 
of mission work and the spread of éducation, etc. ; but as yet 
little has appeared on the geology of this great island. Hère 
and there may be found références of a fragmentary character, 
and on some of the maps, notably the large one by Dr. Mullens, 
may be seen notes, often incorrect, on the geological structure 
of the country ; but as yet, no definite or satisfactory description 
has ever been given of the geologyof any part of the island, nor 
indeed may we expect such a description until the country is 
propcrly explored and surveyed by compétent geologists. 

The aim of the following paper is merely to give a brief and 
gênerai account of the geologfical features of the interior of the 
island, and to embody the observations and notes which I hâve 
been making on the subject during the last year or two. I 
should like to be able to give more particulars than are hère 
given upon many points, such, for instance, as the dip and 
strike of the rocks ; their composition and accessory minerais; 
their weathering ; the localityi succession, and extent, of the 


dififerent strata ; the volcanic phenomena ; thermal springs, etc. 
I indulge the hope, however, that at some future time I may 
be able to enlarge on thèse and similar topics. 

The central portion of Madagascar is generally regarded as 
consisting chiefly of granité. Mr. Wallace, for instance, in his 
Island Lî/Cy says of it : "A lofty granitic plateau, from 80 to 
160 miles wide, and from 3000 to 5000 feet high, occupies its 
central portion, on which rise peaks and dômes of basait and 
granité to a height of nearly 9000 feet ;" and in the same book 
there is a physical sketch-map in which the whole of the 
interior of the island from about 14° to 23° S. lat. is represented 
as an "Elevated granitic région." Now it we use the terms 
'granité' and 'granitic' in a very wide and popular sensé, and 
include in them the various members of the crystalline séries of 
rocks, thèse descriptions may be regarded as correct ; the truth 
is, however, that by far the greater part of the interior of 
Madagascar consists of gneiss and other crystalline schists, 
though gneiss very largely prédominâtes. Granité no doubt 
does occur hère and there in the form of bosses and, in some 
places perhaps, intercalated with the crystalline schists, but 
gneiss is certainly the prevailing rock. The exact boundaries 
of this metamorphic area are as yet unknown, but it may be 
said, I think, that, at least from Môramànga on the east to 
beyond Lake Itàsy on the west, and from Ant6ngodrahôja on 
the north to the extrême south of Bètsilèo, that is, through at 
least five degrees of latitude and about two of longitude, — and 
probably a very much larger area than this — the country 
consists of great and monotonous stretches of gneiss, inter- 
spersed hère and there with other metamorphic rocks, and 
occasionally granitic bosses, basaltic masses, and volcanic 
cônes. In many places the gneiss is of so highly metamor- 
phosed a character that, at first sight, one would conclude it 
to be granité, but an examination of other portions of the mass 
soon reveals its real nature. In and about Antanànarivo, for 
instance, the gneiss is generally so highly metamorphosed that, 
without due care, its real character may be overlooked, as indeed 
is shown by the fact that it is almost always spoken of as granité. 
Still the rock in certain localities, even where cocnparatively 
large sections are exposed to view, présents such an amorphous 
character, not having even the slightest trace of foliation, that, 
could one feel sure that its texture were the same throughout 
the mass, one would unhesitatingly speak of it as granité. 
Frequently the rock appears as though it were streaked or 
grained, when it may be called granitic gneiss. 

The whole of the interior of Madagascar then is one of those 



extensive tracts in which, according to the almost universal 
opinion of geologfists, ordinary sedimentary strata hâve been 
converted by beat into gneiss, quartzite, clay-slate, hornblende 
rock, mica-schist, and other members of the crystalline schist 
séries, among which occasionally occur eruptive granitic bosses 
and basaltic masses, and, in one or two districts, extinct 
volcanic cônes. 

Gneiss, as already stated, is by far the most abundant of thèse 
crystalline rocks. Almost ail the mountains (Ankàratra and 
Angàvokély excepted) and hill-ranges consist of it, the direction 
of the latter being governed by its strike. From what I hâve 
observed, — though ftirther observations are needed to confirm 
the statement — the gênerai strike of the strata is in a northerly 
and southerly direction, more or less corresponding with the 
longitudinal axis of the island ; hence the road from Central 
Madagascar to the east coast passes over an endless séries of 
more or less parallel hill-ranges, on one of which Antananarivo, 
the Capital, is built. For the same reason the road to Mojangà, 
via Kinàjy and Andriba, passes, for a good part of the way, 
chiefly along a séries of valleys. A few miles north of the 
Capital, however, the direction of the hills is mainly east and 
west, and, as the dip is towards the north (about N.N.W.), at an 
angle of about 40°, most of the mountains hâve the steeper and 
more rugged sides facing the south. Such, for instance, are 
Andrîngitra, Ampanànina, etc. Thèse hills, with the strike 
east and west, apparently commence somewhere in the neigh- 
bourhood of Ambôhimànga and reach at least as far as Ifànja 
marsh, north of Lake Itasy, a distance of about 50 miles. In 
one part of their course the strata become vertical or nearly 
so; this occurs a little to the north-west of Ambôhibelôma. 
Hère there is a ridge or séries of ridges, the highest of 
which forms the mountain of Ambôhitrôndrana, 30 or 40 miles 
W.N.W. of Antananarivo. Immediately north of the Capital, 
beyond the mountain of Andringitra, the rocks are much 
crumpled and contorted and, so far as I can make out from 
my scanty observations, hâve no persistent strike in their 

ïhe gneiss, being so abundant and covering such a wide 
area, is, as might be expected, various in texture and minerai 
composition. For many miles round the Capital it is chiefly 
of a greyish colour, while in the mountains of Antàramànana 
and Vàvavàto and other places it is reddish or pinkish, owing 
to the flesh-coloured orthoclase contained in it. A great deal 
of it, moreover, is hornblendic, while in some districts, notably 
about Lake Itasy, it is garnetiferous. The garnets that I hâve 


seen are chîefly of a ruby-red colour. They are frequently 
ofFered for sale in large quantities, but are of no commercial 
value. As for the mica contained in the gneiss^ it is chiefly 
biotite, which occurs abundantly in disseminated and aggregated 
scales. Muscovite or common mica also exists, and may be 
sometimes found in plates several inches in length. 

The most abundant of the accessory minerais existing in the 
gneiss is undoubtedly magnetite. This is found in such 
quantities in certain localities as to render observations taken 
with the prismatic compass unreliable. In the part of the 
country east of Imèrina known as Amôronkay, this magnetic 
iron is speciallv abundant. It is hère that the natives, after 
separating it n'om the gangue by washing, work it in their 
rude way, converting it chiefly into spades, which are taken 
for sale to varions parts of the island. It is also worked in 
the same way in Eastern Betsileo, and doubtless also in other 
places. Abundance of magnetite is also found a little to the 
west of Ambohibeloma, near the village of Anjamànga, and 
also at Ambôhitrandraina hill and Ambôhimanôa mountain. 
Indeed there are many localities where it is so plentiful that, 
were there coal to be found anywhere in its neighbourhood,* it 
might be expected to form at some future day a great source 
of wealth. It exists in fact, in greater or less proportion, 
throughout the whole of the interior of the island, and by its 
oxidation imparts the red colour to the soil. In some places 
nodules of this magnetite are found almost as large asone'sfist. 
Frequently one may meet with a kind of ferruginous conglome- 
rate, formed by the percolation of water charged with iron 
through sand and pebbles. This conglomerate may often be 
seen by stream sides ; but in some places away from streams 
it is found in considérable quantity. In the valley between the 
villages of Isoàvinimérina and Ambôhimandray there is a large 
bed of it, which the natives know as tat-màmba^ or taolan-iàny 
(^crocodile dung,' or 'bones of the earth'). 

Iron pyrites also exists as an accessory minerai in the gneiss. 
This may frequently be seen in small glittering specks, if a 
magnifying lens is moved slowly over a freshly fractured 
surface of the rock. It exists, as a rule, in too minute quantities 
to cause disintegration of the rock containing it, or to prevent 
its being used as a building material. Large crystals, however, 
usually in cubes, are found in some districts, — probably in 
Vàkin' Ankàratra — which perhaps some day may be employed 
in the manufacture of copperas and sulphuric acid. Black 

* It is necdless to say that coal is ncver fouad in mctamorphic strata, and that therefore 
it is in vain to hope tbut it may some day be discovered in the interior of the isUnd. 


tourmaline is found abundantly in some places^ especially on 
the eastern flank of Famolzankôva, to the west of Valàlafàtsy, 
and in Vakin' Ankaratra ; but whether it is found as an acces- 
sory minerai in the gneiss^ I cannot say. The variety rubellite 
is also not uncommon. 

In descriptions of the central provinces of Madagascar we 
not unfrequently see statements to the e£Pect that there exist 
extensive deposits of clay. Dr. Mullens, for instance, says: 
"From thèse valleys [ofVavavato] we came again on to the 
red clay." Again : "I will not dilate hère upon the beauties 
of this noble basin eut out of the clay deposits/' etc. In The 
Great African Island too it is said : "A very large extent of 
this portion of Madagascar is covered with bright red clay, 
through which the granit;^ and basaltic rocks protrude." The 
same statement is repeated in Mr. Shaw's récent book, Mada- 
gascar and France, What then is this clay, so-called ? It is 
merely the decayed or weathered rock, chiefly gneiss, reddened 
with the magnetite above alluded to. This decay or weather- 
ing of the rock has, in some places, reached an enormous 
depth. In one place north of the mountain of Andringitra I 
found that the gneiss had decomposed into clay to the depth of 
i8o feet. It is owing to this decomposed condition of the rock 
that the heavy rains in the wet season scoop out those deep 
and unsightly ravines in the hill-sides which are so common in 
the interior of the island, and which are occasionally used as 
cattle-pens by fencing in the lower end. This weathering, 
moreover, explains the phenomenon of those large *boulders' 
which may frequently be seen even on hill tops, and which 
hâve been more than once considered as erratic blocks due to 
glacial action, but which are merely masses of hard rock, 
rounded by further weathering, that hâve hitherto resisted 

The other members of the crystalline schists are of much less 
fréquent occurrence than the gneiss, and as yet comparatively 
little is known either as to their locality or their exact minerai 
character. Such data, however, as I hâve been able to gather, 
imperfect though they be, are hère given. Clay-slate is found 
in one locality at least in the région of which we are speaking, 
that locality being somewhere to the west of Ambôsitra in 
Betsileo (at Ambôhimahàzo in Mànandrlana ?), about 90 to 
100 miles S.S.W. of Antananarivo. The slate has been 
employed in the roofing of the Palace Church in the Capital. 
A rock found in some places,— on the mountains of Ambôhi- 
manôa, Ambôhimiangàra, and Karaoka (north of Ifanja raarsh), 
for instance — is a kind of argillaceous schist. It is known as 


vàtoMdy and is used occasionally for ornamental purposes in 
building* and also for native lamp-stands. Homblende*rock 
(amphibolite) seems to be by no means common ; it exists, 
however, close to Ankàzobé in V6niz6ngo, on the east (r) side 
of the village. Actinolite rock and asbestos seem to be pretty 
abundant in some parts of Vakin' Ankaratra. Mica-schist 
is found in various districts, especially perhaps in Western 
Imerina and Vakin' Ankaratra. Chlorite-schist may also 
occasionally be met with. Besides thèse there are found 
granular or crystalline limestone, quartzite, and graphite One 
locality where crystalline limestone may be seen is about a 
mile to the south of Ambôhimiràkitra, seven or eight miles 
south of the Capital. While some of this limestone is in amor- 
phous masses, other portions of it are coarsely crystalline and 
would doubtless form, if sufficiently large blocks could be quar- 
ried, beautiful white architectural marble. Mr. Wills last year 
brought from the district of Antsihànaka a spécimen of coarsely 
crystalline limestone of a reddish tint, with disseminated scales 
of what is probably chlorite ; and Mr. Coombes made me a 
présent of a similar spécimen, which he said was obtained not 
very far from the Capital. 

Among the localities where quartzite is found may be men- 
tioned Ambôhimànga, to the north of Antananarivo (the quart- 
zite hère contains scattered scales of green mica) ; the hill of 
Ambôhitrandraina; the south-west foot of Ambohimanoa (west 
side of the river Ikôpa); Anjamanga, to the west of Ambo- 
hibeloma ; the north-east end of Ifanja marsh ; Anjànahàry fin 
the north-eastern suburbs of the Capital) ; Ambôhimiràkitra, 
where the white crystalline limestone occurs ; and in many 
other places. Some varieties of the quartzite are known by the 
natives as vàtovàryy and are used by them as whetstones. 

As for the graphite, which the natives know as mànjarànOy it 
may be met with in small quantities in ail the places mentioned 
above where quartzite occurs. Quartzite and graphite indeed 
so often occur in association that one cornes to expect that 
wherever one of them is seen the other is pretty certain to be 
not far off ; and one is somewhat tempted to venture the sup- 
position that the quartzite represents the sand of an ancient sea 
shore (for quartzite is merely hardened sandstone), near to which 
grew those primitive forms of végétation which, through a long 
process of transformation, now exist in the form of graphite. 
Whether graphite and quartzite occur so often together in 

* Considérable use has been made of this vaiodidy\ which is easily worked and carved, in 
the building of the Chapel Royal at Antananarivo ; ail the interior siiafts, as well as comices, 
bands, and panels, are of this stone, which, being of a dark red colour, makes a good contrast 
to the ordinar}' stone of the walling. — ED. (J. S.) 


metamorphic régions in other parts of the world I cannot 
say. The thickest bed of graphite that I hâve seen is near 
Ambohimirakitra> where the white crystalline limestone appears. 
In various localities in Betsileo this minerai also occurs in 
considérable quantity. The natives are not aware of the uses 
to which graphite in some countries is put ; they know not that 
this is the substance used in the manufacture of lead pencils 
and crucibles and for diminishing the friction of machinery; and 
they hâve not the slightestinklingof its probable origin, and of 
the untold âges that hâve passed, and the fiery forces to which 
it has been subjected, since the time that it probably existed in 
the form of living plants. The only use to which the natives 
put it is that of polishing certain of their rice-pans and dishes. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that quartz veins, sometimes 
of great thickness, are frequently found intercalated among the 
other strata. Of quartz itself many varieties are found, as {a) 
rock-crystal, which occurs in many places and frequently in 
large crystals ; [b) rose quartz, found on the eastern flank of 
the hill-range of Famoizankova, to the west of Valalafotsy, and 
in Antsihanaka ; [c) smoky quartz, which occurs in Antsihana- 
ka ; [d] milky quartz, a beautiful snow-white variety of which 
exists at a spot between Ankazobe and Manèva in Vonizongo ; 
[e] jasper (?), found on Vavavato mountain ; (/) agate (fortifica- 
tion agatejy iound in Antsihanaka, etc. Besides thèse, amazon- 
stone, a kind of felspar of a beautiful green colour, is found in 
Imàmo, not far from Ambohibeloma. 

Hère and there the vast stretches of gneiss and its allied 
rocks, of which we hâve been speaking, are invaded by masses 
and bosses of granité. The mountain of Vombôhitra, situated 
about 70 to 80 miles north of the Capital, is perhaps the most 
remarkable of thèse eruptive bosses. The mountain is of a 
circular shape, is perhaps eighteen miles in circumference, and 
rises boldly, with inaccessible sides in many parts of it, to a 
height of about 1000 feet above the surrounding country. The 
grranite is of a reddish or pinkish colour, having flesh-coloured 
orthoclase and black mica. Within a short distance of this im- 
mense gfraniticboss there is found a coarsely crystalline variety of 
graphie granité, probably existing in veins, running out from 
the mountain. Hère and Vakin' Ankaratra (near Vavavato) are 
the only places where I bave found this form of granité. Another 
boss of vvhat is probably granité is the hill of Andrîba on the 
western road to Mojanga. Thèse two hills, by the bye, — Vom- 
bôhitra and Andriba— were they properly fortified, would form 
véritable Gibraltars, and, with a few defenders, would be able 
to withstand the most formidable attack from an invading force. 


Granité is also found rising in the hill-range known as Fa- 
moizankova, on the western confines of Imerina, to the west of 
Valalafotsy; it exists also from about ten miles east of the 
Capital to within three or four miles of the forest — from about 
Isoàvina to near Màntas6a — where it rises in numerous rounded 
or cupola-like masses, of which Ambàtovôry, Ambàtomànga, 
etc., are examples. In this région it is chiefly porphyritic, and 
prolDably metamorphic, the numerous orthoclase crystals run- 
ning more or less in a linear direction, east and west, and parallel 
with the strike of the few bands of gneiss hère and there visible. 
But besides the masses of granité hère mentioned, there are areas 
of what is almost certainly metamorphic granité, confusedly 
intermingled with the gneiss, and shading ofiF the one into the 
other so imperceptibly that it is often quite impossible to say 
where the granité begins and the gneiss ends. 

Let us now proceed to notice some of the volcanic phenomena 
of the région. Basaltic rocks appear in many districts in the 
form of veins, dykes, plateaus, lava streams, and cônes. One 
of thèse basaltic cônes, of small dimensions, occurs about ten 
or twelve miles to the west of the Capital. A number of others 
may be seen between Antananarivo and Fianàrantsôa (the 
chief town of Betsileo). One of thèse is known as V6tov6rona.* 

Two basaltic dykes may be seen in the Capital : one imme- 
diately to the north of the Printing Office at Imarivolànitra, 
the other crossing the road just beyond the church at Isôtry. 
Basait may be seen sometimes in the streams in the forest of 
Eastern Imerina ; it is found also abundantly in Antsihanaka. 
In Valalafotsy there is a basaltic hill, on the summit of which 
are two or three miniature shallow craters, only a few yards 
in diameter, and having cellular lava around their edges. 
Ankaratra mountain mass, the highest in the island, reaching, 
in its highest peak (Tsiàfajàvona), to a height of 8950 feet, 
consists chiefly of basait, and may perhaps be described as a 
basaltic plateau, extending, roughly speaking, over an area of 
perhaps 25 square miles. Occasionally basaltic columns maybe 
hère seen rising perpendicularly and decomposîng into wacke. 
Some portions of the basait are amygdaloidal ; and in one 
spécimen, which I believe is from Ankaratra, the cavities are 
lined with radiating bundles of what is probably natrolite ; the 
same basait is also porphyritic with small crystals of an am- 
ber-coloured minerai which is infusible before the blowpipe. 
But besides basait there may be found, lying in the bed of some 
of the streams running down the sides of the mountain, pièces 

♦ I am not absolutcly certain that thèse cônes are basaltic, though thcy are, if my metnory 
serves me correctly. 


of vesicular trachytic lava, although apparently there are no 
remnants of volcanic cônes to be seen at the présent time. 

Between the mountains of Ankaratra and Vavavato there 
exists a remarkable sub-conical hill of columnar trachyte ; this 
is doubtless the plug or filled-up pipe of an ancient volcano, 
exposed by denudation of its former covering. It is in fact a 
volcanic neck. It descends into the earth perpendicularly, show- 
ing that there has been no tilting of the rocks through which it 
passes since the volcano was in a state of éruption. 

But in addition to the above évidences of former volcanic 
activity in Central Madagascar, there are many scores, probably 
hundreds, of volcanic cônes. Thèse are situated in two local- 
ities especially : in Màndridràno on the western side of Lake 
Itasy, and in the neighbourhood of Betàfo in Vakin' Ankaratra ; 
the former being from 50 to 60 miles west, and the latter 
from 70 to 80 miles south-west, of the Capital. Both localitîes 
are about 130 miles from the sea on the eastem side of the 
island, and 150 on the western side. It is hardly necessary 
to say that ail thèse volcanoes are extinct, and that there are 
none in activity at the présent time in any part of Madagascar.* 
On the west side of Itasy the volcanic cônes exist in great 
numbers, and thèse therefore shall be first described. 

The extinct volcanoes of this district of Mandridrano extend 
for a distance of about twenty miles north and south and per- 
haps three or four east and west. They are for the most part 
what are known as scoria cônes, that is, huge piles of volcanic 
éjecta, varying in size from grains of sand to masses as large 
as a football. The cônes are thickly studded over the district, 
in some parts clustering together more thickly than in others. 
There is no single large volcano to which the others are subsi- 
diary, or upon which they are parasitic. Occasionally there 
is a séries of cônes which hâve evidently been heaped up by 
tfae simultaneous éjection of scoriœ from différent vents situated 
on the same Une of fissure, but so that the cônes hâve run one 
into the other, leaving a ridge, generally curvilinear, at the 

* Scro{>e, in his VolcanoeSt 2nd édition, p. 428, says of Madagascar : "There is some reason 
o believe in the existence of active volcanic vents in this ereat island ;" and Dr. Daubeny, in 
die and édition of his Volcanoes, p. 433, in referrinç to me islands on the eastem coast of 
AÂica, says: "The principal of thèse are the great island of Madagascar, the isle of Bour- 
bon, and the Mauritius, the first of which has been too little explored to allow of my announ- 
cing with certainty anything respecting its physical structure ;" and in a note he adds : 
"liudagascar is stated bv Daubuisson to contain volcanoes, on the authority of Ebt'l {Bau der 
Erde^ tom. ii. p. 289), who reports that in this island there is a volcano ejecting a stream of 
wratcr to a simîcient height to be visible t>\'enty leagucs out at sea." What remarkable 
syesight those from whom Daubuisson heard the story must havc had to see an invisible phc- 
Qomcnon so far away ! Dr. Daubeny continues: "Sir Roderick Murchison, Dec. 1827, 
sxhibited at the Geological Society some spécimens of a volcanic nature said to hâve corne 
Erom this island, but the locality was not mentioned." 


summit. None of thèse extinct volcanoes reach the height of 
looo feet. Kàsigè, which is probably the highest, I found 
by aneroid to be 863 feet above the plain (5893 feet above the 
sea). Andrànonatôa is perhaps next in height to Kasige. 
Kasige is a remarkably perfect and fresh-looking volcano, 
whose sides slope at an angle of about 40^ and is somewhat 
difficult to climb. The scoriaB on the sides hâve become suific- 
iently disintegrated to form a soil on which are found a by no 
means scanty flora ; for among other plants growîng hère may 
be mentioned an Aloe [A, macrocladd)^ a Clematis (C. irifidd]^ 
two or three composite herbs [Senecio cochlearifoliuSy Heltchry- 
sum lycopodioideSy Laggera alata^ etc.), some grasses [Imperata 
arundinaceay etc.), a species of Indigo/era^ and an orchid. On its 
top is an unbreached crater, which measures, frora the highest 
point of its rira, 243 feet in depth. It may be mentioned in 
passing that on the very summit, in a hollow *cinder,' there was 
a small pièce of money, perhaps of the value of a half-penny, 
and a small bead, as also a portion of a banana leaf, with a 
few pièces of manioc and two or three earth-nuts placed upon 
it ; thèse had been deposited there by sorae or other of the 
heathenish inhabitants of the place as a votive offering either 
to their ancestors or to the Vazlmba (the aborigines of Central 
Madagascar). Contiguous with Kasige, and adjoining its south 
side, though not so high, there is another volcano, Ambôhima- 
làla, and dozens of others are to be seen near by. 

One thing with regard to thèse volcanic piles soon strikes 
the observer, which is, that they are frequently lop-sided, that 
is, higher on one side of the crater than on the other. The 
higher side varies from north to north-west and west. This is 
accounted for by the direction of the wind during the éruption, 
causing the ejected fragments to accumulate on the leeward 
side of the vent. Now we know that the south-east trades 
blow during the greater part of the year in Madagascar, hence 
the unequal development of the sides of the cônes. The same 
thing may be also observed in the volcanic piles in the neigh- 
bourhood of Betafo. 

A very large number of the cônes hâve breached craters, 
whence lava has flowed in numerous streams and floods, covering 
the plains around. Thèse streams and floods consist, in every 
instance, I believe, of black basaltic lava ; a sheet of this lava, 
the mingled streams of which hâve flowed from Ambohimalala 
and some other vents, has covered the plain at thefootof Kasige 
to such an extent as almost to surround the mountain. Similar 
sheets are to be seen in other parts of the district, but they are 
so much alike that a description of one will suffice for aU. 


Ambôditaimàmo (or Ambôhîtritaimàmo ?) is a small volcano 
to the north of Lake Itasy, and at the northern confines of the 
volcanic district. It possesses a breached crater turned towards 
the east ; from this bas issued a stream of lava which, foUowing 
the direction of the lowest level of the ground, bas swept 
through a small valley, round the northern end of the moun- 
tain, and spread out at its west foot. This sheet of lava, which 
is horribly rougb on the surface, occupies but a small area of 
some two or three square miles. It bas been arrested in its 
flow in front by the side of a low hill {tanéty), It is eut through 
in one part by a stream which, in some places, 'bas worn a 
channel to the great depth of 80 or 90 feet. Its surface, which is 
slightly cellular, is covered by some hundreds of mammiform 
hillocks, which must bave been formed during the cooling of 
the liquid mass. The hillocks are mostly from twenty to thirty 
feet high, and apparently are heaped-up masses of lava, and 
not hollow blisters. The lava itself is black, heavy, and com- 
pact, being porphyritic with somewhat large crystals of augite. 
As yet it is scarcely decomposed sufficiently to form much of a 
soi!, though grass grows on it abundantly, and a few other 
plants are be seen. 

A little to the south of Ambôditaimàmo there is another 
volcano, known by the name of Andràrivàhy. It is situated 
on the summit of a ridge of hills, — astride of it, so to speak — 
and from its crater there has been an outflow of what must 
hâve been very viscid lava, for though the sides of the volcano 
and the ridge of hills form an angle of from 30 to 40 degrees, 
the ejected matter has set or *guttered' on the slope, only a 
small portion of it having reached the valley below. This 
ridge of hills, through which the volcanic orifice has been 
drilled, is composed entirely of gneiss ; and indeed it may be 
hère stated that the whole of thèse volcanoes, as is the case 
also with those about Betafo, rest upon a platform of gneiss. 

Throughout the district numerous fragments of augitic or 
basic lava, trachyte, trachytic tuff, and basaltic conglomerate 
lie scattercd about in abundance. The trachyte is of various 
shades of yellow and grey, and frequently porphyritic with 
large crystals of sanidine. Pumice, obsidian, and pitchstone 
do not seem anywhere to be found. 

In addition to the numerous scoria cônes there may be seen 
hère and there in the district some half-dozen or more other 
volcanoes, but differing entirely in character from those which 
hâve been spoken of above. Thèse are large bell-shaped 
hummocks of trachyte. They are without craters and are, for 
the most part, composed of a light-coloured compact rock. 


This rock, having originally had a highly viscîd or pasty 
consistency, has accumulated and set immediately over the 
orifice through which it was extruded ; such hummocks are 
Ingôlofôtsy, Bètehèza, Angàvo, Ambàsy, Isàhadimy, Amb6- 
hibè, Antsahôndra, etc. Ingolofotsy, situated to the north- 
west of Itasy, is perhaps the most striking in appearance of 
thèse trachytic hummocks. It bears some resemblance to a 
bell or a Turkish fez, except that its sides are furrowed 
with water channels, and its truncated summit is notched in a 
remarkable manner. Its height above the plain is 665 feet (5258 
feet above thesea) ; the inclination of its sides averages probably 
50°. Adjoining Ingolofotsy on the south-west is Beteheza, a 
large mass of trachyte which has probably welled out from an 
orifice on the same line of fissure from which Ingolofotsy was 
extruded. Angavo is another of thèse trachytic dômes. One 
singular feature in this mountain is its numerous shallow water 
channelSy which make their way down from the summit in a sur- 
prisingly regular manner (at least on the north side), givîng the 
appearance of an opened umbrella with numerous ribs. From 
a single point of view I counted as many as thirty-four of thèse 
channels. It may be mentioned in passing that, ina valley at 
the west foot of Angavo, there is a small crater whose lips are 
level with the surface of the ground. This may perhaps be 
accounted for by supposing that the ejected materials from this 
and other craters near hâve so accumulated as to raise the level 
of the valley between up to the rim of the crater, and so oblit- 
erate the cône, probably never of any great height. 

It is hardly necessary to say that thèse extinct volcanoes of 
Itasy must hâve been in activity in comparatively récent times. 
Possibly they belong to the historic period, though no tradition 
lingers with regard to their being in a state of éruption.* That 
they are, at any rate, of récent date, is shown by the almost 
perfect state of préservation in which most of the cônes are 
still found, and by the undecomposed (or slightly decomposed) 
character of the lava streams that hâve issued from them. There 
hâve been no terrestrial disturbances or modifications of any 
magnitude since the days of their fiery energy ; the conformation 
of hill and dale was the same then as now, for, in every instance, 
the lava streams hâve adapted themselves to the form of the 
existing valleys. 

Another feature worthy of mention in this volcanic district 

• I was told by a native that ncar the village of Ambônirîana, north of Angavo, and not 
far from Ingolototsy, there is an émission of gas (? /ôfona)^ and that the people sav that 
formerly fire was to be scen. The place is named Afotrôna {àfo^ fire ; irona^ grunting or 
hard bfeathing), and would probably be worth a visit. 



is the lakes and marshes which occupy many of the valleys. 
Itasy is the largest of the lakeSy and Ifanja the largest of the 
marshes. Now most of thèse lakes and marshes hâve been 
doubtless formed by the sinking in of certain portions of the 
district, a fact made évident by the two following circum- 
stances : [à) on the south side of Kasige the gneiss may be seen 
distinctly to take a sudden dip beneath the volcanic pile, 
showing that, as the matter has been discharged from below, 
there has been a settling down of the cône, a fact made further 
évident by the existence of a small sheet of water, known as 
Bôbojôjo, in the immédiate vicinity. But [b] on the western 
side of Ifanja marsh there is a small pond known as Mandèn- 
tika. In the time of King Andrlanampôinimérina, so the 
people say, there was a headland projecting into this pond, 
upon which was situated a small village of two or three houses. 
On a certain unhappy day the foundations of this headland 
suddenly gave way, and down it sank with the village and its 
inhabitants, only one of the latter escaping. From that time the 
pond has been appropriately termed Mandentika f^sinking'), but 
previous to the catastrophe it was known as Amparlhimbôahàngy. 
There is no doubt about the truth of this story, as I hâve myself 
seen traces of the submerged headland and village appearing just 
above the surface of the water. The natives of the place say 
that the sinking was caused by difanànimpï^làhay a seven-headed 
m3rthical animal that is supposed to live beneath the water. 

Ifanja marsh is some four or five miles from one end to the 
other, and perhaps a mile or more wide in its greatest width. It 
runs in a northerly and southerly direction, with its southem 
end bending round towards the west, at the foot of which is the 
volcano of Amboditaimamo mentioned above. The marsh is 
3700 feet above the sea, forming a considérable dépression 
below the surrounding country, which is about 5000 feet in 
altitude. At its south-eastern corner there are some hot springs 
which are much resorted to by sick folks. 

Lake Itasy is too well known to need any lengthy description 
hère. It covers ground, roughly speaking, to the extent of 
about 25 square miles. It may not improbably occupy an area 
of dépression due to volcanic action;* but be this as it may, 

♦ Mr. W. Johnson says: "I ara told hcre that Itasy was once a hugc swamp, and that its 
becoming a clear lake is within the knowiedgc, or perhaps the traditions, of the people" 
(ANNUAL) I., 1875 ; p. 60. If this be really true, it can only bc explained on the supposition 
that there has been a récent subsidence of what is now the bcd of the lake, as in the case of 
Mandentika mentioned above. 

Mr. Sibroe says : "The natives say that tlie lake Itasy was formed by a Vaziraba chief- 

tain, namcd Rapéto, damming up a river in the vicinity, and so the rice-iîelds of a neighbuur- 
ing chief, with whom he was at varianco, were flooded and bave ever tince remaincd imder 
water."— 7ift« Grtat A/rican liland; p. 136. 


there is a cause at its outlet sufficient to account for its forma- 
tion. Hère, lying in the river bed, may be seen numerous 
blocks of gneiss, many of them blackened with a covering of 
oxide of iron ; and beneath this gneiss lava may be seen. 
Several volcanoes cluster round the outlet ; but there is one, — 
an inconsiderable hill— situated on the southern margin of the 
outflowing river, just above the rapids. There distinctly enough 
may be seen a low and much-worn crater, with its breached 
side facing the outlet ; and gneiss blocks may be traced from 
the bed of the river ail up the hill-side to the crater. There 
has evidently been first an éjection of volcanic matter, followed 
probably by an explosion tearing up and flinging out the gneiss 
through which the vent was bored ; hence the gneiss blocks 
are superimposed upon the lava. Thus the water has been 
ponded back. The river has now eut its way several feet 
through the barrier thus thrown across its course ; and by this 
continuai érosion at its outlet and the accumulation of sédiment 
and the growth of végétation at its head, the lake is slowly, 
though surely, decreasing in extent year by year. 

It seems that lava also occupies the bed of the river further 
down, as Mr. W. Johnson says : "Went down the Lilia as far 
as the waterfall at Ambôhipô. A more beautiful fall I think 
I never saw. The river, broken into three streams, falls in 
foaming white masses over an edge of black lava some fîfty feet 
deep. The whole bed of the river for a mile above is of the 
same black character, the lava broken in innumerable blocks 
and setting out in vivid colour the verdure of the river banks" 
(Annual 1., 1875; p. 52). 

A good deal of what has been said respecting the volcanic 
district of Itasy also holds good in regard to that of the Betafo 
valley and neighbourhood, where, however, the volcanic cônes 
are fewer, and where trachytic dômes do not appear to exist. 
One of the volcanoes in the Betafo valley, lavôko, is of 
greater dimensions and has a much larger crater than any 
to be found about Itasy. From this volcano a large sheet 
of basaltic lava has issued, upon which are found in abundance 
various species of plants, notably a Euphorbia and a stonecrop 
[Kùchtngia], Almost ail the plants growing on this lava bed, 
however, are of a succulent character, and can dispense with 
soil, requiring merely a foothold. On the sides of lavoko may 
be picked up fragments of calcined gneiss, which hâve been 
torn from the sides of the vent in the passage upward of the 
volcanic matter. On some of the cônes numerous crystals 
of augite as large as marbles may be found among the 
volcanic débris. There is one volcano, Tritrlvay near Betafo» 


which, inasmuch as it is différent in character from any others 
mentioned above, deserves a few words. It is one of those 
volcanoes off which the summit has been blown by explosive 
action, leaving what isknown as a crater ring, which is now the 
site of a small lake. The lake is not more than 100 or 200 feet 
in diameter, perhaps not so much as that ; but there is reason 
to suppose that it is of very great depth. The inner sides are 
steep for the greater part of the circumference, but on one side 
the lake is easily accessible. 

It is possible that when the country is more thoroughly ex- 
plored, it may be found that the volcanoes near Itasy and those 
in the Betafo valley are connected by intermediate ones ; indeed 
on Dr. Mullens's map several craters are shown somewhat west 
of a straight line drawn between thèse two volcanic districts. 

To the east of Imerina, near Ambôhidratrlmo, on the outskirts 
of the forest, I discovered, a couple of years ago, several small 
volcanic craters. Thèse also seem to belong to the class of 
crater rings or explosion craters. Although fragments of volcanic 
matter hâve been ejected from them, they are not in such 
quantity as to form a cône ; and the craters, none of which 
exceed 100 yards in diameter and 30 feet in depth, hâve been 
formedprobablyby a single explosion of the pent-up forces below. 
With the exception of scoriae and lapilli, which are sparingly 
scattered about, there is no visible sign of volcanoes, and one 
may corne to the very verge of the craters before being aware 
of theif existence. Two of the largest craters consist of saucer- 
shaped dépressions, but are rather elliptical than circular in 
form ; the others consist mostly of small cavities, deep in 
proportion to their width. Several of the craters are occupied 
by sheets of water, with rushes and other aquatic plants around 
their margin. 

Besides the volcanic phenomena mentioned above, thermal 
springs occur in various localities in the interior of Madagas- 
car. They are found six or seven miles to the south-west of 
Lake Itasy ; at the south-east corner of Ifanja marsh ; at a place 
in the bed of the river Ikôpa about 45 or 50 miles north-west of 
the Capital (at the south end of the hill of Ankàdivàto in Vala- 
lafotsy; see map), and also a few miles further down the 
river ; at Andrànomafàna (at the foot of Vavavato mountain) ; 
in the Betafo valley, where at one place the hot water pours 
out in great quantity ; at Antsfrabè, about 70 miles south-west 
of Antananarivo ; and near the volcanic district of Betafo men- 
tioned above ; and probably also in other places. The following 
is an analysis by Dr. Parker of water from springs in the 
district of Antsirabe :— 


'*0n evaporation, one pint (20 oz.) of water from each spring yielded the 
following quantities of solid salts : — 

Spring No. I yielded 40 grains of salts, or 2 grains to i oz. of water. 

i> ?t 2 fi 3" >» »i »» ^«9 »» ' »» >> 

I» »» 3 »» 4^ »» »» »» ••^ »» ^ »» Il 

>» »» 4 »» ^^ »» »» »» ^'4 »» ' >» »> 

AU thèse springs contain the same ingrédients, viz., lime, magnesia, soda, 

andpotash, in combination with chlorine, iodine, sulphuric acid,and carbonic 

acid, with the addition of free carbonic acid gas.*' 

At Antsirabe there is â deposit from one of thèse springs of 
carbonate of lime, which is occasionally used for building 
purposes in the Capital. Mr. Sibree says of it : "It bas net 
yet been examined by any one with compétent scientifîc know- 
ledge, but it appears to be a sulphate of lime, and is probably 
only a local deposit and not a stratifîed rock, and most likely 
is connected with the subterranean action so visible ail around 
the district." Mr. Sibree rightly conjectures that this limestone 
is merely a local deposit ; it is not, however, sulphate of lime, 
but, as stated above, carbonate of lime, usually known as calc- 
sinter or travertine. Bubbles of carbonic acid may be seen 
rising from the surface of the deposit, and at one point, where 
there is a small spring, a mass of calc-sinter has been formed 
which, speaking from memory, is probably twelve feet high by 
eighteen feet long. 

In one of the valleys in the vicinity of the crater rings of 
Ambohidratrimo spoken of above there is a deposit of siliceous 
sinter, sometimes called geyserite. It appears in one or two 
places, scarcely rising above the surface of the ground, in a 
valley of rice-fields, and has been deposited by springs which 
hâve long since ceased to flow. The sinter is exceedingly hard 
and compact and is used by the natives for fîre-flints. They 
know it as vàtofangàla. In some portions of it numerous fossils 
of a species of Equisetum are embedded. The longitudinal 
striaB and the occasional joints leave no doubt as to the nature 
of the plant. The fistular stem has been filled in, and the 
vegetable substance entirely replaced by silex. The stems of 
some of thèse fossil plants are quite half an inch in diameter. 
Now the only Equisetu7n found in Central Madagascar at the 
présent time is E. ramosissimum^ but this never attains to such 
a thickness as the equiseta in the sinter ; so that the fossil 
species hâve become extinct since the springs which deposited 
the geyserite were in a state of activity. 

So little is known respecting earthquake phenomena in 
Madagascar, no scientifîc observations ever having been insti- 
tuted, that it is scarcely worth while to refer to the subject. 
However, it may be stated that scarcely a year passes without 


one or more shocks being experienced in Central Madagascar, 
though they are never severe or of long duration ; and the 
destruction caused by thèse earth-waves in some parts of the 
world is entirely unknown hère. The natives strangely imagine 
that earthquakes are caused by a whale [iràzana) tuming on its 

Sufficient has perhaps been said with regard to the volcanic 
phenomena of Central Madagascar ; let us now therefore briefly 
notice a few facts concerning some of the plains of this part of 
the island. 

And first of ail with regard to Bètsimitàtatra. This is a 
plain lying immediately to the west of Antananarivo and, at its 
furthest limits, stretching for a distance of about 20 miles north 
and south, and having endless windings and turnings among 
the hills. Formerly it was an extensive marsh, abounding in 
wild fowl ; but King Radâma I. banked up the river Ikopa, 
which runs through it, and now it is almost entirely covered 
with rice-fields. In some parts of it a kind of peat, known as 
fbmpotra^ is obtained from beneath the rice-fields. This, when 
first taken from the ground, is a black, heavy, moist mass, with 
little or no appearance of vegetable structure, but, when dried 
by exposure to the sun, tums to a brownish, light, and peaty- 
looking substance, which is used in burning bricks, but, owing 
to its unpleasant smell, it cannot well be used for household 

At Antsirabe there is also a level stretch of country, which 
no doubt at one time was occupied by a sheet of water, sincè 
the remains of a hippopotamus, an animal now unknown in Ma- 
dagascar, were recently discovered there by Dr. Hildebrandt in 
a sub-fossil state. 

The largest plain in Central Madagascar, however, is that of 
Ankay, situated at the foot of the high ridge which forms the 
eastern boundary of Imerina. This plain, now eut and scored 
by the river Mangôro and its tributaries, forms the bed of an 
ancient lake. Examination of the deposits shows beds of sand, 
clay, shale, and ironstone, thelatterexisting in numerous layers 
of varions thickness. Some time ag-o I found embedded in the 
ironstone and shale numerous fragments of fossil plants : the 
stems of what were probably sedges, leaves in abundance, and 
a depresso-globose fruit about the size of a small marble, five» 
celled and nve-seeded. In some portions of the shale the fossils 
of leaves were exceedingly numerous, one of which I recognized 
as that of Calophyllum parvifloruMy Bojer ; and another, judging 
from its veining, seemingly belonged to the Natural Order 
Melastamaceœ^ as it was very similar to certain species of 


Medinilla common in the forest on the heights above. The 
bed of this ancient lake extends for a distance of probably 30 
or 40 miles, running in a direction north and south between two 
Unes of hills. Alaotra lake in Antsihanaka is perhaps the 
remnant of this ancient lake or, at any rate, one in sériai 
connection with it. 

A few words with regard to some of the metals and industrial 
products of the central région of the island, and I hâve done. 

It is now pretty well known that gold has recently been 
discovered in somewhat large quantity in certain localities, and, 
judging from the nature of the rocks, will doubtless be found in 
others when the country is opened up. The Government, which 
retains the monopoly of the precious métal, has recently been 
obtaining it from Ampàsirla, a place about half-way between 
the villages of Malàtsy and Mévatanâna, on the road to 
Mojanga. Small quantities hâve also been obtained from the 
bed of a stream near Itômpoanànandràriny, west of Valalafotsy 
district, and also near Tànjombàto, a mile or two south of the 
Capital, and perhaps in other localities as well. The gold is 
said to be of excellent quality ; at présent, however, the laws 
forbid both the search for it and the sale of it, although by no 
means ail finds its way into the national treasury. Silver as 
yet does not seem to hâve been discovered. Galena is found 
abundantly somewhere in the neighbourhood of Ankaratra ; but 
whether it be argentiferous or not, I cannot say. The natives 
obtain their lead, which is used chiefly for buUets, principally, 
if not entirely, from this galena. Tin is as yet unknown. Copper 
exists apparently in great quantity in Vakin' Ankaratra. Iron 
is found, as has aiready been stated, in abundance as magnetite; 
also as hématite and ironstone. Sulphur occurs in beds near 
Antsirabe in the neighbourhood of extinct volcanoes. It is 
brought to Imerina, where it is separated from its impurities by 
a rough process of sublimation. It is used hère in the manufac- 
ture of gunpowder. Nitre or saltpetre is obtained by lixivia- 
ting the soil (the decayed gneiss) and allowing the solution to 
crystallize. There is no spécial locality whence the nitre is 
obtained, though the natives say that certain soils, probably 
those rich in nitrogenous matter, yield it in greater abundance 
than others. Graphite and iron pyrites, as has been stated 
above, are found in various places. Mr. EUis says that oxide 
of manganèse has been found about 50 miles south of the 
Capital. Lime is obtained from the deposit of travertine at 
Antsirabe, but as yet it seems only to hâve been employed in 
the érection of the Queen's palaces and a few other buildings. 
A kind of ferruginous clay (kaolinite), chiefly decayed felspar. 


and known as tàntmàngay now much used for roofing-tiles, is 
obtained in many places, but it seems that it is not of very 
excellent quality for this purpose. This perhaps is owing to 
the large proportion of iron présent. Tourmaline, corundum, 
sapphire, spinel, etc., are also found. 

From what has been stated in the preceding pages it will be 
évident that the central portion of Madagascar must be classed 
as one of those extensive régions known as metamorphic, that 
is to say, that it consists essentially of gneiss, mica schist, clay- 
slate, hornblende- rock, chlorite schist, quartzite, plumbago, 
crystalline limestone, and other crystalline rocks. It may be, 
indeed it is more probable than otherwise, that, when the 
geology of this part of the country has been more thoroughly 
investigated, thèse crystalline or metamorphic rocks, of which 
we hâve been speaking, will prove to belong to the Archsean 
séries, that is, to the very oldest known on the geological 

In conclusion, I hâve only to express my regret at the frag- 
mentary and imperfect character of the présent paper. It only 
professes to deal in a gênerai way, as its title indicates, with 
some of the more prominent features of the geology of the 
interior of Madagascar. Some of the statements made in it, it is 
not unlikely, when the région has been more thoroughly exam- 
ined, will require to be modified, perhaps cancelled. This, 
however, is my apology: so far as I am aware, not taking 
vague and fragmentary notices into account, this is the first 
paper that has ever appeared devoted specially to the subject.* 
At some future time I hope to be able to give further and more 
exact particulars, and to avoid some of the errors that must 
hâve crept into this first attempt. But, as was said at the 
commencement, until the région is explored and su'rveyed by 
practical and compétent men, we cannot hope to see the 
geological structure of the country properly unravelled, or its 
phenomena fully explained. 

R. Baron (Ed.). 

♦ See, however, a paper of mine entitled "Observations on the Physical Geography and 
Geology of Madagascar," with Physical Sketch-raap, in Nature, Aug. I4th, 1879, pp. 308- 
372, anà forming ch. ii. of The Great A/rican Island. But this covers a widcr ranee in two 
directions, and has no pretcnsions to the minute personal observation which givcs vauue to the 
preceding paper. — ^J.S. (ED.) 



T N the first numberof the Annual (Christmas, 1875) there is a veiy 
1 interesting article by the Rev. W. E. Cousins on "The Ancient 
Theism of the Hova," in which the writer clearly shows that "alongside 
of ail the superstitions practices that had gained a footing among the 
people, there still existed the tradition that the primitive religion had 
been a simple theism ;" and although this theism wasundoubtedly meagre 
and inadéquate, yet '*it presented a nucleus of elementary truth around 
which the fuller and grander teachings of God's Word were hereafter to 
cluster." Mr. Cousins then proceeds to show how, when the first mission- 
aries arrived, not only was the "name of God weJl known and commonly 
used, but that there existed also some knowledge of His attributes." 

It has always been an interesting point with myself, along witb many 
others, to find out, if possible, the connection in the minds of the 
natives between this Andriamànitra (The Fragrant Prince') Whom the 
Hova hâve known, and in a sensé acknowledged, as the one true God, 
for générations, and the idols in whose power they had, until recently, 
such profound trust. Very frequently hâve I had conversations with the 
more intelligent native Christians on the subject, never, however, getting 
very satisfactory or clear replies from them. 

During this year, 1885, I hâve been engaged in writing, in the native 
language, what is, I believe, the first history of the Church of Christ in 
Madagascar, or, it would be more correct to say, in Imèrina and one or 
two adjoining provinces ; and I was naturally anxious to give completion 
to the history by a chapter clearly stating the character of the religion 
professed by the people prior to the introduction of Christianity by the 
first missionaries. I therefore applied to Andrianaivoravèlona, the intel- 
ligent native pastor of the town church at Ambônin* Ampàmarinana, and 
asked him to write me an account, so far as he knew, of ( i ) the ideas 
the people had of this God Whom they had knovm so long ; (2) the intro- 
duction of the idols into Imerina; and (3) the character of the people's 
trust in their idols. This he did in a remarkably clear paper, which has 
been published in Antanànarivo and has excited a gqod deal of interest. 

I hâve been requested by the editors of the Annual to translate it 
into English for insertion in the présent number of their most useful 
magazine. This I hâve done, and the translation is given below. I 
will venture to make two requests of the reader:— (i) to read it in con- 
nection with Mr. Cousins's article previously alluded to on "The Ancient 
Theism of the Hova;'* and (2) to remember that it is very nearly a literal 
translation. I hâve preferred that it should be this, thus leaving the 
native idioms and forms of expression to speak for themselves, rather 
than to hâve it in perfectly smooth English. I would also say that 
I dare not endorse ail the writer says of the virtues of the ancient Hova, 
the forefathers {ràzana) of the présent génération ; if they were ail he 
describes them to hâve been, they were a truly wonderful people ; but 
this must be taken with the usual *grain of sait.* 

Henry E. Clark. 



"There hâve been idols in Imerina from the days of Andrianampôinîmèrina 
to those of Ràsohérina/ but when Rànavàlomanjàka II. came to the throDe, 
the idols of her predecessors were burned, for she became a Christian, and 
rested her kingdom upon God. So when the people saw this, they ail burned 
their idols and made an agreement with the Queen that there should be no 
more idol-worship in this kingdom. t And if the history of the idols is written, 
it must be divided into two heads: — (i) The introduction of the idols into 
Imerina, — From whence came they ? (2) The opinion of the people concem- 
ing the idols, -What did they think them to be ? 

"I.— The introduction of the idols into Imerina, —From whence came they ? 
According to tradition, — y et we know it to be true, besides it is not so very 
long as^o—the Hova had formerly no idols at ail, but it was the Sàkalàva 
and otner distant tribes who had them. Andriamànitra Andriananahàry,— 
two names now used for the true God— was trusted (lit. 'rested upon') by the 
forefathers of the Hova, and righteousness was what they loved best ; and 
upon this trust in God alone they depended for help. They believed* in the 
true God, and they feared and honoured Him very much. The numerous 
proverbs and sayings which exist at the présent time, and which will long 
exist, are évidences of this ; thèse are some of them : — *God is round about 
(us).*t *Do not think that God is not, and therefore jump with your eyes 
shut.'S *God, for whom others wait not, I wait for.'|l *God does not belong 
to only one.'îl 'Human being^s are God's little dogs.*** *If two go together, 
one can be a witness concerning his fellow ; but if one goes alone, God is the 
judge.'tt *Be strong that you may be helped by God Who strengthens.'JJ 
'Let not God be blamed, let not the Creator be censured ; for it is men who 
are full of twistings,* i.e. tortuous evil ways.§§ *God does not love evil.*|||| 
*The reason why the simple are not to be deceived is God is to be feared.'^ î[ 
'Think not of the silent valley (i.e. as affording an opportunity for committing 
some crime), for God is over head.**** *Though I should not (be able to) 
reward your kindness, it will be rewarded by Goa.'ttt *God is e very wh ère. *|Jt 
'God made (us With feet and hands.'§§§ 'I am dying, O God (my) Crea- 
tor.'IIIUI 'Do not say God is fully understood by me.'f ^i| *To be punished by 
God at the last is what cannot be endured.***** *It is better to be held 
guilty by men than to be held guilty by God.'-f ftt 

**In ail thèse, and many more like them, it was not the idols that were 
alluded to. but the one God, Who exists eternally and is the author of ail 
blessings, even He only was thought of in thèse proverbs. Also the fore- 
fathers of the Hova loved righteousness ; they thought much of friendship and 
brotherly love ; they blessed and gave bénédictions continually ; they re- 
spected and honoured each other ; they always liked to do good. They 

* Andrianampoinimerina reigned from 1787 to 18 10, and Rasoherina from 1863 to (April 
i<ct) 1868. 

t It should be understood that this only applies to the central provinces of Madagascar, and 
eren in parts of them it cannot yet be said tnat there are no idols. 

X Anoriamanitra eny ho eny hiany. § Aza manao an' Andriamànitra tsy hisy, ka mi- 
tsambiki-mikimpy. || Andriamànitra tsy andrin' ny olona, andriko hiany. II Andriamà- 
nitra tsy any ny irery. ** Ny olombelona amboakelin' Andriamànitra. ff Mandeha roa 
sahalain' olombelona ; mandeha irery sahalain' Andriamànitra. XX Matanjatanjaha homban' 
Andriamànitra manatanjatanjaka. ^§ Andriamànitra tsy omen-tsiny, Zanahary tsy omem- 
]>ondro ; fa. ny olombelona no be siasia. |||| Andriamànitra tsy tia ratsy. 11^ Ny adala no 
tsy ambakaina, Andriamànitra no atahorana. **♦ Aza ny lonasaha mangineina no heve- 
rina, ia. Andriamànitra no ambonin' ny loha. f^f Na tsy valiko aza, valin* Andriamànitra. 
XXX E î Andriamànitra amin' izao tontolo izao. §^^ E ! Andriamànitra nahary tongotra 

aman-tânana. 1||||| Maty rc aho, Andriamànitra Andriananahary ô I HHH Aza manao 

Andriamànitra azoko am-po. ♦♦♦♦ Ny hovalian* Andriamànitra any am-parany any mantsy 
no tsy ho tanty. tttt Aleo meloka amin' olombelona toy izay meloka amin' Andriamànitra. 



abstained'from abuse and lies ; they did not do injury one to another ; they 
avoided stealincf and oppression. Ând the reason of ail this was their belief 
in a just God, Who judges al! people and will certainly requtte their sinsin 
the end, even if He waits long before doing this. 

"Therefore we see that the forefathers of the Hova certainly had no idols, 
but the Sakalava, who hâve always been their enemies, had them. And 
thèse Sakalava were led astray by their trust in their idols, and were not 
afraid of death when they fought with the Hova. Ând in the days of 
Andrianampoinimerina, when the two tribes were at war, the Sakalava tnisted 
in their idols, and nished down like mad dogs and smote and conquered the 
Hova. But the latter, on the other hand, had nothing visible to incite them 
to fight ; therefore they trembled and became foolishly confused, and so were 
conquered. And when the Hova examined into the reason of the wonderful 
strength of the Sakalava, they concluded that it was the idols or gun-charros 
which made the Sakalava strong. And when Andrianampoinimerina saw 
that the Hova were defeated through fear, he took counsel as to what he 
should do ; and this is what he did : He said to his soldiers : 'I also hâve 
a gun-charm that cannot be pierced by shot, and if the enemy shoot at me, 
then I will seize the buUet in my mouth, and it will not hurt me at ail. Let 
us go,' he said, 'and I will exhibit it to you.' Then he told his servant what 
to do ; he was to shoot him, but not to put any shot in the gun. And when 
ail the soldiers were gathered together to see what was to be done, be 
showed them the bail and said : 'Behold the bail to shoot me with, and look 
you, for I will catch it in my mouth.' Then the king gave the bail to his 
servant, but he had another one exactly like it ; and the servant, when he 
loaded the gun, pretended to put the bail into it, but slipped it aside, and hid 
it. And the king secretly put the bail which he had kept into his mouth ; and 
when the servant took the gun to shoot him, the king looked straight at hiro, 
and just when the gun wâs going off, he opened his mouth and shook his head 
as if he were goinc^ to catch the bail, then he shut his mouth again very 
quickly. Then the soldiers were ordered to come near, and the kidg said : 
'Spread out your làmba, for I am going to put out the bail;' and then he 
put it out. And when ail the soldiers saw this, they cried out saying: 
'Certainly this gun-charm of the many-eyed bull (a name given to Andria* 
nampoinimerina) is sacred {màst'na),'* 

"And when the soldiers went to fight, they ail came to the king and said: 
*Give us a gun-charm. Sir, for we are going to fight.* Then he ^ve thera 
small pièces of wood or other similar things ; he also wamed tnem as to 
what they were to abstain from, and gave them encouragement and cheered 
and blessed them, and sent them off to fight. Thus they had confidence and 
were not afraid any more, so that when they saw the enemy, they poured 
down upon them like fierce lions and did not fear death. But the Sakalava, 
their enemies, on the other hand, when they saw them become brave like this, 
were astonished ; they looked hère and there foolishly, and were overcome 
by fear and thrown into confusion. Thus the Sakalava were conquered 
by the Hova, and the few who were not killed ran away. And it is very 
plainly to be seen from this, whether with the Sakalava or the Hova, that it 
was not the idols or gun-charm s that were powerful, but it was the boldness 
and confidence with which they conquered their enemies. And it is like this 
now, and always will be like this, for confidence and bravery are the root of 
power. When God fights for those who are weak but hâve a just cause, it is 
help given by Him to the weak ; but, from a human point of view, those who 
conquer must be brave and hâve confidence. 

"And when any of the soldiers who possessed those bits of wood and other 

* Masina probably hère meaning 'invulnérable' rather than 'sacred.' — Eds. 



things which gave them confidence in the time of Andrianampoinimerina 
were wounded or even killed, it was said that they had partaken of some- 
tbing forbidden (by the idol), and that that was the cause of their being 
wounded, or of thetr death. But if, on the other hand, those wbo had the 
charms were not hurt, but came off victorious, they kept the bits of wood 
very carefully and anointed them with castor-oil, and considered them to be 
tacred, and then they became idols to be prayed to. As to where the idols 
of the Sakalava and other distant tribes came from, we cannot tell. But 
what bas been told above is a true account of how the Hova first obtained 
them, because they saw the Sakalava 'who possessed them were strong and 
brave to fight, they became very anxious to obtain them also ; yet they did 
not take them Irom the Sakalava or from any of the other tribes, but those 
which Andrianampoinimerina gave them were sanctified to be their idols. 

"And later on, when the wars of the Hova extended to other tribes, their 
belief in idols increased, and they not only made idols for themselves, but 
bought them from the other tnbes. Then came the famous ones called 
Rakèlimalàza ('Little yet famous'), Ramàhavàly* ('One who is able to 
answer'}, Rafantàka ('The clever one'), ImanjàkatsirÔa ('There are not 
two Sovereigns'], and others also, which ail became Government idols ; and 
the love and vénération of the people for the idols increased very much 
indeed. And the number of them increased also, for besides those belonging 
to the Government, almost every clan and tribe, every large town, and every 
bousehold, had their own idol. 

"This then was the beginnine of the idols in Imerioa and their subse- 
guent increase, even a littTe in the beginning, but it became a folly which 
fiUed the whole land. 

"a.- The opinion of the people conceming the idols,— What did they think 
them to be ? and what was their reason for making them ? 

"(tf) And when we think of the opinion of the people conceming the idols, it 
may be said to hâve been this : They did not consider them to be God, but only 
idols ; yes, even the Sakalava and the distant tribes, who had them long ago, 
and especially the Hova, who more recently adopted them, did not look upon 
the idols as uod. For ail of them believed that there was only one God, even 
God Who created the heavens and the earth and ail things therein, and 
Who gave feet and hands to people, and from Him only is life and ail other 
blessinçs. And ail thèse tribes clearly understood that the idols were not 
God Who had power to create, but only idols that they had made or 
bought from other people. They saw that they were made of wood taken 
from trees, therefore still only wood ; and they also kuew that wood is Hable 
to become rotten, or to be burned or spoiled or lost, and could then be 
renewed ; so they made a proverb about them which says : 'For the wood- 
man who has lost his idol, to get a new one is the quicker,'t that is, quicker 
than searching for the old one. Therefore they did not think the idols to be 
God, but wood, yes, wood only ; but when they were consecrated by being 
anointed with castor-oil, or by the présentation of a little money, or the 
offering of incense, then they became powerful or sacred, and it was thought 
that some kind of spirit entered into them, and thus they became sacred. 
And then they thought that the idols had power to bless those who obeyed 
and honoured them, and to hurt those who transgressed any of their laws. 
The people did not believe the idols to be God, but they did believe them to 
be sacred and to bave power. And not very différent from this were their 
ideas about the Vazimba (the reputed aborigines of the interior], and the 

* For a most interesting account of the buming of this idol, see AnnUAL No. I., p. 107. 
t 'Ny tanala very sampy, ka ny maaova no haiagaua,' 


mountains and the rocks and the trees, and the earth and the sky, and 
the Sun, moon, and stars, etc., etc.,— they thought that in ail thèse there 
was a kind of spirit which made them sacred and gave them power. Ând of 
their ràzana (forefathers), though they said : 'They are gone to be gods,' 
they did not mean that they had become God, but spirits, and therefore 
had some qualities which ood has ; and so they accounted them to be 
sacred and powerful almost like God. Ând they thought that it was God 
only Who made efficient and powerful ail their différent sacred things ; and 
this was why they prayed to them. 

*\b) The reason of their making the idols, - What Was it ? Because they 
believed them to be sacred, and that they had power ; so they rested upon 
them for protection, and they trusted to them for obtaining what they wanted. 
And when they obtained any blessinç from God, or protection from danger, or 
received somethingthey specially desired, then the idols were presented with a 
thank-offering, as a proof of their révérence and regard for them. But when, 
on the other hand, they got into danger and trouble, they repented before the 
idols and asked pardon from them, because they thought that they had offended 
them, and that that was the reason of the trouble that had come upon them. 

•*But from what did they wish to be protected by the idols ? And what 
were the gifts they wished for, the obtaining of which was the reason of their 
trusting them ? Gun-charms,- this was the commencement, as we hâve 
related, and they expected not to be wounded when shot at by the enemy. 
And after this the number of things they sought protection from in this way 
increased very much, for they made hail-charms to protect their rice from 
the bail, sickness-charms, charms to make rich, charms to ward off certain 
diseases supposed to hâve been caused by witchcraft, hom-charms (charms 
taken by ox-wrestlers to prevent the oxen from gorincf them), etc. 

"Ana when thèse charms increased in number like this, mutual distrust 
also increased very much amongst the people, so that they made many other 
charms as a protection to their persons from those who were their enemies, 
and as a means of destroying those who hated them. Then appeared a cp-eat 
many bad charms, such as the following \—6di-Jifta (a love-charm) ; odi-janh- 
nibé (a charm to prevent those who hâve been robbed from following the thief, 
or to frighten them from prosecuting] ; odi-fànjambàna (a charm to produce 
blindness) ; odùfénoka (a charm used by tnieves to induce sleep, whether in 
people or watch-dogs) ; odi'mosàvy{2L charm to protect from bewitchment); odi- 
tàdilàva (a charm to ward off a certain disease which is supposed to be produced 
by other charms) ; odivlrika (a charm which was used in cursing a person at 
a distance, and was supposed to resuit in his death) ; adi-tnanara-môdy 
(a charm used to cause serions illness or immédiate death to a person on his 
retum home from a long joumey) ; odi-hîtsak àloka (a charm through the 
influence of which a person would die if only his shadow was trod upon) ; 
odi'Sàrik*àty (a charm used in transferring land). 

"But by the manifestation of the grâce of God, to save the soûls of the 
people and to préserve the kingdom, Rànavàlomanjàka II. being anointed 
Queen, and Raininilaiàrivôny becoming Prime Minister and Commander-in- 
Chief, the famous idols which belonged to the Queen* s forefathers were 
bumt, with ail the idols of the kingdom ; and the people also wished to 
bum theirs. And the Queen, with ail the Christian s, strove with ail their 
might to forward the Gospel, and then only was the trust in the idols stayed. 

**This then is what I hâve to tell of the history of the idols in Imerina 
from their first appearance until now, but we do not know what will be their 
position in the future ; nevertheless, if we are Christians, we must believe 
that the word of God about them will be fulfilled ; *And the idols shall 
utterly pass away' (Isa. ii. i8)."— J.A. 

i: f 

'-■ f 




— -a 

r :t 






ZJi \ 



MANY years ago the late Mr. James Cameron stated in my 
hearing that there was, among the valleys west of the 
Ankàratra mountains, a river which, at a certain point in its 
course, disappeared among some rocks. No détails were given, 
and fréquent enquiries of the people from the neighbourhood 
did not elicit other than very vagfue accounts of what was 
evidently regarded as a strange freak of nature. But, lately, 
having a leisure day when within a few miles of the place, I 
determined to gratify my long unsatisfied curiosity. 

With a lad to gfuide us, my men soon took me over the 
intervening downs, till we approached the deep valley of the 
Antsèsika river and stood on a bold headland of rock above it, 

fazing into its depths, where we expected to see that river 
owing. We were but 250 feet above the bottom of the rocky 
gorge and could clearly see every object there, but there was no 
sigTi of water, nor, looking up the valley, was any to be seen. 
Tuming, however, to the north, the river appeared some dis- 
tance below and flowed on past well-known fords. From that 
point upwards, and forming the bottom of the valley, what would 
otherwise hâve been its course was like the dry bed of a moun- 
tain torrent, fuU of large boulders, which appeared to hâve 
entirely filled up a very narrow chasm between the steep sides 
of the valley, in section almost like the letter V. 

Not satisfied with a distant view, we determined to get down. 
It was not easy work, and we were constantly brought up sharp 
by sheer descents of rock, which even the men's bare feet could 
not traverse. One of them, more venturesome than the rest, went 
ahead to find a path, but in a few minutes he was completely 
lost to sight and sound, for, shout as we would, he could not 
hear our questions, and only a loud écho from the opposite hill 
side replied to them. After a time he seemed to hâve found a 
path, but his voice from below sounded as if half a mile off, so 
steep was the face of the hill we were descending. 

At last we reached the bottom, but there was nothing to 
indicate the présence of water. Clambering along as best we 
could, we made our way southwards up the valley. What had 
appeared from above as ordinary boulders proved to be enormous 
masses of gneiss, rangîng in diameter from seventy feet down- 
wards, and piled one on another in strange confusion. To the 
right, just ahead of us, the hill, down the side of which we had 
corne, rose as a mighty précipice arching over our heads 



a hundred feet above. The lower portions had evidently 
broken away and filled up the valley below. We peered 
among the boulders into holes and . caves, the blackness of 
whose depth made us shudder. Stones thrown in, bounding 
from side to side, only made the depth more apparent,, as we 
listened for a final splash to indicate water at the bottom, but 
no such Sound was heard ; no murmur of water reached our 
ears, nor was there any sign of its existence, yet we knew that 
the river was somewhere down below, forcing its way in the 
darkness. It must hâve been at a great depth. 

On and on we clambered under the burning sun, but not 
until we had gone nearly half a mile did any trace of the 
missing river appear ; and there a tiny rill from the west made 
its way among the rocks and disappeared at a place where the 
boulders were smaller and less numerous, and from the midst of 
them rose on the ear a faint sound as of a surly distant roar. 

Soon after this we came to a deep black hole, one edge of 
which was defined by a slab of stone which had shelled off the 
boulder above and so afibrded a natural parapet which enabled 
us to gaze into the depths without fear. Again we hurled 
stones into the blackness, but they went the way of ail the 
others and left us no nearer our quest. So we went on, hère 
resting for a few minutes in the delicious coolness of a cave 
formed by several meeting boulders, with a tiny stream trickling 
over the sand to be lost in the darkness (one such cave, they 
say, would hold thirty cattle) ; there passing a pleasant pool of 
clear water fed by another runnel from the hill-side and over- 
flowing to the lower régions, till at the end of a mile we came 
upon our lost river, plunging and foaming down among the 
rocks, not to be seen but by climbing upon the enclosing boulders 
and looking down where it found a way ten or twelve feet below 
the surface. But it only appeared for a moment to be lost again. 

We were, however, drawing towards the end of our labours, 
for, rounding one more tum of the hill, we could see the river 
following its natural course where, within a quarter of a mile 
from the ford below a prominent cône of gneiss known as 
Tsiàfakambôa (*Not-climbable-by-dogs'), a pair of boulders 
narrowing the stream to a width of four or five yards, forms an 
appropriate gateway to this eerie valley. The river, in common 
with ail those in thèse high valleys, is very rapid, and a stone's- 
throw within this gateway it dives among and under a heap of 
boulders, to be lost to sight and sound, except as above related, 
for, I suppose, a mile and a quarter. "Rightly," remarked one 
of the men, "do they call this river the 'Antsesika' (*That 
which is thrust in')." 


We noticed at this, the higher end of the valley, a considér- 
able sédiment of mud, now dry, shewing the limit of floods in 
the wet season, when the river must rise to a depth of fifty feet 
and stand as a lake, the water not being able to get a\vay as 
fast as it cornes down from beyond Ankaratra. 

This valley lies about five miles south-east of the village of 
Isàha and about eight south-west of that of Manàlalôndo, 
being near the village of Anjàzamadinika. A few miles below 
Isaha, the Antsesika joins the Manalalondo close to its junction 
with the Kitsàmby, which is one of the most remarkable rivers 
of Central Madagascar. It rises in Inànobè, the extrême south 
end of the range of mountains of which the Ankaratra peaks 
form the northem limit. After several minor falls in its upper 
course, it descends in the space of rather more than a mile 
some three hundred feet into the Isaha valley by a séries of 
falls which are well worth a visit. The uppermost one is very 
beautiful, with cascades of foaming water above a final deep 
plunge into the green pool below. The height altogether is 
about fifty feet. From this, as by a natural staircase, the river 
winds down with many leaps between steep hills, which in 
places stand almost vertically over it, till it reaches a cliff of 
basait, over which it throws itself in a fall of 45 feet into a fine 
spacious basin enclosed on two sides by vertical walls of rock. 
A mile below this is a third equally large fall, where the basait 
has broken away, leaving an over-hanging brow of black rock, 
in every crevice of which ferns and flowers find a foothold. 
The river now enters a deep valley, and for the next thirty 
miles lies several hundred feet below the gênerai level of the 
surrounding country, before it passes out into the lower level 
of *No-man's-land' to the west.* 

Wm. Johnson. 



THE completion and issue during this year of so important and 
valuable a vvork as a new dictionary of the Malagasy langiiagej 
seems to call for a somewhat fuUer notice in the Annual than can be 
given in a short paragraph in our iisiial "Literary Notes." I vvish that 

• The spot whcre the n'markahU' disappcaranro of the river above descrihed takes place is 
■hewn in the accompanvincr map kintllv supplicd by Mr. Johnson. — E[)S. 

t A New Afaln^asy-Enn^lish Diciiouary. Edilcd and re-atranged by the Rnu % 
Rtchardwn^ Head Sf aster of the L.Af.S. Xo'rmal School, Anfananarnv, de. etc. Antanana- 
rivo : the London Mifsionaiy Society. 1885 ; pp. lix. and 832. 


some one more compétent as a Malagasy scholar than myself had con- 
sented to write an article on the subject ; but having been unable to get 
such help, I somewhat reluctantly undertake it rather than that there 
should be no review at ail in the présent number of the Annual. I feel 
also that, having taken some small share in the préparation of the new 
Dictionary, any praise for its merits or criticism of its defects would hâve 
come much more appropriately from one who was altogether an out- 
sider and had had no share at ail in its production. Still, as my contri- 
bution was of a quite subordinate character, and only slightly affects the 
merits or demerits of the work as a whole, I hope it will not be consi- 
dered as unbecoming if I offer a fevv remarks. 

The subject of Malagasy Dictionaries generally was treated of in our 
last number by the Rev. W. E. Cousins ;* so that it is unnecessary hère 
to say anything as to the history of Malagasy lexicography, or to trace 
the various stages by which, very soon after Madagascar became 
known to Europeans, vocabularies of the language were compiled, and 
materials for a dictionary of Malagasy hâve gradually accumulated up to 
the présent day.f We owe to De Froberville, Dumont D'Urville, 
Dalmond, Freeman and Johns, and the Jesuit missionaries, the chief 
contributions towards our knowledge of the vocabulary of the Malagasy 
language ; and we are now indebted to Mr. Richardson for a book 
which is a great advance upon ail its predecessors. 

I shall fîrst point out some of the many excellencies of this new 
Dictionary, and shall then offer a few remarks upon some of its deficien- 
cies, together with a suggestion or two as to what may still be done to- 
wards a more perfect collection of the words which make up the speech 
of the Malagasy people. 

Among the merits of the new Dictionary, which will occur to most 
readers on their fîrst inspection of the book, is the excellence of its 
printing and cleamess of arrangement on the page. Although the type 
is necessarily somewhat small, the différent kinds used,— Roman, Italie, 
Clarendon, small and capitals, etc.— are so distinct that the purpose of 
each is seen at a glance, so that the book is most pleasant and easy to 
use. In this respect the new Dictionary forms a marked contrast to the 
perplexing and annoying mixing up of Malagasy and French, and the 
want of spacing and of variety of type, in the dictionaries of the Jesuit 
missionaries ; and its exécution does great crédit to Mr. Parrett, as 
superintendent of the L.M.S. Press, and to the native lads by whom, 
although unacquainted with any language but their own, the manual 
and mechanical part of the work has been performed. The three 
différent forms in which the book is issued hâve each their peculiar 
advantages. Although there are nearly 900 pages, the crown 8vo thin 
paper édition forms a most portable and handy book and can easily be 
taken with one on journeys ; the thick paper édition will lie on the 
study table Tor constant référence ; while the demy Svo édition, with its 
wide margins and hot-pressed paper, has a handsome appearance and 
affords plenty of space for notes and additions. 

• Annual No. VIII,, pp. 43-52. 

t See A Madagascar BtbHograpkyf pp. 56, 57. 


But not only is the printing of the new Dietionary a great improvement 
upon that of ail its predecessors, but the arrangement of the words accor- 
dingto the roots is also much more systematic and clearthan in any former 
book. Ail who remember their early expériences when leaming Mala- 
gasy can recall how they were annoyed by the defîciencies in the tables 
of the verbs in mam- and man-^ when searching for the root of some 
puzzling relative form, and how the chances were that the root they 
wanted was not to be found there. No doubt the lists of thèse verbs at 
pages 410—413 and 415 — ^423 are not absolutely perfect, but they are a 
great advance towards perfection ; and the systematic way in which the 
derivatives are arranged under the roots renders the study of the 
language, so far as the fînding of words is concerned, as easy as it prob- 
ably can be made. The accentuation of every word is also a great gain, 
and will prevent many awkward mistakes in the pronunciation of Mala- 
gasy ; although, as the diphthongs are always long and therefore 
accented, we think they might hâve been left unmarked. 

Corning, however, more to the substance of the book, thé new Dietionary 
is far more full and complète than any dietionary previously issued. Many 
hundreds of words are includcd which one will look for in vain in 
Freeman and Tohns's book, as may be easily seen by comparing a few of 
the pages of the new work with those of the older one ; and especially 
is it fuller in the compounds, which are such a feature of Malagasy, 
and by means of which the comparative poverty of the language in 
certain lines is largely compensated for. And not only hâve we much 
more fulness of vocabulary, but we find hère abundance of material for 
studying the component parts of the language. For the first time we 
can trace in a Malagasy dietionary how Arabie has contributed to the 
superstition and the earlier eivilization of the people ; how Swahili has 
affected the dialect of the western tribes ; how preponderatingly the 
différent Malayan, Polynesian, and Mclanesian languages hâve contri- 
buted to form the ground-work of Malagasy ; and how the French and 
Fnglish languages hâve added, and are still adding, to it numbers of 
words connected with modem eivilization, the useful arts, éducation 
and religion, etc. Much still remains to be done in tracing the origin 
of numerous words in the language, and especially do we need a fuller 
critical examination of South African tongues and of those of Malayan 
and Oceanic stocks ; but a large number of roots hâve already been 
identified, and to Mr. W. E. Cousins we owe much information as to the 
Malayan and Polynesian affinities of Malagasy ; Mr. Vice-Consul 
Pickersgill has given us the benefit of his résidence on the north-west 
coast of the island, and has contributed a number of Swahili words 
which, through Arab traders, hâve become current among the Sàkalàva 
tribes ; while to the scholarship of the Rev. L. Dahle (in a former con- 
tribution to this Annual*) we owe the identification of the Arabie 
élément in the language. 

Mr. Richardson has also been able to embody in his Dietionary not 
merely and more fuUy the Ho va form of Malagasy, but he has given us 
much more than has ever been given before of the non-Hova dialeets, 

♦ Annual Xo. ti., pp. 75-91, 


which are only very scantily représentée! in Freeman and Johns's work, 
although more compietely in the Malgache-française Dictionary of the 
Jesuit missionaries. Advantage has been taken of the numerous jonr- 
neys made of late years in distant parts of the island to embody lists 
of provincial words, either entirely différent from those used by the 
Hova, or used in a différent signification. The new book has therefore 
much more daim to be a Malagasy dictionaiy than that of the former 
L.M.S. missionaries, which was more strictly a Hova dictionary, with 
only a small proportion of provincial words. Much, however, still 
remains to be done before we can be said to hâve a complète dictionary 
of Malagasy, in the widest sensé of the word. 

While the philologist will find this Dictionary full of interesting mate- 
rial, the scientist will also gain fuller and more accurate information as 
to the flora and fauna of Madagascar, as shewn by its vocabulary, than 
can be found in any other book yet published. The most valuable 
addition in this direction has been made by the Rev. R. Baron, who has 
supplied the native names of about 2000 trees and plants, together 
with their scientific names and much information as to their économie 
uses, and also many curious facts as to popular superstitions connected 
with plants. The greater portion of thèse names are new to the Mala- 
gasy dictionary.* The présent writer has endeavoured to identify the 
native names of the avi-fauna and other animal life of Madagascar, as 
far as it has been scientifically described, although much still remains to 
be done in the identification of the names of fish, reptiles, mollusca, and 
insects. Considérable use has been made of a list of Malagasy birds, 
with native names in différent dialects, prepared by the Rev. W. D. 
Cowan, but largely due, we believe, to information supplied by the late 
distinguished German traveller and naturalist, Dr. J. M. Hildebrandt. 
In place therefore of the vague définitions found in former dictionaries 
of *Name of a bird,' or *Name of a plant* or *tree,' a considérable amount 
of accurate information will be found in this new work upon the vege- 
table and animal life of Madagascar. 

The new Dictionary will also be found to be full of interesting particu* 
lars on such points as those called by Abp. Trench "morality in words," 
"poetry in words," and "history in words." Malagasy is very rich in 
figurative and poetica) words and phrases ; and a very slight examina* 
tion of the Dictionary will shew how much light is thus thrown upon the 
habits ofthought of the people. We also find numerous examples of 
words of a figurative character used for death, disease, calamity, etc., 
wben speaking of royal personages or chiefs, instead of those usually 
applied to the people at large, a peculiarity Malagasy shares with ail the 
Polynesian languages. This Dictionary is also a kind of muséum of old- 
fashioned words connected with idolatry, divination, and superstition 
generally, many of which are obsolète or obsolescent in the central 

* We wish, however, Mr. Baron had given us a little more pofular description of many of 
the trees and plants, — as the colour of flowers, jpeculiarities of foliage, sixe, etc. — by which a 
non-scientific reader might hâve readily identined them. For instance, the occasional use of the 
word *shnib' for what, to ordinair people, «ppean veiy like a *tree,'— as the atiUatta, hàiina, 
etc.— if rather perpleiiiie. No doubt Mr. Baron is correct, scientifically, but then we are not 
aU of lis, scientific ootaalsts. 


provinces ; it embodies great numbers of words referring to folk-lore and 
old customs; and it also contains much curious information in the 
names of birds and animais, the words for which throw light upon the 
Malagasy power of observation of their habits and characteristics ; while 
the examples of tribal and place-names, and those for relationships and 
for describing natural phenomena, are also very suggestive. On ail thèse 
points a carefnl examination of the Dictionary alone would supply 
materials for many papers of great interest which might be entitled 
"Studies in the Malagasy Dictionary." And it is also a matter of course 
that it is full of illustrations of grammatical points, such as the use of the 
infix, groups of allied words having slight euphonie changes, examples 
of onomatopœia, etc. 

We must not omit to notice that the value of this Dictionary is greatly 
increased by having prefixed to it Mr. W. E. Cousins's Concise Inirth 
ductûm to the Malagasy Language, which has been carefully revised 
and in some parts rewritten, so as to embody the results of investigations 
into the language since the Introduction was first published, some twelve 
years ago. 

Corning now to a few points in which we hâve to offer some criticisms, 
we hâve to notice first that the new Dictionary is still far from complète, 
not only as regards provincial words, but also in those still more or less 
in use in Imèrina. For this, however, Mr. Richardson is not altogether 
responsible, for the Dictionary was carried through the press, especially 
during the last few months, at a speed which *certainly was a great 
disadvantage to its accuracy and completeness. But this was done in 
order that it might be finished before Mr. Parrett left the island, his period 
of service having been already more than completed. A few more 
months' préparation would hâve undoubtedly made the Dictionary a more 
accurate and perfect work. Mr. Richardson has, it is true, given notice 
in the préface of his having left instructions for a number of publica- 
tions in the Malagasy language to be carefully examined, during his 
absence from Madagascar, for words still absent from the Dictionary. 
For there can be no doubt that a thorough examination of such books 
as Mr. Dahle's Spécimens of Malagasy Folk-lore, The Publications of the 
Malagasy Folk-lore Society, Ny Ohabhlan' ny Ntaolo, the yearly volumes 
of Tèny Sàa, the reports of the Congregational Unions of Imerina and 
Bètsilèo, and other pamphlets, would yield a large number of additional 
words and phrases. We hope Mr. Richardson will return after his 
furlough in Èngland to complète this work, but it would hâve been much 
more satisfactory had this been done before the Dictionary was printed, 
instead of having thèse additional words in a separate publication. 

There can be no doubt also that there are still a large number of 
provincial words, — Betsileo, Sihànaka, Sakalava, Bétsimisàraka, and 
others — which hâve yet to be included in a Malagasy dictionary ; but 
hère again Mr. Richardson is not to blâme, but rather those who hâve 
lived for some time in the outlying provinces, and who hâve not taken 
the trouble to collect words or to send them when collected. In this 
matter we think Mr. Richardson has reason to feel disappointed at the 
very slight response made to his appeal sent, we believe, to almost 


everyThwègner known to be résident in the island and asking for 
help in this matter. A glance at page viii. of the préface will show that 
missionaries and others résident in the non-Hova provinces hâve net 
contributed any lists of provincial words for this work, although it was 
confidentlv hoped that many would render help in this way. 

In another point we are inclined to think that Mr. Richardson has 
made a mistake, and that is, in not giving more exact information as to 
the locality of provincial words. Ail non-Hova words (except those of 
trees and plants) are here given simply as ^provincial ;* we think it is to 
be regretted that, wherever possible, they were not localized much more 
exactly, as *Betsileo,V *Sakalava,' etc., or, at least, as *East Coast,* etc. 
It is quite true, as Mr. Richardson has urged in defence of the method 
he adopts, that in many cases it is difficult to know how far the use of 
provincial words is confined to one tribe, or to one région of the island ; 
and it is equally true that, in many cases, where a word has been at first 
given as *Bàra,* for instance, it has subsequently been found to be used 
by other tribes, as the Tanàla, Southern Sakalava, and others. But we 
think that, even if in some, or say even in many, cases, a word was thus 
at first localized too narrowly, it would hâve been the least of two evils ; 
for the additional range of use might al way s be added as it became 
known. As it is, we hâve only the vague description 'provincial' for ail 
non-Hova words, and we think that thus a good deal of valuable inform- 
ation as to the range of the varions dialects, and the possibility of 
roughly mapping them,— an important work for the complète knowledge 
of Malagasy in its widest sensé— has been lost, so far at least as the 
Dictionary is concemed. In this respect the new book is less valuable than 
the French Dictionary, which gives the locality of many provincial words. 

The Dictionary is also a little defective, we think, in not giving more 
fully some of the more common verbal nouns. It would often be a 
convenience to hâve thèse given, with a référence to their root form. 

Perhaps the weakest point in Mr. Richardson's work is the fréquent 
want of clearness in the English définitions of Malagasy words ; 
and even the title of the work seems inaccurate, for we hâve **A New 
Malagas\'-Engli8h Dictionary ; edited and re-arranged by,*' etc., etc. 
It is difficult to see how a nnti thing can be r<f-arranged. 

But it would be ungracious to dwell further upon faults and defects 
when there is so much to praise. We heartily congratulate Mr. Richard- 
son upon such a valuable pièce of work as this Dictionary is, and done, 
on the whole, so thoroughly and so well. Ail future students of Malagasy 
will thank him for the labour and research he has expended upon this 
book. He has smoothed away many difficulties, and has made the 
acquisition of the language far more easy than it has hitherto been. 
We hope that he will live to give us a still more complète dictionary 
even than the one we hâve here reviewed, one in which the use of the 
words shall be largely illustrated by native kabàry, laws, songs, proverbs, 
etc., and which shall embody more completely both obsolète and 
provincial words, together with everything else that can throw light upon 
the speech of the varions tribes inhabiting Madagascar. 

James Sibree, Jun. (Ed.) 




IN a large and comparatively unexplored country like Madagascar 
doubtless many native products exist which, although unknown at 
présent, will, in due course, be absorbed in the industries of civilization. 
A large field remains open to the explorer and analyst in this direction, 
whose efforts will probably be well rewarded. Meanwhile a paper in- 
dicating some of the applications already made by the natives of the 
materials ready to their hand may not be thought uninteresting, as illus- 
trating certain phases of their character, and as possibly suggestive from 
a commercial point of view. 

Taking, as a convenient Une to follow, the three great Kingdoms of 
Nature,— Animal, Vegetable, and Minerai— we shall briefly mention the 
native products made use of by the Malagasy, having référence mainly, 
however, to the inhabitants of the central provinces. 

I. The BULLOCK of Madagascar, which is of the Zebu breed, has always 
been considered by the people as one of the chief glories of their 
country and a prime élément in their national wealth. Lai^e herds of 
thèse beautiful animais are grazed on the fertile plains to the north and 
west of Imèrina ; they are mostly the property of the wealthy Hova and 
are tended by colonies of slaves and freedmen. Numbers of bullocks 
are fattened in pits or fàhitra^ in most villages in Imérina, for home 
consumption at the Fandrôana or New Year*s festival, and they attain 
immense size and fatness, the hump sometimes weighing sixty or seventy 
pounds. The export of bullocks to Mauritius and Bourbon has, for many 
years past, been one of the chief items of commerce with this country, 
except when interfered with by the aggressive action of foreigners. 

Up to a récent date the skins of bullocks were eut up with the flesh 
and eaten. Now, however, many thousands of h ides are exported yearly, 
and the conveying them to the coast employs a large number of native 
carriers, who, on the return journey, bring up the various imported 
merchandise consisting mainly of calico, prints, sait, iron pots, sheet-tin, 
crockery, etc., which find a ready sale among the people. The art of 
tanning and working leather was introduced by Mr. Canham, a mission^ 
ary artisan in connection with the London Missionary Society, in 182a ; 
and govemment works hâve ever since existed for preparing leather 
and making accoutrements for the soldiers ; but comparatively liltle is 
done in this direction by the Government at the présent time. The 
chief tannery is at Vôdivàto, and the bark of the lalôna ( Weinman* 
nia Bojerianay Tul., and other species of Wiïnmannia) is the agent 
mostly used. Private tanneries, on a small scale, exist in the Capital, 
in which the bark of peach trees is mainly used ; and cured skins of 
oxen, sheep, and goats are always on sale in the markets, being « 
used by the natives to make boots, shoes, bags, sadciles, hat-linings, » 
etc. The horns of bullocks, which are very long and handsome, 
are made into spoons» of which great numbers are constantly on sale • 


in the markets, as they are universally used by the people. The ordinary 
spoon is sold at the rate of four or even six for twopence, but some of 
finer quality fetch threepence or fourpence each. Bowls, forks, and a 
few other fancy articles are also made in small quantities, mostly for sale 
to foreigners. Buttons are punched out of bone, and finished off with 
knives and the leaves of a tree called ampàly {Ficus sorvceoides, Baker) ; 
spindles, forks, and paper-knives are also made, but great quantities of 
bone are thrown away as useless. False teeth are sometimes made from 
the shin bone of the ox, and also from sheeps' teeth. 

Only very lately has any other use been made of haïr than that of 
stuffing or mixing with building plaster ; now, however, a few brushes 
are made with pigs* bristles and bullocks' hair. This is a branch of 
industry capable of development, as great quantities of bristles are merely 
*burnt or thrown away. Lard and suet are melted and sent in consid- 
érable quantities to the coast for export ; but a good deal of fat is used 

« in the manufacture of native soap and candies. The artisans connectée 
with the London Missionary Society introduced the art of soap-making 
as far back as 1828, when the soap was made reasonably white, but it 
has greatly deteriorated in appearance, as manufactured by the natives, 
although its cleansing qualities are good. The lye used in its produc- 
tion is the âshes of the prickly-pear and other shrubs, which are siraply 
mixed without further préparation, thus accounting for the dirty appear- 
ance of the finished article. One would think that a chemically prepared 
alkali which could be sold cheap would find a market among the soap 

. makers, if its proper application could be shown to them. Candies are a 
very récent industry, created apparently by the increasing number of 
students and readers, who require a more satisfactory light during the 
long evenings than is afforded by the primitive contrivance of a buming 
wick resting in a dish of melted fat. The candies are made in tin 
moulds, and frequently hâve a good deal of wax mixed with them ; but 
there is still great room for improvement as to the proper proportions of 
the wick and its surroundings. The legs, sinews, blood, and offal 

. of bullocks are ail used in the préparation of oil, glue, and nitre, which 
last is employed in the manufacture of gunpowder by the Government. 

PoULTRY is very plentiful in Imerina and will probably prove a valuable 
source of commerce when roads are opened to the east coast ; the only 
use made of the feathers is to stuff a few pillows. The goose quills 
are not even made into pens. 

The art of spinning and weaving silk is a very ancient one in Mada- 
gascar, and some species of silkworm are indigenous. The cocoons of 
one native species are found in the grass and the silk obtained from thèse 
is of a very inferior quality, caîled làndïnamôda, literally, *dog-silk.* The 

^ worms producing the best native silk are fedon the ambènvdtry {Cajanus 
indicuSf Spreng), a native shrub much cultivated, especially in the Bètsilèo 
province, for this purpose. A very large cocoon, made by a number of 
worms working in a colony, is found in the forest, and also produces good 
silk called làndibl, This cocoon is from 20 to 30 inches in length and, 
when eut open, 10 to 20 inches in breadth. The Chinese silkworm, as 
well as the mulberry tree, were introduced by the early missionaries and are 


still caréfully cnltivated by the people. The spinning of the silk is done 
entirely by hand with small spindles called ampila, which is also one of 
the words for a girl, affording an interesting parallel with the origin of 
our English word 'spinster.' The weaving also is done in hand-looms 
of the most primitive type, laid horizontally, and involving great fatigue 
for the women who do the work. Very beautiful fabrics, however, are 
produced by means of thèse rude appliances. Thèse mostly take the 
form of the national upper garment, called the Idmba^ a cloth from 
iwo and a half to three yards long by two to two and a half yards 
wide. Some of thèse are of plain white silk; others white with 
raised woven pattems ; others again are of various colours, obtained 
mostly from imported dyes, and, in many cases, having elaborate wovea # 
pattems resembling embroidery ; they are generally in two widths, with 
wide borders which are specially gay in colours and pattem. Thèse 
lamba are wom by the non-military chiefs of the people on important 
public occasions, and by the upper classes of both sexes on spécial 
festivals. They are a favourite *curio' for foreigners on the look-out for 
something distinctive of Hova manufacturing art. Most of the native 
silk, however, is used in making the lamba ména^ or 'red lamba,' the * 
dark, almost maroon, colour of which is produced by a native dye • 
procured from the bark of a tree called nàio, Great numbers of 
thèse lamba are on sale at every market, and the demand is unceas- 
ing, inasmuch as universal custom requires their use on two impor- 
tant occasions : the one being at the New Year's festival, the other at • 
every funeral. No coffin is used at the burial of the dead, but the 
corpse is wrapped in thèse red silk lamba, the number used being 
dépendent on the wealth and rank of the deceased. For people just 
above the lowest rank, from one to six are used ; for wealthier people 
20 to 30 are frequently employed ; and, in some cases, as many as a 
100 hâve been wrapped round a single corpse. Fresh lamba are also 
used when (according to Hova funeral customs) bodies are removed 
from temporary graves to the elaborate family tomb, which has been 
erected at great expense and trouble. Coats and trousers are also made 
of the undyed native silk, and thèse, although not very attractive in • 
appearance, are very durable. 

Wax and honey are gathered in the forest and sold in the markets, 
and of the former a considérable quantity is exported. Bées are not 
much cultivated except in a few villages on the borders of the forests. 

II. Tuming our attention to vegetable productions, we naturally give 
the first place to the timber which abounds so luxuriantly in the magnifi- 
cent forests of this country. The most wasteful System of obtaining the 
timber prevails, and the axe being the only instrument used, a large 
trunk fumishes only one or two roughly hewn planks, the remainder 
being left to rot ; and large spaces are continually being cleared, either 
by accidentai fires originated by the charcoal burners, or by intentional 
conflagrations for the purpose of planting rice. Ebony is found on some ♦ 
parts of the coast and exported, and small quantities are brought to the 
interior and used for omamental work. The export of timber is illégal, 
according to Malagasy law, but large quantities are brought to the 


markets of the interior and find a ready sale for house-building and 
cabinet work, in which the native carpenters are fairly proficient. The 
following are a few of the best known varieties of timber, with the chief 
uses to which they are put :—hàzondràno (a species of Elœodendron\ a 
white tough wood used for the pôles of gentlemen's palanquins ; Mra^ 
hàra [Neoharonia phyllanthoides, Baker), a hard mottled wood, very like 
lignum vîtcSy used for handles for spades ; vdamddana {Dalbergia Baroni, 
Baker), a wood something like mahogany and taking a fine polish, used 
largely in cabinet making ; lalbna (varions species of Weinmannià) ; 
hitatra {Podocarpus madagascariensiSy Baker) ; vcàantrana {Nuxia capitata, 
Baker) ; varèngy {Ocotea tricophlehia, Baker, and other trees) ; fàntsikàhU 
ira (a species of Plectronid) ; mokaràna {Macaranga echinocarpa^ Baker, 
and other species oï Macaranga) ; httsikitsika [Çolea Telfaireœ^ Bojer) ; ail 
of which are much used in house-building. 

Bambou of varions species grows plentifully in the forests, but the uses 
made of it is by no means comparable to the ingénions applications made 
of it in India, China, and Japan. It is used largely in house-building, espe- 
cially in the forest districts ; in lengths of a few feet it forms the pôles 
on which the men carry their burdens up and down the country ; and in 
smaller pièces it is used for making musical instruments, snuff-boxes, etc. 
The PALMS are very numerous and are largely used in varions ways by 
the natives. In the lower parts of the country they fumish the materials 
for the frame, floor, sides, and roofing of the houses, and also for string for 
tying ail together. The rofla palm {Sagus ruffià) is of spécial interest 
from an industrial and commercial point of view. From the young and 
still unopened leaves a straw-coloured fibre is obtained, which is woven 
into a native cloth of varions degrees of fineness, from the stout sadta- 
diaka, or rabanna, used for wrapping up burdens on the coast, to ih^jàbo of 

t Imerina, which has almost the appearance of nankeen. Lamba made 
of this fibre, and called jtafôtsy, were almost universallv wom before 

' the introduction of calico, and large numbers are still made and wom by 
the poorer classes. Some of thèse, made in Vônizôngo, are gaily 
decorated with coloured stripes, and of late years hâve been extensively 

* imported into England and sold for window curtains and hall hangings. 
The fibre is in increasing demand for exportation, and is doubtléss put 
to uses not known by the uninitiated ; gardeners employ it largely for 
tying up their plants, and it is amusing to hear thèse scientific gentlemen 
confidently affirm that it is a *grass ;' this, however, is a very gênerai 
error in England, where it goes by the name of *raphia grass.* 

Sedges and rushes abound in the marshes, and are put to good 
service, especially in the central provinces, at a distance from the 
forests. The houses are almost universally thatched with hérana {Cyperus 
latifolius^ Thouars). The zàzàro [Cyperus œqualis^ Vahl) forms rush doors, 
Windows, partitions, sides of houses, etc. Mats of ail sizes and qualities 
are made from hàzondràno {Sa'rpus corymbosus, Heyne), harèfo (a species 
of Heleocharis\ etc., and are used generally for floor coverings, and 
in some districts as linings for the insides of houses ; and among 
some tribes in the south thèse fabrics form the only dress wom by the 
people, not only as loose coverings, but as well-fitting jackets and other 


garments. Baskets of ail sizes, called sobiky and hàrona^ are also made in 
large numbers, and are of great service in carrying and storing things in 
gênerai. On the east coast a regular industrv exists among the Bètsi- 
misàraka in making, for exportation to Mauritius, sugar sacks from a 
marsh plant called pinja (probably a species of Lepironia), Grasses 
and SEDGES too are well employed in making bats and small fancv 
baskets of varions shapes and aualities. The àhihàno^ kianàkalàhy, tsidro- 
drôtra {Sporobolus indiens^ R. Br.), làkaira, and bdnoka are the chief varieties 
nsed. Fibres from the young shoots of varions palms and other plants, 
and from the bark of varions trees, are also used for the same purpose, 
as also for making ropes and string ; the anwona (a palm), the ha/otra 
(varions species oï Dombeya), the tsonisona {Pavonia Bojeri, Baker), the taré» 
ira {Furcraa gigantea^ Vent.), the pine-apple, the banana, and the làfa are 
pressed into this service. Cotton is grown in small quantities and woven 
into lamha ; on the south-east coast it is said to be of a very superior quality, 
and fetches a good price when exported. A down called vènim-panbrOf 
lit. the flower of the fanoro {Gomphocarpus fruticosuSy R. Br.) is used for 
stuffing cushions, and it is occasionally made into lamba, which are 
remarkably light and warm. The plant is an annual and grows very 
readily as a weed ; the down in the seed-pod bas a beautifully silky appear- 
ance and may be worthy the attention of manufacturers. Hemp is 
grown and used for making strong durable lamba much wom by the 
poorer classes of the people ; it might be produced in any quantity. The 
SUGAR-CANE is cultivated and used for making a coarse kind of native 
sugar, but mainly for distilling the native mm called tbaka, Sugar- 
growing will undoubtedly be one of the chief industries of this country 
when fairly opened to commerce. Native dyes are obtained from the 
turmeric root {Curcuma longa, L.), which is an introduced plant, but bas 
now become quite naturalized under the name tàmotàmo ; from the bark 
of the nato ; the aïka, the common indigo {Indigo/era tinciorta^ L.) and 
also from a black mud. Many aniline dyes, however, are imported and 
are in gênerai use. A climbing plant {Vahea madagascanensiSy Bojer) 
in the forests yields india-rubber called by the ïidX\\e^ /îngotra ; the tree 
known by the native name tàndroroho {Trachylobium verrucosum^ Lam.) 
yields gum-copal, called by the natives sàndarbsy, neither of which are 
used by the natives, except as an article of export. The tobacco plant 
[Nikotiana iabacum) grows luxuriantly; the dried leaves pounded and 
mixed with the ashes of certain plants forms the paràky which is used 
by almost every Malagasy, maie and female, from the highest to the 
lowest. The snuff-box is an article of personal adornment in which the 
people take great pride. They vary in antiquity and quality, from the 
richly chased gold one inherited by the Sovereign, to the little length of 
bamboo, bought in the market for an infinitésimal scrap of money and 
carried by'the slave. The dose is shaken into the palm of the hand and 
jerked under the tongue, where its virtues are extracted with a delight 
equalling that of Jack Tar chewing the orthodox quid. Of lato some 
enterprising natives hâve produced cigars to supply the needs of the 
smoking foreigners, and the Malagasy are fast adopting the imported 


III. The minerai resources of Madagascar bave still to be discovered 
and developed. Hitherto the policy of the Government bas been 
adverse to any attempt to open up what will probably provd to be a 
source of great national wealth. 

The GRANITS and gneiss which abound in the central provinces hâve 
only comparatively lately been used for building purposes, and that only 
in the Capital and its vicinity. The Royal Palace, some of the largest 
Churches, and some rather imposing looking tombs, hâve been built of 
this stone. Only the partially decayed rock is worked and dressed, as 
it is difficult with the native tools to work it while unsoftened. Large 
slabs, however, are peeled off the virgin rock bv buming cow-dung 
on the top, and, when the beat bas penetrated a few inches, tbrowing 
water upon it, when the contraction loosens immense pièces wbicb are 
used in the construction of their family tombs. Slabs tourteen to eight* 
een feet long by ten to twelve feet wide, and four to eight inches tbick, 
are frequently used as sides and coverings to thèse tombs, wbicb are 
mostly underground, but are surmounted by an elaborate structure 
of dressed stone, as indicated above. The dragging of thèse large 
stones, in a country where no roads exist and no wheeled vebicles are 
used, is one of the serions alOfairs of Malagasy life, relieved, however, by 
the festivities which accompany it. Ail the members of the tribe, men, 
• women, and children, gather for the occasion, dressed in holiday attire ; 
long ropes of twisted bast or grass are fastened to the stone ; three or 
four long processions hold the ropes ; a man with a fluent tongue 
mounts the stone to animate the people with bis antics and jokes and 
déclamation ; singers clap their hancls and chant ; and the big mass is 
jerked on inch by inch, day after day, so long as the people can spare 
the time, although it often takes two or three dry seasonsto accomplisb the 
task. Granité and gneiss of varions tints in grey and pink abound ; and 
when the art of polishing stone is introduced, it is possible that the 
production of omamental and monumental granité may become an 
industry of the central province, especially as emery stone is found at 
no great distance. The ordinary bouses in Imerina and Betsileo bave 
always been made of the clayey soil, kneaded into large lumps and 
built in courses of about eighteen inches in beight. The brick mould, 
however, is more and more generally used, and in the majority of 
instances the bricks are simply the puddled soil without any mixture 
of straw or grass, tumed out from the mould to dry and barden in the 
. Sun. BuRNT BRICKS and tiles are becoming more common, the fuel used 
in burning them being peat, called by the natives fàmpo/ra. 

The potter's art has not got beyond the very earliest stage in Madagas- 
car. Round water-pots of ail sizes, and stands to serve as rice pots, are 
moulded by hand and bumt ; and this is about the extent of the native 
pottery at présent. Earths of varions colours are abundant, and are 
sometimes used for decorating the walls of bouses. A white earth 
called /àny ràvo is in greatest request for this purpose ; it is a kind 
of kaolin, and will probably be found to bave some commercial value for 
the production of fine china. Plumbago or graphite is found plentifully 
in Imerina and is used for blackening the clay pots and stands mentioned 


above. The small quantity used is easily obtained by scratching a few 
inches below the surface, but no attempts bave been made to discover 
more solid veins of this minerai, for which indeed no présent demand 
existe. The native name is mànjaràno, 

AU the UMB used in Imerina is obtained from the travertine deposited 
by the hot springs at Sirabé in North Bétsiléo, four or five days' joumey « 
from the Capital, whence it is brought on govemment service by the 
inhabitants of the district. It is consequently difficult to get, very 
ezpensive and very impure, and but sparingly used even in building ; 
the ordinar^ mortar being nothing but puddled clay. An outcrop of 
cijstalline hmestone occurs about ten miles south of the Capital, wnich 
wiU probably some day be utilised for obtaining lime, aithough the 
distance of fuel will be a serious obstacle. Near Sirabe also are exten- 
nve deposits of sulphur, where it occurs in nodules of varions shape in 
combînation with earthy matter. Thèse are dug under the superinten- 
dence of govemment officers and carried to the Capital by the inhabitants » 
of the district, thence sent another da/s joumey to Ambôhidratrimo, a 
village on the edge of the forest, where there are rade fumaces for 
separating it. It is thence retumed to the govemment works in the ^ 
Capital and purifîed suffîciently for use in the manufacture of gunpowder. 
Similar deposits occur about a day*s joumey west of the Capital, where 
also LiGNiTS was recently found, and awakened the hope that coal had 
been discovered. No use, however, has yet been made of the lignite. 
Lbad is brought from the Betsileo province and is used for casting* 
bullcts, the exigencies of the war with the French having produced 
this relaxation of the stringent laws against working metals. No 
appliances exist for the séparation of any si 1 ver that may be in the ore, 
nor indeed has any analysis been made of the métal. ^ 

The only native métal used by the Malagasy is iron. Of this most • 
useful of ail metals great quantities exi st in many parts of Imerina. It 
is specially plentiful on the west ^ the forest bounding Imerina on 
the east, in the district called Amôronkay. The ore is smelted by 
being bumt with charcoal in pits covered with clay, the fire being 
maintained by a blast from pistons worked by hand in pièces of hollow 
trunks. The account given in Ellis's History of Madagascar (vol. I. 
p. 306) of the smelting of iron is equally correct of the présent day, 
as no improvements bave been made. Numbers of useful iron articles ' 
are manufactured and sold in the markets, and great quantities are taken 
to the varions tribes, in ail parts of the country, for sale. The chief 
articles in demand are spade blades, which are eighteen to twenty-four 
inches long by about four to six inches wide, spear heads, axes, spoons, • 
and knives. Éesides thèse, rough tools for carpenters, and still rougher 
imitations of cutlery, are exposed for sale in the markets. AU iron work 
is done by the hammer and anvil, and some of the native smiths are very 
clever, and hâve recently succeeded in turning out some guns and mi- • 
trailleuses. A large field for the expansion of the iron industry will be 
opened when the art of casting is fairly introduced and established, as 
may be gathered from the large number of iron pots which are annually 
import ed. 

»4>mi^ — 


This rapid and by no means exhaustive survey of the native products 
of this island, as supplying the industries of the people, affords, we think, 
conclusive évidence that the Malagasy are capable of advancement in 
the arts of civilization, and that, if fair play be given to them, they may 
be expected to contribute their quota to the commerce and material 
advancement of the world. 

A couple of incidents illustrative of their ingenuity and patience in the 
use of such appliances as are at hand may conclude this paper, and 
show that they hâve some, at least, of the qualities which help to produce 
national prosperity. 

In a country district our host had a box of Bryant and May's Tiger* 
lucifer Inatches, which seemed rather an unusually expensive luxury at 
such a distance from the Capital. But the explanation fully exonerated 
our friend from the suspicion of extravagance. He divided the 
detonatinc^ end of a match into three or four pièces, with each of which 
he could nre off his fowling-piece and so save percussion caps. In the 
Capital some pounds of fine white flour from native-grown wheat was 
brought for sale. When the owner was asked how he ground the wheat 
and sifted the flour, the reply was, that it was ground in a small coffee 
mill and sifted through a pièce of fine muslin. 

J. WiLLS. 

In the course of this paper I hâve occasionally referred to the beneficent 
influence of the artisan members of the London Missionary Society in 
introducing the useful arts into this country between 1818 and 1835. I append 
in this note a summary of the results of their work as given by the late 
vénérable James Cameron, himself the last survivor of that useful band of 
men, who read it at a social meeting of missionaries in Antananarivo, Oct. 
20th, 1874. He instances ten points of success ; — 

'*i. Tney greatly extended and improved the manufacture of iron-work in 
the country, applying it to the construction of machinery and to 
many of the uses to which it is now applied in Madagascar. 
"2. They were successful in discovering tne best materials for the manu- 
facture of leather and applying them to the tanning of hides, and 
dressing the same so as to be used in the manufacture of shoes, boots, 
and gênerai leather-work, ail of which hâve been carried on by the 
natives till the présent time. 
"3. In building they improved many kinds ofwood-work, and introduced 
stone-work for various purposes, made bricks of various kinds for 
building purposes, and Mr. Freeman brought slates and grindstones 
from Betsileo, which were unknown hère before. 
**4. They discovered limestone in the country after years had been spent 

in a fhiitless search for it. 
"5. They introduced cotton machinery and cotton spinning which, though 
not economically adapted to the civilization then existing in the 
country, continued to be used till the machines were wom out. 
**6. The same may be said of weavinç; it was fairly tried, but it did not pay. 
"7. They discovered plants which yielded a large supply of potash and 
soda, which they used in the manufacture of soap on a considérable 
scale, and of glass and pottery-ware to a small extent. The former 
% was at first monopolized by the Government, afterwards made by the 
people, but greatly deteriorated. 


"8. Tbey also discoYered what had long been sought for in vain by the 
Government and others, — a metallic sulphuret or otber minerai from 
which sulphur could be extracted in abundance. 
''9. Tbey directed the manufacture, mostly on a small scale, of various 
talts» chiefly sulphates, carbonates, and nitrates, used in various arts 
and in medicine, and carried on by tbe Government till the présent 
'*fO. They constructed water-mills for the Government, with a large reser* 

voir, and brought water from a distance of some miles.*' 
It mutt be acknowlâged, in the face of this statement, that the improve- 
ment of the Malaeasy materially bas by no means kept even pace with 
the rapid strides uiey bave taken inteHectually and morally during the 

Sist 30 years. This is not the occasion for discussing the causes of this 
sproportionate advance. We leave the subject with the expression of the 
fervent hope that the political atmosphère may be speedily cleared, and that 
along with a well-founded assurance of the integrity of their country, the 
Government may be able to put aside ail undue jealousy of foreigners, and at 
the same time relieve their people from the répressive influence of fànam» 
féana (unpaid çovemment service), and so lead their country into the 
opening paths of mdustrial and commercial progress, failing to enter which 
a people can never become a nation fitted to hoid its own among the 
civilized communities of the présent day.— J.w. 


WHAT is aimed at in the présent article I will state hère at the 
outset, that the reader may know beforehand what he is to 
expect. It is (i) to give the briefest possible information about tbe 
•what* and the 'where* of the Swaheli language, as nobody can be 
ezpected to take much interest in a comparison of languages in regard 
to which he bas not some gênerai idea, at least as far as thèse two points 
are concemed. (2) To review briefly what bas already been donc as to 
comparing the two languages in question, i.e. Swaheli and Malagasy. 
(3) To make some critical and explanatory remarks on the alleged 
Swaheli words in the new Malagasy Dictionary, and to give a few 
additional ones which I bave noticed. (4) To summarize the chief facts 
of the snbject and point out the conclusions to be drawn from them. 

After thèse preliminary remarks, I will at once proceed to treat of eacb 
of thèse sections in the order as given above. 

I. — ^The Swaheli, Suahili, or Kisuahili seems to be, to a very great 
extent, a mixed language. The great bulk of its vocabulary is African 
and common, it seems, to différent tribes along the £ast African coast. 
The next component is Arabie, as marchants from Arabia and Egypt 
bave been trading on this coast for centuries. Some few words hâve 


also entered into it from other sources, as Persian (through Arabie), 
Malabar dialects (through Hindu traders), Spanish and Portuguese (as 
the word àandera, of which more later on), and even some English or 
French words {jàsjasmini^ss^^xi^.jasfntne*). But, so far as I can judge 
from a rather hasty estimate, the whole of the foreign élément would not 
amount to more than, say, one-tenth of its vocabulary. As to the rest 
of its words, and especially as to its grammar, it is certainly a Bantu 
language, belonging to the north-eastem branch of that great family of 
speech. It must, however, be admitted that even in its grammar *the 
decay of the original grammatical structure is greater than in most of 
the Bantu languages. And the foreign élément has also to some estent 
entered into its grammar, or at least into such parts of speech the words 
of which are usually enumerated in grammars as numerals, conjunc- 
tions, etc."t For besides the original native numerals, the Swaheli has 
also got the Arabie ones ; amongst its particles we find such purely Arabie 
words as the conjunction laken (but), and the préposition natta (until) ; 
and even the comparison ofan adjeetive is generally effected by means 
of the Arabie words zaidi (more than) and kulla (= Arabie kull^ Heb. 
koîX) ; and the démonstrative pronouns hiy huu, and huyo (this, that) are 
evidently identieal with the Arabie hia, hua (personal pronouns with 
démonstrative power). This shows that foreign éléments, in certain 
respects, hâve influenced this language more than ever the Norman- 
French did the English, although the introdueed words are so much 
fewer than are the Norman-French words in English. 

Swaheli is ehiefiy spoken in the central portions of the East African 
coast. Its head-quarters seem to be at Mombasa, where, aceording to 
Dr. Krapf, it is most pure and élégant ; but it is spoken (or at least 
understood), with some slight dialeetie variations, on the whole coast, 
from Mozambique in the south to Mugdasha (Magadoxo) in the north. 
And although it is ehiefiy the language of tribes living on the low plains 
along the coast, as its name also suggests,§ it seems to be known far 
inland and to be the common médium of communication for traders 
even along the shores of the great lakes in the interior ; while at the 
same time it extends its influence to the east as far as the Comoro 
Islands, on three of which (Comoro, Mohilla, and Johanna) Swaheli is 
the ordinary language. As to its mixed character and wide-spread 
influence, especially as a médium of inter-tribal trade and business, it 
seems to hold about the same position in East Africa as the 'Lt'ngua 
francet once held in the Levant, and Hindustani still, to some extent, 
bolds in India. 

The conditions neeessary for the origin of such languages are, of 
course, that the natives corne into close contact with such foreigners 
whom it is to their own interest to understand and to be understood by. 

* Occun, bowever, also in Arabie (^yoMtm). [Surely, however, the English and French 
words corne from the Arabie or Persian ? — Eos.l 

t See Dr. Bleek's Comparative Grammar of South African Languages; ^6 482, 483. 

t Cnriously enougfa, the Arabie ori^ of tms word does not seem to nave oeen noticed at 
aU bv Dr. Krapf. 

J Swaheli or Suahili is an Arabie word, meaning plain level ground {sahala, to be level ; 
i7, plain ; tahl^ a plain). 


This is chiefly the case with the trader and the conqueror, each in 
his own way. It is generally quite différent with the missionary. 
Hère the interest is, at least at the beginning, one-sided ; for it is of the 
greatest possible conséquence to the missionary to be understood, while 
the natives, on the other hand, do not see that it matters to them 
whether they understand him or not.* Therefore he is obliged to try to 
acquire such a knowledge of the language as to enable him to speak and 
Write it with exactness, while he will not introduce more foreign words 
than are absolutely necessary. 

II. — It is quite natural that a language like the Swaheli should hâve 
some influence on the language of the great island to the east of its 
proper domain ; for although the Swaheli-speaking people seem never to 
hâve bad any connection with Madagascar, the Arabs, who hâve traded 
hère for centuries, hâve generally come from the Swaheli coast, and veiy 
seldom direct from Arabia ; the majority of them hâve probablv been « 
bom in the Swaheli-speaking districts, so that they are a kind ot 'Arab 
créole.' Hère in the Capital I hâve often met with so-called Arabs who 
could Write with Arabie characters and read Arabie books I put into 
their hands, but were unable to translate what they had read without my 
help, as their language was confessedly Swaheli. Such people, chiefly 
traders, hâve of course introduced Swaheli terms in connection with 
their trade ; and even when introducing Arabie words (i.e. Arabie words 
already naturalized into Swaheli), they hâve done so uneonsciously and 
hâve given them the form such words had already aequired in Swaheli. 

Being partly aware of this, I felt it a great drawback, when writing 
my article on Arabie words in Malagasy, that I had so little knowledge 
of Swaheli. I easily saw that such a knowledge might hâve both helped 
me to detect the Arabie words in Malagasy, and hâve been a key to the 
explanation of the changes they had undergone on their way hither 
through £ast Africa.f 

But at that time very little had been published about Swaheli (small 
vocabularies, etc.), and even that little was inaccessible to me. What little 
I knew was gleaned from passing remarks in gênerai philological works, 
and the Travels of Dr. Krapf, who also gave me some oral information 
about it when I ealled on him at his résidence in Komthal, in Germany, 
in 1869, some months before I left for Madagascar. Dr. Steere's Hand- 
bùok of the Suahili Language had just been published when I wrote, but 
was not accessible to me. The Rev. W. £. Cousins, who went home to 
England through Zanzibar, seems to hâve been the fîrst Madagascar 
missionary who had access to Dr. Steere's Handbook ; and he immediately 
gave us the benefit of his knowledge in the shape of a comparison 
between Swaheli and Malagasy words in the next Annuâl (No. II. pp. 
20-22). But as his time for inspeeting the book was, of course, very 
limited, he could only give us a smattering of the subject, comparing 
about 50 words in the two languages. Some of thèse, however, are very 

* I need not say that, in reality, the intereft is hère one-tided in the opposite direction. 
The trader works for himself, the missionary for the natives ; but this they cannot see at the 

t Ste AKlfUAL No. n., pp. 76, 77. 


doubtful, and as regards one of them, there seems to be some mistake 
{nyaiï, buflfalo, is compared with Malag. astra (?), probably a printer's 
error) ;* but most of them I think hold good. 

No further step towards utilizing the now available knowledge of 
Swaheli for the illustration of Malagasv was made until Mr. Richardson 
began to compile his new Malagasy Dictionary, when Mr. Pickersgill 
undertook to compare the Malagasy vocabulary throughout with that of 
Swaheli for the benefit of the sàid work, a contribution for which wc 
are ail very thankful.f But every first attempt of this kind must neces- 
sarily hâve its imperfections in spite of ail care and diligence. It is, 
besides, to some extent, simply a conséquence of the peculiar nature of 
such a subject that many suggested identifications can only be guesses^ of 
more or less probability, and in many instances Mr. Pickersgill has 
marked them as such by a query. Therefore when I proceed to criticise 
some of his identifications, I wish it to be clearly understood that I am 
as far as possible from depreciating the good work he has done. 

III. — Let us now examine the Swaheli words in Malagasy as given in 
the new Dictionary. As I hâve not had time, and scarcely patience 
enough, to hunt them out, I directed an intelligent native to write ont 
for me ail words marked **Swa." The number he found out for me in 
this way amounted to 227. In tuming over the leaves of the new Diction- 
ary, I hâve detected several words which he has overlooked ; and, as 
there may still be some I hâve not noticed, the total number cannot be 
far short of 250. Many of thèse, however, are very doubtful ; others are 
no more Swaheli than they are Malagasy, being in both languages 
introduced foreign words, especially Arabie, although they may hâve 
come into Malagasy through Swaheli. In some few cases the alleged 
Swaheli word is found in Malagasy, but the identification is wrong ; e.g. 
Swa. ngara (transparent) is given under the Malag. ngàra (being of a 
mixed colour), while it is evidently to be identified with the Malag. 
mangàrangdrana (transparent) ; cf. also zàha, Some of the alleged 
Swaheli words I hâve not been able to find at ail in Dr. Krapfs Diction- 
ary ; I will give a list of thèse later on. 

Finally, there are many instances in which a word apparently common 
to Malagasy and Swaheli is also found in several other African languages, 
in which case the question arises whether such roots hâve been intro- 
duced into Malagasy through Swaheli, or whether they belong to the 
original African élément in Malagasy. In most cases, however, this can 
be decided by the locality wherc the word in question is in use. Neariy 
ail Swaheli words in Malagasy are 'provincial' (and duly marked as such in 
the Dictionary) and mostly hâve a very limited range (generally confîned to 
some of the coast districts). Besides which, the introduced Swaheli words 
hâve of course, as a rule, been brought to Madagascar by traders from 
ȣast Africa, and therefore generally prove to be tenus of trade^ or names 
of articles introduced by trade from the Swaheli coast. Therefore I 
would make bold to lay down the rule that, Wherever a Malagasy word of 
common occurrence and referring to objects of common life is found ^ not only in 

* Thii waf so ; it should hâve been oàtra ; 8e« the new Dictionary, under thii word,— £os, 
t I undtntand that Mr. Sibrte had alto tome ihare in thif work. 



Swaheliy but also in oiher African languages, it is almost certain that it iias 
not been introduced into Malagasy through Swaheli, but belongs to the original 
African élément in Malagasy, The Malagasy word hmby (cattle, Swa. 
ngombe) is a good illustration of what I mean. (See my remarks on this 
word later on.) 

Tuming now to the several words given as Swaheli in the new Diction- 
ary, I shall pass over in silence ail those with regard to which I hâve 
no new information to give, or the identifications of which I hâve no 
spécial reason to demur to. After having in this manner gone through 
the Dictionary and its Appendix, I shall mention a few other Swaheli 
words I hâve noted which seem to hâve been overlooked by Mr. Pickers- 

A. Alleged Swaheli Words in 
THE NEW Dictionary. 

1. Akànga : the guinea - fowl ; 
Swa. kanga, Probably a true Afri- 
can word, as this bird is of African 
origin, and the word occurs in several 
African dialects, with some slight 
variations as to its form : Nyamwezi, 
hanga ; Sena and Maravi, -kanga ; 
Makua, ikaka, 

2. Akànjo : coat, dress ; Swa. 
kanzu; Fr. canezou. As the Swa. 
word means very much what the first 
kind of coat hère must be supposed 
to bave been (a long shirt-like gar- 
ment), especially if introduced by 
East African traders; and as the 
word canezou,— which can scarcely 
bc called French— is not likely to 
hâve been the word the French would 
hâve used if they introduced dresses 
hère» I think we can take it for grant- 
ed that the Swa. kanzu is the origin 
ofourMalag. akanjo, Besides» there 
can scarcely be any doubt, accord- 
inç to tradition, that the Malagasy 
chiefs obtained a kind of dress nrom 
East Africa before they had any trade 
of importance with Europeans. The 
Swaheli word seem s to be of Arabie 
origin. ICasu, kiswa, and kaswa ail 
mean 'vestment' io Arabie, and are ail 
derived from the verb kasa, to clothe. 
The prefixed a in akanjo is no doubt 
only a remuant of the Arabie article 

3. Akbho: the domestic fowl; Swa. 
kuku, This is certainly a true Afri- 
can word, occurring in différent forms 
in the various dialects. Nyamwezi, 
ngokof Yaoi nguku: Makua, ilaku: 

Maravi, Tette, Sena, kuku ; Sofala, 
huku ; Zulu, inkuhu ; Inhambane, 
koku; Cape Delgado, uku, The 
original form has most likely been 
ku or kuk, which is, after ail, perhaps 
the same word as the Eng. cock and 
Fr. coq. Onomatopœetic words like 
this often originale at the same time 
in différent countries. 

4. Akhndro: the banana tree and 
fruit. This is compared with Swa. 
mkungu, but, according to Dr. 
Krapf s description of it, this must 
be a différent plant altogether. Be- 
sides, the form of the two words 
almost precludes the existence of any 
relationship whatever. The banana 
tree is in Swa. called ndizi, which is 
perhaps only a corruption of the Ar. 
tnuze, bananas, from which we hâve 
the generic term Musa in botany. 
In Yao, in which the banana tree is 
called ligombo, the fruit stem is 
called ntkonga, a word that comes 
very near the Swa. tnkungUy and is 
most likely the same word ; for while 
mkungu alone, according to Dr. 
Krapf, seem s to be quite a différent 
tree, he gives mkungu wa ndizi as 
"the stalk on which the banana fruits 
hang." In other East African dialects 
quite différent words are used for 
bananas; e.g. inika, inaka, tnadoke, 
ligombo, ukova (Zulu), the last of 
which comes nearest to akondro. The 
comparison with words of the Malay- 
an class, as given in the Dictionary, 
affords no solution. As the initial a 
points to the Arabie article, I am some- 
what inclined to refer the word to the 
Ar. kodra, anything green {akondro 



^'kodra, the green ?)» on account 
of its green stem and long light-green 

5. Ambôa : dog ; Swa. mboa. 
Hère again we seem to hâve a word 
belonging to the original African 
élément in Malagasy : Sofala, imbua, 
and so also in Tette and Inhambane ; 
Yao and Nyamw., ^rnbua, 

6. Amfaingo (-sz-ampàrapain- 
£oJ: fetters, chains; Swa. ^ingu, 
This référence seems to be correct. 
The prefixed syllable atn appears to 
be the Ar. article al ; but I know no 
Ar. "Word Jin£U (/ does not exist in 
Arabie) in this sensé. 

7. Ampéndra : a mule ; Swa. 
punda^ an ass. Hère is the same 
diffîculty with regard to the article ; 
but I think the solution is that the 
Swaheli-Arab traders who introduced 
the word hère hâve added the Arabie 
article to the African name. 

8. Angamia : a camel ; Swa. 
ngamta. This is no doubt a corrup- 
tion of the Ar. al-gamil, a camel. 

9. Angàrabê: the name of a star, 
may be referable to Swa. ngara^ 
^litter ; but it is not very likely that 
it is so, as this root is otherwise not 
used without reduplication in Malag. 
{mangàrangàrana, clear, transpa- 
rent). As Kcreb and Akareb occur 
as naroes of stars in Arabie (e.g. Tau 
Pegasi and Beta Scorpionis), it 
seems quite as probable that this 
may be tne origin of the Malag. word, 
espeeially as the other astronomical 
terms in Malagasy are Arabie (as with 
the names of the constellations in the 
Zodiac and the moon stations, as 

Îointed out by me in Annual No. 
I., pp. 7882; No. III., p. 131. 

10. Antrèndry: dates, is probably 
the Swa. tende ^ with the Ar. article ; 
but the form is rather obscure. In 
Arabie dates are called temra and 
the date-palm nahla. In Nyamw. 
dates are called nende* 

11. Arahâba and màrahàba : 
salutation, are pure Arabie words 
(see Annual No. IL, p. 83, where 
the full form is given) whieh Swaheli, 
like Malagasy, has borrowed. I n the 
Dictionary a référence is given to the 

Arabie under arahaàa, but not under 

12. Asàly : a shawl ; Swa. sAali, 
is now a eosmopolitan word, found in 
both hémisphères, from Eastem India 
in the east to Califomia in the west. 
It is thought to be originally a Per- 
sian word. In Madagascar it seems 
to hâve been introduced direct firom 
Arabia, as it appears in the Ar. as- 
shalu (with the article^, rather than 
in the bwaheli form of tne word. 

13. Baba: inter. beautifiil I capi- 
tal ! famous ! "[Swa. beba^ root of verb 
with the same meanine.]'' What this 
parenthesis is intended to mean I am 
unable to say, as I find no other beba 
in Swaheli than the one forming the 
root of the verb meaning "to carry a 
child on the back in a eloth," which 
is no object of surprise calling for 
an ezplanation, at least not in this 
eount]^. (The Swa. beba should hâve 
been given under Malag. bâby. See 
my additional words.) 

14. Bahàry : the sea ; Swa. ba- 
hari^ is of course the Ar. bahr (lake, 
sea^, so familiar to every one in maps 
of the Holy Land, etc. 

15. Bandàry : a harbour, a land- 
ing- place ; Swa. bandart, This is a 
Persian word, meaning a place where 
merchandise is stored and kept until 
sold, an emporium. The ^ord early 
passed into Arabie and from theoee 
both into Malagasy and Swaheli. 

16. Bàra : "a tribe. . . in South- 
central Madagascar; . Svidi. barra, 
a tract of country.*' This Swaheli 
word is a purely Arabie one, meaning 
land, country ; but there is not, in my 
opinion, the slightest probability that 
it has anything to do with the Mala- 
gasy name Bara, which eertainly 
primarily and chiefly désignâtes the 
tribe, and not the country. Why 
eall a tribe 'country' ? And if the 
Malagasy had a mind to use such a 
misnomer, how was it that they chose 
a word for 'country* whieh appears 
nowhere else in Malagasy ? It is 
eertainly much more likely that this 
tribal name is to be ezplained by the 
root bàra, which we meet with re- 
duplicated in bârabdrat in the sensé 



of the rough'Sfeaking (people). It 
is quite natural that the Hova, who 
had difficultv in understanding their 
dialect (as they still hâve), shauld in 
a derisive roanner designate them by 
this onomatopœetic word, which re- 
minds us at once of our own 'barba- 
rous,' and the Greek bar bar os, which 
seems to hâve had a similar origin.* 
(See also Ar. barhar, to mutter.) I 
cannot leave this word without noak- 
ing the remark that I do not see why 
a Dictionary, which does not profess 
to give proper names, should, in some 
few instances, single out such a 
name, when a pièce of etymolo^ is 
tbought to be involved in it. This 
remark also applies to Bâly and, I 
believe, a few others. 

17. Baraka : honour, famé, is 
thought to be ponnected with the Swa. 
baraka^ blesSing, and barakôa, the 
mask-like veil used by Mohammedan 
women. Both thèse words are Arabie, 
or, rather, common Semitic, at least 
the first of them, which, however, in 
my view, is quite out of the question 
hère, because the sensé is too dis- 
similar. Barakoa, which in Arabie 
has the form barâkiu, and means a 
veil, agrées exceedmgly well with the 
fact that the Malag. baraka is only 
used in combination with àla and 
àfaka (taking off, freed from) ; and it 
is easy enough to see how the taking 
off forcibly the veil of a woman 
might become a phrase for 'pucting 
to shame' in gênerai. It is, however, 
not likely that the word has been 
imported hère through Swaheli (but 
rather direct from Arabia, at an 
earlier period (?), as the accent îs so 
différent from that of the Swaheli 
form, but agrées with the Arabie. 
There is, however, another Arabie 
word, baraçt meaning splendour, 
which may equally well be the origin 
of the Malag. baraka. 

t8. Dàha: medicine; Swa. davia, 
\% the Ar. dawao (medicine), which 
word seems to be radically identical 
with the Malag. 6dy (medicine and 
charm) ; see my article in AnnuâL 
No. II., p. 80. 

19. Fàdyjmo^./àly : what must 
be abstained from, anything tabooed, 
has scarcely anything to do with 
Swa._/â!/ï*(an omen), which is the Ar. 

fâl or /alu (an omen, especially a 
good one). The taboo idea is too much 
a Polynesian one to allow us to look 
towards Africa for the origin of its 
Malagasy name. But I hâve not the 
means of investigating further into 
the origin of this word. 

20. Fajiry : a large star or planet. 
"Probably from Swa. alfajiri, the 
dawn." This Swaheli word should 
rather hâve been written alfâgiri^ 
as the g is in this word hard, as in 
the Egyptian dialect of Arabie, while 
soft in the Syrian branch of that lan- 
guage. It is the Arabie al-fajir^ 
which means dawn, but is also the 
name of the morning star (Venus). 
Its form in Malagasy (y, not g, and 
without the article) seems to prove 
that it has not been introdueed 
through Swaheli. 

2 1 . Garàma and karâma: wages ; 
Swa. gharama, expansé, are the Ar. 
gharam {gharamatuny=i^\i2X one is 
obliged to pay (from gharima^ to be 
bound to pay). 

2 1 . Hoho : nails of the hands and 
feet ; Swa. ukucha. As we hâve 
the Malay kuku, of the same mean- 
ing, there is no need to refer to any 
other source, especially as kuku is 
the very form the Malag. hoho would 
hâve in Malay. (Cf. Malag. aho'=. 
Mal. aku ; Malag. hola^razzzyiail, 
kulaty etc.) 

2}^, Ibibé : grandmother ; Swa. 
btby, seems to be only the féminine 
of àbabê (grandfather), also bâbab}, 
Both words are to be referred to the 
true African word baba (see my ad- 
ditional words), which may be radi- 
cally connected with àba, 

24. InOf root of mîno : to believe ; 
Swa. amina, The Swa. amina is 
an Arabie verb corresponding to the 
Heb. ameriy heemiriy to believe ; but 
if the Malag. mino is the same word, 
the root cannot be ino ; if therefore 
ino is taken as the root, it is so taken 
through a misunderstanding in the 

^ See Max Mûller's L^cluru on tke Science of Langnagt; vol i., pp. I30«I33. 



language itself, treating this word ac- 
cordiog to the gênerai analogy of verbs 
in ffti. (Cf. ffiàty and my remarks on 
it in Annual I^. il, p. 90 ; fàty is 
treated as a root, which it scarcely is.) 

25. Jàka : ''méat or money pre- 
sented by friends to one another on 
the annual festival of the Fandroa- 
na; a new year's gift. Comp. Swa. 
zaka^ tithes/' I hâve long busied 
myself about this word and hope now 
to hâve made it out at last. It must 
be the Ar. zàkâ^ alms (lit. purifica- 
tions ; cf. Heb. zaka^ to be pure). 
This word and sadaka are one pair, 
The first of them dénotes the légal, 
obligatory, the second the free-will, 
gifts to God (offerings), or to the 
poor, as His représentatives (alms). 
A good Muslim is expected to spend 
about one-fortieth of his property in 
alms, and especially to be libéral at 
the end of Ramadan (the fasting 
month) at the festival called Beiram, 
of which I consider the Fandroana 
to be an imitation. Hence the jaka 
[zakcC) at the Fandroana. What was 
once the alms has now become pré- 
sents in gênerai. 

26. yamà : a national assembly ; 
SwaL.jamaa, This is the Ar.ya/w^i- 
a^m or, as pronounced in modem 
ArabiCf jamâe oxjatnà, and the very 
same word we hâve in Zomà, Friday 
(day of congrégation, from jama^ to 

27. ytny : the ashes of a deceased 
prince ; Swa. jinni Tnot jiniy as in 
the Dictionary). Tne Swa. jinniy 
evil spirits, is no doubt the Ar. j'inn 
or j'unn, the genii or intermediate 
beings between men and angels. 
Thèse were, however, generally con- 
sidered as evtl spirits, and this makes 
me doubt its identity with the Mala- 
gasy word. People were not likely 
to say that their deceased king had 
become an evil spirit ; neither do 
the Mohammedans believe that their 
princes become yi>i« after death. 

28. Johàry : sl chief, a président, 
etc.; Swa.y^?!^^^/, ajewel. The word 
is rather to be referred to the Ar. root 
johara^ to be conspicuous, manifest, 

29. Kàlafàty : caulking ; Swa. 
kalafati^ is the Ar. kalafat or gila^ 
fât^ Spanish, calafatear^ to caulk, 
from which language the word seems 
to hâve passed into nearly ail Euro- 

f>ean tongues, more or less altered 
most so in Ëngl. caulk) ; but it is 
impossible to décide whether it was 
originally a Spanish or an Arabie 
word. The fact that in Spanish it 
has got several derivatives {falafate^ 
calafateador , calafateadura, cala- 
f alerta, calafatin) seems to point 
to a Spanish origin, but, on the other 
hand, it has no possible etymology 
in Spanish, while it does not see!tn 
impossible to find this in Arabie. 

30. Kârafhy or kàraféhy : cloves ; 
Swa. garofuu {garafuu in the Dic- 
tionary is a misprint), seems to be 
the Fr. caryo^hyllef as cloves were 
introduced into Zanzibar from Mau- 
ritius (according to Krapf), and there- 
fore most likely retained the French 
name. In Arabie cloves are called 
qoronfolt probably from the same 

31. Karàna or karàny : a Mo- 
hammedan Indian trader ; Swa. ka- 
rani, a clerk, secretary ; another 
Arabie word in Swaheli, viz. qaran, 
the reader, especially the reader of 
the Qoran (which originally means 
*what is to be read*). Cf. fntara, 
scriptures, lit. reading, in post-bib- 
lical Hebrew. 

32. Kar)bo, adj. and verb imper. : 
near, come near, come in ; Swa. 
karib. The Swa. karib is the Ar. 

Îarib (=Heb. qarab), to draw near. 
t is in Swaheli used exactly as in 
Malagasy in answer to hddi (the 
Malag. kaody), when knocking is 
heard at a door. 

^l, Kibàha : sl rice-measure ; 
Swa. ktbaha, a measure, is the Ar. 
çt'baAf a measure ; cf. Heb. çab, root 
meaning anything hollow. 

34. Kibàna : *'a bedstead, a raised 
platform for sleeping on out of doors 
m hot weather, the latter is some- 
times provided with a light roof ; Swa. 
kibanda, a hut.*' This seems to 
be the Ar. gabban^ gtdban, çubban, 
a tcDt, a pavillon. 


35. Kilhna : a blemish, deform- 
ity, scar ; Swa. kilema, a deformed 
peraon. This is the Ar. kilam, 
wounded, deformed, from kalama, 
to wound. The Heb. kalam, from 
which kelimmah, blemish, shame, 
is derived, is the same word. 

36 Kiràro : shoes ; Swa. ^iafu ; 
scarcely a happy identification. 

37. Kirébo : a shilling. The Ar. 
rooa, from which both kirobo and the 
Swa. robo corne, does not mean 'four/ 
but the 'fourth part' (i.e. of a 'dollar). 
Seemy articlein Annual No. II. p. 85. 

t8. Kàhaka : coughing ; Swa. 
uJniJhi ^in Dictionary given as u/so* 
A^), wliich is probably the Ar. Aakk, 
to cough ; in ancient Arabie also, 
to snort. 

39. LaMiny : but, however ; Swa. 
lakini; this is most certainly the Ar. 
laktn, lakinnazsHéb, laken, 

40. Mànanàsy: pine-apple, is 
certainly the Swa. mananazi) of the 
same me^ning ; but as to its origin, 
the word is from Peru (Peniv. nanas, 

41. iiarâba : fence, enclosure, 
square ; Swa. mradda, which is the 
Ar. fnoraààa, square. 

42. Maso : eye, should not hâve 
been compared with Swa. mcLcho at 
ail, as it is only misleading. As the 
word for eye, of the same root, occurs 
in the forms mata, matan^ moto, etc., 
in any nurober of Malayo-Polynesian 
dialects, there can be no doubt as to 
the origin of the Malag. maso. And 
when mac ho isxtàMC^à to its singular 
jicho, ail similarïty with maso disap- 
pears at once. Jicho is a genuine 
Africaa^-word, occurring in many 
varieties: — Tette, zizo ; Sofala, dsis' 
so; Sena, diso ; Cape Delgado, riso; 
Zula, iliso ; Quiliimane, Tito, TMark 
the easy transition hère from I io d 
and r, as in Malagasy.)* 

43. Masia : a boat ; Swa. mas hua, 
is the Ar. mashnva, a lighter. 

44. Mohogo : manioc ; Swa. mu- 
hogo, is, I think, only a corruption of 

45. Mostmy : northerly wind ; 
Swa. musimi, is the Ar. mausem, of 
which mostmy, musïmi, and man^ 
soon are ail corruptions. 

46. Mlto : tinder, and motro, fire ; 
Swa. moto, fire. Hère we seem to 
hâve a genuine African word occur- 
ring in many East African languages 
of the Rantu family : Sofala, Tette, 
Quiliimane, moto, fire. It must, 
however, be kept in mind that hère 
it occurs only on the coast ; in Uie 
interior the Malayan à/o [afu, api^ 
hapi, pepe, yap, yaf, ai/, aow, etc.) 
is the only word in use. When the 
Malayan invaders came, they prob- 
ably took possession of the 6mby, 
amdha, and akôho (cattle, dogs, and 
fowls) of the African aborigines, and 
the «tffw^j with the things ; but the 
fire was not to be taken captive in 
this way, and therefore it kept its 
Malayan name, leaving the Amcan 
name to the African aborigines, 
whom they drove towards the coasts, 
where the word is still in use. 

47. Nahéda : a chieftain, a cap- 
tain of a vessel ; Swa. nahoda, na- 
hoza, and nakhoda, is probably from 
the Ar. nakiza or nuvakiza^ the 
captain of a ship. 

48. Ngàra : "being of a mized 
colour. IJsed only of the eyes. Comp. 
Swa. ngara, root of verb to be trans- 
parent." The Swa. ngara bas 
nothing to do with this word, but is 
evidently the root of the Malag. 
mangàrangàrana^ shining, trans- 

49. Nia : root of mima, to in- 
tend; Swa. nia, intention, is the Ar. 
niyat intention. 

50. Omby : cattle ; Swa. ngombe» 
A genuine African word : Sofala, 
Tette, Sena, ngombe ; Inhambane, 
ombe and nombe ; Quiliimane, ngom* 
^^ and nompe ; Maravi, nombe and 
muombe-, Makua, ingope ; Nyamw. 
and Yao, ng'ombe ; etc. In Malayo- 
Polynesian qui te différent words are 
used in those languages which hâve 
any word at ail for cattle. 

^ I do not, however, mean to demr the possibility of a foreign word being introduccd hern 
ia iti plural form (cf. Vatàha), but I think it unnecessar}' to bave recourse to this expédient 
whea we hâve aaother and more natural ezplaaation at hand. 



51. Osérontàny : customs duties ; 
Swa. CLshur. This ashur is the Ar. 
asAurUt the tenth part, then tithes, 
duties paid in kind at the rate of 10 
per cent. Cf. Heb. asar, eser (ten), 
with the derivatives tsar on, asor, 
maaser, which are the same word. 

52. Ota : sin, has scarcely any- 
thing to do with Swa. kossa, error 
(Yao, makosa). 

53. Pako : plaster; Swa. faka^ 
root of the verb meaning to smear on. 
It may be the Ar. baqa^ to stain. 

54. Papàngo : a kite ; Swa, ^tpa- 
nga^ a large birdof-prey The word 
seems to belong to the original Afric- 
an élément in Malagasy : Sena, 
tsapanga, a small falcon ; Yao^càtm- 
dan^a, a hawk. Probably the word 
originally meant any bird-of-prey. 
The root seems to be panga, which 
in Zulu means to run at, seize 
violently, ravage, plunder. 

55. Paràsy : a flea, is certainly 
the Heb. ^arosà, Ar. burush or 
burgush, and not the Swa. papasi^ 
ticks, as suggested in the Dictionary. 
It is strange that the Malagasy form 
cornes nearer the Hebrew than the 
Arabie. It should, however, be kept 
in mind that the Ar. g or gh is only 
a modification in sound of the Heb. 
ayin^ and that/, d, andy are easily 

56. Râdy : consent ; Swa. urathi^ 
is the Ar. rudwa, consent (root, radif 
to consent). When Dr. Krapf clives 
the Ar. adar as root, it must be eitner a 
mistake on his part or a printer's error. 

57. Raftky : a friend ; Swa. ra/i" 
Jtt\ is the Ar. rafîk, a friend, or, 
rather, a companion, from rafaka^ 
to keep Company with, associate with. 

58. Ràntadàny : the Mohamme- 
dan fasting month ; Swa. Ratnathani^ 
is of course the Ar. Ramadan^ which 
is the ninth month of the Arabie 
lunar year. (Root-meaning probably 
*the bumingone.') 

59. Ràsy : 2L cape, headland ; 
Swa. ras, is the Ar. ras (Heb. rosA), 
head, and then cape (just as we get 
*cape* from caput), 

60. Sa: "a provincial word for 
you, SirI Swa. saa'^ Both the 

définition and the référence to the 
Swa. saa (or sa) seem to rest on a 
misunderstanding. The Swa. saa or 
sa is at any rate an interjection, of 
about the same sensé as the Greek 
and Latin âge / and Krapf also puts 
it among the interjections (p. xxziz. 
of his Dictionary), although bis trans- 
lation of it is rather clurosy and 
misleading. The correspooding pro- 
vincial Malag. sa I do not know. (cL 
Ar. iza, lo ! look hère !) 

61. Sabôry : wait ! Swa. sabur$, 
is from the Ar. tsabara, to be patient. 
The Swa. saburi, however, is a noun 

62. Sadàka : a sacrifice, offering; 
Swa. sadaka, offering, feast- offering, 
alms, is from the Ar. isadaqa, which 
means anything regarded as dedica- 
ted to God, as offerings, alms, etc. 
(Cf. Heb. tsadaqaht righteousness, 
which also, in post-Biblical Hebrew, 
acquired this wider sensé. Comp. 

63. àytf/îiry ; a joumey, avoyage, 
etc. ; Swa. safarù A purely Arabie 
word ; se/ara, voyage, journey. 

64. Sàha : field, country, out of 
town, etc., is scarcely the Swa. 
shamba, which seems to be onlv 
ground which is cultivated, whicn 
is exactly what saha does noi mean. 
I should feel inclined to think of Ar. 
sahla, a plain, if I did not, from the 
nature of this word, think it unlikely 
that it has been introduced firom any 
other language at ail. 

65. Sahàny : a dish, a plate; 
Swa. sahani, is the Ar. sahan, of the 
same meaning. 

66. SaKxdy : a testimony, a wit- 
ness ; Swa. shahidi, is the Ar. shâhid, 
a witness (=:Heb. sahed, a witness). 

67. Sahàry : a kind of checked 
cloth ; Swa. sahari (so Krapf ; shari 
in Malag. Dict.). The word is clearly 
Arabie ; but Dr. Krapf seems to be 
wrong when he thinks that the cloth 
has got its name from a district, 
Sahari in Arabia ; for in modem Arabie 
there is a verb shahar (also occurr- 
ing under the forra shahwir)^ which 
means to dapple, to chequer, which 
at once shews the origin of the word. 



Sah6a, sahULhàa, sàho, tsàho, 
stasto are evidently différent 
I from the same root, ail meaning 
»ur.' l^aho aod siosio are the 
Ary words in Imèrina, the first 
ling rumour in gênerai, the 
id, the rumour that has scarcely 
>ecome a rumour (a conscious 
pering hetween man and man), 
•ugh that distinction is not drawn 
be ezisting dictionaries. The 
: other forms are provincial. 
n a root occurs in so roany 
rent forms, I immediately suspect 
reign word, which the natives 
had difficuUy in pronouncing 
iierefore hâve corrupted in many 
'ent ways. But the référence to 
sauti^ voice, noise, can scarcely 
j^t, as neither form nor meaning 
î. I hâve no doubt that the root 
s Ar. shaa or shai {shayt), to 
id (as news) ; shayt, wide-spread 
b) ; causative askt, to spread 
; maskâa, widely divulged ; 
r, rumour. 

Sahoby : punishment, is the 
izab, punishment, from azaba, to 
ih, which in Swaheli appears in 
orm athibu. 

Salàtna should not hâve been 
Led simply as ''Swa.," as it is a 
. whose Arabie origin is known 
ever the Arabie salutation is 
i: ''Salam alek r (**Peace 

theel"); and the response : 
tlekeS'Salam /" f **And also upon 
be peace!") Ct. Héb, sMa/om, 
e; see also Judg. xix. 20; i 
•n. zii. 18 ; Matt. x. 13. The orig- 
means integrity, healthy condi- 
and in this sensé only is it used 
e interior, but in the provinces it 
10 a salutation. The word is, of 
se, not more Swaheli than Mala- 

Sàly : a shawl ; Swa. sAait 
Asâly). This is thought to be 
nally a Persian word, but the 
ology points rather to the Ar. 
'a, a skein, thread, and shallil, to 
; ; but what the history of trade 
to tell about the origin of the 
^, I cannot say. 
. Sàmbo : a ship ; Swa. chombo^ 

a dhow. In Makua a dhow is ichoni' 
bo: in Zulu a ship is umkumbu. In 
Arabie shauna. plur. shawan, means 
a ship, especially a roan-of-war ; but 
what connection there may be between 
thèse words I dare not say. 

73. Saâa : equal, level; Swa. sa- 
zva, is the Ar. sawa or satvy, of the 
same meaning. 

74. ' Sâra, in sâran-dàkana, tiare 
of a canoë {lâkana), cannot be the 
Swa. mshahara, wages, because 
this word means only monthly pay 
(from Ar. shahr, a month), which 
would not agrée with the casual 
nature of payroent for being ferried 
over a river. It seems to be the Ar. 
ejer, ojra, hire {ajara, to pay hire, 

75. Sàry : likeness ; Swa. sura, 
is the Ar. ^ura, form, figure. Cf. 
prov. shra, form, figure (not in the 

76. Saroàly : pantaloons ; Swa. 
surwaii, is the Ar. sarâwllu, breech- 

77. Sàsa : washed, is certainly 
not to be referred to the Swa. osha^ 
as it is evidently identical with Ûie 
Mal. saisah, 

78. Savhny : soap ; Swa. sabum, 
is the Fr. savon and Ar. sabunt, etc. 
The form of the Malagasy word 
seems to point rather to a French 
than an Arabie origin. 

79. àS'/>»//a; ''an imperativeword. 
Get out of the way. . . Swa. simtlla, 
from Ar. bismillah'^ The transla- 
tion given is the same as in Krapf, 
for the Swaheli. The Malagasy I 
hâve never heard, as it is ezclusively 
provincial ; but I hâve a suspicion 
that the meaning attached to it is a 
much wider one both in Swaheli and 
Kf alagasy. The word is an abbrevia- 
tion of the Arabie phrase Bi-ismù 
/7^Ai (eorresponding word for word 
to the Heb. ùe-shem-eloah), 'in the 
name of God,' which is the opening 
sentence of each chapter of the 
Qoran ; and then it has gradually 
become something between an oath 
and an exclamation (cf. Ene. 'egad !' 
probably from *by God !'), adding 
force to any expression. 



80. Sokàny : a nidder ; Swa. Xf^- 
kani, is the Ar. sukani, which is 
used of what keeps the ship steady 
fsame root as Heb. shaken), either 
m going (a nidder), or in harbour (ao 

81. Sokàry : sugar; Swa. xf/^- 
ri^ is not "nom a root common to 
both the IndoEuropean and ^hem- 
itic (in Dictionary Semetic) families 
of languages," not more so than 
bhky (Eng. book) is from a root 
common to English and Malagasy. 
The Word is purely Indo-European, 
but introduced into many other lan- 

Siages, as Arabie, Persian, Swaheli, 
alagasy, etc. 

82. Siratra: "writing, markings, 
colour. Mal. soorat; comp. Av. sura^; 
Swa. sura,** This référence is very 
misleading, as it gives the impression 
that the word is of Malay origin, and 
that you may compare Arabie with 
Swaheli ; while the truth is {a) that 
the word is Arabie, and has been 
pointed out as such long ago (Annu- 
AL No. IL p. 86); {b) that the Mal. 
surat (why write *sooraf ?) is simply 
the introduced Ar. surat, and is also 
duly marked 'Arabie' in Malay die- 
tionaries (e.g. in Crawfurd) ; {c) that 
the Swa. sura is quite a différent 
word=the Malag. sàry, which see, 
and the provincial j^a (forro, figure), 
overlooked in the Dictionary. 

83. Sbrotà, sirotàny : a chicf 
man, a sultan ; Swa. sultant, is of 
course an Arabie word. The root is 
salita (Heb. shalat), to be in author- 
ity, from which we get the dérivation 
sultan, àuthority, power, ^hich, by 
metonymy, comes to mean a man 
possessed of power, etc., a sultan. 
Cf. Heb. shilton and Chai, shaltan. 

84 Tàba, tàhatâba; * 'noise, clam- 
eur, political tumult, etc. Comp. Swa. 
taabUy trouble." The word is evident- 
ly onomatopœetic, and the concep- 
tion too national to make us think of 
a foreign word, even if its form and 
meaning agreed better with the Swa- 
heli word than is actually the case. 

85. Tabhry ; round, the testicles ; 
Swa. tamboa. If I did not consider 
the word to be a pure Malagasy one, 

I should suspect it to be the Ar. 
dabtr, virilia, (In Zulu, holo has 
the second of the above raeanings.) 

86. Tàky is certainly not to be 
looked for in the Swa. taka (^;Ar. 
tcLqa, desideravii), when we bave the 
Mal. tagih in the spécial sensé of the 
Malag. mttàhf (to dun for a debt). 

87. TàratUbo : gently, easily ; Swa« 
tarattbu, orderly, comes from the 
Ar. tartib, order. 

88. Tsy, not ; Swa. si, belongs, I 
think, to the original African élément 
in Malagasy. In Zulu and Kafir it it 
written ça (i.e. a with a 'click' be- 
fore it). 

89. Tsiiota : six. If this, as sug- 
gested in the Dictionary, is the Swa« 
stta, it is the Ar. sitte, six. (Cf. what 
has already been said about the 
numerals in Swaheli.) 

90. Vazimba: "the reputed abori- 
ginesofthe interior," is referred to 
"Swa. wazimu, an ogre, a mad 

Çerson, and kuzimu, in the grave." 
'erhaps we had better compare the 
Swaheli root ztmu, to die, disappear. 
It mieht then roean 'those pass^ 
away, and be a name given bv the 
Hova after they had annihilatea the 
original inhabitants or driven them 
out of the interior ; but the name is 
too widely spread both hère and in 
Africa to admit this ezplanation. 

9 1 . Vhantànf^ : the water- melon ; 
Swa. tangu, z kind of pumpkin. This 
seems to be an original African word 
in Malagasy. It is also found in 
Zulu, in the form itanga ; Nyamw. 
liungu (pi. fnungu\ bottle pump- 
kin s, and limtana (cueumber), which 
seems only a corruption of liiangva 
("a water-melon, eaten raw like a 
cueumber"), which is the word in 
Yao ; Makua, ntanga, cueumber. 

92. Zabàdy : civet; Swa. zahadi, 
is the Ar. zebâb, civet (the scent) ; 
the animal is called qutt ez-zebad, 
The Eng. *civet* is the same word. 

93. Zîha (root of mizaka, to ex- 
amine) is wrongly referred to the Swa. 
tazama, to look, which word is rather 
the root of mttàzana, to look around, 
to look at distant objects. See this 
word among my additional ones. 



Zahidy : excellent ; Swa. zar- 

The Swaheli word should be 
tn zayidi (or sauit), but even so 
ïference would not be right, as 
dvcrb 'more' could not, without 
spécial trîck, be turned into the 
:tive 'excellent.' Zayidi is no 
fc the Ar. jayid, excellent. 

Zamàny: ancient, old; Swa. 
int. The Swa. zamani or sa» 
fis the Ar. zeman, time, era. 

Zàza : a child, an infant ; 
. Swa. zaa, to beget, uzazi, 

As zànaka has the appearance 
»ng the Mal. anak, with the 
: zâE, I hâve always thought that 
this word and zaza were only 
îcations of the Malayan word ; 
he Swa. zaa has put me on 
er track. If this root had been 
only in such a mixed language 
"aheii, I should not hâve consid- 
it of much importance ; but it 
ndently be traced even in such 
• représentative of the Bantu 
r as the Zulu. Hère zi means 
r, property in children ; zana, 
;11 family ; zalo, offspring, çro- 
; zala, birth (and semen virile), 
le verb zala, to beget, generate, 

The common root of ail thèse 
dently zi or za (r=Swa. zaa), 
tte a child is called zeze, which 
\ very near the Malagasy zaza, 
this I should consider za a true 
n root in Malagasy and refer to 
1 zaza and zanaka, and perhaps 
à/y, grandchild. 

Èo : renown, celebrity, good 
e, has certainly nothing to do 
lie Swa. zuri, handsome fwhich 
by the way, is only the adjective 
name tsura, form, figure, which 
\ referred to under sary), It is 
r. jay power, dignity, fortune, 
occurs under the form chaha 



Adohôry : noon, is said to 
yoTxd. to Swa. athuuri, which 
ot find in Krapf ; but it is, at 
te, evidently the Ar. ez-zuhur, 
rhe TOot{zahaa, akin to tsahar^ 

to shine) is familiar to every Semitic 

99. A ina : life, roay , as suggested 
by me before (Annual No. il. p. 87), 
be connected with the Ar. and Heb. 
/iaioTc/iai{\mn^), which hasalsopas- 
sed into Swaheli ; but it seems more 
likely that it belon^s to a group with 
a much wider meaningandmore widely 
spread than the Semitic word. But 
I cannot enter into this question hère, 
as it would lead to the examination of 
perhaps half a hundred allied words. 
I hâve collected materials for a mono- 
graph on it, but am rather afraid it 
will never appear. 

100. Ajtma: prodigious; Swa.asf- 
tna, a charm, is the Ar. azime (an- 
cient Ar. azimatun), a guardian 
charm ; originall^, an enterprise, from 
azama, to take m hand, to do. 

ICI. Akàma, If this has the same 
meaning as nàtnana, companion, it 
can scarcely be the Swa. (i.e. Ar.) 
kama, which, like the ideotical Heb. 
kammaht means only 'like what?' 
*how much ?' 'how often ?' (Arabie 
also simply 'like as.') 

102. Bandera: "a kind of red 
cloth introduced by the Arabs, a 
flag," is referred to Swa. bandera, 
The word is, however, a Spanish (or 
Portuguese) one. Banda m Spanish 
means a troop (like Eng. band), 
and bandera^ its standard. Hence 
it gradually got the meaning of flag 
(in Spanish), and was in this sensé 
adopted by the Arabs, who now use 
it side by side with their own native 
word bairaq. And as the Arab 
flag is red, the natives of East Afirica 
also called the red cloth they bought 
from them by the same name. In 
this way it there got the additional 
meaning of 'red cloth,* which is also 
attached to it hère. It is, however, 
hère çenerally applied to the red 
yam, m skeins, sold by the Arabs. 
The word has entered into most Euro- 
pean languages with many variations, 
as bandiere, bannière^ banner, etc. 
And if we go back to the root band 
(Sansk. bandh\ that which binds to- 
gether, we find it branching out into 
almost ail Indo-Europeao languages. 



103. B6dof6tsy : blanket, is refer- 
red to the Swa. bushuH (a cloak of 
black cottoD) ; but this identification 
teems impossible, for the Malagasy 
Word is not applied to a cloak, and 
not even to a hUick blanket, but 
only to a whiie one. This certainly 
favours the explanatioo I hâve given 
in Annual No. II. p. 84. 

lOd. Haody : a word used when 
knocKing* at a door ; Swa. hodi^ of 
the same meaning. I believe this 
word to be Arabie, for the following 
reasons : -(a) It is not likely that the 
natives of Êast Africa h ad any word 
for it, as their buts bave scarcely 
any doors to knock at ; and as the 
custom of knocking suggests a stage 
of civilization above that which they 
hâve arrived at, they must bave been 
taught to do it before they did so. But 
their first teachers of manners were 
certainly the Arabs. {b) The Ar. inter- 
jection haiti oxhaitu {comt hère ! look 
nere !) agrées suflSciently well with 
haody, foapf, however, refers us to 
the Ar. hada^ to guide, lead the way. 
If so, it must be tne imperative ahdit 
guide (me), with the first two letters 
transposed. (The *Mahdi,* whose 
name we bave so recently constantly 
seen in ail newspapers, is a name 
formed from the participle of this 
verb [the leading, i.e. the leader].) 
{c) The answer (from those inside) to 
this call is, in Swaheli, decidedly 
Arabie (see karibo), and the corres- 
ponding Malagasy is a translation 
of it. A Malagasy does not say what, 
to us, would seem most natural, 
*Come in!* but, 'Proceed!* 'Draw 
nearl' {^Màndrosha,*) 

105. Hàta=.hàira : until, up to ; 
Swa. hatta^ is certainly the Ar. 
hattay until, as far as (chiefly of 

106. Kanika : blue cloth ; Swa. 
kanikù Is not this merely a corrup- 
tion of *calico' ? 

107. Laoka : **any relish, or méat 
eaten with rire. On the coast it almost 

always means fish or vegetables." 
This bas certainly no^, as suggested 
in the Appendix, any connection with 
Swa. luththa (flavour). The Mala- 
g^asy word is surel^ Malayo-Polyne- 
sian» as it occurs in the rorms uka^ 
ika, or tkan in many Polynesian 
languages. How this uka or ika 
may become lauka^ through the 
adaition of the démonstrative /d, is 
seen in the Dayak lauka (a fish|, and 
the Mala^sy laoka^ which probably 
was also identical with 'fish, as lon^ 
as the Malagasy, like most of tlieir 
kinsmen eastwards, had only fish for 
their relish. When other things were 
added, the meaning of the word 
gradually became wider.f 

108. Sàba : seven ; Swa. saha^ 
is of course the corresponding Ar. 
numéral (Heb. shibeà) ; cf. no. 89. 

There are a good many suggested 
identifications 1 should feel obliged 
to demur to, e.g. those of jàly, 
kàrakàrUt and kàsa in Appendix, 
which I bave passed in silence. Some 
few alleged Swaheli words I bave not 
been able to find in Dr. Krapfs 
Lexicon ; aroong thèse are the follow- 
ing :- 

Malag. tnbfo referred to Swa. mofo (App.) 
„ vazàha „ „ waja iDict.) 

„ sèrtmàla „ „ sermala (Dict 

and App.) 
many (ApP*) 

many „ 
fàranla „ 

„ /rosi la 

I am unable to say whether thèse 
références bave been g-iven by mis- 
take, or whether the Swaheli words 
in question are to be found in Dr. 
Steere's Handbook, which I bave not 
at hand. In the case of mo/o, I 
suspect a misprint for • mofa, which, 
in Swaheli, according to Dr. Krapf, 
means a baker's oven (especially the 
kind in use on board shipj for making 
bread, but not bread itself, although 
one can easily imagine how this latter 
meaning may hâve originated from 
the former one. The word fnqfa is 

* But neither in the Malagasv nor tho Swaheli Dictionary is 'knocking' mentioned, nor îm 
it the Malagasv custom to knock. Haody / is the polite request for leave to enter a house. 
This point of tne argument therefore loses its force. — £ds. 

t oee Rev. W. £. Cousins's note on Laoka^ ANNUAL No. VIII. p. 124. 


the Ar. mufa {mi/a, mifan\ an 
oven, or rather the projecting part of 
it (firom wafa, to stand out, project), 
where the bread is made. 

But the Word I miss most of thèse 
five is waia {vazaAa), as I hâve long 
been looking for an ezplanation of 
the Word by which we foreigners 
{vatoÂa, foreigoer, white man, i.e. 
a European or American) are desig- 
oated. The Dictionary says that 
this (missing) waja means "foreign- 
ers, literally, those who bave corne 
(over the sea)/' But Mr. W. E. 
Cousins, whose source of information 
was Dr. Steere's Handhook^ tells us 
that *' Vataha or Wazaha means a 
sharper*' (Annual No. IL p. 22), 
This sounds rather shocking ; but as I 
can fie d no authority for any of thèse 
exi>lanations, 1 must try a new one. 
Ajatn in Arabie means one who 
cannot speak Arabie properly, then 
a barbarian (cf. Greek barbaros). 
They first applied it to the Persians, 
and then to foreigners generally. 
Now this word has been introduced 
into Swaheli too, and hère it forms its 
plural by the prefix wa, which gives 
us wajatn as the name of foreigners. 
The Malagasy vazaha I therefore 
consider a corruption of this word. 
C. Additional Words. 

I wish it to be clearly understood 
that the following Swaheli words in 
Malagasy are only those I bave 
happenea to light upon while exa- 
roining the Swaheli words given in 
the Dictionary. If I had purposely 
searched for them, I should no doubt 
bave found many more. 

1. Abtly (for ab\dy)\ a slave, is 
the same root as the Swa. abtuia, to 
serve, and abida, service. The root 
is African and the same as abad, ebed, 
in Hebrew. It has nothing to do with 
vidy, as suggested in the Dictionary. 

2. Ady and ad^y are both to be 
referred to the Swa. adut\ an enemy, 
which is derived from Ar. î^dwa and 
adwa, enemy and enmity. 

3. Afaka : freed from, may be 
Swa. aju, delivered from. 

4. Baba: father; Swa. babu, is 
a genuine African word. Zulu, Sofala, 

Tette, Sena, Quillimane, baba ; Cape 
Delgado and Yao, vava, It may be 
radically connected with aba (a redup- 
lication of it ?). I do not mean that 
the Semitic ab has been introduced 
into ail thèse languages, but that 
a cosmopolitan root ab may be at the 
bottom of them ail. 

5. Bàby : root of mibàby, to carry 
a child on the back, is the Swa. beba, 
of the same meaning. 

6. Dàda (and àda) : father, is the 
Swa. dada^ father (chiefly used by 
children). Thèse words occur in a 
great many African dialects under 
an almost endless variation of forms. 
I hâve noticed the following: da, 
ada, dada, iada, tata, iaata, nda^ 
atatiy athithi, etc. 

7. Emba for n}mba ?) : root of 
vlanèmba, French beans ; Swa. 
mbumba ; Sofala, Tette, Sena, «y- 
emba ; Maravi, niemba ; Quillimane, 
myamba ; Zulu, imbumba. Whether 
the initial n belongs to the root or 
not, it is difficult to say. Cf. tango^ 
or n tango [})t as root of voantango, 
Probably a genuine African word. 

8. Fàdin - tserànana (customs 
dues) has always been an etymologi- 
cal puzzle. That the first part has 
nothing to do with the Malagasy 
fàdy is obvions. It seems to be the 
^^2l. fayida, Ar. faid, gain, profit. 
Serànana now chiefly means a port, 
aharbour, but is also used of any place 
(even inland) where there is a collec- 
tion of revenue, as customs dues, etc. 
This I take to be the Ar. sheranun, 
commerce, trade. The meaning of 
the whole would be 'income from com- 
merce,* which is what the Mala- 
gasy word means. And as this com- 
merce was almost exclusively confined 
to sea - ports, serànana naturally 
came to mean a port. 

9. yànga : a harlot, used as root 
of niijàngajàngay to commit for- 
nication ; Swa. zinga (also written 
singa\ to stroll about seeking for 
women, etc. Cf. Zulu, ^inga, to 
commit adultery. 

10. LVy : coitus, milély, coire, 
seems radically connected with Swa. 
lala, to recline, to lie down to sleep. 


II. LîMa (and HaÂa): greedy, 13. .S'^idx^/s .* désire for a quarrel, 

veheme'ntly desirous ot food, naving seems to be Swa. su^, to charge one 

& strong appetite, isto be referred to a publicly with a fault, etc. 

root /^ or ha, of decidedly African 14. Tàj^aka : broken, a part bro« 

orî^fin. Swa. and Yao, /ia ; Makua, ken ofF from the whole ; Swa. Ufpo, 

Ulia : îiy2Lmw, lya ; Zulu, ala; which division, a part of the whole. 

âll roean to eat. In other dialects it 15. TSmboka : pierced through, 

is changed to dt or rt (e.g. Tette, stamped, commenced, is tiie Swa. 

kU'dià ; Sofala, ku'ria\ but still tumouka^ to make a hole, iumbua, 

retaining the same meaning. to perforate. 

13. l7gàrana:twA<A manger an* 16. VaKiny: stranger, I shoukl 

gàranà, shining, transparent, is refer to the Swa. geni, strange, 

€tte Swa. Hgara, snining, transparent, foreign ; mgeni^ a stranger, a foreign- 

In the Dîcftionary the verb is referred er ; pi. wageni, 

to the root hàrangàrana^ peeped at i^. Viay : price, ma^^be the Swa. 

through aholef!), but wrongly, as is Jidt, to rédeem, to buj; fiK)m Ar. 

proved by the oiiSerent meanings of /ada, to redeem, and ^pda, price of 

thèse words. rédemption. 

It is now about nine years since I wrote my article on ''The Influence 
of the Arabs on the Malagasy Language" (Annuâl No. II. pp. 75-91) ; 
and much has since then been done to elucidate the Malagasy language, 
and especially the knowledge of the provincial dialects has increased 
very much. Therefore it is now much easier to detect Arabie words in 
Malagasy, as most of them are to be found in the provinces. In the 
lately issued Reprint of the first four numbers of the Annual I added a 
few new Arabie identifications ; and in the présent article I hâve found 
occasion to allude to a good many more. Tuming over the leaves of 
the new Dictionary I hâve found some few which are not touched upon 
hère, as they are not found in Swaheli and consequently did not concem 
us. But the whole subject of Arabie identifications of Malagasy words 
would now be well worth a separate article. The same is in still gteater 
measure the case with the purely African élément in Malagasy. There 
are certainly scores of interesting identifications to be made ; and many 
of thèse African words are of such a nature that they could not hâve been 
introduced hère in more récent times. They seem to me to prove the 
original African settlement hère in the same way as the Celtic words in 
English, even without influencing the grammar, prove that the Celts lived 
in England before the Anglo-Saxons. If time allows, I should certainly 
like to take up this subject ; but, for the présent, I cannot do more than 
hint at what ought to be done. 

IV. The following points may be noted as embodying a brief sum- 
tnary of the subject : — 

1. The Malagasy beîng essentially a Malayo-Polynesian language, 
and the Swaheli a Bantu language, there is, upon the whole, no more 
real relationship between the two than between the two families to 
which they respectively belong. 

2. There are, however, a good many single words, — ^apparently from 
two to three hundred — to some extent common to both languages. 

3. As thèse words are chiefly names of articles of trade imported 
hère from East Africa, it is évident that they are Swaheli words in Mala- 
gasy, and not the reverse. 


4- Theae Swaheli words ia Malagasy are, with very few exceptions, 
provincial, and chiefly to be met with on the coast, especially the west 
coast. In the interior most of them are unknown. I believe any one 
couid live ten years in the Capital, and converse freely with the people, 
without ever hearing one-tenth of them. They hâve never passed into 
the tuceum et sanguinem of the Malagasy nation. In this respect they 
are very unlike the earlier introduced purely Arabie names of days and 
months, which hâve become common property. 

5. Sk>me pf those apparent Swaheli words in Malagasv are not intro* 
dqced throngh the Swaheli, but belong to the original African élément in 
Malagasy (e.g. omby, akoko, amboa, and probably akangà), Their charac- 
ter, and the canon for discriminating them from the introduced Swaheli. 
words. has already been given (pp. 102, 103). 

6. Others are not of African origin at ail. Some few are in fact 
common to both Orient and Occident (e.g. saly^ savony, bandera)^ and it 
is therefore difficult to tell from what sources they hâve been imported 
into Madagascar, with the exception of those few cases in which the 
peculiar form they hâve taken proves a guide. But many more are 
evidently Arabie, although they hâve in most cases been introduced hère 
by traders from the Swaheli country, and therefore through the médium 
01 the Swaheli language, as very few traders hère hâve come direct from 

7. It should be observed too that the Arabie élément in the Swaheli 
words introduced into Malagasy is somewhat greater in proportion than 
in Swaheli itself. This agrées well with what we should expect to find, 
as most of the Swaheli traders who hâve come into any close contact 
with the Malagasy hâve certainly been people of Arabie extraction ; and 
the terms chiefly in use in their trade and business hâve most likely been 
the very words which their Arabie ancestors felt it necessary to introduce 
into Swaheli, as that language originally had no names for such things 
and doings as were introduced among them by the Arab foreigners. 

L. Dahle. 



THE following new gênera of plants from Madagascar are described by 
Mr. J. G. Baker, F.R.S., of Kew, in the Journal of the Linnean Sociefy 
for December, 1884 (vol. xxi. Nos. 136 and 137) : — 

Sphœrosepalum (Nat. Ord. Guttiferœ) ; Rhodoclada (Nat. Ord. Lïneœ) ; 
Neoharonia (Nat. Ord. Leguminosœ) ; Phornothamnus (Nat. Ord. Mêla- 
stomaceœ) ; Phellolofhium (Nat. Ord. Umbelliferce) ; Melanofhylla (Nat. 
Ord. Cornaceœ) ; Holocarpa (Nat. Ord. Rubiaceœ) ; Apodocepkala (Nat. 
Ord. Compositai). 



Ail of thèse, except Mtlanophylla^ are as yet represented by but one 
species. Sj^fuBrosepalum {S, aliernifoltum) is a shrub (or tree?} found 
near the east coast. Rhodoclada {R. rhofaloides) is a shrub (or tree t) found 
in Ântsihànaka. Neoharonia (JV. ^hyllanthoides) is the well known hàra- 
hàra. In last year's Ankual, p. 113, I said'that this tree would probably 
prove to belon^ to a new çenus, whicn is now seen to be the case. Phorno • 
thamnus {P, thymoides) is an undershrub found in the forests in the eastem 
parts of the island. Phellolophiutn {P, madagascariensé) is an herb five 
or six feet high with aromatic seeds ; it is known as tsilêondroàho. It grows 
in valleys in Bètsilèo, at the foot of Ankàratra, and near the forest in Eastem 
Imérina. There is another species, probably also belonging to this genus, 
about half-way up the eastem side of Ankaratra» but I hâve not yet succeeded 
in finding it in flower and firuit. Melano^hylla (M, alnifoUa^ and M, an- 
cubœ/olta) are shmbs (or trees?) found in the forests of Eastem Madagascar. 
Holocarfa {H, verontcoides) is a perennial herb found in Central Madagas- 
car. The genus is allied to OHo^hora^ Apodoce^hala [A . éauciflora) is 
a résinons tree found in the forest of Eastera Imerina, and is known as 
isindràmy.^'ÈD, (R.B.) 


Among the new Malagasy plants lately named and described in the 
journal of the Linnean Society by Mr. J. G. Baker, F.R.S., are the fol- 
lowing :— 

Rhodolœna acutifolia, This is a large tree, growing in the forests 
east of Antsihànaka, and is used in house-building. It has beautiful large 
flowers, somewhat similar to those of R, altivola^ Thouars. This latter 
plant was discovered nearly a century ago by Du Petit Thouars. 

The Loviantsâhona, The lovtantsanona (or vilîantsàhona) is the name 
of an herb found very abundantly in rice-fields, by stream sides, and in 
marshy places, throughout Central Madagascar. It proves to be a new 
species of Hydrocotyle, and has been named by Mr. Baker H, super- 

Two NEW Species of Schùmatoclada, Two mofe new species of 
Schistnatocldda {S. conctnna, and S, vtburnoides) hâve recently been found 
\xi the forest of Eastem Imèrina. As this gônus of plants is closely allied 
o Ctnchona, it would be interesting to know the resuit of an analysis of the 
barks of thèse shrubs. 

Four new Species of Ebony. Four new species of ebony hâve been 
lately found in the island. which hâve been named and described by Mr. 
Baker. They are Diospyros fusco-velutina ; D, megasepala ; D, s^hœ* 
rosepala ; and Z>. gonoclada, The first of thèse is found on the east coast 
(Fènoarivo); the second and third are found in the forest to the east of 
Antsihànaka ; and the fourth somewhere between Imerina and the east 

The Tsimpèriféry , In the collections recently sent to Kew there is a 
new species of pepper plant, which has been named by Mr. Baker Piper 
éachyphyllum, It is very nearly allied to P, borbonense, C. DC, and is 
known by the natives by the same name {jtsimph^ifèry\ 

The Aviàvy, Voàra, etc. The aviavy is a large tree, a species of Ficus, 
common about villages in Central Madagascar. It proves to be new, and 
Mr. Baker has named it Ficus tnegapoda, Another closely allied species, 
known as àoiàvitnàtnihnby ^ found also about villages in Central Madagas- 
car, has been named Ficus Podophylla, The voàra, a large tree found also 
in the central parts of the island, is also a new Ficus^ and has been named 


Ficus tiliœfolia, It may be here stated that ail the Fici receotly sent to Kew, 
sixteen in number, were hitherto unknown to science. Two species of adâbo 
{Ftcus) hâve c^uite lately been sent, and will also probably prove new. 

The Sàm^ivàto, This is a well-known subscandent shnib with stinging 
hairs. It is found in woody places in Central Madagascar. It proves to be 
a species of Urera, and bas be*en named Urera sphœrophylla. 

The Hètatra, The hetatra is a tree found in the forests of the interior 
wfaich yields a valuable timber eztensively used in house-buildiug. Mr. Baker 
bas named it Podocarpus madagascariensis, It is nearly allied to the 
Cape P. Thunàergtif Hook. 

THE Hàsina, The hasina are species of DrcLCœna^ the most common of 
wfaich is, I beiieve, D, angustifolia, Rozb. There is a species of hasina 
at Âmbàtovôry and other places which proves to be new. It bas been named 
Dracœna xiihophylla. 

The Oviàîa, Dioscorea acuminata is a new species of oviala^ the root of 
which is much sought after as food by the natives. 

The ZozWo {Cy férus imerinensis^ Boeckl.). It is somewhat of a surprise 
to find that the zozoro^ so common in the marshes, is most likelv a oew spe- 
cies. It is very nearly allied to the Egyptian Papyrus. (ËD. R.B.) 


Mr. Henry N. Ridley, M. A.,F. L. S., of the British Muséum, bas lately 
read a paper before the Linnean Society on "The Orchids of Madagascar," 
and the foUowing are his preliminary remarks : — 

"The Orchidex of Madagascar, as far as they are at présent known to me, 
belong to 30 gênera containing nearly 140 species ; but it is to be expected 
that mis number will be largely increased when the botanical riches of the 
country are more fully explored. This paper must therefore be only consid- 
ered as a prodromus, giving an account of the species hitherto described or 
figured, together with those nôvelties which bave come under my personal 
observation in the great herbaria of the British Muséum and Kew. 

"It would at présent be prématuré to base any arguments as to the origin 
of the flora of Madagascar upon the distribution of the gênera and species of 
Orchideae as at présent known ; but it will be of interest to examine the list 
and compare it with that of Africa and Tropical Asia. 

"The Êpidendreae are represented by 6 gênera, two of which, Oberonia and 
Cirrhopetalum, are interesting from their absence from Africa, the remainder 
also being more extensively developed in Tropical Asia than in Africa. Of 
the Vandese there are 11 gênera, four of which, so far as is certainly known, 
are confined to the Mascarene archipelago ; one, Polysiachya, is distrib- 
uted over both hémisphères ; the remainder are either exclusively African, as 
LissochiluSf or are most abundant in Southern and Tropical Asia. The geous 
Acam^et however, is probably more of an Asiatic type than of an African one. 
The small number of Neotties gives somewhat of an African faciès to the list. 
There are only 4 gênera : one, Gymnochilus^ is exclusively Mascarene ; the 
others consist of the two widely distributed gênera Corymbis and Pogonia^ 
and MonochiluSt which is chieây Malayan, The Ophrydes are very well 
represented. There are eight gênera, of which two are only known from 
Madagascar, viz. Bicorneïla and Platycoryne ; one is found also in the 
other islands of the archipelago, viz. Cynorchis, Of the rest, two occur also 
in Africa ; and two, Disperis and Satyrium^ while occurring in India, are 
most abundant in Africa. 

"Thu8| broadly speakins^i we may say that the £pidendre« are typically 
AsiatiOi whilt the remainotr are more of an Afirican characteri 


"As inîght be expected, a large proportion of the species afe enâemic ; aod 
but few bave a distribution further than the archipelàgo or neighboming 
coasts of Afirica. The most widely spread species are Cirrhopetalum 
Thouarsti, perbaps the most widely distributed of ail epiphytic Orchids, 
extending its range as far east as the Society Islands, and Ùorymàis cof^ymb- 
osa, which is found also in West Africa."— Ëd. (r.b.) 


Joumeying downwards to Mojangà, on the north-west of Mada^scar, 
homeward bound to England, in the month of June, 1879, 1 travelled (with wife 
and children and native attendants) for some days down part of the Ikôpa 
river from Mèvatanàna to Màrovoay ('Many-crocodiles'). The weather was 
bot, as it always is in thèse parts ; and one day, in the early part of the aftcfr- 
noon, we were glad enough to corne in sight of a pleasantly shaded resting- 
place on the right bank of the river,— green and fair— and overhung with 
trees. It was tne usual restin^ hour for the boatmen when we arrived tiiere ; 
and ail of us were exhausted with the beat and in need of food and re^ and 
sbelter from the sun. 

We were glad therefore to draw up our canoës alongside the pleasant 
bank ; and after I had seen my wife and children safely placed, and the 
màromîta (bearers) had selected a spot on which to kindle the fire for 
dinner, I strolled around the place. Walking under some trees and pushing 
aside the reeds and rushy grass, I was startled, in a moment, by a sudden 
tingling and pricking sensation over the back of my hands and fingers, — a 
strange sensation, for never before had come the like to me, in Madagascar 
or elsewhere. I stopped at once in sudden surprise, for the pain was severe, 
and I had touchea nothing, save perchance the long grass and rushes 
between the trees. But in another moment the pain increased, the tingliag 
buming sensation seemed extending rapidly up my wrists ; and as I bent my 
head down to look closely for the cause of the mischief, nothing was seen. 
But even as I lowered my head to look, pain, scalding pain, shot into myears 
and neck, and growing worse too, every instant.* Dazed and bewildered, I 
stood a few seconds in helplessness, for I could neither see nor guess at the 
cause of the terrible distress. Then with awakened instinct I drew sofdv 
back, away from the 'uncannie' spot, and got back to my company with 
agony writ plain enough over every Une of my face. 

The men started up when they saw me, some of them crying out, **E/a 

Jvoan* ny Agy hianao'' (**You hâve been smitten by the Agy tree"). 
Some of them led me to a seat, others rushed for water from the river, which 
*— • they fetched plentifully, and two or three hurriedly brought sand and earth 
heaped in their hands. Then thej^ chafed me with the sand and water that 
they mifi^ht take out the lay (stineing hairs), they said, for that was the name 
by which they knew the cause of my sufferings. As they scrubb^ me, I 
felt the pains abate ; and after about a quarter of an hour' s continuance of 
the opération, I was compara tively free from pain and was able to join in 
the rice-dinner which was soon ready. And before we left the place that 
aftemoon, my tortured cuticle was quite well again. 

While the men were rubbing me, I was able to discem to some extent the 
cause of my distress. Countless hairs, like tiny arrows, almost transparent, 
pointed apparently at either end, and from a third to a fourth of^n inch long, 

had dropped down on me in an invisible shower from the Agy tree as I 

' ■ 

^ A fimilar eiperience happened to myself on my way to Mojangà. The seiuation, which wAt 
ttoit painfiili reiainded me ot the iting of a nettle» but wu ten times more viiuleati-^D. (RiB.) 

èfATURAL mSTQRr mTfi$^ 

pa9sed and stood under its branches, which were ^ently stirre^ by a spft 
wind. My clothing and the pith helmet on mv head had protected me ât 
first, ezcepting my ezposed hands. Then tne bending of my head had 
exposed my neck to the falling plague. Ere I came away that afterooon, 
vexy cautiously I ventured to examine the tree at a little distance ; and somç 
other of the same species were pointed out to me near the same place by the 
natives. The little hair-like shafts were growingenclosed in a thickish poJL 
or shell, not quite so large, perhaps, as a small banana fruit. Each sheH 
appeared to be closely packed with thèse little spines. If my memory serves 
me, thèse lay transversely and in double rows or stacks across the interior df 
the pods. Thèse latter were fully ripe (unluckily for me) just at that veijy 
tîme, and the light wind was emptying out the contents. 

I saw no more Agy trees on the remainder of our joumey ; and had never 
even heard of them before during the nine years of my résidence in the 
island. But the maromUa told me that day that, in former times, the Agy 
was well known in Imerina, the district where I had lived. It is a tradition 
amone the people, they said, that once upon a time, long ago, when the wild 
Sàkalàva tribes had laid siège to Ambôhimànga, the former Capital of 
Imèrina, some of them, unacquainted with the Agy trees, had come under 
their dangerous branches. Stricken with hot pain and sudden alarm even as 
I was, and deeming, I suppose, that the ^ods were fightinç against them, 
they fled away in terror, and the Hova Capital was saved by its Agy trees. 


i\^/p.— According to some native accounts, the trees whose stinrang pBOr 
perties caused the invading Sakalava to retire in terror from Ambonimanga, 
as above described, were the amtana (which are species of ObeHa), trees 
with tall straight stems and bearing large velvety leaves which sting Uke 
a nettle when touched. Some of theleaves on the young trees are very Targ^, 
about twenty inches each way, and are very beautitiil in outline, being deepl^ 
eut and indented. Thèse trees still ^ow plentifully on the summit and slopes 
of the hill on which Ambohimanga is built, as well as in many other places, 
but the àgy is not known there. 

The agy is most probably Mucuna prurienSt DC, the spécifie name 
fruriens being very apt. It is sometimes called the Cowhage, and is cos- 
mopolitan in the tropics. It is used in some countries as an anthelmintlc. 
The ag^ is not 'a tree,' but a climbing plant, and the stinging hairs are on 
the otUside of the pod.»EDS. 


"A certain Père Paul Cambozé (a Jesuit) has sent from Tamatave a notice 
^ich has been eagerly reproduced by reviews treating of the Silk trade. 
He there describes two species of silkgiving Bombycidae {Brocera mada- 

fascariensis, Boisduval, and Saturnia suraka^ id.}, whose silk is manu- 
ictured by the Malagasy for the making of their magnificent cloths called 
làmba lândy.*^ -Missions Catholiques ; no. 784, quoted in BulL Soc. de 
Géog. de Lyon; gme livr. t. 5me, Avr. et Mai 1885 ; p. 486. 


In rambles through the forest near Ambôhidratrimo in December of last year 
I was several times struck by the curious formation of the wings of one of the 
tmaller q)ecie8 of butterfiy common in thèse woods. The insect in question 
U of plain inconspicuous colouring, chiefiy shades of brown, and, when at resti 



sîts with the wings erect and nearly touching one another. The curious 
point about it is that there are several somewhat strongly marked and dark- 
tinted processes from the hinder points of the wings, which resemble the 
head, eyes, and antennae of a butterfly, so that when at rest it is very difficult 
to say which is the head and which is the tail of the insect. The tail mark- 
ings and points are so much more strongly emphasized than the actual 
head and antennae that it is only when the wings slightly open that one is 
undeceived. Mimicry of one insect by another, and miraicry of leaves, grass, 
etc., by insects, are of course well known facts, but I do not remember 
to hâve seen any similar instance noticed of that of resemblance between 
the différent parts of the same insect ; but may not the reason of this 
mimicry of the head by the tail be of some service m directinç the attention 
of birds and other enemies to the less vital part of the buttemy's structure ? 
It is évident that the hinder portion of the wings might be snapped at and 
broken off, and yet no serions injury be done to the vital parts of the insect. 
Howeyer this may, the point appears to me to be worth noting down as a 
curious fact.— Ed. (J.s.) 



POLITICAL.— The Franco-Ma- 
LAGASY War. It is now neaHy three 

Sears since the French commenced 
ostilities against Madagascar, but 
as yet they hâve made little pro- 

gess in their warlike opérations, 
urinç the last twelve months there 
hâve been one or two somewhat 
serions military engagements, numer- 
ous petty skirmishes, fréquent bomb- 
ardments, and lengthy négociations, 
ail of which, however, hâve been 
utterly ineffectuai in "bringing the 
obstinate Hova to reason," or in 
compelling them to acknowledge 
"the rights of France over Madagas- 
car.** The foUowing are the chief 
events which hâve occurred during 
the year with regard to the Franco- 
Malagasy difficulty. Some time ago 
Admirai Miot asked for an additional 
force of 3000 troops, by the aid of 
which he hoped to be able to take 
the Hova position of Manjàkandria- 
nombàna and bring the Malagasy 
Government to ter m s. Soon after the 
arrivai of thèse troops therefore the 
French in Tamatave made an attack 

upon Manjakandrianombana, but, 
after seven hours* fightinç, they were 
•repulsed and compelled to retire, 
carrying with them, it is said, a large 
number of wounded and some killed. 
This wasthe most serions engagement 
that h as occurred during the whole 
history of the war, and, as was natu- 
ral, the defeat which the Hova hâve 
infiipted upon their enemies has in* 
spired, not only the native soldiers, 
but the whole of the people, with 
confidence and courage. 

Another event of considérable im- 
portance connected with the Franco- 
Malagasy war, — if the présent igno- 
ble imbroglio deserves such a name 
— is the chastisement inflicted by the 
Hova upon certain Sàkalàva rebels 
in the north-west of the island, who 
had allied themselves with the French 
and taken up arms agâinst the Sove- 
reign. In order to quel! the insurrec- 
tion, a force was sent from Antanàiia- 
rivo some eight or nine months ago 
under Andriantsilàvo, 14 Honours. 
After several weeks* march, they 
came within a few miles of Jangôa, 


the seat of the rébellion, a town 
sttuated on a river of the saroe naroe, 
some twentv miles east (or north- 
east) of Anôrontsànga, opposite the 
island of Nôsibè, and not far from 
Âmbèdimadiro. Jangoa was surroun- 
ded by the Hova one moming before 
the rebels were aware of danger, and 
the town was bumed to the ground. 
Soon afterwards, the French and 
Hova forces met at Bèfitina. The 
French commander, it seems, was 
killed on the first onslaught, and 
in spite of the machine guns and mi- 
trailleuses directed against them, in 
spite of a sudden and unexpected at- 
tack on their right wing by a band of 
Sakalava, the Hova succeeded in 
thoroughly routing both the French 
and their native allies and gained a 
complète victory. 

The last act of the French is the 
blockade of Vàtomàndry, now the 
chief port on the east coast of the 
island. This, however, inflicts no great 
injury upon the Malagasy ; the only 
persons who are seriously inconveni- 
enced thereby being the foreigners, 
whether merchants or others, who 
are much more dépendent upon the 
outside world than are the. natives. 

Durin^ the year négociations hâve 
been gomg on between the French 
représentatives and the Malagasy 
Government through the médium of 
M. Maigrot, the Italian Consul. 
Thèse négociations hâve been pub- 
lished by the Hova Government m a 
'Red-book,* from which it appears 
that the claims which the French 
make are as foUows ; a Protectorate 
of the whole island ; permission to 
place a Résident, with a guard of 
soldiers, in Antananarivo, besides offi- 
ciais in varions parts of the country ; 
and the collecting of the customs at 
the varions ports by persons appointed 
by the two powers. The Malagasy, see* 
inff of course that this is almost équi- 
valent to annexation, flatly refused 
to accède to any such terms. At the 
présent time négociations are again 
going on between the two powers, 
which we sincerely hope mav lead to 
a satitfectory terminauon ot the war. 


NORS. During the year a large 
number of Govemors and Lieute- 
nant - Governors with their suites 
hâve been appointed by the Central 
Government to important stations in 
distant parts of the country. This 
is in continuation of a policy of reform 
commenced some years ago, whereby 
the Hova officiais in thèse places, 
mostly old m en, out of sympathy with 
the modem régime, and frequently 
incapable and untrustworthy, are be- 
ing gradually substituted by indivi- 
duals of a more intelligent and upright 

LITERARY.- Revision of the 
Malagasy Bible. The Bible Revi- 
sion Committee has continued its 
work as usual during the year and 
has revised 152 chapters, viz. from 
Sam. iii. 25 to the end of Malachi 
(excepting the Psalms), thus com- 
pleting the first re vision, and Gen. 
i-xxiii. (commencement of the second 
re vision). The first revision was 
completed on Wednesday, Oct. 8th. 
From a leaflet recently issued by 
Mr. W. E. Cousins we learn that **the 
revision wasbegun Dec. i, 1873, but 
was suspended from M ar. 7, 1876 to 
Oct. 28, 1878, owing to the absence 
of Mr. Cousins on furlough ; the work 
has therefore occupied the Committee 
a little more than nine years. The 
Committee has sat on 4^3 days, and 
has held 771 sittings, chiefly of three 
hours each.*' The second revision 
was commenced on Wednesday, Nov. 
4th, and will, it is hoped, be comple- 
ted in about eighteen months. 

OBITUARY.— During the early 
part of this year intelligence reached 
us of the death of (probably) the last 
surviving member of the early Mission 
of the London Missionary Society in 
Madagascar, the Rev. Edward Baker, 
formerly mission printer in Antanana* 
rivo. Mr. Baker was bom at Burton 
in Staffordshire in 1804, and therefore 
had reached the good old âge of 
fourscore years. ne Was appointed 
to Madagascar as a printer m 1828, 
and reached the Capital in thd 
autUmn of that year. He took a 


warm iuterest in the spiritual work of 
l^e Mission, as well as in his own 
spécial department of work, and la- 
boured hère for four years, at the ex- 

{)iration of which time he went to Enç- 
and, but returned hère again withm 
two years* time. Mr. Baker was, with 
the Rev. D. Johns, the last of the 
missionary party to leave the island, 
in 1836, when the increasin^ severity 
of the persécution of the native Chris- 
tians made it impossible for mission- 
aries to continue longer in the country. 
For a few years after Mr. Baker' s 
departure from Madagascar he resi- 
ded at Mauritius, and during his rési- 
dence there he prepared a use^ Uttle 
manual of Malagasy crammar enti- 
tled : An Outline of a Grantmar 
of the Malagasy Language as 
spoken by the Hovas ; 1845 ; pp. 84 
(2nd éd., London : 1864). 

Mr. Baker subsequently removed to 
South Australia, where he became the 

pastor of two small congrégations. 
His interest in Madagascar, however, 
did not cease, for, apparently antici- 

Eating the re-opening of the country, 
e prepared a large Dictionarv of Ma- 
lagasy, which was eventually pur- 
chased by the S.P.C.K. and, although 
never published, was used in the 
préparation of Mr. Richardson's new 
Dictionary. Upon the commence- 
ment of the Church Missionary Soci- 
ety' s Mission on the east coast of 
this island in 1864, Mr. Baker (at the 
request, we believe, of Bishop Ryan) 
translated the English Prayer-book 
into Malagasy for the use of the 
Mission, thus showing, not only his 
continued interest in this country, 
but also his large-hearted catholicity. 
We hâve no exact intelligence of the 
date of his death, but he has left an 
honoured memory, as having "served 
his génération according to the will 


New Books on Madagascar. 
( I ) Madagascar and France. With 
some Account of the Islande its 
People^ its Resources and Develop- 
ment, By George A» Shaw, F Z.S, 
Cr. 8vo ; Rel. Tract Soc. London : 
1885 ; pp. 320. Map and illustrations. 

(2) The True Story ofthe French 
Dispute in Madagascar, By Cap- 
tain S. Pasfield Oliver, late R.A, 
Demy 8vo ; T. Fisher Unwin, Lon- 
don : 1885 ; pp. 280. Map. 

(3) Nos Droits sur Ma'iagascar, 
et nos Griefs contre les Hovas, exa- 
minés impartialement par Ruben 
Saillens, etc. Paris: 1885 î PP* ï^^- 

We include thèse three books m 
one notice because they hâve much 
the same object in view, namely, to 
give accurate information upon the 
still pending dispute between Mada- 
gascar and France. 

Mr. Shaw^s bookf as its title 
would lead one to tuppote» is largely 

taken up with political matters ; and 
chapters v.-xi., which form the bulk 
ofthe volume, describe very cleariy 
the chief stac^es in the disputes 
which hâve led to the présent war. 
The first four and the last three 
chapters, however, give a well con- 
densed summary of what is known 
about Madagascar generally, the 
civilization and origin of the people, 
atteropts to colonize the island, 
présent advance of the Malagasy, 
and the flora, fauna, and meteorology 
of the country. While we can hanfiy 
endorse what has been said by some 
English reviewers as to Mr. Shaw's 
book being "the most complète ac- 
count of Madagascar which has 
appeared for some years," we can 
heartily recommend it as giving, in a 
brief form, accurate information upon 
the points we hâve just enumerated. 
Many interesting topics connected 
Witii Madagascar and the Malagasy 



are necesssai^ left quhe untouched, 
aie principal subject of the book 
demanding the bulk of the space. 

'Captain Oliver's book is written 
porely and shnply to give the history 
of the Franco-Mala^asy dispute, and 
to urge a peaceful settlement by 
concessions on the part of France. 
The book naturally goes over much 
the same ground as that occupied by 
the seven central chapters of Mr. 
Shaw's work, but the treatment is 
somewhat more racy and vigorous, 
as may be eathered £rom the titles 
of the eight chapters, which run thus : 

31) A Firebrand [M. Bandais]. (2) 
aterials for Incendiarism. (3T Con- 
fagration. (^) Tormentnm Belli. (5) 
Neutral Sentiments. (6) Regina Dei 
gratiâ. (7} Opérations Civil and Mili- 
tary. (8) Blockade." Captain Oliver 
bas added to the value of his book 
as a woik of référence by giving the 
texts of the difPèrent French treaties 
made, it is said, with varions Sàka- 
làva chiefs fortv years and more ago, 
and upoD which the présent unright- 
eous demands for a protectorate 
over the whole island are largely 

M. Saillens's book is that of a 
Frenchman, and we are thankful to 
see that ac least one French writer 
has had the couraee and faimess to 
examine impartially the points in 
dispute between his own Government 
and that of Madagascar. Although 
M. Saillens thinks that his country- 
men hâve some fair grounds of com- 
plaint against the Malagasy author- 
ities in the matter of obstructions 
placed in the way of leasing of land 
to forei^ers (and on this point we 
agrée with him\ he is practically at 
one with Mr. Shaw and Captain Oliver 
in condemning the récent demands of 
the French Government as perfectly 
unwarranted, and as utterly incon- 
sistent with their action for many 
years past. This book, written from 
the French side, is, in almost every 
particular» in accordance with the 
arguments put forward by the Mala* 
gasy Ambassadors in their state- 
ttients âddretted to Lord GranviUe 

(see Blue-book, Correspondence 

Pecting the Visit of the Hova 

Envoys to Europe : 1883 ; pp. 25-29). 

No impartial reader can, we think, 
read thèse three books, or any one 
of them, without being convinced of 
the gross injustice of the présent 
demands of France. Should they 
still be enforced, it will be clear to 
ail that they afford another instance 
of how *might' is considered by 
European nations as 'right,* when 
they come into collision with weaker 
and less civilized (?) peoples. 

(4) Madagascar : its History and 
Feople, By the Rev, Henry W. 
Little (some years Missionary in 
East Madagascar J. With a Map, 
Wm. Blackwood and Sons, Fdinburgh 
and London : 1884 ; 8vo, pp. 356. 

We just noticed in the last issue 
of the Annual that this book was 
announced, and we now are able to 
give a fuller notice of it. Mr. Little's 
work is a clear, well-printed, and 
pleasantly written book, and to those 
who knew nothing of Madagascar 
before will give a good deal of in- 
formation. But we are bound to add 
that there is hardly an3rthing original 
in it except the chapter on the voyage 
out, and a few pages in chapters 
vi., vii., xi., and xiii. ; and that one 
will look in vain for any new facts on 
the scientiôc aspects of the country, 
or with regard to the folk-lore, lan* 
guage, or manners and customs of 
the people. We should give the 
author no blâme for this, however, 
if it was fairly acknowledged that 
his book only professed to be a com- 
pilation. It is true that in the préface 
Mr. Little says that the works of 
Mr. Sibree and others hâve been 
frequently consulted, but the fact is 
that large portions are copied, some- 
times almost word for word, and 
sometimes with only the slightest 
verbal altérations, from the works of 
other writers. Want of space alone 
prevents us giving détails of thèse pla- 
giarisms. We are surprised that a 
gentleman who has been "some years 
missionary in £ast Madagascar" 
should not hâve been able* to coath* 


LttÊRARy Notés. 

bute much newandinteresting infonn- 
ation about the coast tribes araongst 
whom he has lived. Had such beeo 
carefîiUy noted» Mr. Little's book 
would hâve had a permanent value ; 
as it is, it contains hardly anything of 
interest which has not been recorded 
by previous writers. 

(O Histoire de Madagascar: ses 
habitants et ses missionaires, par 
le Père de la Vaissière, 2 vols., 
Paris: 1884. 

This large work contains little 
of value about Madagascar gen- 
erally, beins;- chiefly occupied with 
a history of the Roman Catholic 
Mission m this island, together with 
a ^ood deal of abuse of Protestant 
missionaries, especially those spécial 
bugbears of the French, the mission - 
aries of the L. M. S. 

(6) Ny 0?uibolafC ny Ntaolo : nan- 
gonina sy nalahatry W, E. Cousins 
sy y. Parrett ary ny sakaizany 
sasany. {The Proverbs of the An- 
cients : collected and arranged by 
W. E, Cousins and J, Parrett and 
some of their friends,) L. M. S. 
Press, Ântananarivo : 1885 ; pp. 154. 

Fourteea years ago Messrs. W. 
E. Cousins and J. Parrett published 
a little book of 76 pages contain- 
i^g" ^477 native proverbs. This 
has been valued by ail students of 
Malagasy, as it is well known that 
the native proverbs not only throw 
much light upon the habits of 
thought, customs, superstitions, etc., 
of the people, but that thèse products 
of the native mind are invaluable as 
presenting examples of terse and 
idiomatic Malagasy, as they embody 
genuine native speech unaffected by 
foreign influence. The first édition 
of thèse proverbs has, however, been 
for some time out of pnnt, so the 
compilers hâve prepared a second 
édition, under the above title, giving 
a very much larger collection of 
proverbs (3790 in number) and arrang- 
ed in alphabetical order, according 
to the first word in each. 

(7] Reprint of the Annual. The 
Antananarivo Annual and Mada» 
gascar Magazine, A Reprint o/the 

First Four Number s. Revise 
te-edited by Revs, y, Sibrei 
R, Baron y Missionaries Oj 
L, M, S, L. M. S. Press, Anta 

rivo: 1885 î ^vo- PP* 54'* 

It does not become editors t< 
icize their own work, but we 
perhaps quote the foUowing fro 
préface of this Reprint : — 

**For some time past the « 
numbers of the Annuax hâve 
out of print and hâve been diffi< 
obtain ; and since fréquent enc 
hâve been made for them by 
who hâve only had the la ter 
and who wish to complète theii 
it has been thought well to i 
the first four numbers in one vc 
Opportunity has therefore been 
to correct many mistakes whicl 
been detected, to give numerous 
tional notes, to supply the sci 
names of plants and animais, 
as they are known, and genen 
bring up the papers hère rep 
to the présent state of our kno^ 
of the country. 

**It is beheved that this v 
will be found to contain a 
amount of original facts and 
mation about Madagascar ai 
inhabitants, and to give in a 
able form much which cann 
found in any other book yet pub 
upon the country and the peopl 

(8) A Madagascar Bibliogr 
In two Parts : Part I. arri 
Alphabetically according to 
thors* Names ; Part II. arri 
Chronologically according to 
j'ects treated of, To which is 
A List 0/ Publications in the 1 
gasy Language, and A L\ 
Maps of Madagascar, Coi 
and arranged by the Rev. J, 5 
F.R.G.S., etc. L. M. S. Press 
tananarivo : 1885 ; 8vo, pp. 92. 

This is an octavo pamphlet 
pages, containinç : (i) an alph 
cally arranged List of Writers, 
the titles of their books, pamp 
or articles, on ail subjects relat 
any way to this island ; thi 
occupies 45 pages ; (2) a cla< 
Litt of Subjects, the works 




of the twelve subdivisions (e.ç., 
arGenerally; PoliticalHis- 
, etc. ; Vovages. etc., etc.) ; (3) 
iList of BooKS and other Publica- 
tioDS in the Malagasy Language ; this 
occupies 29 pages; (4) and finally, 
a List of Maps of Madagascar, occu- 
pying nearly 3 pages, closely printed 
m double columns. The bare enume- 
ntion of the contents of the book is 
sofficient to fill with surprise even 
those who are to some extent familiar 
with Madagascar, and an examina- 
tion of the book itself increases this 
feeling. Though this island is con- 
âdered to hâve been comparât ively 
neglected and unexplored, this Biblio- 
graphy shows at a glance that it has 
received no small amount of attention. 
The later portion of tl^ Biblio- 
graphy, vîz. that giving ^H^ of the 
books in the native laiipRge that 
hâve been issued, chiefly by the seven 
Presses of Antananarivo, gives a fiiU 
and well-arrançed conspectus of 
what has been written and published 
by foreigners to promote the Chris- 
tianization and civilization of the 
people. Literature in this country is 
but in its infancy ; but the fact that 
29 pages 8vo are required simply to 
contain the titles of the books pub- 
lished shows that much activity has 
been displaved. Most of the bocks 
are naturally school books or reli- 
gious manuals of différent classes ; 
but science, rausic, and joumal- 
ism are also represented. Though 
a Bibliography is not expected to 
afford light reading, those interested 
in Madagascar will not find this 
volume wanting in instructive, and 
even entertaining, material (see, for 
example, the title of Richard Booth- 
by* s book, pp. 43, 44); and to any 
one wishing to study a particular 
question this book will prove a reli- 
able and valuable guide. The hearty 
thanks of ail interested in the liter- 
ature of Madagascar are due to 
Mr. Sibree for the labour he has 
spent in compiling such full and exact 

catalogues. It is perhaps not toc 
much to say that we know of no one 
else who could hâve done for us 
what Mr. Sibree has done. — W.E.C. 

(9) From the article on "Robert 
Drury's Madagascar,'* page 17 antey 
we see that Captain Oliver has also 
been compiling a Bibliography of 
Madagascar. This we believe was 
done for a Government department. 

Papers and Pamphlets on Ma- 
dagascar. — In the Proceedings of 
the French Académie de Sciences for 
this year (paper read March 23rd) is 
an article entitled :* "Supplementary 
Remarks on the Gigantic Turtles of 
Madagascar;** by M. L. Vaillaint. 
**From the remains found by M. 
Grandidier at Etsere and Ambulitsate 
{sic^t the author détermines two dis- 
tinct species, which he names TeS' 
tudo Grandidieri 2J\à. T. abrupta,^^ 
In the same publication Tpaper read 
March i6th) is an article on **The 
Channels and Lagoons of the East 
Coast of Madagascar,** by M. A. 
Grandidier. And in the same publica- 
tion (paper read April ijth) is an 
article "On a remarkable duration of 
the Trajectory of a Cyclone observed 
last February on the north-east coast 
of Madagascar," by M. Pélagaud. 
The writer remarks that '*almost for 
the first time since the Indian Océan 
has been visited by Europeans, — that 
is, the last four hundred years — a 
cyclone has visited the island of Ma- 
dagascar, causing great damage to 
the French fleet and shipping along 
the north-east coast.** This is cer- 
tainly incorrect. In our own expéri- 
ence, now dating back more than 
twenty-two years, the east coast has 
been several times visited by cyclones, 
notably by a very destructive one on 
Feb. 20th, 1876, which reached the 
interior; see Annual No. IL, p. 120. 

In botanical studies Mr. Baker, 
F.R.S., of Kew, has given a further 
instalment of his valuable papers, 
one of which, entitled *' Further Con- 
tributions to the Flora of Central Ma- 

♦ The titles of this and the three following papers are, of course, translations of the original 
French titles, which we are unable to give, as tne source of our information {Nature) gives 
them only ia English. 



da^^acax ; Part I. Polypetalae," ap- 
pears in the Journal of the Linnean 
Society— Botany, Dec. I2th, 1884; 
vol. xxi. no. 135. pp. 3I7-353- 1° the 
same Journal {yo\, xxi. no. 137, pp. 
407-455) Mr. Baker gives the second 
and final part of this paper. In the 
same Journal (vol. xx. no. 120, pp. 

3^9*33°» ^'* ^- ^* Ridley, M.A., 
F.L.S., gives a paper on "New or 
rare Monocotyledonous Plants from 
Madagascar;" and in vol. xxi. no. 
137, pp. 456-522, another paper on 
**The Orchids of Madagascar." 

From Norway we hâve a considér- 
able pamphlet of 126 pp. 8vo, by the 
Rev. Dr. Borchgrevink, entitled : En 
kortfatted Oversigt over Madagas* 
car, dets Folk og Sfission . This con- 
sists, we are told, of six lectures upon 
this country and its people and on mis- 
sion work. In the German period- 
ical Mitteilungen der GeograjphtS' 
chen Gesellscnaft {jTûr Thûrtngen) 
zu Jena ; 1885 ; b. lii. h. ^, pp. 252- 
258, is an account of a joumey by 
one of the Norwegian missionaries 
formerly résident in this country, the 
Rev. M. Borgen, and entitled **Rei- 
sen norwegischer Missionare in Ma- 
dagascar :-I. Borgens Reise durch 
das Sakalava gebiet von Morondava 
nach Midongy." 

Among other récent articles or pam- 
phlets by French writers, of which, 
however, we hâve not yet complète 
information, is one entitled : Élude 
complète sur Madagascar (Paris : 
1885), by M. Eutrope ; and two others, 
apparently with the same title, Ma- 
dagascar (?) by M. Pauliat, and 
** Madagascar" (?) in Annales de 
r Extrême Orient et de V Afrique, 
July, 1885, by M. Charles Grémieux ; 
and Madagascar : la Reine des Iles 
Africaines: 1885, by M. Charles 
Buet. There are doubtless many 
other papers on this country in 
French periodicals, as well as pam- 
phlets, etc., arising from the atten- 
tion now being paid to Madagascar 
in France. Besides M. Grandidier's 
paper mentioned above, he has writ- 
ten another on this country, in a 
number of the Bulletin de la Soci* 

été de Géographie de Paris., and 
has given a fine map of Imèrina. A 
new map of Madagascar by M. Cran- 
didier is announced in a récent number 
oiProc. Rcy, Geog. Soc. (Tune) as 
follows : ''darte de Tlle de Madagas- 
car, d'après les travaux de A. Gran- 
didier. Paris : E. Andriveau- Gou- 
jon. PriceiJ. 6</. {Dulau,)** Another 
map of Madagascar is tbus mention- 
ed m Froc. Roy. Geog. Soc. (March.) 
**Geographical Society of Paris Dec. 
5th, 1885. In the hall there waa 
exhibited a large manuscript map of 
Madagascar, drawn by M- Laillet, 
an engineer and architect. This map, 
scale of 1 : 666, 666, has been execu- 
ted, as regards the northem coasts, 
on the basis of maps of French 
hydrography, while for the southem 
coast-TinJ|taaaps of English hydrogra- 
phy havâ^p^n utilized. With regard 
to the intenor of the island, M. Lail- 
let has based bis map on the works of 
the principal explorers, and made use 
in particular of the large map of the 
late English missionary, Dr. Mullens. 
The author himself, during 1885-6, 
made numerous surveys between 
Mànanzàry and Tamatave, and along 
the course of the Mangôro and its 

In the last number of the Annual 
we noticed the visit to the Capital of 
Lieut. Shufeldt, oftheU. S. Navy. 
We leam firom the New York Gra* 
phic that ''since his retum to thia 
country [America] Lieut. Shufeldt haa 
been employed on spécial service at 
the Navy Department, compiling for 
the press an account of his novel and 
hazardous joumey." 

Works in Malagasy. - Ny Tan* 
taran* ny Fiangonana (Church His- 
tory, firom the Apostolic âge to the 
igth Century) by Rev. S E. Jor- 
gensen. Norwegian Mission, Anta- 
nanarivo : 8vo, pp. 249. By the same 
author, Ny Èpistola, Mevi-teny 
hanamfy ny Mpitory teny, (The 
Epistles. Expositions for the help of 
Preachers) N.M.S. Press: i6mo, pp. 
236. Arkeologia Biblikaly (Bib- 
lical Archaeology). by Rev. L. Dahle. 
N.M.S. Press : i2mo, pp. 158. Fa* 



noroan^dàlana ho any ny Kristiana 
(Rulea for the Christian Life; from 
Luther), by Rev. Nygaard. N.M.S. 
Press : lamo, pp. i8^. Lektorafohù 
fohy ny atny ny Fttondrana Sekoly 
(Lectures on School Management}, 
by Rev. J. Richardson and Mr. J. C. 
lliome. L.M<S. Press : lamo, pp. 
45* Tàntaran* ny Joda sy ny Isi- 
roêly (Histoiy of the Kingdoms of 

{ad^ and Israël), by Mr. H. E. 
;iark. F.F.M.A. Press : 8vo, pp. 
164. Teofilo Anglikana (Theophilus 
Anglicanus, ist part), translated by 
Rev. G. H. Smith, M. A. S. P. G. Press: 
8vo, pp. 70. 

A 'Rea-book' has been issuedfrom 
the Queen's Press, entitled (when 
ilated) ''Report of the Negocia- 


tions between the Malagasy Govern- 
ment and French Commissioners at 
Tamatave, throuçh the friendly mé- 
diation of M. D. Maigrot, Consul ol 
the King of Italy, June lUh — Aug. 
I7th, 1885;" folio, pp. 43. The docu- 
ments, etc., are given in parallel 
columms, in French and Malagasy. 

During the year another newspaper 
in the native language has been 
commenced, viz., a Malagasy édition 
of the Madagascar Times. The first 
number of this was published on 
Saturday, Aug. 22nd ; Mr. A. Tacchi, 
editor ; issued weekly. Mr. Tacchi has 
also published Filazana ny Fomba 
Fandaharam-panjakana any Eng^ 
land (Account of Government Offices 
and Officiais in England). 4to,pp. 38. 





Among curious words and phrases used by the Malagasy is one which 
would soon be noticed by a new- corner, since the act which it is used to 
describe forms a part of every religious service. The 'bénédiction' pronounced 
before a congrégation is dismissed is termed tsh-drànOt literally 'blowine 
water.' But how cornes it that such a phrase is used for such an act? 
It anses from an old custom of taking a little water in the mouth and blowing 
it over or towards any one as a sign of blessing and favour ; and so tso-drano 
is used for any blessmg, although no water, in any form, may accompany it. 
The idea invoïved in this symbolic act is not very clear, and it is now nearly, 
if not quite, obsolète, at least in the central province of Madagascar. The 
expression is now often used also as an équivalent for the foreign word bafisa 
(baptism). The following extract from Nature (Feb. i2th, 1885, P- 34^) 
shows that there are somewhat parallel custom s to be found amongst peoples 
both to the west and to the east of Madagascar : — 

"One strange fcustom [ amongst the Masai peoples of Eastem Central Africa] 
is that spitting is tne greatest mark of distinction you can bestow upon a 
Masai, and ^f^. Thompson was often sorely exercised when he desired to be 
particularly conciliating and gracious in his intentions. This custom is, how- 
ever, not without parallel : the natives of part of the southem coast of New 
Guinea, indeed, improve upon it by squirting mouthfuls of water on those to 
whom they wish to give a specially friendly welcome. What is the particular 
significance of the custom, perhaps those who hâve investigated the subject 
of salutations may be able to explain.*' 

Review of Through Masai Land: by Joseph Thompson, in Nature, 




While staying in Edinburgh for a day or two in Oct. 1882, at the house of 
an eminent scholar, a well-known professor of Oriental languages, I was 
asked by him if we had in Madagascar any traces of phallus worship (the 
reproductive principle in nature), which is, as is well known, a marked feature 
of Hindu idolatry up to the présent day (the linga\ and was also prominent 
in many of the old-world idolâtries. I answered at first in the négative ; but 
on thinking over the matter afterwards, it occurred to me that possibly the 
vàtolàhy, or mémorial stones (lit. 'maie stones'J, so ^ommonly seen in the 
central provinces of the island mic^ht be relies ot such worship. In Imèrina 
thèse are usually rough undressed blocks or slabs of blue granité from eight 
to fourteen feet high ; while in Bètsilèo they are often of white granité smoothly 
finished, sometimes forming a massive circular pillar, and often omamented 
with the peculiar Betsileo carving. The name and the form of thèse 
mémorial stones seem to suggest some such connection. Can any one supply 
other facts which would throw any light upon this question ?^Ed. (J.S.) 



In a paper by the Rev. S. E. Jorgensen in the Annual for 1884, on^jÊji 
Words in the Malagasy Languaçe/* he says : *JM^ should hâve «cpecwd to 
4iave seen vhlèla on the list of introduced w^^Hbut Malagasy ingenuity 
has made this word superfluous. They hâve inn^^Ë to say that dark violet 
is just the same colour as that of fleas ! and so they call it vhlom-paràsy 
(fleas* colour).*' It seems more probable that the word volomparasy is a 
translation of the French word/«r^, ^^^ violet, lapuce^ the flea. And the 
distinguished author of the idea of a simuârity between dark violet and fleas' 
colour is said to be Louis, King of Fr^^e, who, in a joke, dubbed a dark 
yi'ioieX. * la puce, ^ The word then trave^B to England, where *puce* is now 
a common name for dark violet. — S. M. WiLLS. 




No. of days rain fell. 


Average fall of last four years. 


February .. 
March .... 





. August .... 
September. . 
October.. .. 

25 days 

15 M 

14 M 

4 M 

3 »» 

4 .» 


4 M 

7 M 
5 M 

14 M 
13 M 

16*91 in. 
14-10 „ 

2'47 » 

1-22 „ 

•35 M 

•30 M 

, '00 „ 

•42 M 

2-05 „ 
ro6 ,, 
5-i6 „ 

^•15 M 

13-56 inches 

775 M 

S-53 M 

1-41 M 
0-90 „ 

0*11 ,, 

0075 „ 

032 M 
0405 » 
470 M 

5735 M 
9*38 „ 

Total .... 

108 days 

52*19 in. 

52*805 inches 

Ed. (J.S.) 






• •* 

* r 


%^ • *• 

T- — ." " ""-■ - ■ -- -^ 



AND f 



(PART II. or ]■(>/.. ni.) 




I . 1886. ^ f 


ri U ri^/i/s reservviL 


)JajA:£t£'it.%tctjeCL.ê , ^UUe Â.^<T^e<^. 











Missionaries of the L.M.S. 

No. X.— CHRISTMAS, 1886. 

(Part II, of Volume III.) 



AU rights resetxtd. 









ISLANDS. By Alfred Russel Wallace, Esq., LL.D. 
(Reprinted by the kind permission of the A uthor and Pub' 
lishers from * * The Geographical Distribution of A nimals. '' J • 1 29 



3. — MALAGASY ROOTS : their Classification and Mutual 

Relations. By Rev. W. E. Cousins, L.M.S 157 

4.— ON THE POETRY OF MADAGASCAR. By (the late) Rev. 

E. Baker, L.M.S 167 


By W. Clayton Pickersgill, Esq., H.B.M.'s Vice-Consul 177 


DESTINY. By Mr. H. E. Clark, F.F.M.A 185 

7.— MALAGASY HYMNOLOGY, and its Connection with 
Christian Life in Madagascar. By Rev. J. Sibree, 
L.M.S 187 

CAR. By Rev. A. M. Hewlett, M. A., S. P.G 199 

OF MADAGASCAR. By M. Alfred Grandidier and 
Rev. J. Sibree 205 


W. E. Cousins 209 

♦ It will be observed that the numbering of the pages docs not commence afresh, but is 
coiftmued from the previous number, so tlmt Nos. ix.— xii. may form a Third Volume, paged 




R. Baron, L.M.S 216 

12.— 'SIKIDY* AND *VINTANA' : Half-hours with Malagasy 

DiviNERS. (No. 1.) By Rev. L. Dahle, N.M.S 218 

,3.--N0TES ON THE BETSILEO DIALECT (as spoken in the 

Arindrano District). By Rev. T. Rowlands, UM.S 235 


15.— A NEW MALAGASY GRAMMAR. By Rev. W. E. Cousins. 244 
16.— BIAZAVOLA: A Malagasy Bard. By W. Clayton Pick- 


17.— VARIETIES : The Pirates in Madagascar— Geological 
JOTTiNGS — The Proto-Martyr of Madagascar — The 
Etymology of 'Antananarivo* and *Andriamanitra* .. 250 







•,• T/ie Editors do not hoid themselves responsibU for every opinion 
expressed by those who contribute ta the pages of the Annual, but only 
for the gênerai character of the articles as a whole. 








[Thb following paper, which forma Chapter xi. vol. L, of the valuable 
work enlitled Tàe Geozrafhical Distribution of Animais ^ by the eminent 
naturalist, Mr. Alfrea Russel Wallace, is here reproduced by the kind 
permission of the Author and his publishers, Messrs. Macmillan. A few 
eztracts from other portions of that work, bearing on the fauna of Madagascar 
and the neighbounng islands, hâve aiso been added. in some cases in a 
foot-note, but in others in an Appendix ; and the Editors of the Annual 
hâve much pleasure in here acknowledeing Mr. Wallace*8 ready compliance 
with their request to be allowed to reprlnt this interesting paper. The only 
altérations made are by the addition of a note in one or two places shewing, 
from Island Life, chap. six., Mr. Wallace's later views on certain points. — 

THIS insular sub-region* Is one of the most remarlçable 
z oological dispjcts on the globe, bearing a similar rela- 
tion to Africa as the Antilles to Tropical America, or New 
Zealand to Australia, but possessing a much richer fauna than 
either of thèse, and in* some respects a more remarkable one 
even than New Zealand. It comprises, besides Madagascar, 
the islands of Mauritius, Bourbon and Rodriguez, the SeycheU es 
and Comoro Islanâs. Macfagascar itself is an island of the 
first cla^s,l5êîng [nearly] a thousand miles long, and about 250 

* It must be remembered that the whole surface of the globe is dlvided b^ Mr. Wallace 
into six xooloi^cal 'régions,' in each of which broad and clearly marked distinctions are shewn 
to exist in the animal life as compared with that of the other great divisions. Each of thèse 
régions is again divided into *sub-regions,' Madagascar and the neighbouring islands forming 
tke 'Malagasy Sub-region' of the 'Ethiopian Région,' a zoological division whieh includes 
Africa south of the Tropic of Cancer, together wim its islands, cxcepting the Cape De Verde 
group. — Eds. 

No. IQ.— Chkjsxjulis, 1SS6. 



miles în average width. It lies parallel tô the coast of Africa, 
near the southem Tropîc, and is separated by 230 miles of sea 
from the nearest part of the continent, although a bank of 
soundings projecting from its western coast rèduces thîs distance 
to about 160 miles. Madagascar is a mountainous island, and 
the greater part of the interior consists of open elevated 
plateaus ; but between thèse and the coast there intervene 
broad belts of luxuriant tropical forests. It is this forest- 
district that has yielded most of those remarkable types of 
animal life whîch we shall hâve to enumerate ; and it is prob- 
able that many more remain to be discovered. As ail the main 
features of this sub-region are developed in Madagascar, we 
shall first endeavour to give a complète outline of the fauna of 
that country ; and afterwards shew how far the surrounding 
islands partake of its peculiarities. 

Mammalia.— The fauna of Madagascar is tolerably rich in 
gênera and species of Mammalia, although thèse belong to a 
very limited number of familles and orders. It is especially 
characterized by its abundance of Lemurid» and Insectivora ; 
it also possesses a few peculiar Camivora of small size ; but 
most of the other groups in which Africa is especially ric^j— apes 
and monkeys, lions, léopards and hyaenas, zébras, giraffes, 
antelopes, éléphants and rhinoceroses, and even porcupines 
and squirrels, are wholly wanting. No less than 40 distinct 
familles of land mammals are represented on the continent of 
Africa, only 1 1 of which occur in Madagascar, which also 
possesses 3 families peculiar to itself. The following is a list 
of ail the gênera of Mammalia as yet known to inhabit the 
island : — 





•Lemur 15 

•Hapalemur 2 

^Microcebus 4 

•Chirogaleus 5 

•Lepilemur 2 


•Chiromys i 

BATS (Chiroptera). 


Pteropus 2 

Rhinoloph tdœ. 

RhmoïopYwis l 

Vespertilio ... ........... i 

Taphozous i 

Nyctinomus i 


Centeiidœ. Species. 

*Centetes 2 

•Hemicentetes 2 

•Ericulus 2 

*Oryzorictes . i 

•Echinops 3 

Sorex I 


•Cryptoprocta . , i 


Vtverridœ. RODENTIA. 

*Fo8sa 2 ,, . , 

•Galidia 3 .XT ^'''''^* 

•GalidicUs 2 Nesomys ... ... i 

•Eupleres I Hypogeôrays i 

UNGULATA. •Brachytarsomys i 

Potaniochœnis i 

We hâve hère a total of 12 families, 27 gênera, and 65 species 
of Mammals ; 3 of the families and 20 of the gênera (indicated 
by asterisks) being peculiar. AU the species are peculiar, 
except perhaps one or two of the wandering bats. Remains of 
a Hippopotamus hâve been found in a sub-fossil condition, show- 
ing that this animal probably inhabited the island at a not very 
remote epoch. 

The assemblage of animais above noted is remarkable, and 
seems to indicate a very ancient connection with the southem 
portion of Africa, before the apes, ungulates and félines had 
eniered it. The lemurs, which are hère so largely developed, 
are represented by a single group in Africa, wîth two peculiar 
forms on the west coast. They also re-appear under peculiar 
and isolated forms in Southem India and Malaya, and are 
evidently but the remains of a once wide-spread group, since 
în Eocene times they inhabited North America and Europe, 
and very probably the whole northern hémisphère.* The 
Insectivora are another group of high antiquity, widely scat- 
tered over the globe under a number of peculiar forms ; but in 
no equally limited area represented by so many peculiar types 
as în Madagascar. South and West Africa are also rich in this 

The Camivora of Madagascar are mostly peculiar forms of 
Viverridae, or civets, a family now almost confined to the 
Ethiopian and Oriental régions, but which was abundant in 
Europe during the Miocène period. 

The Potamochœrus is a peculiar species only, which may be 
perhaps explained by the unusual swimming powers of swine, 
and the semi-aquatic habits of this genus, leading to an immi- 
gration at a later period than in the case of the 'other Mam- 
malia. The same remark will apply to the small Hippopotamus y 
which was coeval with the great struthious bird ^pyornis, 

♦ "Eocene Period. Primates. The onlv undoubtcd Eocene examples of this order are 
the Cœnopithecus letnuroides from the Jura, which has points of resemblance to the S. Amer, 
marmoscts and howlers, and also to the Lemuridc-e ; and a cranium recently discovered in the 
dcpartment of Lot (S. W. France) undoubtedly belonging to the LerauridcX\ and which most 
resembles that of the West African 'Potto* {Pérodiciicus). This discover>' has led to another, 
for it is now bclieved that remains forme rly referred to the Anoplotheridas {Adapîs and An- 
kelotherium ixom the Upper Eocene of Paris) were also Lemurs (pp. 124, 125). 



Rodents are only represented by three pecuUar forms of 
Muridae, but it is probable that others remain to be discovered. 

BiRDS.— Madagascar is exceedingly rich in birda, and espe- 
cially in remarkable forms of Paaseres, No less than 88 gênera 
and III species of land-birds hâve been discovered, and every 
year some additions are being made to the list.* The African 
families of Passeres are almost ail represented, only two being 
absent— Paridae and Fringillidae, both very poorly represented 
in Africa itself. Among the Picariae, however, the case is very 
différent, no less than 7 families being absent, viz.—Picidae, or 
woodpeckers ; IndicatoridaB, or honey-guides ; MegalaemidsB, 
or barbets ; Musophagidse, or plantain-eaters ; Coliidae, or 
colies ; Bucerotid», or hombills ; and Irrisorid», or mockers. 
Three of thèse are peculiar to AJfrica, and ail are well repre- 
sented there, so that their absence from Madagascar is a very 
remarkable fact. The number of peculiar gênera in Madagas- 
car constitutes one of the main features of its omithology, and 
many of thèse are so isolated that it is very difficult to classify 
them, and they remain to this day a puzzle to omithologfists. 
In order to exhibit clearly the striking characteristics of the 
bird-fauna of this island, we shall first give a list of ail the 
peculiar gênera ; another, of the gênera of which the species 
only are peculiar ; and, lastly, a list of the species which Mada- 
gascar possesses in common with the African continent. 

Gênera of Birds peculiar to Madagascar, or found elsewhbrb 



1. Bernieria... 2 

2. Ellisia I 

3. Mystacomis.. i 

4. Eroessa i 

5. Gervasia i 


6. Oxylabes . • • . 2 
Cinclidœ (?). 

7. Mesites .... i 

8. H)rperphesi[. I 
Pycnonotidœ (?). 

9. Tylas I 


10. Artamia — 3 

11. Cyanolanius. i 

12. Newtonia . . i 

13. Pseudobias. . i 

Species, Laniidœ. 

14. Calicalicus(?) i 

15. Vança 4 

16. Neodrepanis . i 
Hirundin idœ, 

17. Phedina i 


18. Nelicurvius . . i 

19. Euryceros (?), i 

20. Hartlaubia . . i 

21. Falculia .. i 

22. Philepitta .. i 

23. Coua 9 

24. Cochlothraustes i 

25. Leptosomus. . i 

Species, Coraciodœ* 

26. AtelorDÎs 

27. Brachyptera- 

C>IA9 . • • • 

28. Geobiastes. . 

29. Coracopsis. . 

30. AlectrenasiF 

31. Margaroper- 

dixD .... 

32. Nisoides ... 

33. Eutriorchis.. 

Total species of ] 
peculiar gfenera ] 


34. iEpyornis .. 






* The land-birds now known to inhabit Madagascar quipber at least 2io species, belonginç 
to 148 gênera,^ EDS, 



Ethiopian or Oriental Gênera which are represented in 

Madagascar by peculiar species. 



T I. Bessonorais. . i 

2. Acrocephalus 

3. Copsychus(Or.)11 

4. Prat incola . . 

Andropadus. . 

7. Campephaga. 

8. Dicrurus .... 

9. Tchitrea .... 

10. Laniarius. . . . 
Nectar iniidœ, 

11. Nectarinia .. 

12. Foudia 

13. Hypargos . . . 
i^. Spermestes.. 

i^. Mirafra 


16. Motacilla. ... 

17. Ceuthmochares 

18. Centropus 

19. Cuculus . . . 

20. Eurystomus. . 

21. Corythornis. . 

22. Inspidina. . 

22^. Upupa (?).. . 

24. Caprimulgus. 

25. Cvpselus . .. 

26. Cnxtura .... 

27. Poliopsitta .. 

28. Treron .... 

29. Columba .... 

30. Turtur 


31. Pterocles . . . . 

32. Francolinus. . 

33. Numida 

34. Turniz 

Specitt, Falconidœ, 


• * . • 

35. Polyboroides. i 

36. Circus I 

^y, Astur 3 

38. Accipiter... i 

39. Buteo I 

40. Haliaëtus .. i 

41. Pernis i 

42. Baza I 

43. Cerchneis. ... i 

44. Athene i 

45. Scops I 


46. Rallus 3 

47. Porzana .... i 

48. GalliDago. . . . i 

49* Ibis i 


50. Fodiceps .... i 

Total peculiar spe- ) 
cies of Eth. or | 56 
Or. gênera ) 

Species of Birds common to Madagascar and Africa or A si a. 

1. Cisticola cursitans. j. CoUocalia fiiciphaga. 9. Falco concolor. 

2. Corvus scapulatus. 6. Œna capensis. 10. Milvus asgyptius. 

3. Crithagra canicoUis. 7. Aplopelia tympanistria. 11. Milvus migrans. 

4. Meropssuperciliosus. 8. Falco minor. 12. Strix flammea. 

Thèse three tables show us an amount of speciality hardly 
to be found in the birds of any other part of the globe. Out of 
1 1 1 land-birds in Madagascar, only 12 are identical with species 
inhabiting the adjacent continents, and most of thèse belong to 
powerful-winged, or wide-ranging, forms, which probably now 
often pass from one country to the other. ïhe peculiar species 
—49 land-birds and 7 waders, or aquatics— are mostly well- 
marked forms of African gênera. There are, however, several 
gênera (marked thusif] which hâve Oriental or Palaearctic 
afltoities, but not African, v\z.—Copsychus^ Hypsipetes^ Hypherpesy 
AUctrenas and Margaroperdïx, Thèse indicate a doser approx- 
imation to the Malay countries than now exists. 

The table of 33 peculiar gênera is of great interest. Most 
of thèse are Well-marked forms, belonging to families which 


axe jfully developed in Africa ; though it is sîngular that not 
one of the exclusively African familles is représentée! in any 
way in Madagascar. Others, however, are of remote, or 
altogether doubtful, affinities. Sittidœ is Oriental and Palaearc- 
tic, but not Ethiopian. Oxylabes and Mystacornis are of doubt- 
ful affinities. Artamia and Cyanolanius still more so, and it is 
quite undecided what family they belong to. Calicaltcu% is 
almost equally obscure. JSleodrepanù^ one of the most récent 
discoveries, seems to connect the Nectariniidae with the Pacific 
DrepanidiaB. Euryceros is a complète puzzle, having been placed 
with the hornbills, the starlings, or as a distinct family. Falculia 
is an exceedingly aberrant form of starling, long thought to be 
allied to Irrisor. Phtlepittay forming a distinct family (Paic- 
tidae), is most remarkable and isolated, perhaps with remote 
South American affinities. Leptosoma is another extraordinary 
form, Connecting the cuckoos with the roUers. Atelornis^ 
Brachypteracias^ and Geobiastes are terrestrial rollers, with the 
form and colouring of Pitta, So many perfectly isolated and 
remarkable groups are certainly nowhere else to be found ; and 
they fitly associate with the wonderful aye-aye (Chiromys) , the 
insectivorous Centetidae, and carnivorous Cryptoprocta^ among 
the Mammalia. Ihey speak to us plainly of enormous anti- 
quity, of long-continued isolation, and not less plainly of a lost 
continent or continental island, in which so many, and various, 
and peculiarly organized créatures, could hâve been gradually 
developed in a connected fauna, of which we hâve hère but the 
fragmentary remains. 

Plate vi.— Illustrating the characteristic features 

OF THE ZOOLOGY OF MADAGASCAR.— The lemurs, which form 
the most prominent feature in the zoology of Madagascar, being 
comparatively well-known from the numerous spécimens in our 
Zoological Gardens, and good figures of the insectivorous 
gênera not being available, we hâve represented the noctumal 
and extraordinary aye-aye {Chiromys madagascariensis) to 
illustrate its peculiar, and probably very ancient, mammalian 
fauna; while the river-hogs in the distance (Potamochœrus 
jEdwardsn) , 3i\\ied to African species, indicate a later immi- 
gration from the mainland than in the case of most of the other 
Mammalia. The peculiar birds being far less generally known, 
we hâve figured three of them. The largest is the Euryceros 
prevostiy hère classed with the starlings, al though its remark- 
able bill and other peculiarities render it probable thatit should 
form a distinct family. Its colours are velvety black and rich 
brown, with the bill of a pearly grey. The bird beneath { Vanga 
i^urptros^ts) is one of the peculiar Madagascar shrikes, whosô 


plumage, variegated wîth green-black and pure white, is very 
conspicuous ; while that in the right-hand corner is the Lepto- 
soma discoloTy a bird which appears to be intermediate between 
such very distinct familles as the cuckoos and the rollers, and 
is therefore considered to form a family by itself. It is coppery 
green above and nearly white beneath, with a black bill and 
red feet. The fan-shaped plant on the left is the Traveller's- 
tree ( [/rama spectosa) , one of the peculiar forms of végétation 
in this marvellous island. 

Reptiles. — Thèse présent some very curious features, com- 
paratively few of the African groups being represented, while 
there are a considérable number of Eastern, and even of 
American, forms. Beginning with the snakes, we find, in the 
enormous family of Colubridae, none of the African types ; but 
instead of them three gênera — HerpetodryaSy PhylodryaSy and 
Heterodon — only found elsewhere in South and North America. 
The Psammophidae, which are both African and Indian, are 
represented by a peculiar genus, Mimophis, The Dendrophidae 
are represented by Ahœtullay a genus which is both African 
and American. The Dryophidae, which inhabit ail the tropics, 
but are most developed in the Oriental région, are represented 
by a peculiar genus, Langaha, The tropical Pythonidae are 
represented by another peculiar genus, Sanzinta, The Lycodon- 
tidae and Viperidae, so well developed in Africa, are entirely 

The lizards are no less remarkable. The Zonuridae, abun- 
dantly developed in Africa, are represented by one peculiar 
genus, Cicigna ; the wide-spread Scincidse by another peculiar 
genus, Pygomeles, The African Sepsidae are represented by 
three gênera, two of which are African, and one, A mphiglossusy 
peculiar. The Acontiadae are represented by a species of the 
African genus Acontias. Of Scincidae there is the wide-spread 
Euprepes. The Sepidae are represented by the African gênera 
Seps and Scelotes, The Geckotidae are not represented by any 
purely African gênera, but by PhyllodactyluSy which is American 
and Australian ; by HemidadyluSy which is spread over ail the 
tropics ; by two peculiar gênera ; and by UroplatiSy GeckoUpis 
and Phelsurnuy confined to Madagascar, Bourbon and the 
Andaman Islands. The Agamidae, which are mostly Oriental, 
and are represented in Africa by the single genus Agarnuy hâve 
hère three peculiar gênera, TracheloptychuSy Chalarodon and 
HopluruSé Lastly, the American Iguanidœ are said to be 
represented by a species pf the South American genus Oplurus, 
The classification of Reptiles is in such an unsettled state that 

•orne of thèse déterminations of afifinities are probably erro- 

- * ......... 


neous; but it not likely that any corrections whîch may be 
required will materially afifect the gênerai bearing oi the 
évidence, as indicating a remarkable amount of Oriental and 
American relationship. 

The other groups are of less interest. Tortoises are represen- 
ted by two African or wide-spread gênera of Testudinidae, 
Testudo and Chersinay and by one peciUiar genus, I^xts ; and 
there are also two African gênera of Chelydidae. 

The Amphibia are not very well known. They appear to be 
confined to species of the wide-spread Ethiopian and Oriental 
gênera — Hylaranay Polypedates^ and Rappia (Polypedatidae) ; 
and Pyxicephalus (Ranidae). 

Fresh-water Fishes.— Thèse appear to be at présent 
almost unknown. When carefully coUected they will no doubt 
fiirnish some important facts. 

The Mascakene Islands.— The various islands which 
surround Madagascar — Bourbon, Mauritius, Rodriguez, the 
Seychelles, and the Comoro Islands— ail partake in a considér- 
able degree of its peculiar fauna, while having some spécial 
features of their own. 

Indigenous Mammalia (except bats) are probably absent 
from ail thèse islands (except the Comoros), although Lemur 
and Centetes are given as natives of Bourbon and Mauritius. 
They hâve, however, perhaps been introduced from Madagascar. 
Lemur mayottensisy a peculiar species, is found in the Comoro 
Islands, where a Madagascar species of Viverra also occurs. 

Bourbon and Mauritius may be taken together, as they much 
resemble each other. They each possess species of a peculiar 
genus of Campephagidœ, or Caterpillar shrikes, Oxynohcs ; 
while the remarkable FrenlupuSy belonging to the starling 
family, inhabits Bourbon, if it is not now extinct. They also 
hâve peculiar species oï Praitncola^ Hypsipetes^ Phedina^ Tchitrea^ 
ZosteropSy Foudiay Collocalia and Coracopsts ; while Mauritius 
has a very peculiar form of dove of the sub-genus Trocaza ; an 
AlectrenaSy extinct within the last thirty years ; and a species 
of the Oriental genus of parroquets, Palœornts, The small and 
remote island of Rodriguez has another Palœornts^ as well as 
a peculiar Foudia^ and a Drymœca of apparently Indian aflânityi 

Coming to the Seychelle Islands, far to the north, we find 
the only mammal an Indian species of bat (Pteropus Edwardsti) » 
Of the twelve land-birds ail but one are peculiar species, but 
ail belong to gênera found also in Madagascar, except one— a 
peculiar species ot Palœornts. This is an Oriental genus, but 
found also in the Mascarene Islands and on the African conti« 
nent, A species of black parrot (Coracopsts Barklayi) , and 4 


weaver-bird of peculiar type (Foudia seychellarum) show, how- 
ever, a decided connection with Madagascar. There are also 
two peculiar pigeons -a short-winged Turtur and an AUc- 

Most of the birds of the Comoro Islands are Madagascar 
species, only two being African. Five are peculiar, belonging 
to the gênera Nectar inia^ ZostêropSj DicruruSy Foudia and AleC" 

Reptiles are scarce. There appear to be no snakes in 
Mauritius and Bourbon, though some African species are said 
to be found in the Seychelle Islands. Lizards are fairly repre- 
sented. Mauritius has CryptoblepharuSy an Australian genus of 
GrymnopthalmidaB ; Hetntdactyltis (a wide spread genus) and /V- 
ropus (Oriental and Australian)— both belonging to the Grecko- 
tidae. Bourbon has Heteroptis^ a Moluccan and Australian 
genus of Scincidae ; Phelsuma (Geckotidae) and ChameleOy both 
found also in Madagascar ; as well as Pyxis^ one of the tortoises. 
The Seychelles hâve TheconyXy a peculiar genus of Gecko- 
tidae, and Chameleo, Gigantic land-tortoises, which formerly 
inhabited most of the Mascarene Islands, now only survive 
in Aldabra, a small island north-east of the Comoros. Thèse 
will be noticed again further on. Amphibia seem only to be 
recorded from the Seychelles, where two gênera of tree-frogs 
of the family Polypedatidœ are found ; one (Megaltxalus) , pecu- 
liar, the other (Rappia) found also in Madagascar and Africa. 

The few insect groups peculiar to thèse islands will be noted 
when we deal with the entomology of Madagascar. 

GASCAR. — Before quitting the vertebrate groups, we must notice 
the remarkable birds which hâve become extinct in thèse 
islands little more than a century ago. The most celebrated is 
the Dodo of Mauritius (Dtdus ineptus) , but an allied genus, 
Pezophapsy inhabited Rodriguez ; and of both of thèse almost 
perfect skeletons hâve been recovered. Other species probably 
existed at Bourbon. Remains of two gênera of flightless rails 
hâve also been found, Aphanapteryx [in MauritiusJ, and Ery^ 
Ihramachus [in Rodriguez]; and even a héron (Ardea mega- 
cepkalaj y which wa,s short-winged and seldom flew ; while in 
Madagascar there lived a gigantic struthious bird, the ^pyor*- 
nis, The bearing of thèse extinct forms on the pâst history of 
the région will be adverted to in the latter part of this chapter.* 

■ - — ■ — - ■ 

♦ "A laffire paiTot, said by Prof. Miliie-Edwards to be allied to Ara and Microglossus, alsd 
iilhabitèâ Maaritiils ; and anothef, alliâd to Eclicius, the island of Rodriguei. None of thesâ 
haVe been found in Mad&ffascar j but the 6:igantic ^p^ornis^ formiiig a peculiar family 
diititiot both from the ostriches of Africa and ue Diftomis of New ZeaUnd, inhabited that 
l^ftBd t Attd ther« ii reaion to b«lieye that tibit may hâve lirad leta than aoo yean ago" (p. 164). 


Dr. Gûnther has recently distinguished five species of fossil 
tortoises from Mauritius and Rodriguez, ail of them quite 
différent from the living species of Aldabra. 

Insects.— The butterflies of Madagascar are not so remark- 
able as some other orders of insects. There seems to be only 
one peculiar genus, Heteropsis (Satyridae). The other gênera 
are African, Lepioneura being confined to Madagascar and 
South Africa. There are some fine Papilios of uncommon forms. 
The most interesting lepidopterous insect, however, is the fine 
diurnal moth Urania^ as ail the other species of the genus 
inhabit Tropical America and the West Indian Islands.* 

The Coleoptera hâve been better collected, and exhibit some 
very remarkable affinities. There is but one peculiar genus of 
Cicindelidae (Pogonosioma) , which is allied to the South Ame- 
rican genus Ctenosoma, Another genus, Peridexiay is common to 
Madagascar and South America. None of the important South 
African gênera are represented, except Eurymorpha ; while 
Meglaomma is common to Madagascar and the Oriental région. 

Of the Carabidae we hâve somewhat similar phenomena on a 
wider scale. Such large and important African gênera as 
Polyhirma and Anthia are absent; but there are four gênera in 
common with South Africa, and two with West Afi-ica ; while 
three others are as much Oriental as African. One genus. Dis- 
triguSy is whoUy Oriental, and another, Homalosoma^ Australian. 
ColpodeSy well developed in Bourbon and Mauritius, is Oriental 
and South American. Of the peculiar gênera, Sphœrostylis has 
South American aflB.nities ; Microchilay Oriental ; the others 
being related to widely distributed gênera. 

The Lucanidae are few in number, and ail hâve African 
affinities. Madagascar is very rich in Cetoniidae and possesses 
20 peculiar gênera. Bothrorhinay and three other gênera 
belonging to the Ichnostoma group, hâve wholly African re- 
lations. Doryscelis and Chromoptila are no less clearly allied 
to Oriental gênera. A séries of eight peculiar gênera belong 
to the Schizorhinidœ, a family the bulk of which are Australian, 
while there are only a few African forms. The remaining 
gênera appear to hâve African affinities, but few of the pecu- 
liarly African gênera are represented. Glyciphana is character- 
Bitic of the Oriental région. 

* "The W. India Islands possess ver>' few mammalia, ail of small size and allied to those of 
America, except one eenus, and that belongs to an order, Insectivora, entirelv absent from 
5. America, and to a mmily, Centctidx, ail the other species of which inhabit Madagascar 
only. And as if to add force to this sing^lar correspondence, we hâve one Madagascar species 
of a beautifvil day-fl}'ing moth [TWnnin), ail the other species of which inhabit Tropical Ame- 
rica. Thèse iniects are gomoUBly arrayed in green and gold, and are quite linlike any other 
Lepidoptera upon the glppe (pi 51). 

AÏfb fttk iiASCARÉNE ISLaW^S. rsç 


The Buprestidae of Madagascar consist mainly of one lafge 
and peculiar genus, Polybothris^ allied to the almost cosmopolite 
Psilopiera. Most of the other gênera are Ethiopian and 
Oriental ; but Polycesta is mainly South American, and the 
remarkable and isolated genus Sponsor is confined to Mauritius, 
with a species in Celebes and New Guinea. 

The Longicorns are numerous and interesting, there being 
no less than 24 peculiar gênera. Two of the gênera of Prionidae 
are very isolated, while a third, ClosterttSy belongs to a group 
whtch is Malayan and American. 

Of the Cerambycidae, Philematium ranges to Africa and the 
West Indies ; Leptocera is only found eastward in Ceylon and 
the New Hébrides ; while Euporus is African. Of the peculiar 
gênera, two are of African type ; three belong to the Leptura 
group, which are mostly Palaearctic and Oriental, with a few in 
South Africa ; while Pnilocalocera is allied to a South American 

Among the Lamiidae there are several wide-ranging, and 
seven African, gênera ; but Coptops is Oriental, and the Oriental 
Praonetha occurs in the Comoro Islands. Among the peculiar 
gênera, several hâve African affinities, but Troptdema belongs 
to a group which is Oriental and Australian ; Oopsis is found 
also in the Pacific Islands ; Mythergates^ SulemuSy and Coedomœa 
are allied to Malayan and American gênera. 

General Remarks on the Insect-fauna of Madagas- 
car. — Taking the insects as a whoIe7*we find the remarkable 
resuit that their affinities are largely Oriental, Australian and 
South American ; while the African élément is represented 
chiefly by spécial South African or West African forms, rather 
than by such as are widely spread over the Ethiopian région»* 
In some families as Cetoniidae and Lamiidae— the African 
élément appears to preponderate ; in others, as Cicindelidee-^ 
the South American affinity seems strongest ; in Carabidtei 
perhaps the Oriental ; while in Buprestidae and Cerambycidae 
the African and foreign éléments seen nearly balanced, We 
must not impute too much importance to thèse foreign alliances 
among insects, because we find examples of them in every 
country on the globe. The reason they are so much more 
pronounced in Madagascar may be, that during long periods of 
time this island has served as a refuge for groups that bave 
been dying out on the great continents ; and that, owing to the 
numerous deficiencies of a somewhat similar kind in the séries 
of vertebrates in Australia and South America, the same groups 

* Tliere are also some spécial reiemblancea between the plants of Madagascar and South 
Africa, aticording to Dr. Kirk. 


hâve often been able to maintain themselves in ail thèse 
countries as well as in Madagascar. It must be remembered 
too, that the peculiarities in the Madagascar and Mascarene 
insect-fauna are but exaggerations of a like phenomenon on 
the mainland. Africa also has numerous affinities with South 
America, with the Malay countries, and with Australia; but 
they do not bear anything like so large a proportion to the 
whole fauna, and do not therefore attract so much attention. 
The spécial conditions of existence, and the long-continued 
isolation of Madagascar, will account for much of this différence ; 
and it will evidently not be necessary to introduce, as some 
writers are disposed to do, a spécial land connection or near 
approach between Madagascar and ail thèse countries, inde- 
pendently of Africa ; except perhaps in the case of the Malay 
Islands, as will be discussed further on. 

Land-SHELLS.— Madagascar and the adjacent islands are ail 
rich in land-shells. The gênera of Helicidae are Vt'fy^ina, Hélix ^ 
Achatina^ Columna (peculiar to Madagascar and West Africa), 
Bultmintis^ Cionella (chiefly Oriental and South American, but 
not African), Pupay StreptaxiSy and Cuccinea. Among the 
Operculata we hâve Truncatella (widely scattered, but not Afri- 
can) ; Cyclotus (South American, Oriental and South African) ; 
Cyclôpharus (mostly Oriental, with a few South African) ; Lep- 
topoma (Oriental) ; Megalomastoma (Malayan and South Ameri- 
can) ; Lithidion (peculiar to Madagascar, Socotra and South- 
west Arabia); Otopoma (with the same range, but extending 
to West India and New Irelandl ; Cyclostoma (widely spread, 
but not African); and Omphalotropis (whoUy Oriental and 
Australian). We thus find the same gênerai features reprodu- 
ced in the land-shells as in the insects, and the same remarks 
will to a great extent apply to both. The classification of the 
former is, however, by no means satisfactory, and we hâve no 
extensive and accurate gênerai catalogue of shells, like those of 
Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, which hâve furnished us with such 
valuable materials for the comparison of the several faunas. 

GION. — Perhaps none of the great zoological régions of the earth 
présent us with problems of greater difficulty or higher interest 
than the Ethiopian. We find in it the évidence of several 
distinct and successive faunas, now intermingled ; and it is very 
difficult, with our présent imperfect knowledge, to form an 
adéquate conception of how and when the several Changes 
occurred. There are, however, a few points which seem suflicient* 
ly clear, and thèse afFord us a secure foundation in our endea«> 
vov^T to comprehend the rest. 


Let us then consider what are the main facts we hâve to 
account for: i. In Continental Africa, more especially in the 
south and west, we find, along with much that is peculiar, a 
number of gênera shewing a decided Oriental, and others an 
equally strong South American, affinity ; this latter more parti- 
cularly shewing itself among reptiles and insects. 2. AU over 
Africa, but more especially in the east, we hâve abundance of 
large ungfulates and félines- antelopes, girafies, buffaloes, élé- 
phants and rhinoceroses, with lions, léopards, and hyaenas, ail 
of types now or recently found in India and Western Asia. 3. 
But we hâve also to note the absence of a number of groups 
which abound in the above-named countries, such as deer, 
bears, moles, and true pigs ; while camels and goats— charac- 
teristlc of the désert régions just to the north of the Ethiopian^ 
are equally wanting. 4. There is a wonderful unity of type and 
want of speciality in the vast area of our fîrst sub-region, extend- 
ing from Sénégal across to the east coast, and southward to 
the Zambezi ; while West Africa and South Africa each abound 
with peculiar types, j. We hâve the extraordinary fauna of 
Madagascar to account for, with its évident main dérivation 
from Africa, yet wanting ail the larger and higher African 
forms ; its resemblances to Malaya and to South America ; and 
Its wonderful assemblage of altogether peculiar types. 

Hère we find a secure starting-point, for we are sure that 
Madagascar must hâve been separated f^om Africa before the 
assemblage of large animais enumerated above had entered it. 
Now it is a suggestive fact, that ail thèse belong to types which 
abounded in Europe and India about the Miocène period. It 
is also known, from the prevalance of Tertiary deposits over 
the Sahara and much of Arabia, Persia, and Northern India, 
that during early Tertiary times a continuous sea from the Bay 
of Ben gai to the British Isles completely eut off ail land com- 
munication between Central and South Africa on the one side, 
and the great continent of the Eastern hémisphère on the other. 
When Afnca was thus isolated, its fauna probably had a 
character somewhat analogous to that of South America at the 
same period. Most of the higher types of mammalian life were 
absent, while lemurs, Edentates and Insectivora took their 
place. At this period Madagascar was no doubt united with 
Africa, and helped to form a great southern continent,* which 

♦ Mr. Wallace in his later work, Island Life, combats (we think quite conclusively) this 
hypothesis of a great southern continent, called 'Lemuria' by many writers, and shews that 
any land connection between Madagascar and India must hâve been by an archipelago of large 
islands. See pp. 394-399 and 417-423, and his maps of the Indian Océan, at pp. 387 and 396. 
— £ds. 


must at one time hâve extended eastward as far as Southern 
India and Ceylon ; and over the whole of this the lemurine type 
no doubt prevailed. 

During some portion of this period South Temperate Afirica 
must hâve had a much greater extension, perhaps indicated by 
the numerous shoals and rocks to the south and east of the 
Cape of Good Hope, and by the Crozets and Kerguelen Islands 
fiirther to the south-east. This would hâve afiforded means for 
that intercommunion with Western Australia which is so 
cleariy marked in the flora, and to some extent also, in the 
însects, of the two countries ; and some such extension is abso- 
lutely reqûired for the development of that wonderfuUy rich 
and peculiar temperate flora and fauna, which, now crowded into 
a narrow territory, is one of the g^eatest marvels of the organic 

During this early period, when the great southem continents 
— South America, Africa and Australia — were equally free from 
the incursions of the destructive félines of the north, the Stru- 
thious or ostrich type of birds was probably developed into its 
existing forms. It is not at ail necessary that thèse three 
continents were at any date united, in order to account for the 
distribution of thèse great terrestrial birds, as this may hâve 
arisen by at least two other easily conceivable modes. The 
ancestral Struthious type may, like the Marsupial, hâve once 
spread over the larger portion of the globe ; but as higher 
forms, especially of Carnivora, became developed, it would be 
exterminated everywhere but in those régions where it was free 
from their attacks. In each of thèse it would develope into 
spécial forms adapted to surrounding conditions ; and the large 
size, great strength, and excessive speed of the ostrich, may 
hâve been a comparatively late development caused by its 
exposure to the attacks of enemies, which rendered such modi- 
fication necessary. This seems the most probable explanation 
of the distribution of Struthious birds, and it is rendered almost 
certain by the discovery of remains of this order in Europe in 
Eocene deposits, and by the occurrence of an ostrich among 
the fossils of the Siwalik hills ; but it is just possible, also, that 
the ancestral type may hâve been a bird capable of flight, and 
that it spread from one of the three southern continents to the 
others at the period of their near approach, and more or less 
completely lost the power of flight, owing to the long continued 
absence of enemies. 

During the period we hâve been considering, the ancestors 
of existing apes and monkeys flourished along the whole 
southern shores of the old Palaearctic continent ; and it seems 


Hkely that they ftrst entered Africa by means of a land eoa- 
nection indicated- by the extensive and lofty plateaus of tl^û 
Sahara, situated to the south-east of Tunis and reaching to ^ 
little north-west of Lake Tchad ; and at the same tirpe the 
éléphant and rhinocéros t3rpe may hâve entered. This will 
account for the curious similarity between the higher fauna of 
West Africa and the Indo-Malay sub-regfion ; for, owing to the 
présent distribution of land and sea, and the narrowing of the 
tropical zone since Miocène times, thèse are now the only low- 
land, equatorial, forest-clad countries which were in connection 
with the southem shores of the old Palaearctic continent at the 
time of its greatest luxuriance and development. This western 
connection did not probably last long, the junction that led to 
the greatest incursion of new forms, and the complète change 
in the character of the AMcan fauna, having apparently been 
effected by way of S)rria and the shores of the Red Sea at a 
somewhat later date. By this route the old south PalaBarctic 
fauna, indicated by the fossils of Pikermi and the Siwalik hills, 
poured into Africa ; and finding there a new and favourable 
country, almost whoUy unoccupied by large Mammalia, increa- 
sed to an enormous extent, developed into new forms, and 
finally overran the whole continent. 

Before this occurred, however, a great change h ad taken 
place in the geography of Africa. It had gradually diminished 
on the south and east; Madagascar had been left isolated ; 
while a number of small islands, banks, and coral reefs in the 
Indian Océan alone remained to indicate tbe position of a once 
extensive equatorial land. The Mascarene Islands appear to 
represent the portion which separated earliest, before any 
Camivora had reached the conntry ; and it was in conséquence 
of this total exemption from danger that several groups of birds 
altogether incapable offlight became developed hère, culmina- 
ting in the large and unwieldy Dodo, and the more active 
Aphanapteryx. To the same causes may be attributed the 
development in thèse islands of gigantic land-tortoises, far 
surpassing any others now living in the globe. They appear 
to hâve formerly inhabited Mauritius, Bourbon and Rodriguez, 
and perhaps other Indian Océan groups, but having been 
recklessly destroyed, now only survive in the small uninhabit- 
ed Aldabra islands north-east of the Comoros. The largest 
living spécimen (5^ feet long) is now in our Zoological Gardens.* 
The only other place where equally large tortoises (of an allied 
species; are found, is the Galapagos Islands, where they were 

* See ANNUAI, No, I,, p. 122 ; Reprini of Annualy p. 128. 



equally free from enemies until civilized man came upon the 
scène ; who, partly by using them for food, partly by the intro- 
duction of pigs, which destroy the eggs, has greatly diminished 
their numbers and size, and will probably soon whoUy extermi- 
nate them. It is a curious factj ascertained by Dr. Gûntber, 
that the tortoises of the Galapagos are more nearly related to 
the extinct tortoises of Mauritius than is the living tortoise of 
Aldabra. This would imply that several distinct groups or 
sub-genera of Testudo hâve had a wide range over 3ie globai 
and that some of each hâve survived in very distant loealities, 
This is rendered quite conceivable by the known antiquity of 
the genus Testudo^ which dates back to at least the Eocene 
formation (in North America) with very little change of form. 
Thèse sluggish reptiles, so long-lived and so tenacious of life, 
may hâve remained unchanged, while every higher animal type 
around them has become extinct and been replaced by very 
différent forms ; as in the case of the living Emys tectumy which 
is the sole survivor of the strange Siwalik fauna of the Mio» 
cène epoch. The ascertained history of the genus and the 
group thus affords a satisfactory explanation of the close 
affinity of the gigantic tortoises of Mauritius and the Gala* 

The great island of Madagascar seems to hâve remained 
lo nger united with Afric a, till some of the smaller and more 
active v^arnivdraTiad rèached it; and we consequentlv find 
there no wholly terrestrial form of bird but the gigantic and 
powerful ^pyorn is, well able to défend itself against such 
enemies. As already intimated, we refer the South American 
élément in Madagascar not to any spécial connection of the 
two countries îndependently of Africa, but to the préservation 
uk there of a number of forms, some derived from America through 
Africa, others of once almost cosmopolitan range, but which, 
owing to the severer compétition, hâve become extinct on the 
African continent, while they hâve continued to exist under 
modified forms in the two other countries. 

The depths of ail the g^eat océans are now known to be so 
profound that we cannot conceive the élévation of their beds 
above the surface without some corresponding dépression 
elsewhere. And if, as if probable, thèse opposite motions of 
the earth's crust usually take place in parallel bands, and are 
to some extent dépendent on each other, an élévation of the 
sea-bed could hardly fail to lead to the submergence of large 
tracts of existing continents ; and this is the more likely to 
occur on account of the great disproportion that we hâve seen 
e^sts between the mean height of the land and the mean depth 


of the océan. Keeping thîs principle in view, we may, with 
some probability, suggest the successive stages by which the 
Ethiopian regfion assumed its présent form, and acquired the 
Btriking pecidiarities that characterize its several sub-regions. 

During the early period, when the rich and varied temperate 
flora of the Cape, and its hardly less peculiar forms of insects 
and of low-type Mammalia, were in process of development in 
an extensive south temperate land, we may be pretty sure that 
the whole of the east, and much of the north, of Africa was deep 
sea. At a later period, when this continent sank towards the 
south and east, the élévation may hâve occurred which connec- 
ted Madagascar with Ceylon ; and only at a still later epoch» 
when the Indian Océan had again been formed, did central» 
eastem and northem Africa gradually rise above the océan, 
and effect a conjunction with the great northem continent by 
way of Abyssinia and Arabia. And if this last change took 
place with tolerable rapidity, or if the elevatory force acted 
from the north, towards the south, there would be a new and 
unoccupied territory to be taken possession of by immigrants 
from the north, together with a few from the south and west. 
The more highly organized types from the g^reat northem conti- 
nent, however, would inevitablv prevail ; and we should thus 
hâve explained the curions unirormity in the fauna of so large 
an area, together with the absence from it of those peculiar 
Ethiopian types which so abundantly characterize the other 

Our knowledge of the geology and palaeontology of Africa 
being so scanty, it would be imprudent to attempt any more 
detailed explanation of the peculiarities of its existing fauna. 
The sketch now given is, it is believed, founded on a sufficient 
basis of facts to render it not only a possible but a probable 
account of what took place ; and it is something gained to be 
able to show that a large portion of the peculiarities and anom- 
alies of so remarkable a fauna as that of the Ethiopian région 
can be accounted for by a séries of changes of physical geogra- 
phy during the Tertiary epoch, which can be hardly be consi- 
dered extrême, or in any way unlikely to hâve occurred. 

Alfred R. Wallace. 

NOTB. — The contractions used in the table given overleaf stand for the six zoological 
'régions* as proposed by Mr. Wallace, viz. : PalœarcHc : ail Europe, Africa north of the 
Sahara, and ail Asia ezcept India and the Indo-Chinese Pcninsula ; Oriental : India, the 
Indo-Chinese Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Bomeo, and the Philippines ; Australian : Australia, 
New Gninea, Celebes, the Moluccas, and New Zealand ; Ethiopian : Africa south of the 
Sahara, and its idands ; Nearctic : North America and Greenland ; and Neotropical : Central 
and South America.^ÉDS, 



Fahilibs of Animals inhabitino THE Malaoast Sîtb-region. 
For Mamroalia and birds see ante (pp- 130— 133). 


ùfkidia, Acantkopierygiù 

I; Typhlopidae AU but Nearctie. 35. Labyrintni» Auat, Nootrop^ 

Almost CosmoD. 38. Mugillidœ Or., Moluc. 

Orient, and S. Palearc. 52. Chromid» Or. , Neotrop. 

7. Colubrid» Almost Cosmon. 38. Mugillidœ Or., Moluc. 

9. Psammophids ... Orient, and S. Pal«arc. 52. Chromii" 
II. Dendropnidae ... Or., Aust., Neotrop. Pkysostomi, 

12. Dryiophid» Or., Neotrop. 59. Siluridœ Ail Trop. 

17. Pythonidae Ail Trop. 73 Cyprinodontid» . Paliearc., Or., Amer. 

23. Hydrophidae Or., Aust., Panama. 75. Cyprinid» Als. fr. Aust. & S. AtB. 

25. Viperidae Or. Palaearctic, 


34. Zonurid» Ail Amer., N. Ind., S. Diumi (Butterflies). 

Europe. x. Danaidas AU W.coun. & C a n id. 

41. Gymnophthalmi- 2. Satyridœ Cosmop. 

àst Palaearc., Auit. 6. Acrnidœ AU Trop. 

42. Scincidse Alm. Cosmop. 8. Nyinphalids Cosmop. 

47. Sepids South PalϞctic. 9. Ljrbytheidae Als. fr. Aust. only. 

48. Acontiadae Ceylon and Moluc. 10. Kemeobiidae „ „ and Ncarct. 

49. Geckotidae Alm. Cosmop. 13. Lycaenidae Cosmop. 

51. Agamid» Or., Aust., S. PaUearc. 14. Pierids „ 

52. Chameleonidae ... Or., S. Palœarc. 15. Papilionlda „ 

érocodilia. z6. HMperiidaB „ 

55. CrocodUid» Or., Neotrop. S^hingidea, 

Chelonia. i/* Zygœnidjs „ 

57. Testudin» AU count. ex. Aust. 19. A|^iristid« Aust., Or. 

58. Chelydid» Aust., S. Amer. 20. Uraniidae AU Trop. 

- _,_____^ . 22» Eeeriidae Cosmop. ex. Aust. 

Anoura AMPHIBIA. ,3^ Spbingid» Co«nop. 

17. Pol^pedatidaD ... Cosmop. (pp* 394^'a99*f 

16. Ramdas Alm. Cosmop. 


Family t^Lemuridœ (11 gênera» 53 species). 

Found in ail sub régions of Palsearctic région ; and in ail but E. Africa 
of Ethiopian région. The Lemuridae, comprehending ail the animals usually 
termed Lemurs, and many of their allies also, are divided by Prof. Mivart— 
who bas carefully studied tbe group— into four sub-families and eleven gênera, 
as follows : — 

Sub'family Indrisins, consisting of the genus Indris (5 sp.)» is confined 
to Madagascar. 

Subfamily Lemurinse, contains five gênera, viz. i^Zemur (15 sp.) ; Ha- 
éalemur (2 sp.) ; Microcebus (4 sp.) ; Chirogaleus (5 sp.); and Lepilemur 
(2 sp.) ; ail confined to Madagascar. 

Sub-family Nycticebinae, contains four gênera, viz. \—Nycticebu5 (3 sp.) — 
small, short tailed, nocturnal animals, called slow- lemurs— range from 
E. Bengal to S. China, and to Bornéo and Java ; Loris (i sp.)— a very small 
tailless, nocturnal lemur, which inhabits Madras, Malabar and Ceylon ; 
Perodicticus (i sp.)— the Potto— a small lemur with almost nidimentary 
forefinger, found at Sierra Leone (pi. v., vol. i. p. 264) ; Arctocebus (i sp.)— 
the Angwantibo another extraordinary form, in which the forefinger is quite 
absent, and the first toe armed with a long claw — inhabits Old Calabar. 

Sub family Galaginae, contains only the genus Galago (14 sp.), which is 
confined to the Afincan continent» ranging fiim Sénégal and Fernando Po lo 
Zanzibar and Natal. 


Family 8 — Chiromyidœ (i genus, i species). 

The Âyeaye {^Chirofnys\ the sole représentative of tnis family, is confined 
to the island of Madagascar, It was for a lon^ time very imperfectly 
known, and was suppoeed to belong to the Rgdentia ; but it bas now beeD 
ascertained to be an exceedingly specialized form of lemuroid type, and 
nmst be considered to be one of the most extraordinaryof the mamroalia dqw 
inhabiting the çlobe. (Vol. ii. pp. 176, 177.] 

The Lemuroid group offers us one ot the most singular phenomena in 
geographical distribution. It consists of three families, the species of which 
are grouped into six sub-families and 13 gênera. One of thèse families, and- 
two of the sub-famihes, comprising 7 gênera, and no leas than 30 out of * the 
total of 50 species, are confined to the one island of Madagascar ; of the 
reroainder, 3 gênera, comprising 15 species. are spread over Tropical Africa; 
while three otner gênera, with 5 species, inhabit certain restricted portions of 
India and the Mafay Islands. 

* * * Id Madagascar, where less complex conditions prevailed in a 
coDsiderabJe land area, the lowly organized Lemuroids. hâve diverged ipto. 
roany specialized forms of their own peculiar type ; while on the continenta. 
they hâve, to a great extent, become exterminated, or hâve maintained thdr 
existence in a few cases in islands, or in mountain ranges. In Africa the 
nocturnal and arboreal Galagos are adapted to a spécial mode of life, in 
which they probably bave few competitors. (Vol. il. pp. 197, 180.) 

Order Insectivora. 

Family i%,^Centetidœ (6 gênera, 10 species). 
The Centetids are small animais, many of them having a spiny covering, 
wheDoe the species of Ctntetes hâve been called 'Madagascar hedgehogs.' 
The gex>er« CfinHtfs C2 sp.]* Hemicentetes {\ sp.), Ericulus{i sp.), Echtnapsi 
(3 sp.)> aD4 the secently described Oryzoricies (i sp.), are ail exclusively^ 
inhabitants of Madagascar, and are almost or quite tailless. The remaining 
genus, Solenodon^ is a more slender and active animal, with a long rat-like 
tail, shrew*like head, and coarse fur ; and the two known species are among 
the very few indigenous mammals of the West India Islands, one beingfound 
at Cuba (pl> xvii. vol. ii. p. 67), the other in Hayti. Although presenting 
many points of différence m détail, the essential characters of thls curioua 
animal are, accordingto Profs. Peters and Mivart, identical wlth the rest of the 
Centetidae. We bave thus a most remarkable and well-established case of 
discontinuous distribution, two portions of the same family being now separated 
from each other by an extensive continent, as well as by a deep océan. (VoL 
ii. p. 188.) 

Order Carnivora. 

FatQily %A.—Cryptoproctidœ{\ gênera, i species). 
The Cryjpiofrocîa jerox, a small and graceful cat-like animal, peculiar 
to Madagascar, was formerly classed among the Viverridae, but is now consi- 
dered by Prof. Flower to constitute a distinct family between the Cats andi 
the Cfvets. (Vol. ii. p. 194.) 

Order Rodentia. 

Family 55. — Muridœ. 
Nesomys, Hypogeomys, Brachytarsomys, Madagascar. Of Rodentia, 
Moridap alone found in Madagascar (out of 14 families). 


■— t— M6— — mdP»— — ' u I I I I « ■ umjiLx^ i.i II 


NOBODY can réside very long in Madagascar, or in thèse 
central parts of it, at any rate, without occasionally 
observing little companies of the natives bending eagerly over 
some mathematical looking diagram rudely scratched on road- 
side stone, or on the top of a rock, or, more roughly still, on the 
sun-baked clay of the wayside. If you look a Uttle at the figure 
of the diagram, and consider the multipllcity of squares, diago« 
nais and adjacent parallelograms involved in it, you may think 
the people are discussing some Malagasy rider to one or other 
of the propositions in the Second Book of Euclid. Take the 
trouble to ask, however, and you will find that they are simply 
playing at their national game, the Fandrona, 

Games of skill or chance, generally speaking, do not attract 
much interest among the Malagasy. They hâve originated 
very few, and do not seem to care much for such as they hâve 
had opportunities of learning from Europeans. A few of the 
upper classes play occasionally at cards, dominoes, and loto. 
1 hâve never seen dice anywhere among them, and very likely 
there are not fifty natives in ail the island who know anything 
at ail of chess or draughts. But they ail understand the fano- 
rona ; that is played everywhere, in-doors and out of doors, in 
the town and in the country, and by ail classes, high and low, 
young and old. Almost everywhere in the houses of the people, 
except the very poorest, you may find the fanorana board, 
though very often it is only the back of the akàlana (chopping 
block) or of the sahàfa (wooden winnowing platter). But play- 
ing out of doors seems most attractive to theyounger Malagasy, 
and they can extemporise a board, or a substitute for a board, 
anywhere. On the wooden sheds in the market-places, on the 
tiled paving around the school-houses and collège buildings, on 
the stones around the open élévations where the Judges sit, on 
the paved way outside the Palace, on the roadsides where the 
palanquin bearers congregate, at the stone-gate entrances into 
the villages, on the flat rocks of the hillsides, on which the little 
slave children sun themselves while tending their masters' 
sheep or cattle— everywhere you may find the signs and tokens 
of the /anorona players. 

The most respectable students in the L. M. S. Collège will 
frequently employ the few minutes' interval between some of 
their moming classes in a hasty game. I hâve seen two or 
three of our most grave and potent city pastors stop with one 


accord to watch and critieize the wavering fortunes of a chance 
game that was being fought out on the wayside. Sorae of 
the older andrïandàhy (chiels) and senior officers of the palace 
are reputed to be the best players in the country. The vénér- 
able old princess who died two years ago at Ambôhijôky, and 
who in her girlhood, about fonrscore years ago, was one of *the 
twelve wives' of King Andrianampôinimèrina, had been in her 
time a famous player at the /a«(?r(7«û;. There are still alive in 
Antanànarivo several old people who remember very well the 
coronation of Radàma I., in the year 18 10, and the great 
gathering on that occasion in the plain of Imàhamàsina. Ail 
the various tribes and orders of the people were that day ranged 
around the King after the pattem of the various sides and 
diagonals and intersections of the fanorona ! In one of Rada- 
ma's campaig^s in the southern parts of the island, a Bètsilèo 
king, whom he was besieging, had perched himself on the 
summit of his stone-barricaded gateway, and in unblessed • 
ignorance of the dangerous powers of the muskets which 
Radama had acquired from the English, he was giving only 
one eye to the approaching enemy, and employing the other 
in a friendly game oi fanorona with one of his officers. The 
poor fellow never finished his game, for an unlucky buUet put 
it ail out his head in a moment, in its swift 'check to the king.' 
Of much older date than thèse incidents are some tradition- 
ary stories the Malagasy préserve about one Andriantômpoko- 
indrindra, who should hâve succeeded to one of the petty 
kingdoms in Imerina, and who lived at Ambôhimalàza (a few 
miles east of the présent Capital) perhaps some two hundred 
years ago. He seems to hâve been great-grandson of the 
famous King Andriamàsinavàlona, who reigned long and 
ably over the whole of Imerina, and on whose death the king- 
dom of the Ho va was split up into several small divisions by 
his numerous sons. The father of Andriantompoko was king 
over a large part of eastern Imerina, and as this was his eldest 
son, he was heir-apparent to his father's kingdom. When the 
father began to grow old, the young chief occupied his mind by 
devising plans for the better conduct of his kingdom after he 
should attain his father's place. Public gatherings, with sing* 
ing and dancing round the king, seem to hâve been very 
important parts of state business in those times, and one day, 
while watching some of his children, who were playing at his 
feet with tsàramàso (beans), and arranging them in straight 
Unes and cross Unes, according to their différent colours, the 
thought struck him that he ought to hâve such an arrangement 
of the différent orders of his subjects when they should be 


^thered to dance around him, on the occasioa of 'his fir>»t 
appearance among them as king. After consulting with his 
•wife, and then with his wise men, he elaborated his plan» which 
was that of a large square divided into sixteen smaller squares, 
with the two intersecting diagonals. On Uie outer sides 
of the large square he proposed to arrange the *01o-mainty' 
(Black people^) ; the diagonal Unes were to be occupied by the 
Hova; the other inner Unes were to be occupi^ by altemate 
rows of Hova smûandriana (chiefs or nobles), -fiy and by he 
discovered that the Olo-mainty might be aggrieved if they were 
arranged exciusively on the outside Unes and 'out in the 
coid ;' so he devised four small additional diagonal Unes, on 
which some of that tribe might be r-anged, neare): to the King 
and the centre of the gathering. This, according to the native 
tradition, was the origin of th^ fanôrona ; and the Unes aboyé 
described correspond exactly with the appearance of the Unes 
of half tÏLQfanorona diagram as it is now used. As he had jyet 
no opportunity of marshalling his subjects, he spent agood deal 
of time in working over thèse plans for them ; and afber a while 
he conceived the notion of arranging them also for sham fight, 
and the various methods for attack and defence were elaborated 
by him with his tsaramaso instead of soldiers. Findiug out after 
a while that the attacked side, properly defendedi would be 
always victorious, he doubled the number of squares on his 
mimic field, and succeeded in immensely improving the *scien- 
tific' character of the game, and very greatly increasing the 
possibilities of careful moves both for attack and for defence. 

Thus runs the native tradition as to the origin of the fanarvna^ 
and I am rather disposed to believe that the account is substan-^ 
tially true. At first, I thought it mythical, and was inclined to 
-suppose that the game must hâve been introduced into Mada- 
gascar bylhe Arabs. It will be seen at a glance that the 32 
squares of thefanorona are precisely similar to those on the 
half of an ordinary folding draught-board or chess-board. The 
moving and capturing power of the pièces is not unlike that of 
the draughtsmen; every pièce is of identical power and value, 
just as in draughts ; and the number of pièces employed on each 
side in the earUer and simpler form of the fanorona was just 
twelve, the same as employed on each side in draughts. Now, 
if I do not mistake, the game of draughts was introduced into 
England or Scotland from Egypt, two or three centuries ago. 
It seemed therefore possible enough that the Malagasy/aw^TrtTW/i 
was originally a variety of the draughts game ; that both games 

•'Still a rtfcogaixed division of the inhabitanta of Im«rina. They cre deice&danti of dftrk àitd 
BOû-HoTa tribM oaptured in former wartt but are aow free poople.— Eds. 

fr^ MALAGASr GAME OF ^fanoro^a: isr^ 

werp invented by the Egyptians or Arabs ; and that, just as 
EnglUh sailprs pr travellers carried the one game to Britain, 
the Arab sailors and traders may hâve brought the other game 
to Madagascar. Now, however, after considering the apparent- 
ly imvarying character of the native tradition as to its local 
origin, and the undoubted faots that the fanorona Unes hâve 
been repeatedly used in arranging the varions clans and orders 
of the people around the sovereign on the great festival days at 
Imahamasina — thèse and some other circumstances dispose me 
to believe that the game is of Malagasy origin, and probably 
arose in some such way as stated in the traditionary account 
which I hâve roughly given above. 

Before proceeding to describe particularly the method of 
playing the fanoranay there is another little story about Andrian- 
tompokoindrindra which is too good to beleftuntold. The King 
his father, who reigned, I believe, at Ambôhidrabiby, happened 
to be at war with some of his neighbours, who made a raid on 
his territory and were marching up against him in his capital. 
Messengers were sent out hastily to his sons, who had been 
placed in charge of varions towns round about, that they must 
corne at once with their soldiers to meet the approaching 
enemy. As soon as the younger sons heard, they arose at once 
and went to the father's help. But when the messenger came 
to Ambohimalaza, Andriantompoko was engrossed with a 
difBcult position in his favourite game, th^ fanorona ; and the 
answer he returned to his father' s message was : "Yes, but I 
will finish this game of three against five first." The messenger 
returned with the answer he had got, and after a long delay 
Andriantompoko arrived with his forces. But he was too late, 
for lie enemy had been routed , already . And the tough old 
Kin£^ liis father, along with the elders of the people, resolved 
that day that neither Andriantompoko nor any of his descen- 
dants should ever be allowed to reign, seeing that he had flung 
away the kingdom for his "three against five." Curiously 
enoifgh, the descendants of this man, the Zànatômpo, stili résida 
l^t Ambohimalaza, and their family is still known by the name 
of Andriantompokoindrindra. And the circumstances of their 
ancestor's disgrâce are said to be preserved in the current 
proverb: "Three against five, and toss away the kingdom" 
\^^Telono ho dimy mahavery fanjakana"). How "history repeats 
itself" ! 

T\^ fanorona board is a rectangular parallelogram, divided 
int0 3i equal squares. Gather thèse, in your eye, into eight 
Uçger squarei^, containing foi^r each ; draw the diagonal linos 
in each of thci eighti and xhefatwrona figure is complétée Forty* 


four movable pièces are requîred for the game— twenty^two oi 
each side. With the Malagasy thèse are usually little pebble 
and potsherds, or beans and bernes. We, however, will cal 
them the Black and the White pièces. The two players sit op 
posite each other, having the long sides of the /anoronasLdjsicen 
to them. The pièces are then arranged on the corners o 
angle-points, not on the squares, as in chess or draughts 
There are five of thèse long lines on the board, each containing 
of course, nine angle-points, and the pièces are thus arranged :- 

Black : First Line i .... 9 

Second ,, I....9 

White: Fourth ,, l.-.ç 

Fifth M I ...9 

The thîrd, or central line, is occupied by the eight remainiti] 
pièces, placed alternately thus :•— 

Black I , 3 I 6 , 8 
White 2,4.7,9 

One point remains unoccupied, the central angle-point of th 
board, the fifth of the third line. This represents the roya 
seat in the public gatherings, but in the fanorona game it i 
called the fbibény ('navel'). 

The object aimed at by each of the players is, as in draughts 
to remove the whole of the adversary's pièces from the boarc 
But much caution is required, for we shall see that a few pièce 
well posted may easily annihilate more than four times thei 
number in weaker situations ; and, as in real warfare, even th 
very numbers of a force may sometimes prove their min. i 
few examples hère will show the various ways in which th 
game may be opened, and the manner in which the pièces ar 
moved and the adverse pièces captured. Let us suppose that th 
pièces are ail placed, as just described above (see diagram i 
For convenience of description let the five lines on which th 
pièces are posted be called respectively A, B, C, D, E, instea» 
of first line, second line, third line, etc. Any one of thés 
letters then, with a numéral appended, will be an easy refer 
ence to the pièce that is to be removed, or to a hostile piec 
that has to be captured and removed from the board. Thei 
remember: — 

First, that a pièce may be moved in any direction— forward 
backward, sideways, or diagonally, to the first station in tha 
direction, if such station be vacant. 

Second. If there be now no other vacant station betweei 
the attacking pièce just moved and the enemy's pièce alonj 
that line, thèse, whatever their number, are captured at once 
as far as they stand in unbroken order on the line attacked 


If, however, a vacant position occurs in their line, or another 
hostile pièce is among them, then only the pièce or pièces near- 
est the assailant are captured. 

Thirdly. The pièces of the enemy may be captured by a 
retreat as well as by an advance. A pièce that has been stand- 
ing in an adjoining station to some pièce or pièces of the enemy 
may capture it or them by retreating one point along that line, 
if such point happens to be vacant. The limitation defined im- 
mediately above applies in this case also. 

Fourthly. At the beginning of a game one move only is 
permitted to the first side. After that side has moved once, any 
pièce that is moved is permitted to run amuck in the enemy's 
lines, and to go on as long as he fînds foes to capture, provided 
[a) that he does not retum immediately to any point he has 
just left, and [b) that he does not take a foe behind him imme- 
diately afler taking one in front of him, nor one on his right 
hand immediately after taking on his left hand, and vice versa. 
''Dont eat at both ends, like a leech," says the Malagasy 

Let us suppose that White is going to move first at the com- 
mencement of a game. There is only one vacant point on the 
board into which he can move a pièce, namely the foibeny or 
central point, which we may term C 5, as it is the fifth point of 
the third line. There are four white pièces, of which any one 
may be moved into the vacant post, those on C 4, D 4, D 5, D 6. 
If he advances D5 to C5, then he immediately captures Black's 
pièces on B 5 and A 5. Black may now retaliate by withdraw- 
ing his pièce on B 6 to A 5, thereby capturing White's pièces 
on C 7, D 8, E 9. White may now, in any one of several ways, 
inflict a séries of severe strokes on the unfortunate Black. Thus, 
for example, 

DôtoC;, UkiDgBS, A9; then 
„ B6, „ A5 ; 
., B5, „ B4, B3, Ba, Bi. 

Now the White pièce must stop awhile, for, although the 

Black pièce at B 7 is under his range, yet in taking it he would 

be transgressing the two laws mentioned above. He would 

hâve to retum to B 6, which he has just quitted, and he would 

be "eating at both ends, like a leech," which is improper. But 

the black pièce on B 7 may now very properly provide for 

his own safety and circumvent his assailant by advancing 

thus :— 

fi 7 to C 7, taking D 7» E 7 ; then 
„ t)6, „ E5; then 
»i Ds, „ D4, D3, Da. Di ; then 
Il E 5, „ C5, B5. 

154 ^naP ^^lA0ASr 04¥JS OF ^AttOftOfÙi': 

rl^dse aioves ^re aot giyen ^ .eq^mples of wh^^t the Malag: 
wpuld>qQa$ider good :play, but amiply to shpw the modus t 
randi of the game. 

TheigiS^me «ubJQiuad may be con3ic}ered an average specin 
of native skill. 


White. BI4ACK. 

1. D 5 to C 5 takes B 5, A.-5. i. ;fi 6 to A 5 takes C 7, D 8, E 

2. Ei^,,Dè n C>8, B8, A8. 3. C6 „ B6 „ D6. E6. 

M C; „ D8; 

„ D6 „ E5; 

„ D5 „ D4,D3,D2, 

M E5 „ C5; 

M E6 „ E4,E3, E2, 

3. D; „ C; „ B7, A;; 3. E6 „ Ê5 „ ^y, 

„ B8 „ A 9; 
„ B7 ,, B9. 

4. €4 „ Cs n C^; 4. Ci „ D2. 
D6 „ B4, A3; 
C7 M E5; 













,'i B6 „ As; 
„ C6 „ A 6. 

Cà „ Cs. 5. D2 „ E2 „ C2. 

C5 „ B4. 6. B2 M Ci. 

B4 „ C4 „ A4. 7- Ci „ D2. 

B7 „ B6. 8. E,2 „ E3. 

Do ,, D8. 9. A2 ,, B2. 

Bo „ A5. 10. B2 „ Ci. 

D^ „ D7. II. A I ,, A2. 

D7 ., D6. X2. D2 „ D^. 

C9 „ B8. 13. Ci ,» C2. 

C4 „ C3 „ C2. 14. B3 „ A2 „ C3; 

Il -A. 4 II ^5» 

B8 „ C7. 15. E3 „ E4. 

C7 M B6. 10. A 2 M B2. 

D6 „ Dy. 17. D3 „ D4. 

B6 ., C5 „ D4. 18. B2 „ A3. 

C5 „ B4 „ ^A3. 19. Bi „ Ci. 

B4 „.C4 „ A4. 20. E4 „ D4 „ C4. 

D7 „ C7. 21. C i „ C2. 

C7 „ C6. 22, C2 „ C3. 

C6 ,. C7. ^3* ^3 I» B4- 

C7 „ B8. 24. B4 „ C5. 

B8 „ C8. 25. C5 „ B6. 

C8 ., Co. 26. D 4 „ C5. 

27. Co „ C8. 27. C 5 „ D6. 

28. es „ C9. 18. D 6 „ C6. 

29. C 9 M I^ 9* 29. B 6 I, C 7 and wins. 

If the game happens to terminate in a *draw,' which is i 
quently the case, then the combat may be recommencée! on 
same terms, the other 6id« now takii^g the lirst move. Sho 


one of the players hâve been defeated, however, he is not 
allowed to play ou 'the same footing as J^efor^ for the igapie 
must be akeiied in a kind of mocking condescension to his 
weakness. Thenew-form of the game is called the Vêla; the 
one who has conquered is the mpàmpihïnam'béla (he who allows 
tograze at large); the defeated is hàmam-béla (a poor sheep 
notto be inolested for a while in his pasture groundj. The 
f vêla game is opened by the victor, who puts forward such of 
his pièces as he chooses to surrender to his antagonist. Thèse 
pièces may only be taken singly, and the gênerons conqueror 
refrains from t^ing any of his enemy's pièces, until he has 
parted witb, one by one, 17 of his own pièces ; then, with the 
remainingfive, he begins his campaign against the undiminish- 
ed forces of his antagonist. If he be a skilfiil player, however, 
he has maniaged meanwhile to occupy the fortress positions of 
the game ; and the hosts of the enemy are probably scattered 
in such situations that he will corne down on them "like a wolf 
onthefold." \i ^^ homam-bela is again defeated, he is only 
allowed to play ^^vela form of the game until'he has redeemed 
himself by a victory. Or he may choose to humiliate himselt 
by openly confessing his inferiority, though, as one of my in- 
formants says, **few of the Malagasy are willing to do that." 
In ancient times grâce was accorded to the beaten combatant on 
condition of his kneeling down before his conqueror and bleating 
like a sheçp [mtbàrarèoka)y in confession of his weakness. 

Hère is a spécimen of the vêla game, including the prelimin- 
ary sacrificiâl moves by which Black gives up, one by one, 
the fated 17 pièces. Then the time of reprisais comes, and the 
five survivors take the field and will give and take no quarter. 



:LA GA!i^ 




C4 to C^ takesCô. 



to C4. 


Cs „ 

C6 „ 




c ^ 


D4 „ 

C5 M 



M B 6. 


C5 „ 

B4 •» 



» A 7, 

D5 „ 

C5 M 




" s* 


E5 „ 

D4 „ 



»> A 8. 


C2 „ 

C3 „ 




» A 2. 

Da „ 

C2 „ 




M B2. 


B4 „ 

B5 M 




M A3. 


C3 „ 

B3 „ 




„ A3. 


D4 „ 

C3 ,» 




M A 2. 


C2 „ 

B2 „ 

A 2. 


„ A 9. 


B5 „ 

B4 M 




H B6. 


B4 ,. 

B5 M 




»t B6. 


B5 H 

B4 ,1 




M B6. 


White. Black. 

x6. B 4 to B j takes B 6. i6. A 9 to A 8. 

17. C6 M B6 ,, A 6. 17. Now begins Black's attack. 

B 8 to À 7 takes C 9 ; 

„ B7 „ C7, D7, E7. 

18. D9 „ C9 „ Ba. 18. C8 „ B8 „ D8, E8; 

C7 M I>6; 
D8 „ E9; 
E7 M C9; 

M D6 „ C 
C6 » E 


19. B6 M A6 ,, C6. 19. B7 M B6 „ B5. 

20. A 6 ,, A 7 „ A 8. 20. Bô M C5 „ A 7; 

,, C4 „ C3 : 

,, D4 ,, E4; 

M C3 „ Ba; 

„ D 2 „ E I ; 

M Ci „ E3; 

' „Bi „ Di; 

B2 „ B3. 


ac. D3 „ C3. 21. Az „ Aa. 

22. C3 „ D4 „ B2. 22. A 2 „ A3. 

zy E2 „ D2. 23. A3 „ B3. 

24. D 2 ,, C I and wins. 

1 would just say, in conclusion, that although the fanorona îs 
still very popular with the people, and their interest in the 
game not at ail likely to decay, yet probably it will not in 
future years be so largely practised as it is now. Life is grow- 
ing every year more serious for the Malagasy. The felt neces- 
sities for éducation are fiUing up more and more the lives of the 
young people. Compétitions are becoming more eager, and 
the burdens of responsibilities are being felt more weighty, 
both in the State and in the churches and in the market-places. 
The fanaro^ia will do no harm to the busy ànd to the sensible, 
while the idler and the fool may be at times detained by ît from 
worse employments. Occasionally, I suppose, a few young 
fellows are foolish enough to gamble over it ; and, just as with 
chess and draught players in England, a few hère and there 
may be tempted by it to forget their proper business. The 
Malagasy say that in old times their ancestors employed the 
fanorona as a means of begetting and extending friendly feel- 
ings among their neighbours ; and I hâve no shrewder words 
to say of it than those said to me by a clever young native, to 
whom I am indebted for much of the information in this paper : 
•<We cannot call it a good sport, and we cannot call it a bad 
one ; but it may be either good or evil according to the charac- 
ter and circumstances of those who engage in it." 



















I - 





















T/'- hpJt^Ais. i'Xt FUfaf'tn Jujc ivJJi bc a kty (o thu dascrip tuons . 

ya/e/t ui tfi£ ca'Uclc . 


■ , 

--6 >y -o — ^ 



as arrcuiaed. cit com'yMyiccmjinjt oy Gar^'*» \ 


■ »- i' 1 -r — WBig .L ^ L. I ■ J ggWg^^— ^"^^"^«^^^^ 



T WISH in tbe following paper to write of Malagasy roots with more 
1 fiilness than, so far as I am aware, they bave yet been treated. In 
ooing se it will be necessary to repeat some facts witb wbicb ail wbo 
kQow Malagasy are perfectly familiar ; but tbis répétition will I hope be 
excQsed for tbe sake of tbe greater cleamess we sball gain from taking a 
complète and comprebensive view of tbe pbenomena presented. 

The Malagasy being an agglutinative language, tbe root bas more 

importance tban in languages of otber classes, and is more prominently 

thrust upon our notice. Tbus sucb a looizi&sôlo (substitute) is clearly seen 

in a vast number of derivatives, e.g. mùdio, misoiSa, tsoidana,fooiâana, mam' 

fùôlOf ampùolôina^ mt/àmpisôlo, ifàmpisolôana, etc, etc. At tbe same time 

the Malagasy language bas a greater tendency to obscure tbe root tban 

some otber members of tbe same class ; and indeed often almost entirely 

hides it in tbe midst of lengtby préfixes and afiixes ; e.g. in tbe word 

ifandàvana^ from tbe root /a, tbe a alone remains uncbanged, tbe /of the 

root baving become d ; in ampdnohô/y^ only oho of the root hôhoka 

remains uncbanged, the first h baving disappeared on tbe assumption of 

the prefix man {manàhoka), and tbe k of the final syllable baving become 

/; in dmpifamhhina again, only tbe o remains uncbanged : the m^ 

however, suggests to one familiar with Malagasy forms oneof thelabials, 

and tbe h in hina also suggests the terminal ka^ and so we are soon led 

to pàka^ the root of the word. Similarly, on appending the pronominal 

suffixes, tbe Malagasy in certain cases eut off the final syllable, e.g. mpià- 

natra becomes mpianany^ mpiànatstka, etc. The ^lalay does not, I 

think, allow sucb a contraction as tbis, but appends the suffix to the 

uncbanged word. 

I will not, however, occupy time in showing how roots may be 
detected, as a little familiarity witb the derivative forms soon enables one 
to pick out the roots of ail ordinary words ; but will confine myself to the 
roots tbemselves, and as a first step it is désirable we should bear in mind 
the three main classes into which tbe great majority of roots may be 

Class I. Monosyllahles , Thèse are rare : if we exclude conjunctions, 
interjections, etc., there do not seem to be more than twelve or thirteen, 
and as they are so few I will give ail I bave noticed : — 

(i) be^ much, many (Malay hesar ; Jav. kabe). The s of tbe Malay 
form appears in Malagasy as s in habiàzina, etc., and as is in bétsaka^ 

(2) da^ renown. Witb tbis compare a?, wbicb is perbaps only another 
form of the same word. 

(3) fty tbigh (Malay /aA ; Polyn. v<x). 

(4) fyy delicious. 

(5) y^» ^^ beart. 

(6) Ai, to refuse (Swa. /«, no, from tbe Arabie (?)• 

nsBi MÀLAGASr' S€1ST3,: 


(7^ lût rotten. 

8) ra, blood (Malay darah ; Jav. rah), 

[g) re, violence, as of tbe^waveHi; anotherform is tna (Kawi fv, violence). 
10) re, heard ; this, however, seems to hâve been shortened from 
rèf$y {tsy ftfMomtèy fV^ is still occaeionallf hèard^ and^he n^ appears in 
the derivatives, e.g. mandnnésa, andrenésana). 

(11) tôt accompiished, fulfille.d (Kawi /d„ just, true,, genujhe) ; the 
Swahili dérivation given in. the Dictionaiy iis unneœssar^f . 

fil) tsyt Steel. 

13) «?, renown (Swa. zurif). Comp. dà. 

Àmong the above, which from their simplicity one would expect to 
belong to the primitive stock of the language, Marre-de Marin (Gram. 
p. 14) notes that tOtfe, ra, re are Malayan ; to his list we may add be i, and 
perhaps the remaining words dà^ zo/jy^fo^ lo^ re (heard), may also witb 
fulleï knowledge be hereafter indentified. 

Cîass II. Dmyllahles ending in 0, y, orfirm a. By 'firm d is meant 
an a not belonging to one of the weak terminais (see Dictionary^ p. xxxii. 
note). Roots of this class are veiy common ; e.g. ràno, water ; ilo^ um- 
brella v àzo, got ; fidy, choice ; dtdy, cutting ; tàny^ earth, land ; vèAa,, 
opened ; sdla^ bald. They are ail accented on the first syllable. 

Ciass III. Dissyllables and frùyllaUes^ inding in thê, wtak terminais ka%. 
tra, na. Thèse too are accented on the first syllable, and no root not 
of this class can be accented on tbe antepenult. This class la very 
large, and examples will be found in abundance in tbie DictioHary ; th.» 
folio wing will serve as samples: tdmpoka^ suddenly ;, kipaka^ pushdd off; 
fàirairuy earaestly, thoroughly ; hinatra, shame ; nénina, regret ; AàMomit 
held ; /âtra, measured (as grain) ; pàkat knocked against ; ddna, saine; 
as the !ast. 

Into the above classes almost ail primary roota fall. Some apparent 
exceptions are word^ borrowed from other languages ; e.g. ka/é\¥x. cafi)^ 
coffee ; kardma^ wages (Swa. gharamd) ; mizànay scales (Arab. mizan) ; 
lalàna (formerly laloàna ; Fr. la loi). 

The third class probably contains the largest number of roots in the 
language. But although for grammatical purposes they are considered 
roots, there are weighty reasons for considering them rather as modified 
and enlarged, than as absolutely primitive, roots, and their ligbt terminais 
ka, tra, and na as additions to the original word. The reasons for this 
opinion are the following : — 

(i) The light terminais are often omitted in some of the provincial 
dialects. Thus we find ndma for nàmana (companion), làka for làkana 
{cdJiot), fàsy for /àsika, (sand, e.g. in the tribal name, Tat/âsy), Even in 
Imèrina we find examples of the same thing, as for instance in lâsa and 
làsana (gone), ha and isaka (each), iray and iraika (one). Occasionally the 
shorter form is in use in Imerina and the lengthened one in the provinces ; 
e.g. Hova hàla (spider), prov. hàlana ; Hova, /àhy (short), proy. /àkika. 

(2) In certain words thèse terminais are interchanged ; e.g/àsika and 
fàsina, sand (the existence of the form fdsina is shown by the proper 
names Ampàsimbè, Ampàsimpbtsy, Pàsindàva, etc. This is an extremely 
instructive example. The Malay Jorm of the word is pasir; the final 


r of wbicfap dntpiiears' iii^ Taifdsyr becomes na in fdsinay and ka in tba> 
common fbnn fdàika), Otner examples are élanUana and è/akèiaàai^ 
betweeil ; iribaka, fràbaka, trèbcUra^ tràhatra^ pierced ; h)ana and 
bwaka^ chips; tàrika and tàritra {iaAiina\ drawn; lohàltka^ kneef 
is among the Bèzànozàno called lohàUtra ; afénana, the lower part 
of the anH, is also called afénaka ; Ihatra^ too much, is in some 
parts pronounced Ibana ; hàzona^ held, appears with a final tra m 
the secondïuy form sangdwira^ caught in a thicket; And so we 
might go on adding examples sdmost ad Itèiium^ but the above are 
ample to show the freedom with which thèse light terminale may 
be interchanged. Usually no change of meaning is caused by the 
change of the terminal, but sometimes a slight modification of meaning 
is caused ; thus pôtsttra means to burst (as a boil), but phtsika meansi 
cmshed, broken ; fàhy {mamàhy) is to fatten cattle, but fdhitra is the 
name of the pen in which cattle are kept duringthe fattening;y2//ra means 
to measure (rice» eXc), /(Uratray shaken down (as rice in a measure). 

(3) Many examples are found (as aiready shown in some of the above 
examples) in which the simple roots exist side by side with the lengthen- 
ed forms. Thus from rta (fv), the rush of water {ràno maria or maré^ 
rashing water)^ we hâve rianay a waterfall, mïkaHana, to flow (as water 
over a rock), and riaka, rushing streams of water after a heavy rain. Sge^ 
too from sddtsèdy, hovering, we find misôdika^ to hover ; and from rira- 
{rérarèm\ hanging loosely, we hâve riraàa, weak, faint ; and from rôtiriky^ 
weariness, we bave rôzika {mirbzika\ languishing ; from rôba^ pillage, wo^ 
hâve réàaka and rbmbaka, in much the same sensé. So too we find oHèiy:^ 
coriing; àhkdit'ka, twisting ; léla, tongue, lèiaka, to lick (though hère th« 
analogy of languages would lead us to think the k must be an essential 
part of the word ; compare for instance Sans, h'h, Gr. ktcho, Lat. iingo, 
Heb. IakaÀ, Germ. lecken, £ng. h'ck, Irish lighirriy etc.). 

(4) The light and uncertain character of the tra is shown by the sul> 
stitntion for it among the Bètsilèo of isa ; but at the same time in form- 
ing i>a8sives, etc., the essential éléments of the root are maintained ; 
thus, for example, while they say matnaiisa for mamaitra (root, faitra^ 
comp. the name Andriamamaitrarîvo)^ they form the passive in the usual 
ii9cfjférana {jioX fétsana^ or some similar form). 

(s) The fondness of the Malagasy for thèse light terminais is well 
illustrated by the way in which they use them in giving a Malagasv form 
to introduced foreign wdrds. Thus the French livre becomes livatra ; 
caisse (or £ng. case) becomes késika, Similar changes are made in proper 
names ; thus Stueland becomes TsiÛalànitra ; Wills^ Oilitra ; Fox^ Fab^ 
kitra ; Capsey^ Kàpitra ; Sims, Smpitra^ 

(6) Very instructive also is a comparison of thèse Malagasy forms with 
the cognate languages. Occasionally the light terminais are found to 
fepresent différent final consonants in the Malayan languages. Thus na 
may represent a final n^ as in dnona (so and so)=Malay anun^ and anà- 
rana (name)=Malay ngaran ; or ng, as in amalona (eel)r=Malay malung ; 

* One of the latest and strangest of such chann^s is that by which the word 'résident* (i.e. 
tlie French Résident) is pronounced rési-an-dàmirat whrch, literally translated, would be 
'conqaered in heaven' 1— £ds. 


or r, as in lamôsina (back)=Malay îamusir ; kàmbana (twins)^Mala7 
kambar. So too tra may stand for a Malayan /, as infaifra (bittemess)= 
Ma\ay paù ; Ibmotra (slime, moss, etc.)=Malay lumui s or for/, as in 
àtrika (facing)=Malay hadap, Javanese adep (of this word we shall hâve to 
say more below) ; or for i, as in mànitra (fragrant)=Malay tnants. We 
bave also seen above that ka may represent a final r, as mfàsika (sand)= 

Sometimes the true root is obscured in the Malagasy root form, but 
reappears in the adjunctive derivatives. Thus sbkatra does not readily 
suggest the true root {sokdfy or sokap\ which can only be seen in the deri- 
vatives sokà/ana^ sokàfy^ etc. The Malayan forms akkap, stngap^ show that 
the true root is better preserved in the derivatives than in the grammatical 
root sbkatra, So too in minona (to drink), the true root of which tnûm^ 
Malay minum) appears in the passive tnàmtna, etc ; and so also in vélma 
(living), passive velômina (=Malay btlum). 

But not only do the primitive roots receive thèse light terminal syl- 
labiés, they are also often enlarged in two other ways : ( i ) by the inser- 
tion ofan infix ; (2) by the addition of a monosyllabic prefix. Roots thus 
enlarged are conveniently named "secondary roots." 

The syllables used as infixes are om^ on (i«), 0/, ar, er, They are insert- 
ed immediately after the first consonant of the primary root, and cause 
no change of accent. 

Thus the root héhy (laughter) becomes homéhy^ which may be used as 
a participle (laughing), or may become the root of a regular verb, mih<h 
mehy (to laugh), from which again a whole family of derivatives spring 
{mihomehéza^ thomehèzanaf mampihoméhy^ etc. etc.). In the same manner 
we get lomàno (swimming) from làno ; serintosinto (sighing) from sénto ; 
karépoka (the sound of anything crushed; from kipoka. So too from hitika 
(anything very small) we hâve btrùtka, bolùïka, and similar forms ; kifïka 
(with the same meaning) also becomes hijth'k. 

Thèse infixes hâve been shown by the Rev. L. Dahle and M. Marre- 
de Marin to be a distinguishing feature of Malayo-Polynesian languages, 
and hence they hâve great significance in determining the true position 
of the Malagasy language, and would in themselves almost décide the 
question. The above-named writers enumerate in and om, which are the 
forms of infix most commonly met with ; to thèse I hâve added al and 
ar {er), as thèse too are given by the Abbé Favre in his Malay Grammar, 
and are proved to exist in the Malagasy language by the above examples. 
I think it highly probable that a careful analysis of roots would lead to 
the détection of many more examples, and probably of other syllables 
used as infixes. The word lonjéhitra (comp. lônjttfa) would seem to 
suggest an infix eh ; but in the absence of other examples or of Malayan 
analogies it would perhaps be rash to insist upon this. 

The monosyllabic préfixes used in forming secondary roots are very 
numerous (a;/, ba^ be, da, etc.). Like the infixes, they cause no change of 
accent, which still remains on the first syllable of the primary root. It 

* Occasionally the Malay bas a -final consonant which is not represented in the Malagasy 
ibrm ; thus a/a (forcst) is in Malay aUu ; fana (hot)=/aMa«; valy (answer)=«Ma(Au/ ta9j^ 
(lake)=/<m>&; <mtàly {yeiXieià8iy)^kuniarin, 



is not easy to give any gênerai idea of how they modlfy the meaning of 
the primary root. Sometimes they appear to be simply omamental, and 
one is almost tempted to call them ''omamental monosyllabic préfixes." 
But as they do often produce a distinct modification of meaning, I hâve 
in the Introduction to the Dictionary given them a name that in- 
volves no theory as to their use or meaning, and hâve called them 
(from the first and last examples given in my list) the an-za préfixes. For 
examples see Dictionary, p. xviii. 

Our analysis of the roots and their various enlargements leads us to 
conclude that it may be laid down as a gênerai rule that ail primitive 
roots were monosyllables, or dissyllables accented on the first syllable. 
I do not, however, mean to assert that we can in ail instances point out 
the primitive root (for many words must still remain unexplained by the 
foregoing hypothesis) ; but as a gênerai working rule to guide us in our 
comparison of the éléments of the language we may safely foUow it, and 
may accordingly, in seeking for primary roots, and in instituting compa- 
risons with other languages, disregard : i° an unaccented primary syl- 
lable (e.g. iam in the word tambôlina {vàlina), as this will most probably 
prove to be an an-za prefix ; 2® an unaccented syllable formed by a 
consonant and om^ on, il^ er^ etc., as hère we shall probably on close 
analysis find we hâve an infix inserted in the primary root ; 3 the weak 
terminais ka^ tra^ na, as thèse we hâve seen are frequently additions to, 
or modifications of, a primary root. 

But even after having elimlnated thèse accretions, we cannot always be 
sure that we hâve before us the true root. Comparison with the cognate 
languages has already shown us how a root may be obscured, and I 
think it also leads us to look, not so much to the grammatical root, as to 
that form which may be regarded as the stem or base of the adjunctive 
forms, as in the examples sôkatra and àirika already given above. Many 
anomalies disappear when, following out this principle, we compare the 
stem thus given with Malayo-Polynesian forms. Let us take for exaraple 
the root kiky (scraping), from which we obtain the passive kikisana, 
Removing the final ana^ which in an ordinary passive affîx, we get the 
stem kikis. Comparing with this the Malayan équivalent (kikis), we 
find we hâve exactly the same form. In former times we were wont to 
regard the s in kikisana as a consonant inserted for the sake of euphony ; 
and that the Malagasy, like the Malays (Favre's Grammar, § 3), do insert at 
least one consonant, viz. A, euphonically in such words dL^fihaviany {avy\ 
is not denied ; but this inserted h is but a stronger form of the diaeresis, 
and in some words where we should be disposed to insert it (e.g. rniha^ 
hosa), the natives who sit on the Bible Revision Committee deny its 
existence altogether, and affirm that mihaôsa is the correct form. Mahà- 
rikivy (acid ; root ivy, saliva) has been given as an example of a euphonie 
k, as though the word were from mahàry (to produce) and ivy (saliva) ; 
but another explanation is to be found, and one that seems to me much 
more probable, viz. that we bave simply a combination of mahary (to 
produce) and kivy (saliva), kivy being another and fuller form of ivy 
(weakened first to hivy, and then, by omission of the aspirate, to ivy), and 
one still found in the language of Gilolo. It appears far more reason- 
able to seek for the existence of such so-called euphonie consonants in 


some form of the word actually used at an earlier stage in the develop- 
ment of the language, than to consider them abitrarily inserted ; and it is 
not easy to perceive why kikîsana should be more euphonious than kikiana^ 
which would be the regular form. 

Of course if such a word as kikîsana stood alone, we might not venture 
to base a gênerai argument upon it, but it is by no means an isolated 
example ; and I proceed to give others tending to show how apparent 
anomalies in Malagasy forms disappear, when we compare them with 
their Malayan équivalents : — 

A mpàly (a shrub or tree [Ficus soroceoides), the leaves of which are 
used as a substitute for sandpaper); pass. ampalésina (smoothed 
with amfàly leaves). The j in the passive ampalêsina does not 
appear m the Malagasy root atnpàly^ but is found in the Malay 

Atrika: pass. atrèhina (faced). In this word the true root is not 
apparent in the Hova form, but is retained in the provincial atr'àfiruif 
the stem of which [airef) is easily seen to be but a slightly moai6ed 
form of the Malay hadap^ and the Tavanese (idep, 

Be, bêtsaka (much, many) ; pass. hahiàzina (increased). Hère the Ma- 
lay form is besar^ the s of which appears in bêtsaka as ts^ and in 
habiàzina as z, 

^/iz (to grasp) ; Jlâzana, The 2: of the passive is represented by 
the s of the Malayan root, which is pères, 

Héhy (scraping) ; pass. hehèzina, The Malay is kakas* 

Hèry (strength) ; pass. herêzina, The Malay is karas, 

Inona (drinking) ; pass. inôtnina, The Malay is minum, This word 
possesses spécial interest. In the Malay it means simply to drink, 
as it still does in the coast dialects of the Malagasy ; whilst among 
the Hova is it is used only of drinking the poison ordeal [tangènàS. 

Lefa (set free) ; imp. alefàso. The i^ in alefàso is shown in the Malay 
form [lepas), 

Z//^^tf (licked up) ; paiss, lelâfina. The foi le lâfina m^^y be illustrat- 
ed by the Dayak/if/û;/. Which should hère be considered the ori- 
ginal consonant may be doubtful ; compare what has been already 
said on p. 159. 

^ify* ^ify\ 2idj. manify (thin) ; prov. pass. tiftsina. Malay nipis ; 
Javanese tt'pïs. 

Sà/y (roasting) ; salàzana (a gridiron). Malay salayan ; on the use of ^ 
for 2, comp. Marre-de Marin, p. 8, note (i). 

Têly (to pass across) ; tetêzana (a bridge). Malay titi^ titiyan [y for z 
as in salàzana), 

Tsêntsitra (sucking) ; pass. tsents'èfina, Malay sasap ; Batak sosop, 
or sesep, 
The above examples are taken from the valuable pamphlet of Van der 
Tuuk* (comp. especially pp. 4, 15, 16, 18) ; and considering them as a 
whole, we cannot but feel how much more reasonable it is to seek the 
explanation of apparent anomalies in the actual history of the language, 
than to allow ourselves to be put off with such an explanation as **eu- 
phonic changes of consonants," or **euphonic insertion of consonants.** 
At the same time wc must confess that though the above examples 
seem to start us on the right road, there still remain many words that 

♦ Published by Trubner {Jour, Roy. Asiat. Soc, xi. 1864). 


vith our présent knowledge we cannot well explain ; e.g. the/in hirifina 

and the m in ienàmina cannot at présent be explained by référence to 

cognate languages; and we must conclude either Çi) that other forms 

once existed in the Mala70-Pol3rnesian stock ; or (2) that the Malagasy 

may hâve been led by analogy to use thèse consonants, even when their 

ase was not warranted by the original form of the root. Malagasy philology 

is still in its infancy, and mnch light remains to be thrown on obscure 


Having now briefly shown the way in which roots may be conveniently 
classifîed, and tbe ordinary methods in which they are enlarged and 
modifiedf let us proceed to examine some of their less obvious changes, 
and the manifold relations they bear to one another, and how they thus 
branch out into many directions and form large and widely extended 
families or groups, each of which appears to hâve sprung from some one 
fundamental root. Slight modifications arose, sometimes perhaps onl^ 
accidentally^ sometimes purposely ; and often with the slight change of 
form arose some modification of meaning, thus gradually increasing the 
stock of synonyms, and enriching the language by enabling it to distin- 
guish nearly-related ideas. The chief modifications I hâve noticed may 
be thus classified :— 

(i) The use or omission of certain consonants at the beginning. The 
commonest illustrations of this occur in the use or omission of the 
aspirate. From the analogy of other languages one would naturally 
anticipate in a language so little cultivated as the Malagasy some uncer- 
tainty as to the use of the aspirate. And observation entirely agrées 
with such anticipation, as may be seen by consulting the Dictionary 
under the following words : àloàlo and halo, alobbtra and halobblra^ ànjaka 
and hànjaka, atàfa and hatàfana, lia and hila (compare too hïlana and 
tongiiana). Under this head may also be compared ibakèbaka, interme- 
diate space, and hàbakàbaka, the firmanent or expanse ; also hàzaka or 
hàzakàzaka, running, and èzaka, running, or exertion generally. Possibly 
also a similar relation exists between àzo, got, obtained, and hdzona, 
held, and between h/ny, sufiicient for, hénika, full, and éninat fuUy 
supplied with. 

In a similar way we find other consonants used or disused, and some- 
times causing a slight modification of meaning ; e.g. ômba and bombai to 
cover, ôngotra axid/àngotra, plucked up, âmpatra and làmpatra, stretched 
at full length, éndaka and sèndaka, peeled off, pulled ofi*; so too àtitra, 
carried, and tàtitra, carried away gradually in small portions. In the 
provinces we find tlo used for tsUo, a torch ; and hra, a hem, with which 
compare the Hova zaitra, sewing. 

(2) Interchange of consonants. {a) The labials {Ptf by v). Examples of 
interchange of labials are very common ; e.g. paoka, to swoop down on 
any thing, to carry off, dJ\dfaoka, to wipe off ; so too léfitra and léptka, 
folded ; compare too the words rèba and refarefa, Again we hâve vtla and 
biîa^ crookedness; hdvana and (prov.) hàba, a relation ; vetivety, vetivétika, 
a short time, and bttika, small ; bôry and vôry, round ; bôlana and vblanaj 
speech ; bôraka and vàrakay unbound, loosened ; bbaka and vôakay to go 
out ; and many others which may easily be found in the Dictionary. 

{b) The gutturals {h,/i,g,ng), Thus we find sàhana and sdkana, to 


place across, to prevent ; gaika^ to call, and hatka, to challenge ; girika, 
3. point or dot, and hirika, a small hole ; hèho and angbgo (prov.) nails ; 
/ïhina, /îhùra^ axid /ïkùrut to grasp ; kdsina, hôsina and hàsïna, twined; 
Aèhy and àdhy, to scratch, and kiky to scrape, gnaw ; héhy, laughter, and 
klkikiky, giggHng; fàngatra ^Xi^fikatra^ appearing, as a rat from its hole. 

{c) Other leiiers, D and l. The interchange between thèse is extremely 
common, and in certain districts, especially on the West Coast, almost 
constant ; thus vàdy^ partner, becomes valy ; vàdika, to overtum, be- 
comes vàlika. In this, as in some other peculiarities, the provincial form 
is nearer the Malayan than is its Hova équivalent ; thus the Malay for 
vàdika is baltk, or membalik. Many examples of the interchange of / and 
d occur also in the Hova ; thus both dàngadànga and làngalànga are 
used to signify *tall,* and dingidingy and Hngilïngy *height.' 

D and T. As illustrations of the interchange of thèse letters we hâve 
dbhaka and tôhaka, a loud noise, as the report of a gun ; diza and iiza^ 
to be erect ; ddboka and tàboka, to fall, be thrown down. 

L and R. Thèse letters are often interchanged, as in iambblo and tam- 
bbro (prov.), name of an herb ; madtlo and madtrv, the tamarind tree ; 
ràikitra and lHaka (prov.), sticking to (hère again the provincial forrn is 
nearer to the Malayan, which is lekai) ; rînginngy and Imgiltngyy height ; 
rdha, if, is in some parts pronounced làha ; and to this head may perhaps 
be referred the provincial rdso, gone, the Hova form of which is iàsa. 
Roso^ however, is also a common Hova word, meaning to go forward, 
make progress. 

s and T. This is an interchange found in other languages, as for 
instance in Hebrew and Chaldee, the Hebrew sh becoming / in Chaldee, 
as Heb. shor^ an ox. Chai, ior ; which word Mr. Dahle has shown* to exist 
in Malagasy in the name of the month Adaoro^ which takes its name 
from the constellation Taurus, The examples in Malagasy of this 
interchange of s and / are not very common ; but I hâve noticed iôkana 
and sokana, single, alone ; tèbiièby^ agitation, fear, and sèbisèby^ confusion, 

F and TS. This, like the interchange of / and d, occurs constantly, 
the Hovas preferring the /j sound, and the provincials the / ; thus the 
Hova /stdtkay to peep, spy out, is in the provinces fih'ka, with which may 
also be compared ///>/, a watchman. Alaisinainyy Monday, becomes Ti- 
naïny ; /à/sy^ white, is on the West Coast /6/y (Malay putih^ another 
example of what has been noted above) ; so too we find tûhyy a mat, 
prov. Hhy^ Malay i\kar\ istnjo^ gazed at from a distance, prov. Hnjo^ 
Malay iinjow, 

R and TR. Thèse are interchanged in the roots rànga and irànga^ to 
come into view ; riaira and triatra, tom. 

The above changes occur between consonants recognised as posses- 
sing well-established affînities ; but interchanges often occur between 
those which are not according to our notions so closely related, as for 
example between : — 

K and p, in takelaka and tapêlaka^ anything flat and wide. 

K and F, as in kdsï/ra and /âsùra, a kind of insect. 

♦ AnNUAL I. {Reprint), p. 207. 

1 1 


H and T, as in haino and tatno, to listen, attend. 

K and T, as in kordniana and koronkana, confused. 

K and TR, as in àlon-kàfa and olon-irà/a^ another person. 

p and T, as in karèpoka and karètoka, the sound of anything crushed. 

j and D, as in jéiajéja and dèdadèda^ blazing, flaming. 

j and R, as injabajàba and ràbaràba^ groping in the dark (comp. rèpa^ 
ripa, ràparàpa). 

J and TS, as mjhboka and tsàboka, to be plunged into water (comp. robokà). 
This last, however, may be resolved into a simple interchange of 
dentals {d and /), 3LsJ=dz. 

(3) Interchange o/vowels, Equal liberty is taken with vowels as with 
consonants, the change being sometimes accompanied by a slight 
modification of meaning. Thus we find ônina, ônona, ànina, comforted, 
assuaged, though ànina is more frequently used of the cessation of 
passion or violent grief. So too with entana {inianiniana), to start up- 
ward, and bntana, to be startled {mioniana iray hiany ny foko, used of one 
violently startled) ; and again with sbkatra, to open, and sbkitra, to clear 
out, pick out from a hole, to carve or engrave ; and with bbnabbna and 
bbntbony, puffiness, unnatural swelling (comp. bbnobbno) ; and bbbaka 
swollen, and bàboka^ saturated. Other examples are dibadiba and dtbidtby^ 
full to excess ; gàgagàga, gbgogbgo^ S^PPKy* sobbing ; hinaka and tbnaka, 
to beat (for interchange of h and / see above) ; la/érana, It/érana, lefi^ 
rana, lo/érana, the hock ; à/y, b/o, â/aka, peeling off (comp. âvaka, a 
chip) ; rôritra and riritra, to pull ; risika and rbsoka, to prompt or encou- 
rage ; môimôina and maona, to gallop, rush. 

(4) Internai sirengthening, This occurs frequently with the labials, 
and is effected by adding m to an existing v or b. Thus we hâve lama, 
smooth, làmaka, levelled, lèmaka, a plain, and lèmba, with the same 
meaning as lèmaka, So too we find âvo, àbo, and àmbo, ail meaning 
hieh ; bàbo and bàmbo, booty ; and so too avèla and ambèla, permitted ; 
avtdy, ambtdy, amidy, sold, or paid in exchange for something. 

It is worthy of remark that though the more correct speakers are quite 
clear in distinguishing the présence or absence of m before b or p, many 
of the people seem very careless on this point, and use or omit the m in 
the most arbitrary fashion. Perhaps in no single point is there so much 
uncertainty among native writers and printers as in the insertion or omis- 
sion of this m, or the n similarly used before d, /, g, or k. 

And now that we hâve passed thus briefiy in review the varions modes 
in which roots are enlarged and modified, we see at a glance how large 
groups may be formed which hâve apparently sprung from some one 
sound, but which hâve been enlarged or modified, and so made use of 
for the expression of various shades of meaning more or less closely allied. 

Let us for example take the sound av {eb and ef being but variations 
of the same). From this we get àvo, high, àvona and évona, pride, à/ona 
and émbona, floating (on the surface,, èbo, boasting, è/ona, hard breathing, 
è/oka, pride, haughtiness ; whether hoka, àvotra, àmbotra, plucked up 
(brought to the surface, pulled up ?), should also be placed hère, is 
perhaps open to doubt. 

We may selcct as another example the sound ang or aing, and at once 
we find a large famiiy springing up around the parent root ; e.g. miainga^ 


to rise, to start ; isinga (prov.)i to lift oneself up {maninga) ; isàngana, to 
stand up ; àngana appears to hâve the same meaning, compare the 
common phrase tsy nastany niàngana (he left not a single survivor, ///. 
not one standing) ; ainginainginay enginengina^ to be placed on high ; 
aingitraingitra, éngtirhigiira, to be restless (as if constantly moving \i\) 
and down ?) ; aingiaïngy, pride, arrogance ; àngitràngitraj dngatràngatra, 
haughtiness, wanton gaiety ; àngoàngo^ piled up in a heap ; taingina^ 
perched on something. 

Or take again the word mihéhaka^ now used among Christians to 
express repentance ; and supposing the crudè fona to be hah^ beb, we 
get at once mibàboka^ mtbèbaka^ to supplicate, to repent, with which it is 
quite possible vâvaka, prayer, and vambaka (prov.), confession, are con- 
nected. It may even be that vdvat mouth, ofFers the key of the whole 
group, prayer being regarded as par excellence the service rendered by 
the mouth. 

Rera is another root of some interest. It is not used in its simple form, 
but appears in several secondary roots, which show that slackness is its 
primary idea : baréra^ to droop, drag, hang loose ; boréra^ wom loose, 
then weak, infirm ; garera^ feeble, imbécile ; riraka^ loosened, weak, 
faint; borèraka, loose, untidy. 

As a final example* let us take the stem hav {hev, heb, hef), from which 
we get hàvïhâvy, hèvïhèvy, hèvinghina, to be suspended, to oscillate ; so 
too hhahiva, hêvihévy^ hébihèby, hèbikèbtka, hêvùréviirat héfahefay hévikevika^ 
ail with varions shades of the same meaning ; so too hembahèmba, hémpa- 
hémpat to flutter (as a flag) ; Aévohèvo, to loiter ; hifika, kifika, to wag the 

Thèse examples are sufficient to indicate a way of comparing and 
classifying roots, which will often prove instructive by throwing new and 
unexpected light upon familiar words, and by leading us to the idea that 
lay originally at the base of the conception they now embody. I cannot 
expect that any large number of the readers of the Annual will be inter- 
ested in a paper of this character, but hope it may be a stimulus to the 
few who are not content with our présent knowledge of the Malagasy 
language, but are always seeking to render that knowledge fuller 
and more exact. How much remains to be done, and in how many 
departments our knowledge is but fragmentary, we must many of us feel. 
But by combined efforts, each one trying to add something to the com- 
mon stock, we may do much towards the attainment of fuller and more 
exact knowledge. Only by a much wider acquaintance with the dialects 
(their vocabulary, and peculiarities of structure and idiom), and by a 
well-established collection of words not yet entered in the Dictionary, 
and by a large and comprehensive study of families of roots, such as I 
hâve endeavoured to indicate in this paper, can this much-to-be-desired 
end be attained ; and as my contribution, I hereby offer this paper to the 
readers of the Aknual. 

William E. Cousins. 

* I had noted other examples, but will only suggest them briefly in a note : —Engoka («Mfo). 
barain<:o, fnrainfro^ etc. BiHka, bolltika^ hoiitiMi bolltiika, Vitivèfyt vtHvHikUi etc. Tçhi* 
ka, bohikà, àohli^t bohlka, Dtdi^a, vadUUira^ hodldina^ etc. 



[COMMUNICATED by C. Telfair, Esq., Président of the Mauritius Nat. 
Hist. Soc] 

THE most prominent characteristic of the Malagasy lan- f^^ 
guage, in référence to poetry, is a total averseness to rhymel^ -# . 
Whilst it is admitted that the same identical sound is not legiti- ^^ 
mate rhyme, the extrême paucity of the language in termina- 
tions will ever preclude the introduction of rhyming verses. At 
least nineteen-twentieths of the whole vocabulary of words 
terminate in a or y y and an immense proportion of thèse in na 
and ny : — ail other words terminate in Cy or Oy or the diphthongs 
ay and ao ; and even thèse are exceedingly monotonous in the 
consonants of their penultimate and ultimate syllables. The 
best couplet I recollect to hâve heard has the rhyme of hoe and 
mCy answering exactly to the English words *way' and ^may/ 
and the jingle of such a rhyme has in the Malagasy language 
an unnatural and harsh effect. In the genuine native verses 
I hâve not met with any such instance as the one specified, but 
hâve observed that rhyme of every description seems naturally 
from the true genius of the language, and intentionally from 
the uncouthness of its effect, inadmissible. 

So far I hâve ventured to assert with confidence, and without 
any appréhension of future observation disproving my opin- 
ions ; but when the question arises, What then constitutes 
poetry or versification in Malagasy ? I am conscious that 
uncertainty and error may very possibly attach to the opinions 
I shall présent in reply. Future observation, combined with a 
more adéquate knowledge of the subject, may disprove my 
présent opinion, and substantiate what I at présent reject 
as destitute of proof. I make thèse remarks as introductory to 
the opinion that quantity (except so far as quantity and the 

* I am indebted for this paper to the kindness of my friend Dr. R. Rost, Ph.D., Librarian 
to the India Ofi&ce. Dr. Rost discovered it in the first volume of the Journal of tht Bengal 
AsiaHc Society, for 1832, and kindly eut out the leaves containing it from his copy in order 
that it might be reprinted in the Annual, thinking, very truly, that it would be of interest 
to many. Mr. Baser, as will be remembered by some readers, was Superintendent of the 
Press of the London Missionary Society in Antanànarivo during the early mission of that 
Society in Madagascar (Cet. 1828 -June 1832, and July 1834 -JuÇr 1836), and was, together 
with tne Rev. D. Johns, the last En? lish missionary to leave the island before the outbreak of 
persécution, Mr. Baker died only last year (see Annual No. IX., p. lai) ; but this paper 
was written by him during his first visit to England, more than 54 years ago. We hâve 
reprinted it exactly as given in the original, with the old-fashioned style of writing Malagasy, 
only correcting some oDvious errors in spellins and pimctuation, as uell as that of c^ling 
Rabôdonandrianampôina 'Prince,' instead of' Prince»!,' as it should of course be givea. 
It will be known to many that this was the name by which Queen Rànavâlona I. was gène* 
râlly designated in public proceedings. — ËD» (J.St) 


number of syllables and accents may be regarded as necessarily 
synonymous) furnishes no rule for measuring Malagasy verses. 
No examples hâve corne to my knowledge of Unes having a 
crédible claim to correctness, in whiCh two apparently short 
syllables of one Une are put to correspond with one long syl 
lable of an équivalent line ; but, where the number of syllables 
in a line exceeds those of a corresponding line, the mètre is 
preserved by cutting off some syllables, and thence gliding 
two into one reading ; and by lengthening the half syllables of 
verbal terminations into perfect syllables. 

Every word in the language is strongly marked by one accent 
or more, corresponding in this respect with English. But in 
English it is observable that the accent, falling on the vowel, 
leaves the syllable short. I do not observe any similar distinc- 
tion in Malagasy, excepting that there are a few words termi- 
nating in e long, and thence carrying the accent. Probably in 
Malagasy the accented syllable is universally long, and the 
long syllable universally accented. 

Granting the Malagasy verses to be divisible into feet and 
capable of being scanned, there is perhaps no instance to be 
found of a line corresponding with a line in Latin. In Latin, 
the number of syllables varies, and the last is deemed long ; 
the reverse of thèse two cases is the fact with regard to Mala- 
gasy. Moreover the feet constituting a line seem to hâve no 
correspondence with the purest mètres in Latin. Thus the 
most harmonious lines in Malagasy coincide syllable for syllable 
and accent for accent with the foUowing : 

"Tsy hftanao va ny màty Dost thou not see the dead 

Maraina tsy mba mamfndro,*' Morning not warm at the fireside, 

consisting of an amphibrach, trochée, and amphibrach. Thèse 
the natives regard as the most harmonious lines ; yet there are 
in the same ode lines quite différent in respect to the situation 
of the accented syllables ; as in the foUowing couplet : 

"Tsy mahalàla hàvan ko tônga Not knowing what kindred shall come 
Aiza ny ôlona irèny," Where are people as thèse ? 

Unes which, notwithstanding their diversity, do not appear 
essentially destitute of harmony. 

Thèse lines hâve more similarity to English, so far as that a 
certain uniformity of syllable and accent is essential in both 
languages ; and the harmony of the verse arises from the ac- 
centuation and the cassura. The latter seems plainly discernible 
in Malagasy, as in this line \ 

««Vàvahàdy hidfrana— ralsy hiàny** 
(A door ot enirance— that there U}« 


Yet the verses are unlike to English in respect to their being 
destitute of rhyme, unaccented on the last syllable of a Une, and 
scarcely if ever permitting one Une to run on in a continuons 
sensé into another. 

The characters pecuUarly essential to Malagasy versification 
seem to be chiefly the foUowing: (ij Harmony of syllables 
and accentuation ; a déviation from whîch rule produces a 
precisely similar harsh discordant effect on the ear as in Eng- 
lish. (2) The expression must be diversified, and the words 
transposed, as in other languages. ^3) Every Une must be in 
some degree an independent sentiment, or at least a clause 
of a sentence, bearing a natural division in the sensé, and 
thence a pause of the voice in reading or singing. Hence the 
sensé is often strikingly abrupt and laconic, as will be seen in 
the examples of literal translation. 

The langxiage abounds much in polysyllables ; there are 
exceedingly few monosyllables, and perhaps the greatest pro- 
portion of the words are of five syllables. Hence a Une ofeight 
syllables generally contains from two to five words, and a Une 
of twelve is fi-equently comprisedin four words. On this account 
a sentiment is rarely attempted to be set off with superfluous 
omaments of language, but stands entirely on the merit of the 
figure under which it is conveyed. Of poetical adjectives, so 
often highly convenient in English for filling up the mètre or 
adorning a graceless noun, scarcely an instance occurs in an 
entire song. Yet the langxiage, thought, and style of the poetry 
is quite of a différent cast from prose. Abounding in the bold- 
est figures, and the sensé left to connect itself by the chain of 
thought, it commends itself to the mind as the rude and un- 
polished ofifspring of poetical genius. 

It is évident that in a language so exceedingly différent from 
English, combined with a state of society equally différent, it is 
impossible, on the one hand, to give an intelligible literal trans- 
lation, leaving the reader's imagination to fiU up the images ; 
and, on the other hand, it is difficult to give a vivid imitation of 
the original. For myself, I prétend not to any talent in poetical 
composition, and am induced to make the attempt merely by 
the novelty of the subject, until some more able pen shall dis- 
play in language more worthy of its subject the gleanings of 
orally preserved versification to be found in Madagascar. In 
the mean time, I hâve only to plead for aU deficiencies, that I 
am not setting forth myself as an author, but only as a trans- 
later, and that from a language wherein nothing can be looked 
for rising above mediocrity in the estimation of cultivated minds. 
I shall be abundantly requited for my trouble, should thèse 


contributions tend in any measure towards evincing that the 
native inhabitants of Madagascar, degraded as they actually 
appear, especially when contrasted with the enlightened popu- 
lation of civilized Europe, are nevertheless not destitute of 
natural genius, nor by any means insensible to the finer feelings 
and passions of human nature. 

I ought not to conclude without observing, that there is a 
kind of composition very prévalent in the language which is 
neither perfect prose nor poetry, but seems to form a Connecting 
link between the two, being both in sentiment and expression 
more pithy, figurative, and smart than the former, and y et 
destitute of the mètre, cadence, etc. of the latter. Thèse pièces 
may be called poetical prose. A prose translation of such 
fugitive examples as hâve fallen into my hands would be duU 
and unstriking, and a ///^râs/ rhyming translation impossible ; so 
I hâve chosen, in the accompanying example **0n Courtship," a 
translation pretty free in expression, but I believe perfectly 
correct, though somewhat paraphrased, in thought.* 

It appears, as far as I hâve discovered, that ail compositions 
in Malagasy, of a poetical turn of thought, are written in this 
style, except songs ; the latter being the only compositions I 
hâve yet met with evidently written in regular mètre. 

The following, as well as several succeeding songs, are by a 
man called Razàfilàhy, who, happening to be a cripple and 
unable to work, turned bis attention to song-making, by which 
it is said he obtains a tolerable livelihood. He is a stoutish 
man, rides out on the back of a maie slave, and has as buxom 
and merry looking a face as any to be seen in Madagascar.! 


[While giving Mr. Baker's interesting paper unaltered, it may perhaps 
be well to remark that later acquaintance with the capabilities of the 
Malagasy language has not altogether borne out his opinion, in the first 
paragraph of the article, that rhymed verse is impraçticable in Malagasy, 
still less that rhythmical verse is so. The subject is, however, more fully 
treated in the article on "Malagasy Hymnology," a few pages further on in 
this number. See also Mr. Richardson's article on **Malagasy 'Tonon- 
kira' and Hymnology** in Annual No. IL, pp. 23 — 35. Many spécimens 
of native songs are given in Mr. Dahle*s Spécimens of Malagasy Folk* 
lore and in the Publications 0/ the Malagasy Folk-lore Society y and transla- 
tions of many are given in the Folk-lore Record^ vol. i., 1883. — Ed. J.s.)] 

* We afe inclincd to differ in opinion with our author on this subject, and to think that a 
tnerc literal translation, with esrolanator}' notes, would hâve better illustrated the peculiarities 
of thoug^ht aUd idiom in the Malagasy language, than even the best versified imitation. — £d. 

[Jour. Beno. Asiat. Soc] 

t As more convenient for me generality of our readers, whom we may «afely présume to be 
ttnacquainted with the Malagasy Unjitu^t^ê, we hâve arranged the original text at the foot %i 
the pagei leaving the English version uointerruptodi^BD. [èJ 



l.-^Literal translation of an Ode in pr aise of the Princess Rabôdo, 

By Razafilahy. 

The corners of the houses guns. 
Endréhinantsfva is his portioned land, 
Endrehinantsiva his house ; 
Possessing much, yet not haughty. 
Orphans shall then be plump, 
Their mother living, they are well fed. 
Yonder is the defence of rock, 
Yonder the clothing of wood, [men. 
A fence of spears, yea, second fence of 
Long live Rabodonandrianampoina, 
A single tree in a lake ; 
It is not *'How many reign ?** 
For there is our only sovereign. 

Long, long, roay live 


To the south of Ambàtondrafândana,* 

To the north of Ambôhimitsfrobina,* 

To the west of Ambôhimiàndra,* 

To the east of Ambôhijànahàry ;* 

The new moon shining in the west, 

The fuU moon rising in the east. 

Long live Rabôdo, 

Yea Ram bôa sa lama, 

And Rakôtosehéno of Radàma, 

And his relations ail, 

Innumerable they ; [lars, 

The portions of land §hall then be dol- 

The foUowing is the translation of another Ode by the same 

author : — 

IL— r^^ Great River. 

Yonder Ambàniàla'st streams go forth, 

Ambôhidrapétot to the north extends, 

To ihe northward also Ambôhitrimanjàka ;t 

^Guide well thy winding course, 

Nor kill the people's sons with heedless might. 

Too fuU, thou'rt like an ill eut cloak, 

Smothering the head it should set off ; 

Dried up, thou'rt like an insufficient dress, 

Leaving the breast and arms naked. 

l,—Ode injpraise 0/ Princess Rabodo, 

Hono re ny veloma 

Rabodonandrianampoina : 

Atsimo n' Ambatondrafandaiia, 

Avaratry ny Ambohimitnmbinaf 

Andrefana Ambohimiandra, 

Atsinanana Ambohijanahary ; 

Volana tsinana ny avy andiefana, 

Feno manana ny avy atsinanana* 

Veloma Rabodo, 

Sy Ramboasalama, 

Sy Rakotosehenon-dRadama, 

Sy ny havany tontolo, 

Isy tambo iaaina ; 

Ny tokotany dia farantia, 

Indro ny rano Ambanialai 
Ayaratr Ambohidrapeto, 
Ayaratr* Ambohitrimanjaka { 
Mahaiia mandeha, 

Ny 2oro n'trano dia basy. 
Endrehinantsiva ny tokotany ny, 
Endrehinantsiva ny trano ny ; 
Manambe tsy 'mba miavona. 
Kamboty dia don^adonga, 
Velon' dreny dia botrabotra. 
Ao ny miaketso vato, 
Ao ny miakanjo hazo, 
Rova lefona, ka temitr' olona indray* 
Veloma Rabodonandrianampoina, 
Hazo tokana an-ony ; 
Tsy firy no mandidy, 
Ka tompo nay any âo. 

IL — Anonibe. 

Mahaiza mizotra, 
Aza mamono zana' bahoaka. 
Tondraka, toa misaron' doha ; 
Ritra, toa manao sikimbalaka. 

* Thèse are names of différent parts of the hill on which Antananarivo is built, or of hill* 
on either side of it, and situated respectively south, north, west, and east of the Palace. — Èos. 

^ This and others are names of villages Ivine on the banks of the river. 

\ The wholebeauty of the poem lies in ahidden allusion running through it to the king« 
dlun ; hère perhapi is an admonition to the soyereign. 



And thus from day to day 

Thou rollest oowards continually. 

SooQ at Ikiopa are thy waters found, 

Ikiopa renowned through the world, 

Devouring ail, yet still unsatiated»* 

Lab'ring ever, and still thy work unaccomplished ; 

Ambôhiboànjo from thy bank not £ar, 

And southward Soàvinimérina ; 

Behold Antônta abounding in eels, 

t From wheuce murmuring sounds are heard ; 

The soldier hère casts round his wandering eye 

Thinking of distant friends. 

Hère thou art in jeopardy, new-wedded bride, 

Should a dispute arise towards the evening ; 

For caprice controls the unsettled heart ; 

Discarded, thou wilt soon retrace thy steps ! 

But we again pursue the river' s course. 

At Fàrahantsana next abide ; 

The people there with noisy long guns fire,t 

And cannons longer and still more noisy, 

Spitting the frothy foam and rising phlegro, 

Writhing in restless agony and pain.§ 

Let each unwept forsake his best beloved ! 

For ail partake the bitter curse.| 

lll.^Paraphrasc o/apoem called Ny Momba, or 'The Barren' By 

the same Author. 

I To thee who dost ail childless live, 

Thou, barren, this advice I give : 
In place secure thy wealth wifh foresight lay ; 
For then a thousand tongues thou'lt find to say, 
"Kind father, dearest mother, thou to me;" 

Ela ny ary re toetr* andro ny 
Ela mivalambalan' indray 
Koa mankany Ikiopa, 
Ikiopa rano malaza, 
Homambe, fa tsy voky, 
Mivalambalan' indray ; 
Mivalana dia any Ambohiboanjo, 
Anv atsimo ny boavinimerina ; 
Indro koa re anv Antonta, 
Ka migodongodom' piteny ; 
Mahita anay lavi'kavana 

Izany Rakala momba, 
Tehirizo tsara ny harena ; 
Fa raha misy ireny, 

Miady mena maaoandro, 
Ka \xj fantatr* ompanavao, 
Tsy vatra n' olona tsy honina. 
Izâhay re dia handena, 
Ka tonga tany Ifarahantsana ; 
Ka ny ao mipoa' basy lava, 
l^y ao mipoa^ tafondro lava, 
Mitsipidrora mivalana. 
Mamoiza ny mana' malala 1 
Fa samy efa nozoi' ny. 

III.— ^5^ Momba, 

Atao ny hoe, ikiaky nao, ineny ; 
Tsy mahalavitra ny tanyï 
Tsy mahasasa' mandeha. 

* Ail other streams run into Ikiopa. 

t That is, the sound of the distant waterfall, and by allusion, the repining oi the soldiers 
goine to war. 

t Literally true of the Sàkalâva enemv and, fignratively, of the waterfall Ifarahantsana. 

f Under tne fieiire of the dashing of tne water, alluding to the death of soldiers through 
war, fever, and famine. 

Il £very faraily bas lost tome relations in the devastating wars, and ail muit submit without 



No space their coming stays, 

No rugged road delays. 
But if thou pine in wretched poverty, 
Not thine gay robes to wear, 
No flattery soothes thine ear, 

No prattling babes entwine, 

No equal portion thine. 

2 The barren destitute of wealthy store, 
Extends her wanderinç eyes the wide world o'er ; 
No loving friend to visit her is found, 

No children, prattling ail their wants, surround. 
If hungry, none a scanty dole shall mete : 
If satiate, none the falling crumbs shall eat ; 
By none thy sufferings are allayed, 
If weary, none shall give thee aid ; 
And, hapless, even when thou'rt dead, 
No tears shall weep o'er thy last bed. 

3 Thy shroud not half a dollar buys, 
Nor sixpence sheep for sacrifice. 
A penny patys for grease to light 

Instead of taper thy sad ghost ; 
No friends shall watch the dreary night ; 
To shallow grave shalt thou be hurried, 
And with regardiess haste be buried, 

A farthing ail the funeral cost. 
"Ah ! mother, life is misery." 
Yea, barren, such thy fate must be ; 
ThouMt fain the locust* catch, forwhom ? 
For children of a luckier womb, 
Yea, such, ill-fated barren, is thy doom. 

4 Now, barren, view thy husband dead, 
And thou from parent' s distant bed ; 

From head to foot sorrow*s own image thou, 
Unheard by ail, thy sad bewailings now. 
Ah I barren, thou in former days, 

A father living, 

A mother giving, 

Fa raha tiy numana ireny, 
lÀxLj hain^o, 
Lany lainna, 
Lany zanaka, 
Lany zara. 

2 Momba lany harena, 

Ny maso no apitrapitra ; 
Tsy mity havan' kamangy, 
Tsy misy zaza hitomany. 

Noana, tsy manan' kangatahana ; 

Voky, t^ manan* kotolorana ; 

Marary, tsy manan' kitsabo, 
Sasatxa, tsy manan' kitsetra ; 
Eny, Ramomba, 
Maty, tsy manan' kitomany. 

3 Vitan' damban' doso, 
Vîtan' ondry n* tsikiajy ; 

Vitan' tsabora mila voamena, 
Atao ny lavenan' tandrevaka. 

Tsy misy mpiaritoiy, 

lalany ny 010 kajia. 

Maty re aho, ranenv. 

Izany Rakala momoa ; 

Misambo' balala 

Ho an' janak' olona ; 

Eny Ramomba. 

4 Rakala momba, momba ka maty vady, 

Ka lavi' dray aman' dreny ; 
Sady an-dona no an-tongotra, 
Miantso ka tsy fanta' ny. 

^ The poor amon^ the people eat the locusts and feed their children with them. 



Could*st bathe in water fetch'd by slaves, 

Caressed and blest in ail thy ways. 

Ah ! barren, now how chang'd thy state, 

Thy father*s life-dream o'er, 

Th)r mother now no more, 
To bathe in tears thy wretched fate, 
Ail cloth'd in rags, thou once might'st hâte. 
Link'd to some churl, I see in piteous plight 
Thee pinch'd and waken'd at the morning ligtit ; 
Expelled the cheering hearth, thy wedded right. 

"Ah, mother ! life is misery ; 

Would I had died in infeincy I" 
5 I travelled eastward succour to obtain ; 

My father's kindred live hard by ; 
Alas ! l'm chang'd ; they know me not again ; 

Ah, mother ! like the dead am 1. 
I tum'd my steps into the northem way ; 

My mother' s kindred live hard by ; 
Alas ! l'm chang'd ; thou'rt not the same, they say ; 

Ah, mother ! like the dead am I. 
I tum'd me back a^ain, and southward ranged ; 

My father's sister lives hard by ; 
But she, like ail my relatives, is changed ; 

Ah, mother f worse than dead am I. 
I tum'd again a westward course to tread ; 

Tis there my mother' s sisters live ; 
Their dead relation' s awful blâme they dread, 

So careless pitch the boon they give ! 

W .^Paraphrase ofan Eclogue in Poehcal Prose, —Author unknown. 

On Courtshij^, 

She, Hè. 

Pray tell me, since you oft profess Rice, which affords our daily food, 

Your fervent love to me, And constant life supplies, 

To what, if we may give a guess, Is the best emblem of my love, 

Your love may liken'd be ? Which never, never dies. 

Ray bado, ray bado ; 
Fanavelon' dro ray ny, 
Fahavelon' dro renv ; 
Mandro rano antsakaina ; 
Raha mivoaka, tambatambazana. 
Ray bado, ray bado ; 
Rana maty ro ray ny, 
Raha maty ro reny, 
Mandro rano maso, 
Mitafy lamba tseroka, 
Mitoetra amy ny olona ny bado, 
Mandry maraina, rongadrongati' ny, 
Mamindro, atositosi' ny sasany. 
Maty aho, ry nenv, 
Tsy maty fony kely. 

5 Nony nankaroa atsinanana aho ; 

Havan' dry kiaky no ao. 
Nodiany ny olona tsy fantatra aho, 

Maty aho ry neny. 
Nony nankao avarate^ aho ; 

Havan' dry neny no ao, 
Nova' ny ny olon' kafa ; 

Maty aho ry neny. 
Nony nankao atsimo aho ; 

Zanak' olomianadahy no ao, 
Nova* ny fahatelo be ; 

Maty aho ij neny. 
Nony nankao andretan* ano ; 

Zanak' olona mirahavavy no ao 

Ny tao no nanipy kely, 
Fa mataliotra ny tsiny ny maty. 

IV. — On Courtship, 

Tia nao tahaky n'inona angaha aho ? Tia ko tahaky ny vary hianao.— Tsy tia nao aho 
izanv, fa atao nao famonjv fo raha noana. Tia nao tahaky n'mona angaha aho ? Tia ko 
tahakj ny rano hianao. — Tsy tia nao izany aho, fa atao nao fitia momba tseroka. Tia nao 



Ah no ! not so thy love to me. 

For that thou deemest sweet, 
Only when hunger presses thee 

To take the proffer'd méat. 
Then tell me, since you oft profess 

Your, etc. (as in the first verse.) 

I love you as the fountaio pure, 

Which yields a sure supply 
Of that without whose aid securé 

My frame would quickly die. 

Ah no ! not so thy love to me, 

For that, when dirt adhères . 
Which others scomfully may sée, 

Désirable appears. 

Then tell me, etc. 

The làmba* which around I fold 

To guard life's vital flame, 
Is that which, next to thee, I hold 

Most needful to my frame. 

Ah no 1 for that, when older grown, 

Disdain'd, ihou wilt rerject ; 
And ne'er again will it be known, 

But lie in long neglect. 

Then tell me, etc. 

I love thee like the luscious taste 

Of a new honeycomb, [haste, 

Whose precious fruit is seized with 

And borne in triumph home. 

Ah no ! for there amidst the sweets, 

Though luscious they be found, 
The goodness not unmingled meets, 

But dregs impure abound. 
Then tell me, etc. 

I love thee as the sov'reign king 

Of this our native land, 
Whose endless praises ail can sing, 

Whose Word moves every hand. 

To this, in truth, thy love compare, 

Whose merely passing by, 
Rebuking every vulgar stare, 

Abashes every eye. 
To him, indeed, thy love compare, 

Whose briefest, transient gaze, 
With shameo'erwhelmsanddeepdes- 

Or drooping hearts can raise. [pair, 
To this, indeed, thy love compare, 

I, of désire the end 
And goal ; wherever you repair, 

Still towards me you tend. 
And I my love to thee will prove 

In ail good faith and truth, 
A filial daughter*s tender love 

To parents of her youth ; 
Enjoying life, while life shall last, 

One house our common home ; 
And when the mortal scène is past, 

United in one tomb ! 

E. Baker. 

tahaky n'inona ary aho ? Tia ko tahaky ny laxnba hianao. — Tsy tia nao aho izany, fa raha 
tonta, afindra nao ka tsy tsaroa nao intsony. Tia nao tahaky n'inona angaha aho r Tia ko 
tiihaky ny tantely hianao. — Tsy tia nao «iho izany, fa misy faikana. Tia nao tahaky n'inona 
anf^aha aho ? Tia ko tahaky ny Andriamanjaka hianao. — Tia nao tokoa aho izany, mandalo 
mahamena' maso, mijery mahamcnatra. Tia nao tokoa aho izany, fa tapi' java' nirina aho, 
tapi' java' naleha. Tia ko tahaky ny kiaky sy neny hianao : velona, iray trano ; mat}', iray 

[It may perhaps be well to give, as addenda to the foregoing. another 
spécimen or two of Malagasy poetry as translated by Mr. Baker, especi- 
ally as the books containing them are somewhat scarce, and the pièces 
may not be known to many readers of the Annual. The first is taken 
from Mr. Ellis's valuable History of Madagascar^ vol. i., p. 276 ; it is by 
the same native bard who wrote some of the foregoing pièces, Razafi- 
lahy. — Eds.] 

* The garment which a Malagasy wraps round his body, and which constitules his only 
clothing except what is wrapped round the loins, and without which hc is called naked. 


A Song concerning the Dead, 

I Vain man ! observ'st thou not the dead ? 
The morning warmth froin them has fled, 
Their mid-aay loy and toil are o'er, 
Though near, they meet fond friends no more. 
A gâte of entrance to the tomb we see, 
But a departure thence there ne'er will be. 
But where's his dearest friend's reply ? 
Ah I where are those thus doom'd to die ? 

a Vain man I observ'st thou not the dead ? 
Sweet words forsake their dreary bed ; 
There* s none the mould'ring silk* around his fellow folds, 
Or north or south again their visits gay beholds ; 
Then shall re-echoing vales no longer cheer, 
For them the hill no Tofty signais rear. 
Their shrouded heads unmoving lie, 
Unknown the friends that o'er them siçh ; 
Ah ! where are those thus doom'd to die ? 

3 Vain man ! observ'st thou not the dead ? 
No more their homeward path they tread. 
The freeman lost may ransom'd be, 
By si l ver* s magie power set free ; 
But who those lost from death can buy ? 
Ah ! where are those thus doom*d to die ? 
Let me prefer true goodness to attain, 
Or fool or wise F m deem'd by transient famé. 
New rice, my friends, your cheerfiil blessing, give, 
So from Razafilahy you shall thanks receive. 

The second pièce is included in Mr, Baker*s little work entitled An Oui- 
Une of a Grammar of the Madagascar Language^ as spoken by the Hovas 
(London : 1864), and is given at the end as a translation of one of the 
spécimens of native composition : — 

Exhortation to Friendship, 

1 Let the living love each other ; for the others (the dead) cannot attain it ; 

for the others are gone home. 

2 Let the living love each other ; for the dead are not companions ; for the 

dead belong to the dead, the living belong to the living ; for the dead 
cannot be hoped for, but the living can be hoped for. 

3 Let the living love each other; for the kind-hearted attain (lîfe* s) end; 

f»eople love what touches the heart ; and remorse does not corne before 
the deed), but after ; and it is you (O men) who shall be full of remorse, 
who, angry, give up your heart (to vengeance) ; but for us, we suflFer no 
remorse ; when angry, we can be pacified, for vengeance which gets the 
mastery becomes a parent of much guilt. 

4 Let the living love each other ; and do not build two houses too distant ; 

for the distant (neighbour) cannot be called in, but the near will be 
preferred, and the many (together) are happy ; for ants consume a small 

5 Let the living love each other; do like the locusts : when fat, they fly off 


* Malagasy coxpses are wrapped in silk cloths. 


6 Let the living love each other; do as the carded cotton : though tender, 

not broken ; though spun out thin, not snapped ; and be as water in 
sandy ground : you think there is oone, but there is. 

7 Let the living love each other ; do as in yonder market : the unknown is 

easily recognized, and the unseen discovered ; uncalled by proclamation, 
they assemble. 

8 Let the living love each other; be as the cock's (feathered) garment : the 

well-arranged (feathers) are replaced ; from the corpse only are they 

9 Let the living love each other; but do not make the bullock's friendship : 

the big one push away the small, and the fat thrust away the lean. 

10 Let the living love each other ; but do not make the friendship of the 

rock : when angry, it cannot be appeased ; when broken, it cannot be 
roended ; the big ones never speak, nor do the little ones grow. 

1 1 Let the living love each other ; but be not like the rush haréfo : smooth 

outwardly, but hollow within. 

12 Let the living love each other; but make not the water's friendship 2 

when its companion cornes, it gets muddy ; the advance guard does not 
call out, "Corne on," and the rear does not cry out, "Stop for me," bu* 
when they do mix, they become the muddier. 


TRADE in Madagascar éludes statistics. Now and then upon the 
coast, when a vessel arrives with a cargo of some much-needed 
foreign product, the agents of the firm to which the goods are consigned 
may be seen doing business undisguisedly with a crowd of native whole- 
sale buyers around them, each man anxious to be the first to strike a 
favourable bargain and hurr)' his stock up to the roadside markets of 
Imèrina; but hère in the Capital the European trader receives his 
merchandise from abroad, and collects the native produce in return, 
without anybody, except himself, knowing correctly how much passes 
through his hands either way. He studiously endeavours to prevent the 
circulation of such knowledge, especially amongst his native customers. 
The alternations of scarcity and abundant stock can generally be as- 
certained by observing the fluctuation of price in the great weekly market 
of Antanànarîvo, the Hova being a keen dealer and ever ready to take 
advantage of the accidents of supply and demand ; but beyond prices, 
information is very indefinite. Such records are kept by the duty which 

• This paper is taken from an English Blue-book for 1885, and consists of a Report on 
the trade of this country from Wi C. Pickersgill, Esq., H. B. M's Vice-Consul for Antanana- 
rivo. — Eds. 


is regularly taken at the ports, but by officiais whose salaries consist 
chiefly of perquisites àrid pickîngs ; and, nàturally éncrtiglji, their àçcounts 
are not remarkable for dièarnèéb. 

Befbré the présent diffictfify ^th Ç*rance broke intç actuatl hostilities 
it Wàs fèarëd thit àti aftïëknpdh ihè island \irould at once déstroy ail 
foreign trade. There were not many persons who gave the native 
Odvernment crédit for streri'çtb enougfh to provîde at one and t^e same 
tfihe an armed résistance to its ériemiés and a peaceable protection for 
its friends. Such protection, howçver, bas not been wantii^, and 
aitliough during the fîrst six months of blockaded ports and indiscrimi- 
na^ bombardments there wa^ somçthing like a total collapse of business, 
the year which bas just ended bas been not altogether aQ unprofitable 
one to the few whose acquaintance with the country and its iniiabitants 
enabled them to foresee how little the roar of cannon upon certain 
parts of the coast would afFect the daily wants of the populpus interior. 
The island is far too large for complète blockade, and the attempts 
which bave been nfiade to coerce the Malagasy into submission by closing 
three or four well-known points of entrance bave only resulted in the 
opening of other channels of communication. 

According to the estimâtes of persons engaged in Madagascar trade, 

the total amount of business donc in the country during the year 1884 

\ bas been about one-third of what was done during the year immediately 

* preceding the outbreak of war. Of that amount the greater part bas 
. been accomplished through British enterprise. Contraiy to expectation, 
; the American fi rms were for some time apparently afraid to run the 

slightest^new rîfek, notwithstanding their being mur^ bff^*^*' ''T^PP^^ ^^^ 
'' bazardons trade than any of their rivais. Ah interesting illustrative case 
is recorded of a British bouse clearing, it is said, not less than £ 3,000 
on a quantity of cotton goods which had already been lamd^d and stored 
in an American warehouse at one of the ports 'occu{)ied by the French. 
They were re-shipped, distributed at varions places still unblockaded, and 
put into the then thirsty inland markets just at the lucky moment. On 
thèse goods the Malagasy Government received double duty, the original 
landing having been made before the French obtained possession of the 
port at which it took place. Since then many importations bave simi- 
larly paid duty twice — once at Tamatave, and then again on being landed 
In addition to the obstacles encountered in getting foreign goods into 

• the country, there bas been even greater difficulty in getting native 
products out of it. Pleading the necessity of employing every means within 
Its power to harass an enemy of overwhelmingly superior strength, the 

' Malagasy Government declared itself perfectly justified in prohibiting 
ail exportations, and for some time carried the déclaration into effect. 
Further délibérations, however, led to the restriction being confined to 
articles of food only ; and a later revision of policy, pressed for by Her 

• Majest/s Consul and myself, brought about the removal of sugar 
and coffee from the prohibited list. Thus trade in this country bas been 
working in shackles, and only the strong and well-acclimatised firmf 
hâve been able to bear up under the strain. 


With due regard to such observations on the impossibility of procur- 
ing exact information as hâve already been made, the trade of Antana- 
narivo and the province of Imerina* for the year 1 884 may be noted as 
follows : — 









Cotton sheetings 
White shirtings. 

Prints, etc 


. • « . 
• • • • 



Hides. . . . 
Coffee. . . 


Varions.. . 



'»» . • • • 








The cotton sheetings are for the most part of American manufacture. 
English imitations are sometimes imported, but their inferiority is easily 
detected, and they do not find a ready market. It is a great mistake to 
think of the Malagasy of Imerina as buming in tropical beat, with only a 
few shreds of muslin upon them for the sake of decency. They look for 
warmth and durability in their garments, and up to a certain limit will 
always pay a good price for such articles as possess thèse qualities. 
When the cold east wind of the dry season is blowing, many of them find 
even stout American sheetings too thin for comfort, and there is then a 
certain demand for woollen goods. Flannels, blankets, and tweeds, 
however, should be imported very cautiously, as there is the greatest 
difficulty in preserving such things from the ravages of insects.* 

Printed Caltcos sell in ail parts of Madagascar, but it is not easy to hit 
the native taste in patterns, which is very reluctant to be guided by the 
fashions of Europe. Moreover, the kind of print which is acceptable in 
the eyes of one tribe is often the very opposite elsewhere. 

Amongst other articles more or less in constant demand in Antanana- 
rivo and the neighbourhood are iron cooking-pots, iron kettles, sauce- 
pans and fr\nng-pans, sheet tin and soldering materials, and glass and 
putty. Tinware is largely used, but it is not profitable to introduce the 
articles ready made. Of carpenters' tools the only kinds which the 
native smiths do not forge to the satisfaction of those who use them, are 
saws and chisels, the cutters of planes, gouges, augers, braces and bitts. 

Second'hand Clothing frequentîy sells well, especially if the quality is 
good, and the signs of previous wear not too évident. 

Boots and Shoes are manufactured in the country. Importations, how- 
ever, find a market when they are of a superior make and are offered at 
reaisônable priées. 

Umhrellas and Sunskades also meet with ready sale. 

Cr^ckery is in daily use by almost everybody. The richer people will 

• Beibfe the dommenccracnt of the Franco -Malagasy war, I was informed by Samuel 
ÎVoctpr, Esq., Hrr Malagasy Maic8t)*'s Consul in Engfanâ and principal of the oldest English 
mercantile nrm in Madagascar, tnat in his opinion the total export and import trade ot tho 
whole iiUnd could not bo of mnch leii value thun one million poundi annually.— ED. (J.81) 


sometimes buy full services of china, but high-priced goods should be 
introduced in very small quantities. 

Drugs often fetch very good prices. Those most frequently required 
by the natives are : quinine, epsom-salts, iodide of potassium, bichloride 
of mercury, santonine, cod-liver oil, carbonate of soda, tartaric acid, 
seitllitz powders, etc. 

Stationery is needed by a constantly increasing number. The market 
is chiefly supplied by the missionary printing ofifices, which hâve the 
privilège of importing such materials of instruction free of duty. The 
slates required to meet the wants of upwards of a quarter of a million 
children registered as scholars in the various schools, and the Bibles, 
New Testaments, and hymn and prayer-books, etc., which are purchased 
by them and the adult adhérents of over 1,500 churches and congré- 
gations scattered throughout the island, form no inconsiderable item of 
gênerai trade. It is not customary to mention such things in a com- 
mercial report, but every new demand for paper and printing and book- 
binding materials must necessarily benefit the firms which produce them. 

It should always be remembered that every article of merchandise 
ofFered for sale in the interior of Madagascar has to be carried hither 
from the coast on human shoulders. Packages which cannot be broken 
up and re-arranged at the port of landing should therefore be made up in 
certain weights. One man will carry two packages of from 40 to 45 Ibs. 
each, but the same weight in a single baie will require two men, and the 
expense of transit will be doubled. Large packages and heavy packing 
materials often increase the cost of imported goods enormously. It is 
impossible to pay too much attention to this matter. The wages 
received by the porters vary according to the distance travelled, and 
sometimes according to the weight carried. For a joumey from one of 
the nearer eastem ports, Tamatave, Vàtomàndry, or Màhanôro, to the 
Capital, with an ordinary load, they receive 10 shillings per man.. It 
is usual to divide a number of them into gangs of 10, 15, or 20 men, and 
appoint to each gang a trustworthy overseer, who carnes the way-bill and 
a portion of the wages set apart for the purchase of food on the road. 
The pay of this extra man adds from 8^/. to u. to the carriage of every 
load. On the imports and exports of Antananarivo during the year 1884, 
which together amount to about £ 300,000, the cost of transmission to 
and from the coast is estimated at not less than £ 1 1 ,000. 

The coinage used in Madagascar is the French 5 franc-piece. No other 
form of money will enable the European trader to do business directly 
with the natives. It is reckoned in ail small transactions as équivalent 
to four Fnglish shillings, or an American dollar. Against bills on 
London it is worth from 3 to 5 per cent. As this coin is not procurable, 
except in small quantities and at high rates, anywhere in the neighbour- 
hood, the trader who comes to Madagascar unprovided with a working 
supply finds himself placed at a grievous disadvantage« 


Crown land may now be obtained on leases of 99 years* duration. 
There is no fixed price : every intending occupier may make his own 
bargain, but it is not likely that land of good quality will be rented for 


less than two shillings an acre per annum for the first half of the period 
and five shillings for the remainder : at any rate, not until newspaper 
correspondents and other writers on Madagascar cease to speak of the 
island as one of wondrous fertility and a very paradise of natural resour- 
ces. A roan has little chance of getting a thing on easy terms when his 
fellows are continually crying its excellence in the ears of the vendor. 
There is no doubt whatever that the soil of Madagascar has been over- 
praised. Those who hâve practically tested its sugar-growing powers 
on some of the choicest portions of the eastem sea-board report, that in 
a very short time its fertility begins to wane and needs to be artificially 
renewed. The rapidity with which certain well-adapted forms of végé- 
tation spring up luxuriantly is due rather to the abundant rain of the wet 
season and to a tropical sun than to any spécial richness of the land. 
Where the latter is absolutely necessary to profitable production, Mada- 
gascar will be found wanting. AU this, however, is far from being 
intended to imply that the island does not offer a promising field for the 
employment of Êuropean capital. 

Sugar, although not giving results equal to what were expected, is by 
no means a failure. Hitherto there hâve been no plantations established 
except in the east ; but travellers hâve noticed that the cane grown by 
the natives on the banks of the north-westem rivers has the appearance 
of being the product of a very suitable soil ; and my own observations 
in that part of the country lead me to believe that there is land there 
which will some day be found more valuable than any on the opposite 
side of the island. 

Cqffee does not grow well on either coast. Nor is that which is 
produced in the interior at ail satisfactory in amount. As regards quality, 
many people consider it little inferior to Mocha coffee. The most success- 
ful experiments wiih it hâve been made in the neighbourhood of the 
westernmost of the two lines of forest which stretch from north to south 
between the Capital and the east coast. The élévation there is suitable, 
and there is plenty of moisture. 

Rice is produced in Imerina in enormous quantities, but the wants of 
the population are equally great, and are yearly approaching the limits 
of possible supply. Better means of transport therefore would not 
develop a trade in this article in the neighbourhood of the Capital. 
There lies, however, to the north of Imerina, in the Sihànaka province, 
an immense tract of swampy country which is capable of bearing rice 
to almost any extent. About the same distance from Antananarivo to 
the south again, in the Bètsilèo country, there are similar natural advan- 
tages awaiting employment. Madagascar rice is of undeniably good 
quality. That of Çarolin a comes from the same stock, seed having been 
taken from this country to Charl eston in the year 1699. 

Wheat seems to thrive fairly**weii m certain parts of the interior. It is 
grown to meet the necessities of the European community, and costs in 
the Antananarivo market about six shillings for 100 Ibs. 

Tta has not been tried hère yet, but ought to be. The slopes of the 
Imerina hills are thought by many people to be adapted to this cultiva- 
tion. Once introduced and found to be successful, the natives would 


take it in hand with great readiness ; it would suit their habits and tastes 
exactly. The women of the poorer classes, who are glad to be able to 
eam a penny a day by plaiting mats and weaving ro^a cloth, would find 
more profitable and equally agreeable work in pickmg and preparing the 
leaves of the tea-plant ; and the lightness in weight of the marketable 
article would allow of its being transported to the coast by the usual 
means without overburdening the profits. 

•S'{7^, for the same two latter reasons, affords an opening for enterprise 
in the interior of Madagascar. It is produced already for the manufac- 
ture of the native cloths or shawls talled làmba, which are so much 
admired by ail who hâve seen good spécimens. 

India-rubber dX%o deserves attention, especially from whose who are 
interested ip keeping the European market supplied with this most 
yaluable product. The indigenous vine yields an excellent quality of 
rubber, but the supply is yearly diminishing. It is now found only in 
the depths of the forests, f^r from the security of settled habitations, and 
is consequently obtained at considérable risk. No provision is left or 
made for future needs, the vines being entirely destroyed by the reckless 
men who wander about in search of them. That a properly managed 
plantation of this native product would tum out to be a profitable spécu- 
lation, I hâve very little doubt. An experiment made by myself a few 
years ago in the north-west was entirely satisfactory as far as showing 
the possibility of extending the growth of the vine. A single fruit of it, 
picked up in the bush, was found to contain no less than 72 seeds, every 
one sprouting. Thèse were taken to a pièce of swampy ground and 
planted at the feet of tall trees already growing therein, where they 
readily struck root and for some time flourished, until an unexpected 
rise in a neighbouring river overflooded and carried them away. It 
would probably take from four to fiwe years for the vine to grow large 
enough to endure much cutting. The natives who witnessed the above 
experiment were fully convinced thereby of the practicability of cultiva- 
ting the rubber, but such investments for the remote future are not 
attractive to them. After the first years of waiting there would be little 
need for outlay on a plantation of this vine, as the cost of preparing 
the rubber for the market is very trifling. 

Caitle abound in this country. No estimate has yet been attempted 
of the numbers, but they must be very great indeed. Travellers who 
hâve seen no more of Madagascar than is to be observed on a journey from 
the east coast to the Capital are sometimes led to imagine that the island 
is but poorly furnished with live stock. It is in the grazing lands of the 
north and west that vast herds may be seen roaming at large. For a 
man to own 2,000 or 3,000 head is no uncommon thing. The numbers 
slaughtered hère in Antananarivo during the annual festival of the 
Fandrhana are sufficient testimony to the extent of the people*s posses- 
sions. Capital invested in a selected herd is said to double itself in 
three years, when the owner has trustworthy servants who can be put in 
charge. In thinly-inhabited districts bullocks are frequently killed for 
the sake of the hides and fat, a large animal in such places being worth 
from loj. to 14J. only. The Antananarivo butchers pay from 24^. to 361. 



ij / for the game kind; Exportation is now* entirely forbidden on account 
of tbe war, but even before that it was greatly hamperedby an unwiselaw 
made many years ago, which prohibits the sale of cattle for shipment at 
legs th^i 6of . a bead. Varlous devices for evading this régulation were 
resorted to by the firms engaged in the trade. One, largely practiced by 
a continental company, was to run a steamer to some unrecognised part 
on tbe west coast, and then barter with the Sàkalàva for guns and powder. 
This was regarded by the Malagasy people as eminently a European me- 
tbod of provoking them to live up to their treaties with civilised powers. 
Another plan was to âtatioh a highly-paid native employée at one of the 
regular ports, and provide him with a sufficient quantity of ready cash 
and a foreign pcissport. In the market he was an ordinary Malagasy pur- 
chaser increasing his stock ; when the compan/s vessel arrived, he be- 
came a stranger not amenable to native law. Troublesomé inquiries by 
tbe local représentatives of the Government were then staved off by means 
of bribes. Cattle were thus procured and shipped at an average cost of 
38^. eacb, the duty of 6j. a bead included. At Mauritius and Réunion the 
usual selling price was about ;^ 7 41. As there is no such thing known in 
Madagascar as contagious disease in animais, this country would be not 
only an abundant but also a safe source of supply for the frozen-meat trade. 

y V Population. 

The inhabitants of the town and suburbs of Antananarivo are consi- 
dered by careful observers to number not less than 100,000. Imerina, 
the province which extends around the Capital to a distance of about 
50 miles, is the most thickly-populated part of the island. Its people 
are fairly industrious, more so by far than those of any other Malagasy 
tribe. The skill they show in the cultivation of rice, often in the face 
of natural disadvantages, points to their future career as that of agricul- 
turists. They can be easily induced to work for wages, but I am con- 
vinced that it will be found more profitable in the long-run to draw 
them into such connection with coming developments of their country 
as will afford them not only an équivalent for their labour, but also a 
reward for intelligent interest therein. The Hova race will be proud to 
furnish bone and muscle to co-operate with European wealth for mutual 
benefit, but it will never submit to be the white man's slave. 

Evidently the great problem in Madagascar will be, how to get the 
workers and the work together. The highland interior is poor in mate- 
rial, but rich in labour ; while the lowland coast is fertile, but lacks the 
husbandmen. He who can secure Imerina labourers to cultivate a 
lowland plantation will test the merits of the country under the most 
favourable conditions. The necessities of defence are now forcing the 
population of the interior to distribute itself to some extent, but the 
niigrations of peace cannot be long delayed if the people continue to 
increase in the near future as they hâve dorie recently in the past. 

Next to the Hova in intelligence, although not in strèngth of character, 
corne the Bètsimisàraka, who inhabit the eastern coast. They are well 
disposed towards foreigners, but the rum trade of Mauritius and Réunion 
bas already gone far to render them useless for hard and regular work. 

♦ Tbi* was at the close of last year, it must be rcmembered. — Eus. 


The Sihanaka and Betsileo tribes, which occupy respectively the 
interior provinces north and south of Imerina, are equally docile with 
the Betsimisaraka, having, however, an advantage over them in being 
more closely allied to the ruling race. The labouring peasant of the 
highlands is pretty much the same sort of person throughout the whole 
of the central région. To the south of the Betsimisaraka there are . 
several smaller tribes, of which. the Taimôro appears to be one of the 
most promising from the intending planter's point of view. A number of 
thèse south-eastern natives were, before the war began, in the habit of 
leaving their homes to work on the sugar plantations near Tamatave, 
which the Betsimisaraka had failed to supply with labour. They are 
known as a fearless race, but are much given to roving, and hâve the 
aspect of being most uncompromising savages. 

In the south-west the Ibàra and Mfihafàly tribes seem to be coming 
in some small degree under the influence of trade with Natal. A kind 
of broad-bean is cultivated in that part of the country for exportation— a 
very hopeful sign indeed in a people who are related to the Sakalava, 
for the latter are, without doubt, the least useful and least open to im- 
proveraent of ail the Malagasy tribes. Their countrv, which stretches 
along the western seaboard from near St. Augustine*s Bay to the northem 
extreraity of Pàsindàva Bay, is, with the exception of such points as are 
under the immédiate authority of military colonies, almost entirely 
uncultivated, altogether unimproved, and very little open to trade. Even 
such of the Sakalava as hâve been under the shadow of the French flag 
at Nôsibè for the last forty years hâve not made a hundredth part of the 
advance in civilisation which the Hova hâve made during the last ten 
years under their own Government. 

There has been considérable excitement in Antananarivo and the sur- 
rounding country during the past twelve months over reported discoveries 
of gold and silver. Diamonds even were talked about at one time, and 
a few of the more advcnturous natives rushed secretly off to the localities 
where sudden riches were supposed to lie waiting for the first comer. 
Nothing, however, more valuable than a little gold dust has been found 
by them, and that only after a great waste of labour, and at the risk of 
long imprisonment and chains. For the Government had wisely resolved, 
some time before the rumours of discovery had fairly taken wing, to 
prevent everything like wholesale démoralisation of the people on this 
score, by appropriating whatever minerai wealth the land might contain. 
Laws were issued prohibiting unauthorised mining of every description ; 
and, seeing that a double advantage lies in thus controlling the search 
for hidden wealth, there is but a very poor prospect hère for needy 
diggers who may be tempted to wander to Madagascar in the hope of 
finding comfort for their disappointments elsewhere. Several such hâve 
made ventures already, but a few weeks* sojourn in the island has con- 
vinced them of the wisdom of returning whence they came as speedily 
as possible, with nothing more valuable to carry away than a caution to 
ail their comrades and acquaintances. 

W. Clayton Pickersgill, 




» ■ 

MOST of us who hâve lived soihe time in Madagascar must 
hâve noticed the strong fatalistic notions of the people. 
Every thing has its set time, which cannot possibly be altered ; 
every person, and every animal also, has its appointed time of 
death, and nothing that any one may do can either hasten this 
or postpone it to a future dajr. Such seems to be the prévalent 
belief among the people. Similarly also most of them seem to 
believe that for every one there is a certain amount of trouble 
or sorrow, joy or happiness, allotted to him, as well as a fixed 
and definite amount of this world's goods ; this is decreed for 
them as their destiny or fate, and they must accept it. 

A few years ago — I hâve not heard so much of it lately— a 
i^ery favourite topic of discussion with the Malagasy youth was : 
ZdLVi a person die before his day has come ? and can anything 
:hat he may do hasten the day of his death which had beeti 
ippointed for him ? The majority always maintained the néga- 
tive. Now I am not going to enter on a discussion as to how 
Far they are mistaken or not in holding thèse views, ail I wish 
to do is to give a few curious examples of thèse fatalistic notions 
that hâve come under my own observation during the past few 

1. The scène, our dining-room : — We were bidding farewell 
:o a young woman, an intelligent scholar in my wife's classes ; 
>he was leaving town to accompany her husband, who had been 
ippointed governor to a place far away in the south. We were 
/ery sorry to part with her, and she was evidently sorry to 
part with us and leave her native place; but having expressed 
:his, she added : ^^Anjàrako tzàny" (That is my lot, or destiny) ; 
:herefore she must go, and it was no use lamenting it. 

2. The scène, the large market-place at the Capital :— One 
^unday, not long ago, I wi^s riding in my palanquin through 
he market-place on my Jl|lurn from a service in the suburbs. 
^s we were going along, one of my men saw a small 
)iece of money on the ground and stooped down to pick 
t up. I remarked to another of my men : **You ought 
o hâve seen that ; it would hâve been a nice présent for your 

♦ This short article was written for the AnnuaL of 1885, but had to stand aside for want 
f room, I suppose its day had not come ! This explanation is necessary, because the circura- 
tances rcferrcd to in it, though then of récent occurrence, now belong to the past. 



•^içpç.jgife/' "No/* he replied, "that is not my anjàra" (or my share) ; 
as though he thought that ail the property in the world was 
*^vide^ put intp fixed lots, and np on^ ppuld by ^ny possibility 
get what was the share oif ariother. 

3. The scène, the désert, *Np man's land,' whîch Mr. Wilson 
and I were travelling over on our w.i^y to Mànandàza ^nd Apk^- L 
vàndra :— Some wild cattlp wete seen, an4 many of oiir men set ' 
offto catch *npbody's beef ;■ but none were çâught. Some of - 
the men remarkéd : "7>y ihbdta 1^^ ny àndronj^* (Thèit day 
has not yet corne). Othets said : "Jjry ahjàranisika irhf" fThèjf 
are not ôur shàrè). So uhtil . we camé upon sothef fulmliiis[ 
thèse two conditions, *Their day had corne/ and, *Th^ M'^rt 
our share,' we were to hâve no désert beef, and nonè we nàd. 

4. The scène, Ankavandra in the far west :— H^fe, moèt 
unexpectediy to me, I met the father of the young womàn spoketi 
of in Scène No. i . The govemor of this toMm and I were cortj- . 
paring notes about our children ; he told me he had one 
daughter, from whom he was parted when she was but three 
months old, as he was then appointed governor to this place, 
and he had not seen her since. As she had recently left with 
her husband for a place in the far south, of which he had just 
been appointed governor, it was now less likely than ever that 
they would meet again in this world. I was expressing my 
sympathy with the old man on this account, when one of his 
folio wers remarkéd : ^^Anjàrany tzàny^ koa hanaoahàana hïanao V 
(That is his lot, so what would you hâve ?) 

The Rev. W. E. Cousins has well remarkéd, speaking of the 
days before the arrivai of the early missionaries : "The almost 
universal belief in vïntana^ or destiny, had sapped the very 
foundation of faith in a free and powerful God." This was very 
true at that time, and I fear it is true of many in our day. Some 
of them so believe in this, that they will not even try to repent 
or turn from their evil ways. Others, when they are taken ill, 
at once believe their day has come, and so, utterly despairing 
of any recovery, pass away ; many such instances could be 

The people find, as so many bavé found before them, how 
impossible it is to understand with our finite wisdom the con- 
nection betweeri the fore-knowledge of God— He knowing 
every thing, the end from the beginning — and our free will toi 
choose the good and reject Ihe evil, or to choose the êvil and 
reject the good. 

Henry E. Clark. 






^EW facts with regard to the history of Ghristianity are more clear 
than the intimate connection which exîsts between the spiritual 
i of any people, and the hymns and éàcred songs they çix^g- In ail 
rts of the world, and in ail âges, from Apostolic times ujitil the 
îsent, the hymns of every Christian community havè closejy refleçte4 
faith, its love, ànd its aspirations afler Gôd, and hâve beèn its joy in 
dsperity, and its solace in trial and persécution. From the ''psalms 
d hymns and spiritual songs" of the Apostolic churches, through the 
itin hymns of the mediaeval period, the chorales of the continental 
formed communions, and the outburst of hymnology which accom- 
nied and stimulated the revival of spiritual life in Ehgland, down to 
g sacred songs of the American revivalists— a continually angmenting 
eam of divine melody has flowed down the centuries to refresh and 
mulate and console the widely-scattered members of the universal 
mrch. Hère has been the one point of agreement for ail, greatly as 
ey may differ in everything else ; for in their hymns, the Romanist 
d the Protestant, the orthodox nnd the latitudinarian, the conformist 
d the nonconformist, continually find themselves singing the same 
•ains, and discover a bond of union in a heart-devotion to Christ which, 
r a time, throws ail minor différences into the shade. 
The history of Christianity in Madagascar has been no exception to 
e gênerai expérience of the Church, and from a very early period after 
introduction into the island, hymnology has always been a great 
wer, and has aided very largely in the promotion of Christian life and 
owledge among the people. The Malagasy tribes with whom we are 
st acquainted — that is, those in the central and eastern provinces — 
; extremely fond of music and of singing ; and they hâve a very 
rrect ear for harmony, readily taking the différent parts of a tune,, and 
len they do not know the proper bass, ténor, or alto, frequently im- 
îvise one for themselves as the tune proceeds. The native songs, 
which between forty and fifty hâve already been printed, besides a 
nsiderable number still only in manuscript, hâve no rhyme and but 
le approach to metrical structure ; but they are most of them arranged 
a very regular form as regards Unes and stanzas, and hâve a rhythmic 
w, and a fréquent parallelism of numbers, much resembling the arran ge- 
int of Hebrew poetry. Thèse songs often hâve a refrain or chorus, 
\ are sung to tunes which are generally plaintive and in a minor key ; 
netimes one of the party acts as a leader, with a kind of recitative, 
; rest of the singers joining in the chorus, often with the accorapani- 
nt of regular clapping of hands, and the beating of a drum or the 
mging of a native guitar. 

rhe small band of missionaries of the London Missionary Society, 
o laboured so strenuously from 1820 to 1835 to lay the foundation of 


the Church in Madagascar, seein to hâve attempted to give the people 
some hymns in their own language as soon as they had reduced the Ma- 

lagasy longue to a wtitten forai. They began printing lesson-sheets, 
etc. towarda the close of the year iS>7, and the Gospels on the fim day 
of iSzS ; and it is probable tbat some ofthe lîrst hymns were given to 
the people in leaflets or other separate forai, since 800 copies of a sraail 
volume of hymns for public worship had been printed by the early pan 
of April of the same year (18 j8), Another édition, of 4,500 copies (iji 
pp.), was printed in 1835, just before the promulgation of the laws for- 
bidding Christian worship and teaching. 

This hymn-book was reprinted two or three tiraeS in England by the 
Religions Tract Society during the long quarter-century of persécution 
(the first reprint in 184.9, an édition of i, 000 copies); and its collection 
of 168 hymns was most intimately bound up with the religions lîfe of the 
Malagasy, both in the time of comparative freedom they enjoyed pre- 
vious to 1835, before their European teachers were obliged to leave 
them, and Still more so during the long weary period of repression, 
which they still call the time when "the land was dark." Some of thèse 
hymns, probably the majority of them, were written by the missionaries 
themselves, others by their pupils and some of the more intelligent 
native Christians ; but, strange to say, although the excellent fathers and 
founders of the Madagascar mission were quite capable of writing metri- 
cal hymns in English, as is proved by the translations they gave of 
some of the Malagasy hymns, not one of thèse latter was rhythmical in 
structure, much less did they attempt rhyme. Although ail their hymns 
were arranged in the propcr number of syllables to form the familial 
mètres known as 'long,' "common,' 'short,' and 'sevens,' as well as 
a few of the 'peculiar' measures, there was no regard at al! paid to 
accent, so that to those who know the language it is painfui to hear the 
words tortured by being persistently mispronounccd, as they must be, 
every time they are sung to a tune of the mètres just mentioned.* It is 
diflicult to understand why, with the minute and accurate acquaintance 
with the Malagasy language they possessed. they did not attempt to 
Write rhythmical hymns, but such was the fact, a fact which must be 
regretted, since, from the improved musical taste of the people, thèse old 
hymns are rapidly hecoraing obsolète. And yet many of them are, 
notw il h standing their metrical defects, beautiful in their language, and 
fervent and evangelical in tone. Take, for example, the following, a 
free adaptation of "How sweet the name of Jésus sounds" : — 

Jéso nô anàran-Csôa, Ràha niangètahèta islka, 

Ràha riïn' ny mino, Ràno vèlona Izy; 

Afaka ny àlahelony, Râha n6ana, méfoa' aina, 

Uia fàly ny f6ny. Maràry, âdy aina ; etc. 

• Hore are i eouplu of «erses, aecentcd, u( so-called •commoQ' and ■long' metru ;— 

C, M. L. M. 

Ny lalSna iiàv Dation' Hija tj vôniaàhiln 

Andriamàmlra H4 an'^Andrianiinitra : 

Tàmv ny àluiubélana Fa Itj taiâay do uiihèfa 

Marina iadriDdca. Iiij litiaky Dj fâoj. 



dmost literally translatée! : — 

Jésus is the blessed name, 
When heard by the believer, 

Gone is his sorrow, 
For glad his heart. 

When we are thirsty, 
Living water is He ; 

When hungry, Bread of life, 
111, Medicine of life. 

Rock of refuge, 

He whom I trust ; 
Shield to protect me, 

Lest I see evil. 

Friend and Brother, 
Redeemer and Lord, 

Life, Way, my Surety, 
Receive my praise. 

Simple and foolish am I, 
Ashamed am I, O Jésus, 

My love to Thee 
Is little, as nothing. 

But Thy love to me 
Is one, unchangeable ; 

Living, I praise Thee, 
Dead, praises increase. 

Hère is another favourite hymn, the key-note of which is, **Jehovah 
10 anjarako" — **The Lord is my portion" :— 

Jehovah is my portion, 
will not be sorrowfiil. 
For Jésus is my Redeemer, 
I will therefore rejoice. 

Many are they who love wealth, 
Numbers désire money, 
But I akeady possess, 
Jehovah is my portion. 

Thine indeed, O Jésus, 
Is my whole spirit ; 
Make me Thine own. 

His commands are sweet to me, 

His counsels do I love, 

His words make wise, 

The blood of Christ makes clean. 

The world is not sweet to me, 
I désire not its delights ; 
Farewell to it ail, 
Jehovah is my portion. 

Thou art my portion. 

We find also translations, or rather, adaptations, of several other well- 
nown English hymns, such as, "When I survey the wondrous Cross," 
Lo ! He cornes, with clouds descending," "The heavens déclare Thy 
lory. Lord," "Awake, and sing the song," and **Lord of the Sabbath, 
ear our vows." But many others appear to be original compositions, 
aly slightly, if at ail, inspired by English hymns, although fuU of Bible 
loughts. Hère is one referring to the Scriptures : — 

Sweet is Thy word, 

Holy Jehovah I 

And true is Thy word, 

Not to be changed ; 

The heavens shall pass away, 

But Thy word shall remain. 

Pure is Thy word, 
And precious indeed, 
So making wise 
Those who are simple, 
Scattering the darkness, 
And bringing the iight. 

Good is Thy word, 
Renewing the heart, 
For there *tis we see 
One Who redeems, 
Jésus, well-spring of life, 
Washing the guilty. 

Desired (»f my heart 
Is the sacred word, 
More than great riches, 
Or wealth overflowing; 
Thy word will I keep, 
My enduring possession. 

Thèse old Malagasy hymns reflect very clearly the theological feeling 

f the period in which they were written, about half a century ago. 

hère is a distinct enforcement of the Law and its penalties, but there 

at the same time an evangelical fervour, and a firm grasp of the 

demptive work of the Lord Jésus Christ, as weil as a distinct pcrsonal 


appropriation of the bicssings He bestows. It was this élément in the 
early Ma)agasy hymns which made them so préciouB to the persecuted 
people, and on account of wbich they became interwoven with ail the 
trying expériences of their Christian life for so içauy years. 

Hère and there among this old collection of Malagasy hymns are two 
or three decidedly curious spécimens of hymnofogy. Thèse were written 
by natives, and one of them consists almost entirely of Malagasy proverbs 
strung together, most of which treat of the uncertainty of life, froro a 
heathen point of view, but with a Christian sentiment at the conclusion 
as a kind of 'moral' to the whole. Hère ifi a literal rendering of this 
strange composition : — 

Life is a broken potsherd, But once only are we young, 

No one knows wno broke it ; One throw (of the spear) only; 

Life is but steam of food, Death is a swift runner. 

No one sees where it goes. . God is the Lord of life. 

The appointedtimeof death igunknown, To die once may be borne, 
A tree on the brink of a précipice, But second death is unbeara^le; 

No one knows when it will fall, Blesc are the believers in Christ, 

Whether by day or night. For they shall obtain life. 

Such productions are, however, exceptional ; and the great majority of 
the hymns are quite free from such incongruous éléments. 

The hymns of fifty years ago were, of course, sung to the tunes of the 
same period ; and when we re-commenced mission-work in Madagascar 
after the re-opening of the country to Christian teaching In i86î, we 
found the people singing tunes now seldom heard in our home churches 
and chapels, but which were familiar to English congrégations of two 
générations ago ; tunes, for instance, such aa "Lydia," "Cranbrook," 
"China," "Calcutta," "Rousseau's Dream," "Piety," "Zion's Joy," etc. 
During the (îrst few months of my résidence in Antanànarivo I well 
remember hearing tunes sung in the native chapels to extremely slow 
time, but although they had a certain familiarity, 1 could not for some 
minutes identify them with anything I knew ; but it gradually dawned 
Upon me that thèse were well-known old tunes, but being sung about 
four times as siow as was then the custom in England, were so dilTerent 
in effect as to be at first hearing unrecognisable. I hâve little doubt, 
however, that this slow tîme was about the speed at which it was usual 
for thèse hymns to be sung by the first missionaries (for we hâve won- 
derfujly quickened the pace of our English singing during the last few 
vears) ; and thus the traditions of the singing of their first teacbers had 
been kept up during the twenty-seven or twenty-eight years which had 
elapsed since they were driven away from the island. 

And what a solace and a joy were those old hymns to the early Mala- 
gasy ChristiansI Wherever they went theycarried their hymn-book 
with them, often bound up with their Testaments, and the straina of 
thèse sacred songs always mingted with their worship. On the very 
last Sunday evening (iind Febraary, 1S35) that public services were 
allowed to be held in the capital city, the Queen's anger was escited as 
she passed near one of the native chapels by hearing the hearty singing 
of tne congrégation \ and the observed to some of her attendàiitB, 


'Thèse people will not be quiet until soïne of them lose their heads." 
ind so it really proved to be th'e case again and again, as one after 
nother of them fell a victim to their sovereign*s rage against the pray- 
ng customs ; for, like their prototypes in the time of Pliny, they persts- 
ed in ''singing hymns to Christ as God." Of the first martyr, Rasalàma, 
t is recorded that on being put into chains and cruelly beaten, sbie 
ontinued to sing ; and so she did still on the following moming, when 
he was borne along to the place of exécution, at the southem extremity 
•f the long rocky ridge on which the Capital îs built. And when aoother 
'hristian woman, flLafi^ravàvy, with her five compahîbns. had sucpeeded, 
fter wonderful périls and haif^breadth escapes, in re^cning the coas^ it 
""amatave, and were safe on the deck of the ship whîch took them to 
Lngland, their first féelings of thankfulness for their delîverance found 
xpression în singing ône of their hymns. 

And the strains of sacred song coÀtinned to be heard ail through 
lose weary years. In the *Great Persécution' of 1849, when mâny 
undred Christians were punîshed by fîfièâ, slavery, chaîiïs, and beàtîng, 
nd when eighteèn of them suffèred deàth, the cohdemned ones sang 
le hjrmn commehcing 

Ary misy tiny sôâ, There is a blessed land, 

Mahafinàritra indrindra. Màking most happy. 

How appropriate this was to their position then may be seen by 
lancing over the following almost literal translation : — • 

There is a blessed land, 

AJl they longed for obtained, 
Ail tneir hearts' désire ; 

Making most happy ; 

There no trouble enters, No good thing they lack, 

There, no vexing care. Now and for evermore. 

There shall the righteous reign, The departing from this life, 

ioyful for evermore ; Just a moment' s pang, 

Tone shall mourn again, Is ail that séparâtes us 

Of ail the dwellers there. From that blessed world. 

'heir light affliction, a momentary spasm or pang, as the native word 
n the fourth verse means, they knew woiild speedily work for them **a 
lore exceeding weight of glory." Fourteen of them were taken to be 
urled over the steep cliffs of Ampàmarinana, just below the palace ; and 
f one of thèse it was said that he sang up to the moment he was thrust 
ver the précipice ; while of them ail it is recorded that they sang the 
ynpn beginning, "Ràha ho fàty aho," which may be thus translated: — 

When I shall from hence départ, Hark I they summon me away 

And forsake my kindred dear ; To the blessed world above ; 

When for me they mouro and weep, There shall 1 rejoice alway, 

( shall fl^orejoicing there ; There my soûl be tilled with love ; 

When froni life on earth set free, AU my heart's desires obtained, 

There shall I in ni|)turebe. AU I noped for fùUy gained. 

AU things earthly, now farewell ! 
For I thus fruition fin'd ; 
Hence in joys untold I dwell, 
Heayen my héritage on high. 
From. ail fear ol deatb set free, 
Death is conquered now for me. 



Another hymn is also remembered as one of their death-songs— one 
which is full of joyful anticipation of beholding the Lord Jésus, and 
beginning, **Ràha ho hitany aho, ràvo any an-dànitra," almost literally 
translatée! thus : — 

When He shall behold me 

ioyful there in heaven, 
n the days to corne, 
There, in Jesu's présence, 
I shall hâve çained my desires 
And the longing of my heart; 
Freed from ail affliction, 
Overflowing with gladness. 

Ah ! conquered is the enemy, 
The conflict for ever o*er. 
Assembled are the mighty, 
Entered are the just ; 
Every one of the pure rejoices, 
Rendering thanks and praise. 

Jésus is their glory, 
ehovah is their shield. 

A little later in the day, the remaining four of the conderaned Christians, 
who were of noble rank, were led to be burnt alive at Fàravôhitra, the 
northern end of the city hill ; and hère again the song of praise arose ; 
for as they ascended the hill they sang the hymn which for some years 
previously had been. and ever since then has continued to be, the dis- 
mission hymn of the native congrégations of Madagascar, being invari- 
ably sung before they disperse. It is always sung to "Mariners," and 
probably this was the tune those four Malagasy confessors sang as they 
went to their death, and even as the fiâmes rose around them at the 
stake. The hymn begins with the words, "Hôdy izahay, Zànahàry,"* and 
may be thus rendered : — 

Home return we now, Creator, 
Let Thy blessing from above 

Gladden ail our waiting spirits 
With Thine ail abounding love. 

Gladden Thou us, 
While we sojourn hère below. 

Thanks, abounding thanks, we render 
For the sacred message heard, 

Which Thou givest to enlighten 
Us in knowTedge of Thy word. 

Dwell among us, 
Through Thy présence day by day. 

And when death shall hence remove us. 

And on earth no more we stay, 
Then do Thou our soûls make joyful, 

Take us on our heavenly way ; 
There. rejoicing, 

Shall we live in endiess day. 

The hymn might almost hâve been written for such an hour as that, 
for death was indeed about to remove them to the heavenly mandions, 
to the endiess day, of which they sang ; they were truly "retuming 
home," noi from the earthly sanctuary, where they had so often sung 
those words, but to the heavenly one — the house not made with hands. 

Yet one more hymn was also sung by the Faravohitra martyrs, one 
which ends in each of its four verses with the words, **Tsarôvy izahay*' 
(*'Rcmember us"). Of this hymn the first and the last verses run thus :— 

When our hearts are o'erwhelm'd And when death itself 

Becausc of the oppressor, Approaches us nigh, 

When that cornes to pass, Lord, And spent is our strength, 
Remember us. Remember us. 

♦ The Malagasy hymn is no doubt a frce rendering of "Lord, dismiss us with Thy bles- 
sing," but I bave attempted to give a doser translation of the native version than the Énglish 
original supplies, and in the samc mètre. . 


So strikingly appropriate to their circumstances was every one of thèse 
requiem hymns. 

Mr. Ellis relates that in a letter he received from the native Christians 
at the Capital during his first visit to Tamatave in 1853, they told him 
"that a number of them went out to a solitary place, to sing together for 
joy at the prospect of receiving copies of the word of God."* While at 
the same place for a few weeks in the following year, Mr. Ellis was 
frequently visited at night by a number of the Christian Malagasy for 
conversation on various subjects. Thèse meetings were always associated 
with the reading of the Scriptures and prayer ; but besides this, thèse 
believing people often could not départ without also singing a song of 
praise, although it was decidedly perilous for them to do so. Mr. Ellis 
adds that although they bent their heads down, and only sang the native 
h3rmns in an undertone or whisper, to English tunes, he was at times 
alarmed lest some unfriendly passer- by should hear. It seemed as if 
the instinct of praise pould not be repressed among the persecuted 

And so, during their long trial of faith and patience, the Malagasy 
Christians solaced themselves with their hymns : they sang them in 
rice-holes and in caves ; in the recesses of the forests ; on the tops of 
lofty hills, where they could watch from afar for any unfriendly approach; 
and in stealthy meetings by night in the houses of their friends ;t and, 
as we hâve just seen, the words of thèse sacred songs were sung on 
several occasions with their dying breath. But still they sang on and 
believed, as one of their hymns expresses it, that 

Not long will endure Shall the sorrowful suffer ; 

The stormy night, Yonder is the daybreak, 

Not for many days Happiness is near. 

And accordingly, in 1861, the sighing of the prisoners was heard ; God 
delivered those who were appointed to death ; and with the decease of 
Queen Rànavàlona came the opening of the prison-doors to those who 
were bound, and freedom of worship was again restored. When Mr. 
Ellis arrived at Tamatave in 1862 and met the rejoicing Christians, it 
seemed a strange contrast to his former visits to hear them singing aloud, 
with cheerful voices, for this part of their worship he had only heard 
offered before in a whisper or undertone. And at the close of the service 
they sang, with much appropriateness to the occasion, the native Jubilee 
hymn, describing the captive and exiles' return : — 

Blow loud the trumpet, One there is Who sets free 

Which tells of Christ ; AU who hâve been bound, 

Yes, procîaim aloud And calls together the scattered, 

That the Jubilee is corne. For the Jubilee is corne. 

♦ Martyr Church, pp. r82, 187. 

f One of the hymns, which commences with a bright and cheerful ascription of praise to 
God, ends with what is likc a wail of sorrow from the persecuted, so that one might almost 
suppose it to hâve been written in the vcry time of trial : — 

Oh, our Creator ! For caves are our dwelling, 

Oh, Jésus the Saviour ! Holes in the rock our rcfuee ; 

Oh, Holy Spirit I Thy mercy alone can gladden 

Save the amicted people. The pilgnms on their way. 


To redeem the enslaved, For Satan is conquered, 

To obtain a great héritage, There is forgiveness of sin ; 

Corne home, ail ye scattered ones, Return, O ye wanderers, 

For the Jubilee is come. For the Jubilee is corne. 

For some few years after the re-opening of Madagascar to Christian 
effort, the original hymns prepared by the first missionaries were used 
unaltered and without any additions. There was a curious mixture of 
old and new tunes ; the former, as already mentioned, 'survivais* of the 
early period, and a few of the latter taught by the missionaries then 
commencing their work. But with thèse there came also a number of 
other tunes, some picked up from barrel-organs, and dance-music leamed 
from the military bands,* often most incongruous and inappropriate to 
the words to which they were sung ; and together with thèse were a few 
native mélodies. From this strange mixture of tunes for religious wor- 
ship a number of most elaborate pièces were composed by certain native 
musical geniuses. Some of thèse were of great length and complexity, 
occasionally not without considérable ingenuity and some merit in 
composition, but sometimes with a curious, and almost comical, bass 
accompaniment, more like the grunt of an animal than the sound of a 
human voice. But ail were utterly unfit for congregational worship ; 
indeed it often puzzled us how the singers themselves learned such 
lengthy and elaborate compositions. It was said that they sometimes 
sat up ail night practising thèse pièces, for which they paid a considér- 
able sum (for Malagasy) to the teachers. The service of praise was thus 
thrown almost entirely into the hands of the singers, many ofwhom were 
slaves, and were often people quite unfit for the position they occupied 
as leaders of religious worship. The opening of new chapels in the 
country, and the united congregational meetings held on the first Mon- 
day morning of every month, were the grand times of display for thèse 
performances, so that this part of the service often became a mère sing- 
ing contest, in which parties of singers from différent chapels vied with 
each other in producing startling effects. 

But what (it may be said) were the missionaries doing meanwhile ? 
The highly unsatisfactory state of things just described reached its climax 
two or three years after the buming of the national idols in 1869, when 
for some time there was imminent danger that the Christianity of the 
congrégations formed previous to that date would be swamped by the 
flood of heathen people who then poured into the existing chapels, and 
into the new ones which were being built by hundreds ail over the central 
provinces. The missionaries were then a small band of not more than a 
dozen men, and we were almost overwhelmed by the work pf every kind 
thus thrown upon us. We were painfully conscious of the evils inevit- 
ably arising from such a transitional state of society, and not least by the 
unedifying character of public worship, especially in places away from 
our immédiate influence ; but by teaching good tunes, by speaking upon 

* I well rcmember hearing good Mr. EUis, in his own pcculiar pronunciation and dialcct of 


the subject of praise in worship, and by papers and discussions in our 
half-yearly Congregational Union meetings, we strenuously endeavoured 
to guide public opinion into a more excellent way. 

Two or three years previously the late Rev. R. G. Hartley had written 
the first rhythmical and rhymed Malagasy hymn, a composition in which 
the work of the Lord Jésus as the Good Shepherd was beautifully and 
idiomatically expressed. It will be seen from the two folio wing verses 
that the accent is perfectly regular to the mètre : — 

Jèso Mpamônjy, Mpiàndry tokèa, Taomin* ny râtsy, fîtàhin-tSatàna, 
Ampiverèno hanàrak' Anao Efa ho lâsan-ko bàbo 'zahay ; 

Ondry mania, manàry ny sèa, Fa Hianao no mahéry niitâna, 
Aza avèla hiàl' aminao. Tsy hahavèry ny ôndry iray. 

Jésus the Saviour, true Shepherd (of sinners). 

Cause to retum to go after Thee (now) 
Wandering sheep (ail) forsaking the pasture, 

Do not permit them to wander from Thee. 

Led by ail evil, deceived by the devil, 

Just on the point of captivity gone, 
Thou art alone the All-powerful to hold us, 

So of the sheep shall not perish e*en one. 

The Malagasy verses bave a ringing smoothness of cadence which 
quite caught the native ear, and when, some time afterwards, they were 
set to the tune of **Hail to the brightness," the hymn immediately be- 
came very popular. Mr. Hartley wrote about a dozen other excellent 
bymns ; thèse were included in a new édition of the hymn-book which 
he edited in England, where he died early in 1870. The same number 
of the least meritorious of the old hymns were omitted to make room for 
the new ones, so that the figures by which the majority had been known 
were retained unaltered. Several of the new hymns were original 
compositions ; others were adaptations of English ones, such as **Son 
of my soûl, Thou Saviour dear,*' '*Begone unbelief," **Jesus, Thy robe of 
righteousness,** **rm but a stranger hère," etc. It is worthy of remark 
that the last hymn written by Mr. Hartley was one expressing perfect 
trust in God and submission to His will : — 

If dark should be the way, Whether I long shall live, 

Jehoyah, O my Lord ! Or soon shall pass away, 

On Thee is ail my trust ; My lot's ordained by Thee, 

Thou only art my lamp. I would not choose myself. 

• • • • 

What shall befall I know not, Thy pleasure is my own. 

For hidden is from me Jehovah, O my Lord ! 

The days I yet shall live, Upon Thy word I wait, 

Which Thou hast foreordained. In Thee is ail my trust. 

Meanwhile, others were at work in the same direction. The Tonic 
Sol-fa System was taught by several missionaries, and bcfore long many 
hundreds of the children and young people were able to sing at sight 
from that notation. With their quick ear and natural taste for music, 
they learned rapidly, so that soon many were qualified to tcach others. 
Several missionaries began writing hymns, some of which werepublished 
in the monthly magazine Tény Soa ('Good Words*), and others in leaf- 


lets. Some of thèse were very popular, and were printed and sold by 
thousands, many of them together with the tunes in Sol-fa notation ; and 
subsequently several large éditions of the hymn-book, now nearly doubled 
in size, were disposed of, as well as great numbers of cheap school hymn- 
books, Sol-fa tune-books, collections of anthems, etc. Many of the 
intelligent Christian Malagasy began under English guidance to write 
rhythmical hymns, some of which are quite equal to those written by 
Europeans. A most marked revival of congregational singing thus took 
place, and for some three or four years hymns and hymnology attracted 
a great deal of public attention. Several more of the classical hymns of 
England were put into a native dress, amongst others, "Rock of Ages" 
(a very excellent rendering, of which a spécimen verse or two is given 
below*), "Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched," **0 come, ail ye faith- 
ful," **Abide with me," **Thou art gone to the grave ;" as well as many 
more récent ones, such as **Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," "We 
plough the fertile meadows," **Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we 
raise ;" and many children's hymns, including **Mothersof Salem," "Oh, 
that will be joyful," etc. 

At the same time— that is, about twelve or thirteen years ago — the hymns 
of the American revivalists, Messrs. Sankey, Phillips, and Bliss, found 
their way over to Madagascar, and soon became very popular both with 
the Europeans and natives. It was not long before many were put into 
a Malagasy dress, and being sung to the same tunes as their English 
prototypes, speedily became the most favourite songs of the people; 
so that for some years past the strains so familiar in England and 
America hâve been equally popular in Madagascar. In church and 
school, in the people's houses after they had eaten their evening meal, 
in the fields as they were at work, and as they walked along the roads at 
night, one constantly heard the music of **Hold the fort," **The sweet 
by-and-by," "What shall the harvest be ?" "That will be heaven for 
me," "Shall we gather at the river ?" and others far too numerous to 
mention. The musical and liquid- and vowel-loving Malagasy lan- 
guage easily adapts itself to ail the varied mètres of European hymns, 
and there seems little difficulty in using it in any style of versification ; 
although, from the structure of the language, and the System of suffix 
pronouns, the choice of rhymes is much less varied than in English. 
Herewith are spécimen verses of hymns in two mètres, both exactly 
rhythmical and rhymed, the first by an English missionary.f a capital 
rendering into Malagasy of the fine missionary hymn, "Hailto the Lord*s 

♦ Jéso, Vàtolàmpinay Ts^ ny àsanay atao 

O 1 arôvy îzahay, Mahatô ny didinao ; 

Kâ ny fônay ml)a sasao Ts;^ ny hàzot^ani>po 

Mànafâh' anay izao ; Nô mahâzo manadio ; 

Mbà tsy hîsy zay hanjô Tsi^ ny rànomâsonay 

Olon-ts^ mahîtsy fô. No mahàfa-trôs' anay. 

(Kev, R, Baron,) 

\ Rev. J. Richardson, to whom the Malagasy owe much for his efforts to improve their 
hymnolog}' (30 hymns in the hjinn-book now in use are of his composition), and aiso for the 
most thorough and scientifîc teaching of the Sol -fa s}rstem, and for the préparation of tune> 
books, school song-books, etc. Amongst other h5rran-writers were the Revs. W. E. Cousins, 
R. Toy, J. A. Houlder, G. Cousins, R. Baron, and C. T. Price ; and among the natives, J. 



Anointed ;'* and the second by a native Malagasy,* a translation of 
"The Lifeboat" from Mr. Sanke/s Sacred Songs, both hymns being sung 
to the same tune as their English originals :— 

Faingàna, ry Mpanjàka, 

Handray ny lôvanao ; 
Faingàna rè, mba hàka 

Ny tàny hô Anao ; 
Avia, hàmpifàly 

Ny màlahèlo fô, 
A£àho ny roijàly 

Sy àzon' ny manjè. 

Ry Kàpitény ! bè ny àdy manjô, 
Efa ho rèraka sy kivy ny fô, 
Ka hâtanjàho mba hatèky Anao, 
Tômpo ô, avia hamônjy àhy izao. 

Avia, fà misénto 

Atv ny ôlonao ; 
Ny fanjakàna ènto, 

Fa Tômpo Hianao ; 
Tsy mlsy hitomàny 

Êo ànatrèhanao ; 
Hiàdana ny tàny, 

Izày halehanao. 

Ny fàhavàloko aty mba resèo, 

Ka taomy àho mba handray ràhatéo 

Ny ffadian* àvy ao àminao ; 

Tômpo ô, tsinjôvy àho, àza mandao.f 

In the promotion of this revival of congregational singing and hymn- 
ology in Madagascar the Press of the mission of the Society of Friends 
has not been behind that of the London Missionary Society ; and we 
hâve a noteworthy illustration of the way in which common Christian 
work makes good men overlook minor différences, in the fact that several 
of the new hymns were composed by Friends. One of the earliest popular 
children's hymns was written by Mr. Joseph S. Sewell, for several years 
the senior member of their mission in Antanànarfvo. This was a trans- 
lation of "Whither, pilgrims, are you going ?" The translation of "Abide 
with me" is also Mr. Sewell's. 

An édition of a Sol-fa tune-book was published in 1879, in which 
suitable tunes are given for every one of the 247 hymns in the enlarged 
hjrmn-book. Thèse are very varied in character, being derived from a 
number of différent sources, and the grave and severely classical styles 
are mingled with the more lively and popular ones. One or two of the 
old native mélodies are retained to the hymns to which they hâve been 
so long sung. Some of the 'Services of Song,' for several years past so 
popular in England for Sunday-school anniversaries, festivals, and other 
occasions, hâve been put into Malagasy, the hymns being translated, 
together with the connective readings. The **Pilgrim*s Progress," "Sa- 
muel," and others hâve in this way been made available for Malagasy 
services, and hâve given great delight to old and young. 

Thus it will be seen that in their service of praise the Malagasy con- 
grégations hâve already become largely one with their mother churches 
in England who hâve sent them the Gospel, for they sing numbers of 
the same hymns and the same tunes as those sung in England. But we 

* Raîaonâry, once a pupil of the writer's, and now for some years pastor of the Ambàtona- 
kanga Mémorial Churcn at Antananarivo. 

t Thèse hymns may be read by English readers with little difficulty by observingtho accents, 
and by remembering that the vowels hâve the power of the letters in Italian or French, except 
0, which, save in the exclamation, marked ô, is always like our English o in move, to, do, etc. 
The consonants are much the same as in English, except that g is always hard, s always s and 
not like 2, and/ is hard likc dz. In the terminal rhymes (as well as elsewhere), ao is sounded 
like ow ; ay (and ai) like eye ; ioy like ewe; and eo like a-oo* The diphthongs ao and ai (ay) 
are alwajrt long and accenteâ, so they are leh hère unmarked. / and^' are identical, the latter 
being always used ai a terminal. 


may hope that with deepening Christian expérience and knowledge, there 
will yet be a fuller and more original expression of devotional feeling in 
sacred son g ; and that many native poets will be raised up who shall do 
for the sacred poetry of Madagascar what Watts and Wesley, and Keble 
and Lyte and Bonar, and a host of others, hâve done for £nglish hymn- 
ology, and shall thus embody in "immortal verse" the faith, the hope, the 
joy, and the yet wider expériences of Malagasy Christianity. 

James Sibree, Jun. (Ed.) 


The preceding paper was written during my fiirlough in Englandabout 6ve 
years ago, and tnere is little to be added to what was there said about Malaga- 
sy hy m nology, and about pratse in public worship in thiscountry. Thewritmg 
of new hymns has almost ceased of late years, except a fewfor Sunday-school 
anniversaries or other spécial occasions, and published in separate leafiets or 
in some of the monthly periodicals. None of them hâve yet been incorporated 
in our hymn-book. Judging from what I hâve observe d since my return to 
Madagascar three years ago, I fear it must be confessed that little, if any, 
progress has been jnade of late years in promoting a more congregational 
style of worship, as regards the praises offered by the people. It is true that 
in most of the large churches in the Capital, as well as in many of the stronger 
and more enlightened country congrégations, the tunes sung areusually taken 
from the Sol-fa tune-book mentioned above, tunes which are appropriate and 
devotional, to our European notions, as well as easily leamed. But a very 
différent style of music — if music it may be called— will be heard every Simday 
in the great majority of our country churches. It is difl&cult to describe thèse 
strange sounds so as to convey any clear idea of them to those who bave not 
heard them. Noisy repeats of some refrain, picked up probably from 
European sources, with curious alternations of bass and treble and ténor, 
with now and then a passage shewing some idea of a melody, as well as 
occasionally a fair harmony- thèse may be said to characterize the sacred 
music of the mass of Malagasy congrégations at the présent time. Often 
thèse strange compositions are very long and elaborate and must take no 
small amount of time and trouble to learn ; they usually embody some words 
taken from Scripture, or from some hymn ; but perhaps their most objection- 
able feature is that only a few can master them, so that anything like 
common, congregational, and united vocal worship is impossible. 

I think few would object to hear in every service some sacred music 
having the character of an anthem, to be sung by the quire only, the majority 
of the worshippers not joining audibly in this part ; but this should not form 
the only or chief portion of the praise. That many of the Malagasy hâve 
some musical taste and power of composing music. will I think be acknow- 
ledged by ail who hâve listened tothe music of a sacred concert like thatgiven 
by the Native Preachers' Association at the Ampàmarinana Mémorial Church 
on Saturday afternoon, May ist, 1886, when a number of sncred pièces were 
sung, several with instrumental accompaniments, and ail, I believe, entirely 
of native composition, Many of thèse seemed, at least to those who had 
no scientifîc knowledge of music, to be most excellent and appropriate, and 
suggested that there was sufficient acquaintance with musical science, as well 
as enough correct taste, in some of our educated native friends to fit them 
to be composers of appropriate hymntunes and anthems for divine worship. 
Similarly excellent sacred pièces were also sung at the opening of the pretty 
v/JJj^^e church at Ànjànahàry on the ist of last july. One is inclined to 


think that we Europeans hâve not yet hit upon quite the right style of sacred 
music for the Malagasy» or upon the right way to go to work in teaching 
them. Hâve we not been a Httie too exacting in restricting the majority of 
the tunes we hâve taught them to the rather severe modem classical style of 
composition and harmonies ? And would not a greater latitude of style of 
tune, somcthing with repeats, fugues, and responsive parts, similar to the 
tunes sung by our fathers and mothers fifty or sixty years ago, be more 
suitable to the présent stage of musical culture and taste among the people ? 
Especially would it not enable and stimulate a much larger proportion of our 
congrégations to join audibly and heartily in public praise ? Certainly a 
great deal remains still to be done before the singing in the vast majority of 
our churches can be deemed satisfactory, whether we consider the spiritual 
profit of the worshippers or the glory of God. 

I will only add hère that I accepted with pleasure the offer of my friend the 
Rev A. M. Hewlett. M. A., to add something about hymnology and sacred 
music in his own branch of the Christian church (the Anglican] hère in 
Madagascar. His paper accordingly follows herewith. — j.s. 



MUSIC is a great power in éducation. This fact has been more 
and more fuUy recognized in successive Codes of the Educa- 
tion Department in England, and must not be lost sight of by those who 
are privileged to hâve a share in the éducation and advancement of the 
Malagasy nation. A former writer in this periodical* has described the 
the love of the Malagasy for the old hymns which were introduced by 
the earliest missionaries from England, and which were the comfort 
of native Christians in days of persécution. He mentions the defects 
in those primitive spécimens, especially that singular fact that there 
was no attempt at rhythm in them, strong syllables falling for the most 
part on unaccented notes in the music. Since Mr. Richardson wrote, 
much has been done towards improvement in this matter, but much 
still remains to be done. We agrée with that writer in wishing that 
any style of music which has been, and still is, in whatever degree, the 
vehicle of heart-felt prayer, may be allowed to die a gentle death, but 
with him we say **it must inevitably go." How strange it would be to 
hear an English congrégation singing the two following Unes to **St. 
Anne*s" or any common-metre tune : — 

Tlie Almigliiv hath crèatèd 
Hoavùn and the océan. 

♦ Rev. J. Richardson, in the AXNVAL for 1876, p. 23 ; see also Rcprint^ p. 151, seq. 


Yet such is the character of the rhythm in very many Malagasy hymns ; 
and the absence of the *scanning faculty* in the Malagasy mind up to 
the présent time is so complète, that such hymns do not excite any 
feeling of dissatisfaction. Hère then the need of training is seen. 
While there is much scope for taste both in music and in poetry, and 
much that is accepted in Europe might never be appropriate in Mada- 
gascar, yet each art has its absolute rules, which cannot be broken 
with impunity ; and we shall never raise music and poetry to their 
proper place as powers to educate the native mind and soûl, if we 
acquiesce in the use of such hymns as those indicated above. 

The chief difficulties in the way of mending old hymns or composing 
new ones seem to me to be two : ( i ) the fewness of firm ultimate 
syllables in the language,and (2) the number of words that are needed 
to give full sensé. With regard to the former point, most readers of the 
Annual are acquainted with those often-recurring final syllables ka^ na, 
and tra. Now we shall not get any good poetry or hymns until it is a 
recognized canon that to place any one of thèse in an accented place 
in the scanning or music, to allow one of them to fall on the *down 
beat,' is a capital crime, and deserving of the punishment which befalls 
an Ënglish schoolboy when he makes a false quantity in his Latin. 
How many a Malagasy hymn is kept from being classed as 'excellent* by 
the admission of this fault I Take an instance : Dr. Bonar wrote : — 

A few more years shall roll, 

A few more seasons corne, 
And we shall be with those that rest 

Asleep within the tomb. 

Notice the firm syllable at the end of each Une. Don*t clip it in singing. 
How well that word "tomb" comes out on the dotted semibreve in the 
music I Now compare the following, which those who know the Mala- 
gasy language will allow to be a fair translation of the above : — 

Handalo faingana 

Ny taona si sa aty, 
Dia hody mandry izahay 

Hiala sasatra. 

1 hâve often taught this by rote to a congrégation or school. The 
second line falls naturally into rh)^hm. The Malagasy repeating it say, 
**Ny tàona sis{a) aty* as naturally as we say, **A* fèw more seàsons 
côme." But the fourth line ? Ail you can hear in the répétition is 
^^Hiàla sàsatrT The final a is no doubt sounded by them, but sounded 
most lightly ; and this is the note that we expect them to hold out for 
three beats, thereby murdering either the music or the genius of the 
Malagasy language. Thèse three final syllables then must be carefully 
avoided in ail accented places. And so also should we avoid the suffix 
pronouns of the first (singular) and third persons. Take two simple 
Unes from a version of **j6^"salem the golden :" — 

Mpanjaka manan daza 
No monin(a) aminy 

(i.e. *He is a glorious King Who dwelleth with them*). Now the last line 
in rhythmical enough in reading ^'No mhnin{a) àminy*^ because the 


last syllable may be read short ; but if you set it to its tune, and hold 
out the last syllable to the final semibreve, you get ^^No montn{a) àminyy^ 
which is worse than singing in English, "A fàmous vîctor^." The 
same holds good of the suffix -ko ('my*), but, on the other hand, we hâve 
in the suffixes of the first person plural (-ay, -anay^ excluding the person 
addressed) and the second person singular (-tf(?, -anao), good firm syllables 
which may be used freely, and are happily the forms most needed in 
words of prayer. Charles Wesley's beautiful Unes : — 

Other refuge bave I none ; 
Hangs my helpless soûl on Thee, 

are melodiously, if not fully, expressed by 

Aiza handosiranay 
Afa-tsy ny elatrao ? 

(•Whither shall we flee if not to Thy wings ?') A Malagasy reading 
thèse Unes would naturally read them in rhythm, and, in singing, the 
firm ay and ao fit well to the final long notes of the music. It is neces- 
sary, however, not to use thèse syllables so freely as to spoil the sound 
by an undue number of aos and qys, This danger may be seen in two 
verses of an attempt to render Mr. Keble's hymn, **New every morning 
is the love :" — 

Hirainay fihiram-baovao, Vaovao ny famindramponao, 

Fa nenUnao, ry Tompo ô, Ka saotranay hatao vaovao, 

Natory tsara izahay, Nampianay ny helokay, 

Ka notanjahinao indray. Fa voavelanao indray. 

And unfortunately we hâve very few other firm syllables at the end of 
words. The forms in oa, as sda, iokbay avokda, are monosyllabic enough 
for the purpose ; so are those in qy, as àenoVi ampitomboy, etc. ; and we 
bave a few active verbs with the accent on the ultimate, as manomè and 
mandat and some few primitive roots available, as ra, be,/o ; but a large 
majority of words throw the accent further back, and this points to our 
using mètres with a full foot at the end of the lines, rather than those 
with one long syllable. Take the first two verses of a Christmas carol, 
a translation of the following : — 

Waken! Christian children, Zaza Kristiana, 

Up ! and let us sing Asandratonao 

With glad voice the praises Feo hiderana 

Of our new-born Kmg. Ny Mpanjakanao. 

Up ! 'tis meet to welcome Kristo Tompontsika 
With a joyous lay lo Mpanjaka io. 

Christ, the King of Glory, Teraka ho antsika, 
Born for us to day. Ka mba ifalio. 

Hère the na% in the first verse and the kas in the second are safely 
disposed of on the unaccented notes. This little carol is translated by 
a native, and is very popular in some of our schools. 

A further danger arises from those eminently Malagasy syllables, the 
final kay na, and /ra. It is this : some hymn writers hâve thought it pos- 
sible to eut the a off entirely, making it of no account in the scanning. 
It is possible in cases when the a is followed by a similar vowel, as in the 


spécimen above, **iVb monin{a) aminy^^ where the two a% properly 
coalesce into one syllable ; but it is not possible where, by leaving out 
the vowel, two consonants are brought together which do not combine 
by the laws of the language. I give two instances of this from another 
of our Christmas carols, which is, in spite of thèse blemishes, deservedly 
popular : — 

Koa mba aoka handeha isika, He ! ny mponina ao an-danitra 
Ka hamboa panatitra, No indray miredona ; 

Fo madio sy herintsika, Andriamanitra maka nofo 
Fanajana sy vavaka. Mbamin-tsatan' olona. 

Without entering on other criticism of thèse lines, I would point out 
that a Malagasy cannot pronounce n and s together, so that the words 
'^Fanajan{a) sy vavaka'' are inadmissible. They might, however, be 
written, '*Fanajan-isy vavaka" the / saving the pronunciation and the 
scanning together. But a worse error is to try and eut ofF the final a of 
Andriamanitra^ thus bringing r and m together. The only way to sing 
this is to break the minim which properly belongs to the syllable ma into 
two crotchets, and to sing ma-ni to them ; thus we hâve the next note 
for the syllable ira. But the idéal Malagasy poet of the future will find a 
way to avoid such collocations. 

It may be said that we are setting up too high a standard, a standard 
to which some of the first English hymns do not attain. Undoubtedly 
Bishop Ken fell below it when he wrote : — 

Glory to Thee, my God, this night, 

Und.èr the shadow of Thy wings. 

But thèse hâve been very properly changed in some hymn-books to **A11 
praise," and "Beneath." Mr. Keble again wrote : — 

Sun of my soûl, Thou Saviour dear, 


Abide with me from morn till eve, 

in corresponding stanzas ; but the variation is permissible in poetry 
intended to be read only, and a good musician setting thèse lines to 
music would vary the beat of his tune to suit them, as Dr. Dykes has donc. 
At the bcst we shall probably always hâve to sing many faulty lines 
in Malagasy ; the présent writer only pleads that more persistent efforts 
should be made to give the people training in the rules of poetical and 
musical art. 

On the second point mentioned above, much need not be said. 
The mind of the Malagasy is for the most part against short forms 
of expression. This shows itself in the addrcss of a letter, which 
must always be, *'7b so-and-so, at such a place" {Any. . ao. .), or, as in 
a bill once brought me by my servant, in which every article of his 
marketing had the vvord amidy, to buy, between it and its price, 

thus : — 

Threepence ^o buy fire-wood. 
Three halfpence to buy eggs. 
Sixpence to buy a turkey, etc. 


If anyone sets himself to translate a hymn from the English, Latin, or 
I suppose, German, he will find that he needs many more Unes in Mala- 
gasy, if he intends to give the full sensé. Thus we hâve a very beautiful 
translation of Bonar*s verses, **I heard the voice of Jésus say," but the 
three verses of the original hâve become six. The antidote seems to 
be : first, for intending hymn writers to choose very simple ideas and 
not try to express much in one hymn ; and next, for the people to be 
taught that a language must modify itself in poetry, and that the full 
complément of articles and conjunctions is not absolutely necessary for 
understanding what is meant. 

Tuming from the question of words to be sung to that of the 
music to which they are to be sung, I should be wanting in the courage 
of my convictions if I did not express myself emphatically against what 
is generally called *Malagasy singing,' as distinct from that introduced 
from Europe. There is no doubt that native congrégations can join 
very heartily in the whinings and howlings which are called by that 
name, and that they find it very hard to get into any European method 
of singing. Nevertheless my view is that in the interests of advance- 
ment, and, I would add, for the glory of God in the sanctuary, it must 
be superseded. Do not lower an art which has been slowly perfected 
from the days of Palestrina and Purcell to those of Handel and Mendels- 
sohn, to please the unformed tastes of a nation who only need some 
years of patient teaching to become a musical people indeed. A Mala- 
gasy child first leaming arithmetic naturally writes his figures from left 
to right, beginning with the digits on the left hand, then the tens to the 
right of them, etc. ; but no teacher of arithmetic has been bold enough 
to say that the recognized European method of that science should be 
modified to suit the Malagasy. To take another illustration : in music 
itself there is some unpleasant dnidgery to be gone through before 
proficiency is acquired. "Don't give the child those crude scales to 
practise hour after hour. Let him pick out pretty tunes in his own way ;" 
that is, in the way which a vénérable friend of mine calls, "flopping on 
the harmonium.** Very well, let the child **flop*' by ail means, but he 
will never become a musician or hold his own in compétition with his 
fellows. I would désire to be at one with the best and wisest mission- 
aries who hâve worked hère, in consulting native taste and honouring 
native observance in every possible way, but I should cease to deserve 
the name of a teacher if I rested content with *Malagasy singing.* In 
the matter of church hymns I would encourage the use of a certain 
number of what are called *popular melodies,**as those from Mr. Sankey*s 
book, or The Crown of Jésus music, but I would endeavour also 
to introduce some of a more solidly musical character, as those by 
Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, Crotch, and down to that prince of hymn-tune 
writers in our own génération, Dr. J. B. Dykes. And through hymn- 
tunes I w^ould endeavour to guide the national taste on to higher fields, 
hoping that some of us may live to hear **The Messiah** or **St. Paul*^ 
well and religiously rendered in Antanànarîvo. 

There is another maUer to which I will alhide, as having a possible 
bearing on the future musical history of this nation. An éloquent writer 


bas said that a cathedral may be called **a shrine for the Book of 
Psalms/' for in Ihe cathedral, those noblest of ail hymns are rendered to 
melodious music, without omission and without cessation, month after 
month through the centuries. Perhaps many who read this paper will 
recall passing visits to Westminster or St. Paurs, or York or Exeter, and 
how, while the other music was grander, it was yet the chanting of the 
Psalms that especially refreshed their spirits and raised up their thoughts 
heavenwards. Surely to give such an opportunity to the Malagasy 
is an undertaking which may win the sympathy of ail, even though their 
own conception of missionary work or of elevating influences may be a 
very différent one. Such an opportunity it is hoped will be given in the 
stone church now rising in the midst of this city, on the north of Ando- 
hàlo. The Church of England having come late into the mission-field 
of Madagascar, it may very properly be felt that her chief énergies 
sbould be given to the more distant and unchristianized parts of the 
island, but hère in the mother city must be her représentative head- 
quarters and mother church ; and it may be that in future days, when 
history is written, this praise will be hers : that she translated for the 
people such ancient hymns (the property of ail Christians) as the "Te 
Deum laudamus,"* and that she especially taught the people to see in 
the chanted strains of the Psalter their King suffering, rising, exalted. 
Such a witness she might well bear, not to those few alone who claira 
her membership, but to ail who own the name of Christ. In prépara- 
tion for such a work the Psalter is already arranged for chanting, and 
is set, for the most part, to single 'Anglican* chants of the ancient and 
modem schools ; and many of the Psalms, as they recur in monthly 
course, are already sung in the temporary church. Is it a very distant 
idéal which fancies them really well rendered to organ accompaniment 
every day, and frequently listened to or joined in by many outside the 
bounds of the Anglican Mission ? Is it a vain thought to hope to raise 
and elevate the Malagasy nation by such a means (among others), 
when one considers what a blessing church music of a high tone bas 
been to many in England ? 

**How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ?" We can do 
it, and gladly, if we are helping in any measure to teach it to others who 
are **no longer strangers," but "fellow citizens" with ourselves. And if 
there are some hère who long to visit England again, that they may hear 

** once more in collège fanes 

The storm iheir high-built organs niake. 
And thunder music, rolling, shake 
The prophets blazoned on the panes,*' 

they may quench their thirst for church music by striving in their 
measure to make the natives hère partakers in its mystic thrilling power. 

A. M. Hewlett. 

• It may be remarked that the **Te Deum," translated into Malagaiy, was set to music 
scvcral years ago by Mr. W. Pool and published in a small book of Anthems issued in 1873. 
Also that the sublime hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus" was translated by Rev. W. E. Cousins, 
and is to be found as No. 17 in the hymn-book used by the L.M.S. and F. F. M. A. coagregi- 
tioni in Madagascar.— £ds. 




IN a previous paper, I had the honour of laying before the 
Academy* an outline of the hydrography of Madagascar, 
and of shewing that the watershed of the country, instead of 
dividing the island into two nearly equal portions, as was for- 
merly thought to be the case, is situated much nearer the 
eastem than it is to the ^^estern coast. This division of the 
island into two river basins of unequal size arises from the 
position of the mountains, which, almost bathing their feet in 
the Indian Océan on their eastern side, rise gradually by a 
séries of slopes to a considérable height ; while on their western 
sides, their gênerai descent is less abrupt, and a vast plain 
séparâtes the central mass from the sea. 

The rivers also which water the eastem région hâve a much 
short er course than those which flow towards the west. They 
exist in considérable numbers, but their volume is small during 
a great part of the year, because, descending by very steep 
gradients, they only receive small tributory streams. * Issuing 
from the mountains, they find a narrow plain against which 
the currents of the Indian Océan impinge with violence; thèse 
currents conslantly tending to close up the outlets of the rivers 
with sand. And because the volume of water which they 
usually bring down is not large, the greater number of them 
are unable to open a direct passage into the sea. If, after a 
considérable flood, they sometimes force open the bar of sand 
which daily accumulâtes, and which the océan currents maintain 
undiminished, the opening thus temporarily cleared is quickly 
re-formed as soon as the river floods decrease. 

It follows therefore that thèse rivers not often having, at least 
between the i2th and the 23rd parallels, a direct and permanent 
outlet, attain a size and development in the plain which 
deceives one as to their true importance. From this cause also 
they send out, parallel to the coast, both to north and south, 
branches which, sometimes narrow, sometimes broad, foUowing 
the level and the configuration of the ground, hâve usually a 
considérable length, and which, uniting with several others, 
discharge their waters into the sea by a common outlet, often 
situated at a great distance from the différent streams which 
contribute to it. 

* The Paris 'Académie des Sciences/ 


^^Siitts it cornes to pass that thèse channels are found in every 
pscuMfthe eastern coast of Madagascar which is exposed to 
the great Indian Océan current, from i6°52' of south latitude 
as far as 22°2^\ From i6'*52' to i8°i3', however, they are at a 
considérable distance from each other ; and it is only between 
the mouth of the Ivôndrona and that of the Màtitànana that 
they become suffi ciently numerous and near together to be 
utilized for coast navigation. Between thèse two ri vers, along a 
total extent of 485 kilomètres [301 miles], there are twenty-two 
channels or lagoons, formed by more than fifty différent 

Thèse channels are of very varying dimensions : in some 
places they are so narrow that a canoë can with difficulty pass 
along, while in other places they widen out to from 200 to 300 
mètres [220 to 330 yards] in breadth; and wherever any 
dépression of the surface exists they become lakes, which are 
sometimes miles in length, and of which the most important 
and best known are Nôsivè, Andrànokôditra, Ras6amasay and 
Rasôabè, Fènoarlvo, Ràngazàva, and Itampôlo. They are 
sometimes separated from the sea only by a simple belt of 
sand a few yards in breadth, sometimes by a grassy plain 
more or less covered with trees and shrubs, which measures 
several hundred yards, occasionally even several miles, in width. 
They are not, however, ail navigable, at least at ail times of the 
year, for in the dry season they contain more mud than water ; 
still, such as nature has made them, they are very usefiil and do 
much to facilitate communication and the transport of goods 
along this inhospitable coast, where lighterage is impracticable 
from the violent currents and from the heavy surf which almost 
constantly prevails, and where, besides, there are neither ports 
nor anchorages where vessels can take shelter. We ought, 
however, to say, that this natural canal, so commodious in every 
respect, has its inconveniences from a sanitary point of view, 
for it renders the eastern plain a very hotbed of fever. 

The one and twenty isthmuses which separate thèse channels, 
the ampanalàiia^ as the Malagasy call them— because they are 
obliged to take their canoës out of the water and drag them 
along the land to the next channel — hâve a total length of 46 
kilomètres [28^^ miles], about one eleventh part of the whole 
distance; some of thèse measure only a few hundred yards, 
others are as much as from two to three kilomètres, and one oif 
them is eight kilomètres [nearly five miles], across. 

It was interesting from a geographical point of view to make 
a detailed survey of thèse channels and lagoons, for nowhere 
else, as far as my knowledge goes, can there be found so long 


and important a chain as this. This survey, which I 
with care by the azimuth compass, and which is verifiecklTf'^^ 
eighteen astronomical observations,* is reproduced to a scale of 
I — 145,000 on the map which I am now completing. 

On comparing this map with those which hâve previously 
appeared up to the présent day, especially with the chart of 
the English Admiralty, one sees the considérable différence 
which exists between the former outlines, which are altogether 
imaginary, and those which are the resuit of my labours. In 
fact, in place of lakes ofgreat size scattered hap-hazard ail along 
the eastern coast, often at a considérable distance from the sea, 
and represented as without any communication with each other, 
this map shows, as I hâve said, narrow channels, almost conti- 
nuous, which follow the shore closely, and which do not become 
wide except occasionally. The greater part of the towns and 
villages which are hère marked hâve been shewn by me for the 
first time ; and I hâve also rectified the position of localities 
shewn on previous maps, which places, except four,t were 
erroneously marked to the amount of from 15 to 20 kilomètres 
or more; for in one case, that of the Matitanana, the error was 
as much as 28', that is, about 51^ kilomètres! [32 miles.] Thèse 
errors of position with regard to the mouths oi important rivers 
and of towns frequented by Créole traders for commercial 
purposes, hâve often, in the case of captains of ships, been the 
cause of delays which are most prejudical to the interesls of 
their owners. 

Alfred Grandidier. 

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTE. — The above article has'been trans- 
lated from the French original, a paper contributed to the 
Comptes Rendus des Séances de F Académie des Sciences of Paris, 
March 16, 1885, a copy of which was ohligingly sent to me a 
few months ago by the author. A few additional particulars 
may be hère given as to this remarkable chain of lagoons on 
the east coast of Madagascar. The "English tourist" referred to 
by M. Grandidier in a foot-note was Captain W. Rooke, R.A., 
who, in the months of April and May, 1864, explored the 
greater portion of thèse lagoons in a boat specially constructed 
for the purpose at Mauritius. Capt. Rooke was accompanied 

♦ This survey cxtcnds along^ ail the coast compriscd between the raouth of the Sôamiânina 
(lat. S. 16^52*15') and that of the Màtitànana (lat. 22"24*i5''), with the exception of the part 
situated between Andôvorânto (lat. 18*58') and Mâhanôro (lat. I9''54'ï3")» a little over 550 
kilomètres. An English tourist traverscd in 1864 a part of the channels and lagoons of the east 
coast, but his account givcs no exact information upon this very interesting subject. 

f Andovoranto, Mahanoro, Mahela, and Mananjara. 


by three other gentlemen ; and leaving Tamatave on the 24th 
of April, they reached Màsindrâno, at the mouth of the river 
Mànanjàra, on the 29th of May. Capt. Rooke appears to hâve 
taken no instruments for the scientific mapping of the <)ountry 
he traversed, but he carefuUy noted the succession of channels, 
lagoons and lakes, full particulars of which are given in his 
paper entitled, "Boat Voyage along the East Coast Lakes of 
Madagascar" [Proc, Roy, Geogr, Soc,, Dec. 1865). Capt. Rooke's 
estimate of the proportion of land portage to water-way along 
the coast was a little less than one-tenth of the whole distance ; 
he says that "in no case had the boat to be carried more than 
six miles from one lake to another ; and frequently, to effect a 
junction between two of the lakes, it would only be necessary 
to enlarge a small water-course forming a connection between 
them." It is évident that with a comparatively small expendi- 
ture a continuons and commodious water-way might be made 
along 300 miles of coast, Connecting the principal ports on this 
side of the island, and giving a great impetus to trade. By 
cutting less than 30 miles of canal, Iv6ndrona, a little south 
of Tamatave, might be connected with Andôvorànto, Vàtomàn- 
dry, Màhanôro, Mahèla, Ambàhy, Màsindràno and many other 
less important places, as well as with the interior up to the foot 
of the upper plateau. More than 50 years ago, during the reign 
of the first Radàma, this great work was actually commenoed ; 
and a large number of men were gathered together to make the 
necessary cuttings to join the lagoons ; but the death of that 
sagacious sovereign put an end to the work. It may be hoped 
that the présent Government may feel itself able at no very 
distant date to recommence this undertaking. A great increase 
of trade and prosperity along the eastern side of the island 
would certainly resuit from the compilation of this *East Coast 
Canal.' It need only be added that some of the most beautiful 
scenery in Madagascar is to be found along the shore where thèse 
lakes and lagoons occur. The belt of land between them and 
the sea is covered with the freshest turf, and clumps of trees and 
shrubs scattered over the surface make it appear almost like an 
English park. On one side are the glassy waters of the lake, 
often spreading away for a mile or two to the west, with the 
blue ranges of the interior as a background ; while on the other 
side are the magnificent waves of the Indian Océan, with their 
ceaseless roar ; and, further out to sea, is the almost uninter- 
rupted coral reef, crested with foam, as the great rollers dash 
themselves into spray. 

James Sibree, Jun. (Ed.) 



COULD the readers of the Annual hâve been introduced about 
mid-day on Wednesday, October aSth of last year, into the 
Committee-room of the London Missionary Society, which forms part 
of the great block of Collège buildings that are now such a conspicuous 
object on the Fàravôhitra hill, in Antanânarfvo, they would hâve seen, 
seated round a long office table, seven £uropean missionaries and two 
native pastors. At the head of the table is seated the chairman, the 
writer of the présent paper; on his right are the Rev. L. Dahle, 
superintendent of the Norwegian Mission, Mr. H. E. Clark, of the 
Friends' Mission, and the Rev. T. T. Matthews, of the London Mission ; 
on his left are seated the Revs. W. Montgoraery and R. Baron, F.L.S., 
of the London Mission, and Bishop Kestell-Cornish, of the Anglican 
Mission ; while opposite the chairman are Joseph Andrîanaivoravélona 
aiid Andrianôny, both of them college-trained raen of good ability and 
large expérience. On the table are scattered books and papers, such as 
Polyglot Bibles, concordances, dictionaries, commentaries, and printers' 
proofs. The Committee met at half-past eight, and after a short prayer 
for help began its morning's work— viz. the Book of Malachi. The 
work has gone on steadily for nearly four hours, and now the solemn 
and awe-inspiring words that form the last paragraph of the Old Testa- 
ment are reached, and the first revision of the Malagasy Bible is 
complète. Books are closed with a sigh of relief, and ail faces are 
brightened by the consciousness that a great work has been accomplished. 

Twelve years before this the Revision Committee began its work ; but 
of the original members* who took part in the work of the first session, 
only three are présent this morning— viz. the chairman, the Rev. L. 
Dahle, and Pastor Joseph Andrianaivoravelona. At the suggestion of 
Mr. Dahle, ail kneel round the table, and, with the revised version lying 
before them, unité in a few words of earnest and joyful" thanks to God, 
and commend to Him the work upon which the labour of so many years 
has been spent, beseeching Him to make this new translation a stream 
of life and blessing to the Malagasy people. 

But whv has such a laborious task been undertaken ? Did not David 
Jones and David Griffiths complète the translation of the Scriptures into 
the Malagasy language before the outbreak of the persécution ? And did 
not their version, read in secret and at risk of liberty or life, sustain the 
faith of the little flock in Madagascar during a quarter of a centur}^ of 
repression and persécution ? Yes, to the eternal honour of thèse two 
missionaries, and their coileagues, Johns and Freeman, who helped in 
the later stages of the work, be it said that. notwithstanding the multi- 
farious duties devolving upon them, they did succeed in thus laying the 
Foundation of Bible translation in the Malagasy language. David Jones 

* Présent at first Session, December ist — içjth, 1873 : Dr. Miillens, Rev. T. Pillans, visiter-, 
in Whaif of B. and F.B.S. ; Rev. W. E. Cousins, Principal Reviser, B. & F.B.S. ; Revs. R. 
roy, J. Sibrec, and G. Cousins, L.M.S. ; Revs. L. Dahle and M. Borgen, N.M.S. ; Mr. J. S. 
Sewell, F.F.M.A. ; Rainimànga, Andrianaivoravelona, and Andrîambelo, native helpers. 


reached Antananarivo in October, 1820, and David Griffiths in May of 
the following year. Bytheyear 1824 they had made a fair start with 
their translation work, and by March, 1830, an édition of 3,000 copies of 
the New Testament was issued. Five years later (June, 1835) the Old 
Testament was completed, and the first édition was printed at the Mission 
Press in Antananarivo. Ail honour, then, to the two Welshmen who, 
by their noble work, hâve laid ail future générations of Malagasy under 
the deepest obligation. But our work of revision was none the less 
necessary, because we delight to think of the good foundation laid by 
our honoured predecessors. The expérience of Madagascar has been in 
no sensé exceptional. The work of even such men as William Carey 
and Henry Martyn has not met ail the wants of those for whose benefit 
it was undertaken. And so, in Madagascar, expérience showed that 
much might be done to render the translation more accurate and 
idiomatic. Indeed, in ail translation work, even success is but an 
approximation to perfection, and no tianslators, or bodies of translators, 
can claim finality for their versions. The présent Revision Committee in 
Madagascar, though they hope, as the resuit ofthirteen or fourteen years' 
work, to présent to the Malagasy Christians a translation which ail will 
acknowledge to be a great advance on what has gone before it, quite an- 
ticipate that some future génération of foreign or, perhaps, native schol- 
ars, may be able still further to revise and improve their présent work. 

Without entering into minute and wearisome détails as to earlier 
movements in the direction of Bible revision, let me state briefly the 
origin, constitution, and work of the présent Committee of Revisers. In 
the early part of the year 1872 it happened that there were présent in An- 
tananarivo représentatives of ail the Protestant societies having agencies 
in Madagascar, and the need of some united action was felt. The Bible 
would be used in ail thèse Missions alike, and naturally ail felt a désire 
to see the work of revision undertaken by a board that would fully and 
fairly represent the différent interests involved. A conférence was held 
on April 3rd, 1872, and, as a resuit of its délibérations, a formai appli- 
cation was made to the British and Foreign Bible Society to grant its 
sanction and help to the important work contemplated. The main 
features of the plan suggested to the Bible Society were : (i) theappoint- 
ment of the présent writer to the post of 'Principal Reviser,' to prépare 
a preliminary version, to préside at the meetings of the Committee, 
and to superintend the printing of its version ; (2) the appoint- 
ment of a représentative committee composed of missionaries of ail the 
Protestant societies in the following proportions : the London Mission- 
ary Society, three ; the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, one ; 
the Church Missionary Society, one ; the Norwegian Missionary Society, 
two ; the Friends' Foreign Mission Association, one. 

The British and Foreign Bible Society promptly and generously agreed 
to this joint proposai, and undertook the whole pecuniary responsibility 
involved — that is to say : (i) the payment of the salary of the principal 
reviser; (2) travelling expenses of the delegates ; (3) the cost of native 
assistance ; (4) the purchase of critical booksand stationery ; and (5) the 
printing of the proofs. 


The consent of the Bible Society having been obtained, the next step 
was the appointment of delegates. As soon as thèse had been appointed, 
a preliminary meeting was held on July 24th, 1873, at the house of Mr. 
W. Johnson, of the F.F.M.A., who had acted as secretary to the confé- 
rence. At this meeting several preliminary questions were discussed, 
and it was resolved that, instead of entering at once upon the gênerai 
work, a tentative revision of a few selected chapters (viz. Gen. i. — iv. ; 
Ex. i., ii., XX.; Psa. i. — v. ; Matt. v. — vii.) shoûld be made by the 
principal reviser, and that a session should be held for the purpose of 
discussing thèse portions and of ascertaining more in détail than could 
be done in gênerai conversation how far the delegates were united in 
judgment as to the extent and character of the changes required. This 
plan, it was hoped, would simplify the work of the principal reviser, and 
give to his future labours greater definiteness and précision. This first 
session was held in December, 1873. Daily sittings of five or six hours 
were held for about three weeks. and the following portions were revised : 
Gen. i. — iii. ; Ex. xx. 1-17 ; Psa. i., ii. ; Mât. v. 1-22 ; vi. 9-13 (in ail, 
142 verses, or on an average about twelve verses per day). 

The gênerai work of revision on the lines laid down was nowproceeded 
with, and, as will be seen from the foregoing description, comprised two 
distinct departments— -viz. (i) the préparation of the preliminary version 
which was to form the basis of the work, and 12) the revision and im- 
provement of this version by the united action of the Committee. 

Of the préparation of the preliminary version the following is a brief 
description written soon after its completion on September i2th, 1884: — 

"The last proof (Old Testament, No. 220, containing Zech. xi. 9 — Mal. iii» 
24) was finished on September I2th. This work of preliminary revision was 
begun in October, 1873, and has thus stretched over a space of eleven years. 
Itdid not, however, take the whole of this time ; but deducting my absence 
on furlough (1876 -1878), and the time spent in 1880 and 1881 in preparing 
'copy* of the unrevised portions for use in the 'Intérim Edition,' I think about 
eight years was the time actually spent on it. But it should be remembered 
that during the whole of this time about two days a week were taken up with 
the ordinary work of the Revision Committee. 

"This tentative version has been prepared in a séries of 'Principal Reviser*s 
Proofs.' Thèse proofs were octavo in size, printed in clear type, with a wide 
margin for notes. Most of them contained eight pages, but a few extended 
to ten or twelve. The average number of verses in a proof was about no. 
Two hundred and eightyfour proofs hâve been printed -viz. 64 of the New 
Testament and 220 of the Old Testament. The original arrangement was 
that three Old Testament proofs should be prepared for each one of the New 
Testament, and, at first, this plan was in the main foUowed. But after a 
time it was deemed désirable to proceed at once with the remaining books of 
the New Testament, and from July, 1880, to November, 1881, the Old Testa- 
ment work was suspended, and the revision of the remaining books of the 
New Testament — viz. Acts to Révélation - was completed. 

•*My plan of working in preparing thèse proofs was to take a page of the 
Malagasy Bible pasted on a sheet of paper for notes, and compare this word 
For word with the original, using the best critical aids in my possession, and 
îndeavounng, in the first instance, to make the translation as literal as 
possible. Every point that appeared doubtful I marked with a (?), and at 
he end of the week I went ihrough thèse doubtful passages with my native 


helper, Ralaiàrivôny. At the beginning, I had two natives to help me in thjs i 
kind of wurk— viz., Ralaiàrivôny and Andriamamànga. Both of ihese ^ 
belonged to the caste of andrtana (or nobles). They had net enjoyed any -^ 
«pecial training, but were men of good gênerai ability, and of very correct * 
taste in matters affecting their own language ; and as I wanted help chiefly | 
in questions of idiom and taste, I do not think I could hâve made a betier î 
choice. During my absence in England Andriamamànga died, but Ralaiari* I 
vony has continued to work wilh me week by week to the end, and great \ 
praise is due to him for his patient care and good taste. In the earlier part 
of the work, it usually took us several hours to go through the passages I bad , 
marked thus (?) ; but as we advanced, and more points had been settled, and ; 
as I myself grew more accustomed to the work, this time was gradually les- \ 
sened, until in the last portions we spent not more than an hour, or an hour 
and a half, in discussing the doubtful points that had arisen out of a week's 
work. Friday morning has for some years been the time usually devoted to 
this work, and the remaining hours of the day were generally spent in prepar- 
ing clean copy for the printer. 

"In looking back over the eleven years that hâve slipped away since I put 
my hand to this revision work. I hâve great reason to thank Gnd for the 
enjoyment of health and strength. With very slight interruptions, I hâve 
been able to keep steadily at my work from week to week. During the middle 
portion of the work I often fcll weary, andalmost afraid I could not ktep on 
tili the end ; but, on the whole, what I hâve done has been a labour of love 
and a source of much delight and instruction to myself. The work has growo 
upon us ail, and we hâve found the Malagasy language much richer than we 
had imaeined it to be, and capable of expressing many distinctions and 
shades of meaning we had supposed to lie beyond its range. Many more 
changes hâve been made than 1 originally thought wouldbe necessary ; butwe 
'hâve felt unwilling to leave anything that could by pains and care be brought 
nearer the original. My version has been very largely modifîed and greatly 
improved by the Coramittee ; but 1 think it may be consideredlohave form»d 
a useful basis for the united work, and to hâve facilitaied the progrt:bS of the 


The work of the Committee has been from thèse preliminary proofs to 
build up what we earnestly hope will become a 'standard version,* which 
shall be received with confidence by ail Protestants in Madagascar, and 
round which, as the years pass, shall gather sacred associations and loving 
révérence. At first the Committee held continuons sessions of several 
weeks each twice a year. But at the close of the third session a change 
of plan was introduced, and instead of holding sessions of several weeks' 
duration, the Committee agreed to sit one day per week, with an 
occasional session of a week or a fortnight, when arrears of work should 
render this necessary. Thèse weekly meetings were begun Februar) 
2nd, 1875, and were continued vvithout serious interruption till March 
7th, 1876, by which time the Committee had revised as far as Exodus in 
the Old Testament, and to the end of Matthew in the New Testament. 
Owing to the fact that the principal reviser was about to leave for 
England on furlough, the work was then suspended. 

As soon as possible after his return in 1878, the weekly meetings were 
resumed, and from November i4th, 1878, to October 28th, 1885. they 
were continued with a reasonable amount of regularity, and occasional 
continuous sessions were held at not unfrequent intervais. The rate of 
progress naturally varied much according to the character of the portion 


under revision. In some of the earlier meetings of ihe Committee not 
more than ten or twelve verses vvere revised in a whole day. The largest 
quantity revised in a single day vvas 309 verses, but this is easily accounted 
for by the character of the portion revised (2 Kings xxv. 2 — i Chron. vi. 
66). From sixty to a hundred verses was an average day*s work. 

Our plan was to ineet at 8.30 a.m., and work three hours in the 
moming and three in the afternoon. The day's meeting was opened 
with a brief prayer, and we then proceeded to revise the portion for 
considération verse by verse. We had with us usually three native 
belpers. The Committee sat on 433 days, and held in ail 771 sittings, 
chiefly of three hours each. The work has been laborious and has been 
a heavy tax on our patience ; but I think I may truly say we hâve 
attained a fair standard of exactness and thoroughness. The Rev. L. 
Dahie, of the Norwegian Mission, has been able to render the Committee 
most valuable help, especially from his full and exact knowledge of 
Hebrew and the cognate languages. In this department he has been 
facilt prinaps^ and the translation owes very much to his untiring care 
antl keenness of critical insight. But every member of the Committee 
has in his own order contributed to the final resuit, and the actual 
language employed is not the choice of any individual, but is the resuit 
ofcombined thought and discussion. Many of the happiest and most 
apt phrases the version contains hâve sprung unexpectedly to light in 
the midst of our discussions, and hâve at once commended themselves 
to our judgment. As a rule the wishes of the native helpers (within 
certain well-defined limits, which as faithful translators we felt bound to 
mainiain) hâve been followed as to the actual form of the sentences, 
and even as to the choice of words ; and hundreds of small changes hâve 
been made, which no foreigner would hâve thought necessary, and of 
which few would see the reason, purelyoutof déférence to native opinion. 
1 think every member of the Committee would heartily confess our 
obligations to our native brethren. We ourselves hâve learned much, 
especially as to the possibility of misunderstanding phrases that seemed 
to us quite clear, and as to undesirable associations lurking in unsus- 
pected quarters. We hâve again and again been taught the danger of 
undue literalism, and hâve found what numberless pitfalls lie in the path 
of one who is dealing with a language not his own. Certainly a greater 
humility in estimating our own proficiency in the language should be 
one of the fruits of our long-continued work. No amount of familiarity 
with it seems to give us quite the instinct and taste of a native ; and we 
hâve been saved from many an ambiguity and from not a few absurdities 
by the keener perceptions of our native co-workers. Malagasy transla- 
tions of ihe Bible contain certain often-cited instances of the absurdities 
into which a translator may, alas ! too easily fall. We hâve, for instance, 
a translation of Gen. iii. 13, which at any rate suggests the thought that 
the woman swallowed the serpent. So, too, from taking the common 
préposition amy to niean wiih, which in some combinations it may do, 
we hâve a translation of Gen. xxiv. 15, which says that Rachel came 
forth from her pitcher. In John ix. i, one translation speaks of a man 
who had been blind from tlie time of his begetting a child ^nikrdhany 


for nahateràhany). And in Acts xii. 7, the angel is represented as being 
more violent than we should think probable, as it is said that he kicked 
Peter's side I If we hâve been delivered from such serious misrepresen- 
tations (as I hope we bave been, though I am by no means sure an 
ingenious native might not press out of some of our phrases an undesir- 
able meaning), we certainly owe this very much to the care, quick per- 
ception, and patience of thèse native helpers. 

As to the gênerai character of our revision, I could not, of course, 
speak without partiality, as my whole time and thought hâve been absorbed 
in it for ten or eleven years. But I can say that our version is a bonâfide 
attempt to represent faithfuUy the original Hebrew and Greek texts. While, 
however, we hâve endeavoured to be faithful translators, we hâve aimed 
not raerely at fidelity to the words, but to the thoughts. There is a false 
literalism that destroys utterly the claim of the translation to be a faithful 
représentation of the mind of writer. Our aim has been to steer between 
the Scylla of a mechanical literalism and the Char}'bdis of an over-free 
paraphrase. We bave also kept before us constantly the fact that our 
version is being made for popular use, and we bave tried to make the 
language as clear, intelligible, and euphonious as possible. With the 
valuable help of the natives we hope to produce a version that from 
its simplicity and purity of style, and its fidelity to the idioms of the 
language, shall be received with pleasure, and shall exercise an elevating 
and purifying influence on the literature of the future. 

The remaining months we intend to spend on our work will be 
devoted to the gênerai simplification and improvement of style from a 
native point of view. In order to finish the work by the middle of next year, 
and to prevent the necessity of handing it on unfinished to what— as so 
many members are leaving next year - would virtually be a new Commit- 
tee, this second revision has been mainly left to myself and the three 
native brethren, the Committee exercising gênerai supervision and hold- 
ing meetings once in two months to décide on difficult and doubtful 
points. I fear our task, as even thus simplified, will not be completed 
in less than sixty or seventy sittings of six hours each ; but the efl*ect of 
this final revision will certainly be to render the style smoother, and to 
make it generally more acceptable to the native ear. The task is a very 
tedious one, but I think the resuit will amply repay us for our labour. 

The fruits of our long-continued toil are yet to appear. Some portions 
of our translation — Pentateuch, Psalms, New Testament — in its first and 
incomplète form, bave already appeared in the 'Intérim Edition' (1882), 
and in the small édition of the New Testament (1883^ On the whole, 
their réception has been favourable, and we are encouraged to believe we 
bave done much to make the Bible more intelligible. But the final form 
of our translation will, especially in the earlier books, be a great improve- 
ment on those portions. 

For the workers themselves, I can certainly say the toil has been a 
source of spiritual profit and enlarged knowledge. But beyond this 
there has been a most clear and manifest gain in bringing thus to a 
common work missionaries of various societies, with diftering tastes and 
convictions. The editorial superintendent of the Bible Society, at the 


inning of the work, expressed the wish of our English friends in the 
)wing words : **That no différence of opinion or policy in other 
ters may hinder the harmonious proceeding of the présent work. It 
ird indeed for men to co-operate when they feel that there is a 
erial différence between them ; but this Bible revision is a blessed 
Drtunity for exhibiting to the island the unity of faith in the Scrip- 
s as the authoritative déclaration of God*s will." And now, as we 
• the close of our work and look back upon its progress, we see how 
' this wish has been fulfîlled. I may be allowed to quote hère a few 
ds from Bishop Kestell-Cornish's letter a few months since, informing 
:hat he was about to leave the island, and could no longer join with 
1 the work. He says : **I think it may be said without irrévérence 
our work together has illustrated the truth of the evangelical 
nise, that by The Voice the valleys shall be exalted, the hills brought 
, the crooked made straight, and the rough places plain. And can 
joubt that the resuit of onr work, in which, nowever, I hâve borne 
humblest share, will be a wider révélation of the glory of the Lord ?" 

William E. Cousins. 


Lut of Memàers of the Revision Committu, 


Rev. William E. Cousins 

Robert Toy 

James Sibree 





George Cousins 

Honry Maundrell 

Alfred Cliiswell 

,, Lars Dahle 

,, Martin Borgen 

Mr. Joseph S. Sewell 

Rev. R. T. Batchelor 

,, Benjamin Briggs 

Mr. Louis Street 

Rev. Francis A. Gregory, 

Mr. Samuel Clemes 

Rev. Charles Jukes 

,, Harry W . Grrainge 

., Alfred Smith 

Bishop Kcstell-Comish, D.D. 

Mr. Hcnr>'E. Clark 

Rev. Richard Baron 

William Montgomery ., 
Thomas T. Matthews .. 

Society. ;First attendance. 

B. & F.B.S. 
L. M. S. 
L. M. S. 

L. M. S. 

C. M. S. 

S. P. G. 


N. M. S. 
F. F. M. A. 

S. P. G. 

L. M. S. 
F. F. M. A. 

S. P. G. 
F. F. M. A. 

L. M. S. 

L. M. S. 

S. P. G. 

S. P. G. 
F. F. M. A 

L. M S. 

L. M. S. 

L. M. S. 

, uly 21. 73 
, uly 21. 73 
, uly II. 73 
July 21. 73 
Oct. 28. 78 
Nevcr attended 
Never attended 
July 21. 73 
, uly 21. 73 
Tuly 21. 73 
May II. 74 
Nov. 16. 74 
Feb. 2. 75 

June 22. 75 
Oct. 28. 78 
Nov. 14. 78 
Nov. 14. 78 
June 24. 79 
Aug. 10. 81 
Nov. 23. 81 
July 19. 82 
Aug. 16. 82 
Jan. 17. 83 

Last do. 

Oct. 28. 78 
Mar, 7. 76 
June 5. 74 
Aug. 23. 82 

Feb. 22. 82 
Dec. II, 74 
Mar. 9. 75 
Mar. 7. 76 
Mar. 7. 76 

May 8. 79 
Nov. 2. 81 
Aug. 2. 82 
May 3. 82 
Oct. 13. 80 











TE. — The date of issue of each division of the revised version of the Bible is given at 
of Mr. Sibr 'c's Madagascar Bibliography, 



THE Rev. W. E. Cousins says, on p. 58 of his Concise Introduction to 
the Study 0/ the Malagasy Language, that "variety of opinion has 
always existed as to the correct way of writing this prefix. With many 
words it is united, as in Ilàfy, Ikôtobè. Père Webergives three ways(Z?/f. 
Mal.'Fran,, p. 329 ; Gram., p. 2 1 7) : — ( i ) Ny zànaky ijoàry; (2) Ny zanaky 
Joary ; (3) Ny zanak* i Joary ; to thèse may be added a fourth : (4) Ny 
zanak* Ijoary, This last seems the more correct." Four other ways of 
writing it may also be added: (5) Ny zanak' ijoary; (6) Ny zanak 
Ijoary; (7) Ny zanak' I Joary ; and (8) Ny zanaky Ijoary. Of thèse 
various ways, the second, which is the least correct of ail, is the one now 
in use. I say **least correct," because the personal article, while it 
distinctly appears in Nos. i, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, becomes in (2) identical 
with a form which expresses the possessive. 

But it is when the personal article is incorporated in the suffix -ny 
(which is very frequently the case\ that the greatest objection to it arises. 
Frequently it gives a meaning quite the contrary of what is intended. 
Take the sentence : ''Nanao izany izy, ka niteny taminy Paoly nanao hoer 
This, it is évident, may mean either : {a) "He did that, and said to 
Paul," or, (^) **He did that, and Paul said to him." Sentences that 
hâve come up occasionally in the Bible Revision Committee hâve been 
altered simply to avoid confusion in this particular ; others, however, 
hâve escaped notice, thus i Chron. xx. 7 [first revision] runs thus : '^Ary 
nihaika ny Isiraely izy^ ka matiny Jonatana, zanaky Simea^ rahalahiny Davi- 
day Hère it does not appear whether the lehilahy vaventy mentioned in the 
previous verse was killed by Jonathan, or Jonathan by the lehilahy vaventy. 
Again, in the first chapter of i Kings there are the two following pas- 
sages : ver. 38, *'Dia nidina Zadoka mpisorona , dia nampitaingina 

any Solomona ny ampondravaviny Davida mpanjaka^ This, it is évident, 
may mean {a) that Zadok caused Solomon to ride on David's ass ; or (^} 
that David caused Solomon to ride on his own (Solomon's) ass; or \c) 
that David caused Solomon to ride on David's ass. In verse 53 we hâve : 
^''Ary avy izy, dia niankohoka teo anatrehany Solomona mpanjaka^^ This 
may mean either (a ^ that Adonijah bowed himself to Solomon; or (^) 
that Solomon bowed himself to Adonijah. Many more such passages of 
uncertain signification doubtless occur in the revised version of the 
Scriptures and in other publications. It may of course be said with 
truth that the meaning of the -ny in such passages as the above could in 
most cases be gathered from the context ; but is not that in itself aproof 
that the words themselves are not a faithful transcript of the thoughtthey 
are intended to convey } 

I hâve said above that the second form Ny zanaky Joary) is the one 
now in use, but as a matter of fact even this is not consistently followed 
out. We see, for instance, novorin' Ilehidama, and novoriny Lehidama. 
In the Report of the Annual Meeting of the Bètsilèo (L.M.S.) Mission 
for the year 1883, page 7, ocxurs the following sentence : ''Indrisy l Ja 
mijamadika amy ny nataony Jaona ny nataon' Isoarojo'' 



The only objection that has been raised against the / or i berag 
^ritten separately, or conjoined to its noun, is that it is somewhat dero- 
^atory to the person to whose name it is prefîxed. Especially is it 
Dbjected to when used before the names of God or Christ. But if the y 
3f aminy in the sentence nankeo çmi'ny Kraisty is meant to express the 
Personal article, which it certainly is, what less objection can there be 
to j- û/lfixed to amin^ than to / or / /r^fîxed to Kraisty ? If it is not 
thought derogatory to utter the personal article in speech, it cannot be 
wrong to Write it. Not only so, but the / is by no means necessarily a 
derogatory prefix. We say Ikala and Ikoto, it is true ; but we say of the 
Queen, Itompokovavy Ranavalona^ and of the Prime Minister, Ingahy 
[which, by the by, is more honourable than -^a«^a^^')- Then we hâve iva- 
iiko, tdadoy ineny, etc. But even though occasionally derogatory or fami- 
iar, it is not universally so. In such sentences as anilany Kraisty there 
s nothing derogatory, and yet there is no doubt that the y of anilany 
eally represents the personal article /; then why not write it and avoid 
he ambiguity of the phrase ? The form of writing this personal article 
s of course a matter of taste. By having the / or / separated from 
he noun, the name would stand unaltered, which wouid be an advan- 
age. If it were employed only where we now hâve -ny as the sign 
►f the abiative or possessive and as the suffix of prépositions, as noka- 
^hin' i Tomasy ; mpanompon^ i Pétera ; anilan' i Paoly^ it would be suffi- 
ient to avoid ail the ambiguity which appears in nokapohiny Tomasy; 
ipanompony Pétera ; anilany Paoly, 

The following passage ^ i Kings ii. 30) illustrâtes the personal article 
1 ail the above forms : — 

i) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano-lainy i Tehovah ka nanao taminy 
i Joaba hoe : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka : Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy: Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho do ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazainy i Joaba. 

i) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano lainy Tehovah ka nanao taminy 
Joaba hoe : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka ; Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy : Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka nidray hoe : l2any no lazainy Joaba. 

;) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano lain' i Jehovah ka nanao tamin* 
i Joaba hoe : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka : Aiivuaha. Fa hoy izy ; Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazain' i Joaba. 

\) Ary Benaia longa tao amy ny trano lain' Ijehovah ka nanao tamin' 
Ijoaba hoe : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka : Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy : Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazain' Ijoaba. 

;) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny tram» lain" ijehovah ka nanao tamin' 
ijoaba hoe : Izao no lazain* ny mpanjaka : Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy: Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazain' ijoaba. 

)) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano lain' I Jehovah ka nanao tamin* 
1 Joaba hne : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka : Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy : Tsia, 
fa eto hinny aho no ho faty. Ar}' Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazain' I Joaba. 



(7) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano-lainy I Jehovah ka nanao taminy 

I Joaba hoe : Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka : Mivoaha. Fa hoy izy : Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka mdray hoe : Izany no lazainy I Joaba. 

(8) Ary Benaia tonga tao amy ny trano-lain' IJehovah ka nanao tarain' 

IJoaba hoe: Izao no lazain' ny mpanjaka: Mivoaha, Fa hoy izy: Tsia, 
fa eto hiany aho no ho faty. Ary Benaia nitondra teny tany amy ny 
mpanjaka indray hoe : Izany no lazain' IJoaba. 

Personally I should prefer either the form (3) or (6), because in thèse 
the name stands apart, unchanged by the personal article ; the latter (6) 
is somewhat similar to our way of writing English names, as *Mr.* Brown. 
At any rate, form 1,2), the one now in vogue, is the only one of the eight 
possible forms which disguises the personal article. 

R. Baron (Ed.). 



WHAT is Siktdy ? My Malagasy professor extraordinarius in this 
science gave a short and plain answer to this question, writing 
on the cover of his sikidy collection, ^*Ny BaibblirC ny Ràzanay* ("The 
Bible of our Ancestors"), and I am inclined to think that he has hit the 
nail on the head. 1 at least, after having lived in this country conti- 
nuously for 16 years, hâve corne to the conclusion that this nation has 
been much more under the spell of Sikidy and Vtn/ana than under that 
of the old idois. Thèse latter hâve, according to tradition, been introdu- 
ced hère comparatively recently, and there is certainly a good deal that 
tends to prove the correctness of this tradition. At any rate they hâve 
by no means got such a widely-spread and deeply-rooted influence over 
the whole nation as hâve vintana and sikidy. In many provinces even 
the most famous idols, as Kèlimalàza and Ramàhavàly, were compara- 
tively very little known or cared for (Imèrina was chiefly their domain); 
but who did not fear the vintana (fate; or trust in the sikidy (divination)? 
If you want to look into the future, to detect secret enemies or dangers, 
to find out what is to be your lot of good or evil, the sikidy is the means 
of doing it. And the best of it is, that it does not, like the Fates or 
Parées of old, mercilessly leave you to your destiny, but kindly 
xinderiRkes /o aver/ /he dreaded ez>i/s. If you are sick, the mpisikidy (the 
persou who understands and practices the sikidy) does not at ail — like 
many of our modem doctors — treat you Hentatively,* which really means 
leaving you and nature to settle the matter between yourselves as best 
you can ; neither are they shallow-minded enough to treat the case 
merely *symptomatically.' As diligent men, they set to work immediately, 
and as truly scientific doctors, they first try to find out the cause of the 
evil, and then the means of removing it. And if they can give you no 
other beneât in a desperate case, they will at least cheer up your spirits 


with a good assurance, generally terminating in a very emphatic phrase, 
to the eifect that, "if you die, you shall be buried on the top of their 
head.** And even if your spirit bas actually left you, they do not give 
you up in despair, as I shall bave occasion to point out in tbe following 
pages (cf. wbat is to be said about 'Fangalàn-kh*), 

1 am, however, reluctantly forced to admit that I am not able entirely 
to exculpate my friends from the accusation that there is a slight tinge 
of médical heresy about them, inasmuch as their whole /àdt/ra-system 
seems to rest upon the homœopathic principle, ^'Simt'iïa similibus curan- 
tur ;" fox xhefadttra {\.e, Ûït ÛixiigÛie mpisikidy ordered to be thrown 
away to prevent or avert an evil) was generally something that in name, 
shape, or number, etc., was similar to the evil in question. E.g. if the 
sikidj brought out 'màty roa^ (*two deaths', two locusts should be killed 
and thrown away to prevent the death of two'men ; if it brought out 
*mardry (*sick*), a pièce of the tree called hàzo maràry (*a sick tree') 
should be made a faditra ; cf. also Malagasy Customs, by Rev. W. E. 
Cousins, p. 34. ' But this, however, I do not intend to enter into any 
further hère, as my object is only to point out what stkidy really is, and 
from whence it originated. 

The people had a remarkable trust in their mpisikîdy and their art ; 
this appears even in the names by which they called them. Hère in 
Imèrina and Bètsilèo it was quite common to style them simply 'ny ma' 
sina* (*the holy ones*), a term which, however, did not so much imply 
sanctity as strength and superhuman power. In the provinces — especi- 
ally in the south and west — they are generally called ambïàsa (ambià/y, 
omità/y, etc.), as they were called among the Antanôsy at Fort Dauphin 
as early as the time of Flacourt ; and this term is, as I hâve shown else- 
where,* the Arabie anbiay *prophet.** 

Sikidy (Arab. j/f/rr, charm, incantation)! bas generally been translated 
'divination,' but it bas a somewhat wider sensé, as it includes both the 
investigation of what is secret, and the art of fînding out the remedy 
for it, if it proves to be of such a nature that a remedy is required ; but 
the second dépends on the first. 

As will be seen in the following pages, there are three kinds of sikidy 
which are employed almost exclusively in finding out what is secret {Sikidy 
mitbvy fsàngana, Sikidy iokana, and Ldfi-isiktdy), while the other kinds 
bave more to do with remedying the evils. The first class, however, 
forms the sikidy par excellence, manipulated according to a rather intricate 
System ; the second class dépends upon it and seems to beofa somewhat 
more arbitrary character. 

♦ ANNUAL II., p. 87 {Rêprint, p. 215). 

t An anecdote will illustratc how much tempted the natives still are to trust the sikidy, or 
at least to think that somc supernatural forces are at work in it. \Vhen my friend the Rev. 
Mr. Vie at Sîrabè — who has collected most of the information I hâve had from natives about 
the siktdy — was emplopng an elderly man as his informant, this man was rather unwilling to 
enter into the subject, savmg ihat it was a dangerous affair. And as Mr. Vig was shortly 
after this attacked by robbers and had a narrow escape, he declined to continue, exclaiming 1 
"Did I not tell you that something would happen ! The Dcvil is in it !" But a younger 
man, who had first freauentcd the 'High School for Sikidy at Ambàtofinandrâhana and then 
afterwards got a fair eaucation with us, was less superstitious, and it wai from him that both 
Mr. Vig and I got moit of our information. 


The sikidy rests on the vintana as its basis, and it is t hère fore impos- 
sible to treat of the former without to some extent dealing with the 
latter also. The vintana (Arab. evtnat, times, seasons) means ori- 
ginally *times,' and then the 'destiny* of a man, as depending on the 
times, i.e. either the destiny of a man's life ^his vintana), as depending 
on the time of his birth, or the fîtness (or the reverse) of certain times 
for certain actions ^e.g. a burial). The first one was the vintana proper, 
the second one was more accurately styled San-àndro (literally, *the hours 
of the day* (Arab. sa^a or se'a, hour, but also used in a wider sensé of any 
moment in the présent time), a term that will explain itself more fully 
in the course of this article. 

But the supposed influence of the différent times on the destiny of 
men dépends again on the celestial bodies governing them. Therefore 
the vintana in its turn rests on astrology. The différent days and months 
are each made to be connected with différent constellations. And, as 
I hâve shown in former articles in this magazine, it is chiefly the 12 
Signs of the Zodiac and the 28 *Moon-stations' (^Manazil-ui-kamari ) on 
which the Malagasy (^originally Arabie) chronolog}^ and astrology 
dépends, the former being applied to the months (Annual IL, p. 77 — 
82), the latter to the days of the month (Annual III., p. 131). When I 
add to this the seven planets of the ancients (i.e. including the sun and 
the moon, but excluding the earth and, of course, also the more distant 
planets, which were not then known at ail), which play an important 
part in the san-andro, as will appear later on,— I hâve, I believe, enumerat- 
ed ail the astronomical éléments in the Malagasy astrology and divination. 

It would evidently seem to hâve been the most logical manner of 
treating the subject, fîrst to hâve explained the astrology which is at the 
foundation of the vintana-docinnt, and then to hâve passed on to the 
sikidy, which is chiefly to be considered as the practical outcome of it. 
But against this proceeding I would object : — 

; I ) That the theoretical connection between the three things (astrology, 
vintana and sikidy) has already been lost sight of by the natives, and 
can in some respects scarcely be traced with certainty in détails. What 
is left is a terminology in sikidy and vintana which evidently has been 
to some extent borrowed from astrology ; while, on the other hand, the 
mpisikidy hère had no idea themselves either of the nature of that 
astrology, or of its connection with their art of divination ; in other 
words, the *art' is still there, but the 'science* on which it was based 
is gone, and the original connection between the two can only partially 
be traced by means of the terminology. 

(2) That the mpisikidy also had a good deal to do outside the domain 
of astrology and vintana, for they had not only to find out and, if neces- 
SLiry, counteract the influences of nature, but also those of bad spirits 
or bad men \^mpàfjiusùiy, sorcerers, from mosàvy, sorcery, evidently the 
Arab. meseya and mesavi, an evil deed, from sa' a, to do evil, akinta shaa, 
to look upon one with an evil [invidious] eye). 

After thèse preliminary remarks on the basis and object of sikidy, I 
shall proceed to explain the *art o( sikidy iinder the followlne: headings ; 
(0 The Awakening of the Sikidy; (2) The Si.xteen Figures oï iha Si/: idy ; 



(3) The Sixteen Rubrics of the Sikidy ; (4) The Erecting of the Siktdy 
(placing the figures in the rubrics) ; (5) The Working of the Stkid}' : {a) 
The Sikidy of Identical figures ; {b) The St'ktdy of Différent figures ; (c) 
The .S/'-^îi/j' of Combined figures ; ^6) Miscellaneous .Si'^/^ ; (7) Vintana 
and San* andro, 

I.— The Awakening of the Sikidy (' Fhhan-^t Sikidy ). The sikidy 
was generally manipulated with grains of sand, orbeans, or certain seeds, 
especially those of the Fàno tree {Piptadenia chrysostachys, Bth.). When 
the mpisikidy had placed a heap of thèse seeds or beans, etc., before 
him and was about to perform, he inaugurated his proceedings with a 
solemn invocation, calling upon God to awaken nature and men, that 
thèse might awaken the sikidy to tell the truth. The following is the 
formula used, as obtained from my native informant : — 

**Awake, O God, to awaken the sun ! Awake, sun, to awaken the cock ! 
Awake, O cock, to awaken mankind ! fôlontbêlona.J Awake, O mankind, to 
awaken the sikidy t—nol to tell lies, not to deceive, not to play tricks, not to 
talk non sensé fmirêdirêdyj, not to agrée to everything indiscriminately 
fhanaiky bej ; but to search into the secret, to look into what is beyond the 
hills and on the other side of the forest, to see what no human eye can see. 

'*Wake up, for thou art from Silàtno be vôio (i.e. the 'long haired Moham- 
medans'), from the high roountains, from Rabôrobôaka. Tapélakétsikétsika, 
Zàfiisiniaito, Andriambàvitôalàhy, Rakélihorànana, lànakàra, Andrfanôni- 
solànatra, Vazfmba, Anakandriananàhitra, Rakèlilàvavôlo. Awake ! for 
we bave not got thee for nothing, for thou art dear and expensive. We 
hâve got (literally, 'hired,* saràna) thee in exchange for a fat cow Jamà- 
nany* a provincial word for a^iz/ccw, is no doubt the Arab. saman, fatness 
= Heb. shemen) with a large hump, and for money on which there was no 
dust. Awake ! for thou art the trust of the sovereign and the judgment of 
the people. If thou art a sikidy that can tell, a sikidy that can see, and 
does not (only) speak about the noise of the people, the hen killed by its 
owner, the catile killed in the market, the dust clinging to the feet (i.e. 
self evidt^nt things), awake hère on the mat ! 

•'But if thou art a sikidy that does not see, a sikidy that agrées to every- 
thing indiscriminately, and makes the dead living and the living dead, then 
do not arise hère on the mat.*' 

This solemn invocation being finished, the diviner begins to *work 
the sikidy' Before explaining the mode of working it, 1 must give the 
16 figures of the sikidy, which must be known before the working of it 
can be understood. But before so doing, I will offer a few remarks on 
the preceding invocation. 

It is évident that the sikidy was looked upon as the spécial means 
used by God for making known His will to men ; and it is at the same 
time characteristic enough that it was thought necessary to *awaken* 
God (see the same idea in i Kingsxviii. 27). In the long list of persons 
through whom the people hère bave got the sikidy, are the Silamo (Mo- 
hammedans [from 'Islam'], and then chiefly Arabs, who are aiso called 
Karàny, 'readers,* i.e. those who read the Koran) ; and it agrées well 
with this, that Arabie words occur even in this exordium (e.g. tamanany 
and also sarana (:=Arab. ajara, to h ire ; same root as sàra in sàran- 
dàkana, fare), and still more in the terminology I am about to give and 

* Not simply 'a cow,' as stated in the Dictionary. 



expiai^ in the foUowing pages. Most of the names in the list above, giving 
th€""^thorities' from whom the Malagasy hâve receiveti the sikidy, are 
rather obscure. ' The Anakandriananahitra is, I présume, the same 
mythical personage who is elsewhére called simply RànakandHana (or 
Anakandrfana), a ghost that used to haunt some famous caves in Imerina 
(e.g. one at Fandâna, to the east of Ambôhimânambôla), and from whom, 
according to one tradition at least, both the stkidy and thé sàmpy (idols) 
originated. When also the Vazimba are mentioned, I suppose it is 
because the diviners were anxious to hâve the sikïdy connected with 
everything that was mysterious and pointed back to the mythical days 
of old ; but it may also be that the Vazimba really were the people who 
first received the sikidy from the Arabs, and that the other tribes in 
their turn got it from the Vazimba. One of the names at least (An- 
driambavitoalahy) occurs in the old taie of *Ibonîa,'* in the life of whose 
hero the sikidy plays a very prominent part. 

I may add that individual mpisikidy of any réputation seem each to 
hâve had their own form of address to the sikidy before working it, or at 
least they took the liberty of making considérable variations in the 
wording of it, although its gênerai bearing seems to hâve been very 
much the same. 

IL— The i6 Figures of the Sikidy f'Ny Sikidy i6 AnarancC ). 
Having fînished his address, the diviner began to work the sikidy (liter- 
ally, 'raise it up,' manàngan-t sikidy)^ taking beans or fano seeds, etc., 
and arranging them on the floor (on a "mat) according to rules we shall 
explain presently. Thèse beans or seeds we must represent by dots. 
They were the following :— 

Hova, Sakalava, Arahs of E .Co, of Africa. 

1 . : : Jamà (or Zomà) Asombôla Asombola 

2. :': Alàhizàny Alizàha Alahoty 

3. .*: Asôralàhy Asôralahy Alasady 

4. .:. Votsira (=:Vontsira) Karlja Tabaty horojy 

5. : Taraiky Taraiky Asaratany 

6. ':* Sàka Alakaosy Tabadahila 

7. V Asôravàvy Adabàra Afaoro 

8. :.: Alikfsy Alikisy Alijady 

9. V Aditsimà (Aditsimay) Alatsimay Alizaoza 

10. •':• Kizo Alakaràbo Alakarabo 

11. .;. Adikasâjy Bètsivôngo Adizony(=Adimizany ?) 

12. ;.': Vànda mitsàngana (=Mikarija) Adâlo Alahamaly 

13. y. Vanda miôndrika (=Môlahîdy) Alahôtsy Alakaosy 

14. : ': Alokôla Alikôla Adalo(?) 

15. X Alaimôra Alîhimôra Alihimora 

16. ;.; Adibijàdy Alabiàvo Bihiava 

♦ See my Specimtns of Malagasy Folk-lore, p. 125. 



The names in the first row are those that were in use in the inténorT" 
The order in which they are given by the différent authorities dii 
some extent ; but as nothing dépends upon the order, I hâve followed 
the one that seems most systematic, commencing with the fullest form 
( : : ), and taking away one bean (dot) for each figure until only four 
are left ( j ), and then adding one again to each, by which proceeding 
we get the first eight figures. The next eight are formed by placing 
twos and ones in varions combinations. The theory of the whole is 
evidently that not more than eight beans can be used in any figure, and 
that ail of them must contain four in length, while there may be two or 
one in breadth. It follows of course that only i6 figures or différent 
combinations are possible. 

The names in the second and third rows I obtained from an Arab 
trader, who has spent most of his life in East Africa and on the west 
coast of Madagascar. As he left Arabia when only twelve years old, 
he could give me no information with regard to the practice of sikidy 
in his native country ; neither did he seem to feel quite certain as to 
the correctness of ail the information he gave. I hâve added a query 
to the names with regard to which he seemed to hesitate most. 

Flacourt* gives us a list of 16 *Figures des Geomance,* as in use 
among the tribes in the vicinity of Fort Dauphin more than two hundred 
years ago. He does not, however, really give the very figures, but only 
their names, to which he adds a Latin translation, viz. : — 

Alohotsi, acquisitio. 
Adalou, amissio, 
Alihiza, lœtitia. 
Alinchissa, tristitia, 
Alacossi, ca^ut draconis. 
Cariza, cauda draconis, 
Alohomoré, albus, 
Alibiauou, rubeus. 

Alacarabo, puer. 
Alicozaza, Aliroiza, /2/^//a. 
Adabara, major /or tuna. 
Alaazadi, mtnor fortuna. 
Assomboulo, fopulus, 
Tareche, via. 
Alissima, conjunctio. 
Alocola, carcer. 

He adds that "ail thèse figures hâve the same meaning and power as 
are attributed to them by the authors of Europe." As it would almost 
amount to an insuit to my readers to suppose that any of them are 
ignorant of what "the authors of Europe" teach with regard to geoman- 
cy, I shall of course abstain from commenting upon this very conclusive 
information ! We can see at a glance that many of his names are 
identical with those used in the interior : Alihiza, Alacossi (=Alikisy }), 
Alohomoré, Tareche, Alissima (=Aditsimà}, and Alocola ; while others 
can be identified with those in the znd and jrd rows on the oppopite 
page, as Alahotsy, Adalou, Alakarabo, Adabara, Assombola, Cariza, Alaa- 
zadi (=Alijady), Alabiauou (:= Alabiavo and Bihiava), and Alimiza (=Adi- 
mizany ?). Only two remain, Alinchissa and Alicozaza, which last, how- 
ever, has another name (Alimiza), the identification of which seems a 
little doubtful ; but I think Alinchissa is=iAl-kizo, and Alicozaza=: 
Adikosajy. If so, ail of them are identified. 

Flacourt is quite aware that the ompisiquili (mpisikidy) had their 
wisdom from the Arabs, as he states that they were very clever in writing 

♦ Histoire de la Grande Isle Madagascar ; Paris : 1661 ; p. 173. 



-■ ■ ' wi-i ■■ ■ » • I ■ ■ ■ ■ 

Mfith Arabie characters, and adds that they used to leam also a good 
deal of the language together with the characters, and frequently wrote 
chapters of the Koran on the books they made use of in their art. 
He even gives us a complète list of ecclesiastical orders of the ombiasy, 
with Arabie names, but amusingly mistranslated ; ca/tàon, for instance, 
he says means a bishop ; it is of eourse the Arabie ke/aè, a clerk, a 
writer. And the translations he adds to the 1 6 names of stktdy figures 
quoted above is not mueh better ; Tareehe (Arab. /art'ç, way), however, 
he translates eorreetiy. As a good many of thèse names are exactly the 
same as those of the Malagasy months, whieh Flacourt on the ver}' 
same page eorreetly identifies with the names of the constellations in 
the Zodiac, it is the more strange that this should hâve escaped his 
notice, and that he should hâve mistranslated them as he does (Alahotsy 
is=Pisces ; Adalou is=Aquarius ; Alaazadi is=Capricomus ; Alacossi is 
=Sagittarius ; Alaearabo is=Scorpio ; Alimizais^Libra ; and Assombola 
is=:Virgo). As to the others, there was nothing to guide him, since he 
did not know Arabie. And even if he had known it, he might hâve fait 
greatly embarassed when dealing with words which hâve undergone 
such changes that their origin can searcely be traeed, and hâve besides 
often through usage acquired a meaning with regard to which their 
etymology is no guide. It is easy enough to see that Alohomoré does not 
mean *white,* as Flacourt gives it ; its sound points to ai-ahamar, the 
*red one ;* but I hâve a suspicion that it is a corruption of Alahamady 
(Aries in the Zodiac, used as the name of a month hère in the interior), 
and written Alahemali in Flacourt {d and / easily interchange in Mala- 
gaso), a form that might easily become Alohomoré, as / and r are fre- 
quently interchanged in Malayo-Polynesian languages. I do not, how- 
ever, intend to enter more fully into the question of the meaning of ail 
the names given by Flacourt ; I hâve mentioned this only by way of 
illustration. On the whole, I believe that nearly ail the names he bas 
given refer to the heavenly bodies. As to many of them, I hâve already 
pointed out that they refer to the constellations of the Zodiac. Adabarais 
beyond doubt the first moon-station in the month Adaoro ( Ad-daharanu ; 
see Annual III., p. 131) ; Alocola seems to be=Alikili, the third moon- 
station in Adimizàna (Libra), and Alissimà=:Assimàka, the second moon- 
station in Asombôla. The remaining five (Alihiza, Alinchissa, Ceriza, 
Alibiauou, Tareehe) I am unable to identify with any star or constellation. 
Returning to the 16 names in use in the interior, we see at a glance 
that they diflfer greatly both from those in use on the west coast and 
those given by Flacourt. Some are partly Malagasy, whilst most of 
them are entirely Arabie. I shall take them in order and ofFer a few 
remarks on caeh : — 

I. jamais evidently the \rab\c jemâ, union, i.e. the figure in which 
ail the beans (8) that can possibly occur in any of thèse figures are united. 
In the others only 4 to 7 occur The Arabie root j'amà, to unité, to congre- 
gate, is the same as in Zomà (Friday, liierally, 'congrégation,' i.e. day of 
congrégation). In Flacourt, as well as on the west coast and among the 
Arabs 1 ?), this figure is called Asombôla (Virgo). The name Jamà evidently 
only refers to the shape of the figure, entirely disregarding the astrology 
which is at the root of it. 


z. Alahizanyy Flacourt, Alahiza. In Arabie al'ahzanu means etymolo* 
^cally 'grief.' But what astronomical meaning it may hâve besides this, 
cannot tell. 

3. Asoralahy is very obscure. Its first part, Asora, seems to be the 
Vrabic as-sahr, the month, a root which occurs in many other Malagasy 
nonth-names, especially in the provinces. In Imerina we hâve Asàramânitra 
the 'fragrant nrïonth') for the Fandrôana nïonth. In the provinces we hâve 
Vsàramânara, Asàramànitsa, Asàrabè, etc. But whether the last part of the 
vord is the Malagasy /â/iy (masculine) or not, I dare not say. 

4. Asoravavy I take next because of the apparent similarity of its ety- 
nology, although this is not always its place in the sikidy arrangement. 
Asora is 'month,* and vavy, if Malagasy, would mean féminine, *the féminine 
tîonth,' as the former would be *the masculine' one. 

5. Votsira or Vontsira, which the Sakalava call Karija^ and the Arabs 
n East Africa, Jabaty horojy, is probably the Cariza of Flacourt. This 
ast Word is perhaps a synonym to Alahamady, for karaz or kuraza in 
\rabic (Syr. koaizo) means a ram, especially the one that carries the bell and 
eads the way ; for Aries {al-hamalu [= Alahamady], the wether) was by the 
mcients considered the leader of ail the animais in the Zodiac. 

6. Taraiky is at any rate the Arabie iariq^ way. But what astronomical 
Deaning it may hâve besides, I cannot tell. 

7. Saka is also the provincial name for a month, and I believe it is a 
iynonym for Adalo, which as an astronomical term means the Aquarius of 
he Zodiac, and then the iith month of the Malagasy year. Adalo (Arab. 
^d'dalvu) properly means a water-bucket, and then, as an astronomical term, 
^uarius. Saka is a popular name for a water-carrier, and when the 
•lalagasy put Saka for Adalo, they only did what we do when we speak of *the 
îreat Bear' instead of Ursa major, We hâve the same root in the verb 
nantsàka (the root of which is saka^ not tsaka, as given in the Dictionary), 
draw water. 

8. A/ïktsy\Sf I think, the same as Alakaosy (Sagittarius of the Zodiac, 
nd name of the oth month). 

9. -^^//i'/wà (Ad itsi may) the Malagasy evidently understood to mean *a 
attle that does not burn.' I suspect it to be a corruption (with transposition) 
fAdimizany(Libra in the Zodiac, and the 7th month). It might, however, 
tzirAs-simàky a synonym to Alohotsy=Pisces. 

10. Kïzo I cannot explain at ail. 

11. Adikasajy \s eq\iaA\y ohscxixe, 

12. Vauda mitsangana (•=.Mikarija) ; and 

13. Vanda miondrika f=^Molahidy), That mitsangana means 'stand- 
ig,' and miondrika, 'bowing,* everybody knows ; but what Vanda is, I 
innot tell. Mikarija may be the Arabie mikrez, an awl. Afolahidy looks 
îr>' like the Arabie malahadu, thrusting, beating, affliction ; but it niight as 
ell be a corruption of the Arabie molid^ nativity. 

14. Alokola, whieh the natives sometimes turn into àlok^ llona ('shade of 
man'). seems to be the Arabie Alikilu, the I7th of the moon stations (the 
d one in Adimizana). 

15. • A/aimora ; aeeording to Malagasy etymology this would mean, 
aken gently.' But as the older form given by Flaeourt is *Alohomoré,' and 
i some of the natives hère say 'Alahamora,' I fèel sure that the // is original, 
id that the word is an Arabie one. It looks like the Arabie al-ahmarUy 
hich docs not. however, as Flaeourt thinks, mean whife, but red. But I do 
Dt at ail feel sure that it is not, after ail, only a corruption of Alahamady, as 
bave already hinted at in another place. 

16. Adibijady seems to be a curious composition, or rather, juxtaposition, 



of two Arabie names for 'goat.' JFady meaos 'goat' and Capricornus, asd^ 
with the article and a little corruption, this i^ives U9 Adifaoy (a Malagasy 
month-name). Adibi- appears to be the Arabie ainthabi^ the goat. 
Probably both of them hâve been used proroiscuously for Capricornus, and 
then were joined into one word. 

III. — The r6 Rubrics of the Sikidy {^Ny Sikidy i6 Rmy^ *The 
i6 mothers o( stktdy^, To the i6 figures of the st'ktdy correspond the 
1 6 rubrics* or places in the arrangement of the st'ktdy, one beinsf placed 
in each rubric, not, however, that ail of the figures must necessanly occur. 
More rubrics may perchance get the same figure, as this dépends only 
pn hap-hazard. If we arrange the rubrics in the manner usual in the 
practice of sikidy, we get the foUowing table : — 




vnopA Su .UTinsx 



• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 










9» S 




• • 



• • 


Paba- %^ 
valo ^^ 

Zatovo an-trano 

• • 

• • 

NCaiina do. 

Vehivary do. 

Piriariavana do. 

p p* 







It will be seen at a glance, however, that we bave got more than i6 
names hère, although the rubrics are really not more than 12, correspond- 
ing, I believe, to the 12 Signs of the Zodiac. If a skilful diviner is 
asked for 'Ny sikidy 16 renv\ he will only enumerate the four names given 
in the first row ( Talé — Vohitra), the four to the right of it (ZatSzH) — Fàha- 
vàlo)y and the eight below [Tràno — Fàhashy), giving us the 16 complète. 

♦ What Mr. Dîihle hère tcrms 'rubrics' are given in former books and in the Dictionary as 
'columns* of the sikidy. — Eds. 



he othe» 86em to be côhsidei^d as accessofy abd of secohdary itnpof- 
nce. Some of them are simply répétitions, with this only diflferehçcfr 
at they refer to things in another man's hôuse, not ih that of the 
quirer for whom the sikidy opération iti questioti is undertaken. Othèrs 
e placed to the left side of the lower square and at itfi two corners. 
As I bave thought best to give the native names of the rubrics above» 
shall now enumerate and translate them» adding an explanatory note 
) some of them. 

I. TaU, This Word is not Màlagasy. I hâve no doubt that it is Arabie, 
Ithough the explanatlon may be doubtfui, as there àrq many possibilities 
ith reeard to its dérivation : In Arabie iala liieans *to âscend/ and in thé 
d conjugation {iàla\ to make à thing ascend from the âbyss of darkness 
nd obscurity into light, to investigate, to explore, to enquire înto ; from 
hence we get the noun talla, explorer, investigator, which corresponds 
cactly with what the TaU ih sikidy really is, as it always represents the 
2rson or thing concerning whom (or which) the enquiry is made. Sut I 
imit that other dérivations from the same root (as tulia^ good fortune, 
)roscope, etc.) might be suggested. 
a. Harèna, property, is a Malagasy word ; and so is 
3 FàhatêlOy the thlrd one. My native informant says that Fahatelo hère 
présents the relations of the Taie, the one for whom the enquiry is made. 

4. Vôhitra, town, village, is Malagasy too. Thèse four ail represent the 
Tson or thing concernedîn the sikidy. If the thing in question is of such 
nature that it can fairly be considered as falling under the headings 
roperty,* 'relations,* or 'village,' one of thèse rubrics is chosen to represent 
; but if it is a person (not a slave, for his position is under tbe 'property*), 
, upon the whole, any thing that cannot be grouped under any of thèse three 
admgs, it comes under Taie. 

5. 2af6vo, a youth, a young person, is Malagasy. 

6. Marma (or mannyu a slave. This word is an etymological puzzle ; • 
is at any rate neither Malayan nor African. The Arabs generally use 
id (the provincial Malagasy aôily) for a slave ; I canriot but think that 
jrina must be the Arabie marûna (plur, oltnarun), 'men,* especially with 

î idea of 'strength.' It was probably used by the Arab slave-traders as a 
m by which they recommenaed their slaves as strone masculine fellows. 
this manner it may hâve been introduced amongst tne cdast tribes, wlio 
ve no other slaves than those they hâve bought from the Arabs. Hère in 
; interior the word is only used as a technical term in the sikidy^ and was 
)st likely introduced hère through the médium of the inhabitants of the 

j Véhivàvy, woman, is Malagasy; and so also is 

3. Fàhavàlo, enemy. In the répétition of the same terms (only referring 
îm to another house), the diviners use Firïariàvana in its place, and in a 
nilar sensé. This latter is not a Malagasy wofd at ail ; I believe it to 
the Arabicy^r^r//, the running away from, or escaping, an enemy, and 
;n, in gênerai, to move, walk. run. 
g. Tràno, house, \ 

10. Làlana, way, road, > ail Malagasy. 

11. J^à«o«/à«y, an inquirer, î 

12. Asorotàny is to ail appearance like the name of Cancer in the Zodiac ; 
t still I should doubt whether it is the same word. The natives often put 
'2^/r/<2//tf (nobleman, orking) instead, and sometimes Ràzdna (ancestorsjas 

équivalent, which makes me think that As s u/lani {Araibic for sovereign, 
iperor, sultan) is the original form, and that ît bas beeti ch;<nged urtcon- 


scîously into Asorotany to make it like the word the Malagasy already knew 
as the name of a month. 

13. Andrtamànitra^ God, is Malagasy. 

14. Nia ; not a Malagasy word at ail. There is probably a root nia in 
Malagasy in the sensé of error (verb manta, to wander about, then, to err, 
— generally referred to a root sia^ because the reduplicated form is mantasîa, 
while neither nia or sia are in use except as root of this verb ; but as 
m'a in Melanesian means error, sin, I think nia is the true root, and the s 
an inserted consonant of dissimilation), and also an introduced Arabie one 
meaning intention (Arab. niya^=.intcntio, propositum animi) ; but none of 
thèse seems to correspond to the nia in the sikidy. For this last one the 
diviners sometimes put Hànina (food), evidently regarding this as is équiva- 
lent. This puts us on the track. It seems to be the Arabie ni (or niun, 
with the 'Tanwin*), which means méat, especially underdone méat (caro 
senticoctaj, The reason why this rather strange term should be used, I 
cannot tell. Perhaps there is soraething at the bottom of the sikidy theory 
that justifies it. 

15. The two remaining ones are Malagasy, viz. Màsina^ the holy one, is 
a gênerai epithet applied to the mpisikidy^ and hère it stands for his name. 

16. Fàhasîvy, the ninth, for which term sometimes ràno (water) is 
substituted. This I cannot explain to my satisfaction. Fahasivy is some- 
times used in the figurative sensé of *the departed,* *the spirits of the dead;' 
but what has that to do with rano in the sensé of *water' ? If we could suppose 
rano to be only a corruption of the Arabie runna f^opulus^ hominesj, or of 
rana fspectaculum) in the sensé of an apparition, it would at any rate give 
us a better équivalent for Fahasivy in the sensé of *the departed ones,' but 
this is, I confess, only a guess. 

The remaining names not included in the 1 6 seem to be Malagasy 
(cf., howcver, kororosy). They are the following : — 

1. Bîdy ratsy (=^Kàry), a bad animal (=a tabby cat). 

2. Tst-nàhy f^=vina ho avy^ my native informant says is the unexpected, 
the future ; vina is the Arabie evtna \evinat''\^ pi. olen^ evan, time, season, 
probably the same word as vintanaj, 

3. Kôrorôsy ; if this is a Malagasy word, it means sliding, gliding; but 
I doubt it. Perhaps it is the Cariza of Flacourt. 

4. Olon-dràtsy, bad m en. 

5. Alika^ a dog. 

6. Ts)nin' ny velona^ the blâme of the living. 

7. Tsinin' ny màty, the blâme of the dead. 

8. Ra be mandrmkay much bloodshed. 

9. Osy, a goat. 

10. Ondry^ a sheep. 

11. Akoho^ a h en. 

12. Vôrombôahàzo, the name of a bird, but what kind I cannot tell. 

13. Tsi-ê/a, what is notdone or finished. 

14. Màmo-hé/a probably stands for mamo-e/a (?), tired of doing (?), or, 
rather, tired of what is done (?). 

To thèse remarks on the names of the rubrics, I must add a few hints 
as to the manner of reading (examining) the figures put into them, viz. :— 

1. The four first ones (Tale=Vohitra) and the eight below (Trano= 
Fahasivy) are to be read from above downwards (vertically). 

2. The eight to the right {Zatovo^-Fahavalo, repeated twice) are to be 
read from right to left (horizontally). 


3. The four to the left fKororosy=^Tsinin* ny velonaj are to be read 

m left to right (horizontally). 

\. Those at the two corners to the left are read in a peculiar manner, viz. ; 

) Two of them (Tsi-nahy and Tsinin' ny inatyj are read in a straight 

e (a diagonal) from one corner to the opposite one. (^) The other two 

'^iby ratsy and Ra mandriakaj are to be read in curved lines, each of 

;m taking in two of the middle squares of the larger square to which they 

long and terminating respectively at the two ends of the rubric Andria' 

intira, each of them on the same side on which they commenced. 

5. Two fOndry and AkôhoJ of those on the two upper corners of the 

permost square are to be read from the corner where the name is placed 

the opposite corner below (in a diagonal, just as* in No. 4, û). The 

ne is the case with the two other corner figures, Tsiefa and Mamo- 

fa, only that the last one is read from below to the opposite corner 


). The two other corner fiçures above, Ondry and VoromboahazOy are 

be read in the manner described under No. 4, b* 

IV. — The Erecting of the Sikidy {'Fànangànan-tSikidyy i.e. the 
icing of the figures in the rubrics). In the diagram at the beginning 
the preceding section I bave filled ail the rubrics with figures as a 
•itable mpisikidy would do, only that I hâve used dots to represent his 
ms or seeds. I shall now try to give the rules for this *erecting of 
î sikidy.* 

I. The first four rubrics {Taie — Vohitrd) are filled with figures in the 
lowing manner. From the heap of beans before him the mpisikidy 
es a handful at random, and from this handful he takes out two and 
) till he has either two or one left. If two are left, he puts two beans, if 
;, one bean into the first (upper) square of Taie, In the same manner 
fills the remaining three, and then proceeds to fill Harena^ Fahatelo^ 
1 Vohitra, square by square, from above downwards. 
. When thèse four rubrics — ail representing the person or thing 
arding whom or which the sikidy is made — are filled in the manner 
cribed, the remaining eight are filled by a combination of thèse, or of 
ers that bave already been filled by a combination of thèse. This is 
le in such a manner that two figures are chosen and compared square 
square from above downwards. If this combination gives dissimilar 
abers (i.e., if one of the two combined squares has one bean, and the 
er two), only one bean is put in the corresponding square of the new 
re to be formed ; but if it gives similar numbers (i.e. if the two 
ibined squares both contain one, or both two beans), two beans are 
into it. 
. Thèse combinations are subjected to the following rules : — 

i) Taie and Harena (i.e. a combination of the two in the manner 

:ribed) form (mamoakaj Làlana, 

») Fahatelo and Vohitra form Asorotany, 

') Làlana and Asorotany form Mpanontany, 

i) Zatovo and Alarma form Nia. 

•) Vehivavy and Fahavalo form Fahasivy, 

f) Nia and Fahasivy form Masina. 

Masina and Mpanontany forra Anârtamanitra, 

Andro and Taie form Trano, 




A gl^nce at the di^gr^ni \ hâve given will show that ail the eight 
figures below hâve actually been formed according to thèse rules. If 
we, for instance, compare TaU and Harenuy from which Làlana is to be 
formed, we get dissimilar numbers ail the way, as ail the pairs of squares 
hâve one and two, and consequently Làlana gets only one bean in ail 
its squares. Exactly the same procédure— mtt/a/7> mutandù — takes place 
XTX the filling in of the remaining seven rubrics below. 

V.— The Working of the Sikidy. When the sikidy is erected in 
the manner described above, the question anses : What is to be donc with 
it } How to work it so as to get an answer to your questions, a medicine 
for your sickness, or a chann against the evils of which you may be appre- 
hensive, etc. ? 

Let me remark at the outset, that the sikidy properly deals with 
questions put to it. To answer thèse is its proper function. But if you 
ask what is the root of an evil, or the means of removing or averting it, 
etc., the answer will of course point out to you the cure of your evils as 
well, and so far, appear as ars medica, There are, however, kinds of 
sikidy in which no question is put, but the remedy or prophylactic 
against the evil is proposed at once. But as thèse are rather diffèrent 
from an ordinary «lè/'t/v-process, I shall treat of them in a separate 
section. What concerns us now is, the ordinary sikidy^ the business of 
which is to give us answers to our questions. 

The flrst thing we hâve to examine, after having 'erected the sikidy 
is, what figure we haye got in the rubric Andriamanitra ; for out of the 
i6 figures, there are bnly 8 (Jamà^ Taraiky, Vandd mSfsangana, Vanda 
miondrika, Alokolay Aditsimay Asoraiahy, Asoravavy) that 'agrée* with An* 
driamanitra. Thèse are called the 'Nobles' or 'Kings' of the sikidy f^An- 
drian' ny sikidy )^ whereas the remaining 8 are called the 'Slaves* of the 
sikidy f'Andevon-tsikidyj, If you happen to get any of the latter in the 
said rubric, the sikidy is said to be 'folaka* (literally 'tamed,* i.e. invalid), 
and you hâve to destroy the whole and begin anew ; for your sikidy has 
not done the proper honour to Andriamanitra (putting a slave in His 
rubric) and consequently cannot be expected to tell you the truth in His 
name. The saying of the diviners that only 8 of the 1 6 figures agrée 
with, or are applicable to, God f'mety ho amin* Andriamanitra* J has been 
curiously misunderstood (for instance, by Mr. Ellis in his Histofy of 
Madagascar, vol. I., p. 443) as meaning, that it never happened that any 
other figure got into the rubric Andriamanitra, 

When this point is successfully overcome, the next business is to choose 
one of the four first rubrics (Tale—Vohitra) to represent the question, or, 
rather, the person or thing it refers to. As Taie is to represent every- 
thing that canaot be put under the headings 'property,* 'relations,' or 
'village,* the choice cannot be very puzzling ; and I suppose the mpisi- 
kidy, as a rule, settles this question in his own mind before enteringupon 
his work ; but he is not obliged lo settle it before coming to the point 
in the opération at which we hâve now arrived. This being settled, the 
proceedings branch out into the folio wing parts :— A. The Sihic(y of 
Identical P'igures ; B. The Sikidy of Différent (Unique) Figures; and 
C. The Sikidy of Combinée! Figures. 


A. — The Sikidy of Idtntical Figures (^Sikidy mitovy tsangana'), Having 
settled what rubric is to represent the question, the next thing is to 
examine which of the i6 figures bas got into the rabric representing 
it. This being found, we go on examining ail the other figures except 
the remaining three available for representing the question (for thèse 
hâve nothing to do vvith the answer), that is to say, those on the right 
side, those on the left, and those on the two corners to the lefl (cf. what 
bas been said about the manner of reading them). 

If we, thus examining them, find that any of them is like the one 
representing the question, this may or may not settle the question, or, in 
other words, give us the answer. This dépends on the nature of (name 
of) the rubric in which it is found. If I expect a ship and am going to 
enquire about its coming by means of the sikidy ^ the rubric Harena 
(property) is of course to represent it. If in this rubric I find, for instance, 
the figure Jamà ( j j ), and on further examination find the same figure 
in the rubric Andro, this gives me no answer, as there is no natural con- 
nection between the two conceptions. If, on the contrary, I find the 
same figure in the rubric marked Làlana, then of course I know that the 
ship is at any rate already on the way. l hâve then got an answer to the 
chief question ; but there may still be good reason for a sharp look-out, 
for there may be difiiculties in its way. Suppose that I also find the same 
figure in the rubric marked Fahavalo (enemy), my mind will immediately 
be filled with gloomy appréhensions oï pirates. Not a bit more cheerful 
wili be my prospects, if I find the same figure under Ra be mandriaka 
(much bloodshed). But what a consolation, on the other hand, if the sam^ 
figure reappears under the rubric Nia (food) ; for then I must certainly 
be a blockhead if I do not understand that, although the ship mà}^ 
hâve a long voyage, there is no fear of scarcity of food on board ; 
and so on. It is easy enough to see that a man with much practice and 
a good deal of imagination could produce much 'information' in this 
manner ; and I suppose that in a good many cases the mpisikidy were able 
to find an answer already in this first act of their proceedings, even if the 
means of finding it might seem scanty enough to ordinary mortals. 

But the opérations do not end hère ; for, quite apart from the identity 
of the figure representing the question with one of more of those in the 
other rubrics, it is of great importance to find out whether some of the 
others are mutually like one another, and in how many rubrics the same 
figure occurs in a sikidy. In this respect my native helper gives me the 
following rules : — 

I. If Fahasivy and Masina are alike (i.e. happen to hâve the same 
figure), it means Tsi-rhngatra^ which my man explains to signify Tsy 
tnihHsika^ does not move, agitate. 

a. If Fahasivy and Nia are alike, it means Màti-rha (two deaths), i.e. two 
of something must die, most likely two persons ; but the evil may be averted 
by killing and throwing away two locusts as a /aditra, (Cf. the old Greek 
story about Astyages, who thought that the prédiction that Cynis would 
become king was fulfiUed by bis being nominated king in the cbildren's play.) 

3. If Fahatelo and Harena are abke, it means Vahlaka (a crowd of 
people), i.e. that a crowd of people may be expected. 

4. If Trano and Mpanontany are alike, it means Ts)ndrilàsy (pressed 
dowa by an oooampmeat [?]f i.e. tliac the enemy is coming. 


rules for this kind of siktdy tokana ; but as the whole are very much in 
the same style as what I hâve already given uuder A ndriamani^r a, I do not 
think it worth while to trouble the reader with ail thèse rules, as I do not 
intend to enable him to practise the siktdy (this secret I shall of course keep 
for my own use !], but only to give him an idea as to what it is. 

3. Unique Figures in Harena ; 12 of the 16 figures are given as having 
a spécial meanin^ when found only in this rubric. 

4. Unique Figures in Fahatelo ; only 2 (Jamà and Taraiky) are 
regarded as having a spécial meaning. 

5. Unique Figures in Vohitra ; includes 13 (?) of the 16 figures; nothing 

6. Unique Figures in Trano ; 14 of the figures are regarded as having a 
spécial meaning, of which the first one fSakaJ is considered an excellent 
remedy against sterility, if the beans of the figure ( ':' ) are mixed with milk, 
which is then to be put into 14 pumpkin-shell fragments and given to 14 
children, who are to put some rice into a pot, from which the stérile woman 
eats it. Many of the rules in this kind of sikidy bave a référence to sterility, 
sickness or death. 

7. Unique Figures in Làlana ; only 4 of the figures hâve any spécial 
meaning ; nothinjg^ peculiar about the rules. 

8. Unique Figures in Mpanontany; 11 of the figures hâve a spécial 

9. unique Fif^res in Âsorotany ; 4 figures with spécial meanings. 

10. Unique Figures in Nia ; only one figure fAlatmora) with a spécial 
meaning ; it is called Manjàkamêna ('red king ]. If the sikidy in question 
refers to the king, it is considered a good omen ; but if to a sick mao, it 
is bad and means Ra mandriaka ('blood in streams.*) 

ti. Unique Figures in Masina ; 3 figures with a spécial meaning, of 
which the first one refers to money, the other two to diseases. 

12. Unique Figures in Fahasivy ; 4 figures bave a spécial meaning, but 
nothing particular otherwise. 

I hâve given the spécial rules for this kind of sikidy only so far as 
regards the first one (*God*), just to show the gênerai style and bearing 
of them. If I had done the same as regards ail thèse 12 clases, it would 
hâve required too rauch space. Suffice it to say, that they either simply 
suggest an answer to a question, or (more frequently) at the same timc 
also give a remedy against the evil intimated by the answer. 

Before leaving this section some words should be added upon two 
other kinds o{ sikidy which are closely connected with the preceding 12 
clauses, and are by the natives called respectively, Sikidy Mifamàly (i.e. 
'sikidy mutually corresponding with one another, and Sikidy Fànahana^ 
which my native helper explains to mean fanatitra hasolony (*a sacrifice 
as substitute for a person') ; but thèse must be reserved for the conclud- 
ing paper. 

L. Dahle. 

(To be CoHcluded in oUr next Number.J 

♦ On account of the demands upon our space, a description of 'The Sikidy of Combined 
Figures' {Lqfin-sikidy), which Mr. Dahle hÂd supplied, must also be left to be given with th« 
concluding paper on ' MisceUaneous Sikidy and ' VinUMa,* which he has kindly promised 
/^r tbe next number of the AmnuAL.~£os. 





LTHOUGH it is eenerally understood that the language spoken through- 
L out the island of Madagascar is essentially one, yet the dialects of the 
eral tribes, and even of différent clans, vary considerably. People ftrom 
acent provinces hâve often great difficulty in understanding one another ; 
i so great is the différence between the dialects of Imèrina and South 
tsilèo, that a Hova hearing the latter for the 6rst tirpe can only catch the 
leral drift of the speaker' s remarks, and probably will fail to do even this 
be Betstleo are excited and speak rapidly. The Hova dialect, being the 
tten language and taught in the schools, is gradually making its way in 
provinces where there are Hova garrisons and traders ; but hitherto, so 
as inâuencing the common speech of the people is concerned, its effect is 
he smallest. 

hâve been asked to contribute a paper to the Annual on the Betsileo 
lect as distinct from that spoken by the Hova : but as the dialects spoken 
the northern districts dîner somewhat frono tbose of the south, thèse 
otes'* will hâve référence only to that portion of the province of which 
bôhimandrôso forms the centre. Sàndra, Lâlanglna and Mànandriana 
h hâve their peculiarities, but my acquaintance with thèse is only small. 
it be understood that it is the dialect of that portion of the Betsileo 
irince fcnown as Arindràno that I now propose to compare with the lan- 
ge of Imerina, and not that of the Bietsileo as a whole. 
he différence between the two dialects is seen in the (i] Pronunciation; 
Use of Différent Words ; (3) Peculiar Uses of Words ; and (4) Construc* 
of Sentences. Add to thèse a peculiar Intonation, and httle more remains 
e said. 

—Pronunciation. i. .J/and n before the consonants 3,/, d, t, k in 
Hova words are almost invariably dropped ; e.g. :— 

unba(H) ATdda (B) Crocodile. Manda (H) Mada(B) A waU. 

^anompo Panojfo Servant. Mainty Maity Black, 

inkato Aiakato Obey. ' 

When not followed by the above-mentioned consonants, the n is com* 
ly pronounced as figm ring, hang, etc. ; e.g. : — 

inetsa (H) Mangetsa (B) To transpant. Manisa (H) Mangisa (B) To count. 

The z in the middle of Hova words is often dropped by the Betsileo j 

r(H) /•>'(B) He, she, it, they. Aiza (H) Aîa {^) Where? 

The final ^ in Hova words is almost always changed into e, as the 
sileo hâve a great objection to the / sound. The final a may be said to 
>w the same rule, though with many exceptions ; e.g. :— 

ly (H) Onge (B) River. Koka (H) Koke (B) Shout, etc. 

Qaly Omale Yesterday. Ketraka Ketrake Faint^ etc. 

in the middle of a word is also occasionally changed into e : e.g. : — 

ikitra (H) Reketst (B) Just, right, etc. Hevitra (H) Hevitse (B) Thought, etc. 

The r in the ending tra in the Hova dialect is invariably changed into 
the Betsileo ; e.g. : - 
inatra (H) MtngaUe (B) Ashamed. Fa&jaitra (H) Fanjaiiu (B) Needle. 



tk The final syllable na in the Hova words is altogetber dropped by the 
Betsilip ; e.g. : — 

Tànanb (H) Tàn^a (B) Hand. Varahina (H) VaraJu (B) Brass. 

SaJiglPr Saho Frog. 

In the districts around Fianàrantsôa, however, the na is retained but is 
sounded very lightly. 

7. In a large number of Betsileo' words, a letter is changed or added; or 
one or more syllables are added; or a change of form, and something 
approaching reduplication, takes place. But it would be diffîcult to classify 
ail thèse changes, as no more than two or three words follow the same nile. 
The following words illustrate the most common of them : — 

No (H) 

















Do or make. 




Omby (H) 



Aombe orAng' 


Famonjena Famonjta 



A rush. 

8. Some of the démonstrative pronouns and adverbs of place may serve as 
further illustrations of thèse changes : — 











lio^ or Itoe 





Eioy or Etœ 

Aioy or Atœ 








Ato (H) Atato (B) Hère. 

Eo Eœo or Èokeo There. 

Ao Aceo or Aokeo do. 

Etsy EtseUy do. 

Atsy Atsahy do. 

Eroa Eroakè do. 

Aroa Aroahè do. 

Ary Arikè do. 

Use of Différent Words. There are some two or three hundred 
in constant use among the Betsileo which are probably absolutely 
unknown in Imerina, besides a large number of unfamiliar cr obsolète Hova 
words ; while, on the other hand, very many of those most familiar to the 
Hova are never heard among the Betsileo. ïo cpive a complète list of such 
words, however, is beyond the scope of thèse "Notes ;" a few examples will 
suffice ; e.g. : — 

Rihana (H) 









Vatst (B) 









Upper âoor. 
A plain. 

A lie. 
Hère it is. 

Tsia* (H) 
Tato ho ato 
Any naraina 


Aby or Abc 

(B) No. 
This moming. 
To-day (future). 

Ange mangam- To-morrow 
finUo moming. 

Ange handro To-morrow. 

Examples of the use of the above : — 

{a) Nahita azy tato ho ato aho (H). (I saw him lately.) Hitako oratrongt 
ùy (B). [b) Lasa izy andro any (H). (He went off this morning.) Roso taty 
saihandro t-y (B). {c) Raha tsy avy anio izy. angamba ho tonga izy raham- 
pitso (H). (If he does not corne to day, perhaps he will come to-morrow.) 
Leha tsa avy andtoange i-y, mainga dia ho avy ange handro (B). [d\ 
Lasan' ny fahavalo ny vehivavy rehetra (H). (The enemy took away ail the 
women). Tongan" ny fahavalo ny apela abe (B). {é) Osa Rabe» fa Ranaivo 
no sahisahy (H). (Rabe is a coward, but Ranaivo is brave). Osa Rabt, fa 
Ranaivo ro mahasaky raha (B). 

^ Note the accents. 


îCULiAR Uses of Words, Cases, and Tenses. The Betsileo 
)f the Personal pronouns differently from the Hova ; thus : — 
ho' ^I) invariably hecomes a ho ; e.g. : — Hoy izaho (H); Hoe aho 

iccusative case of the ist person plural, hangay, is always used 
the plural nominative, 'izahay/ Also the accusative case of the 
î singular and plural, viz. hangao and hangareo^ are always used 
)' and 'hianareo.* Note that the a at the beçinning of Hova words 
pirated by the Betsileo, hence the h in above examples. It may 
^r, that hangao and hangareo were formerly 'hianao' and 'hiana- 
that the / is now dropped. 

2re the Hova suffix pronoun -ny is joined to the préposition atny, 

'o use the personal pronoun azy as well, thus : Lazao aminy (H) ; 

amtn* azy (B). Mifanantera aminy (H) ; Mifanantera amin* azy 

préposition any, used before proper nouns by the Hova, is also 
e the accusative case of the personal pronoun (jrd pers.) ; e.g. : — 
nambolenay azy (H) ; Omaîe no nambolengay ang* azy (B). 
Betsileo hâve a peculiar way of combining the présent and past 
i also the future and past tenses, in some expressions, the following 
most common : — 

[H) Mialà teio (B). Hesorina hiala hianao Halà ieto hangao. 

iho Ho roso Uto aho. Hiainga ho any izy Hienga fange %-y, 

'to izahay Ho afake Uto hangay. 

3NTH-NAMES. The following are the names of the Betsileo months, 
le with those of the Hova months, but as the former dépend more 
e of rice-planting, harvest, and the flowering of certain grasses and 
m on the phases of the moon, the comparison is only approximately 

(H) Vatravatr.^ (B) Adijady (H) Volakiahia (B) 

Asotrizonjô Adalo Sakamasae 

Hatsilia Alohotsy Sakave 

Valasira Alahamady Volambita 

Faosa Adaoro Asaramatsy 

Volamaka Adizaoza Asaramangitse 

^NSLATION OF SCRIPTURE. The following translation of the ist 
e by side with the Hova Revised version, will give the reader a 
;a of the extcnt of différence between the two dialects. 

Hova, Betsileo. 

tra nv olona i. Sambatse nv olo 

landoha oo amv ny fisainan' ny Izay tsa mandcïia eo amy ny fisaingan' ny 

ratsv fangaho, 
iiijanona eo amy ny lâlan' ny Ara tsa inienge eo amy ny làlan' ny rapan- 

pctnika co amy ny fipctrahan' ny Ara tsa mitoetse eo am-pitoeran' ny mpan- 


lalàny Johovah no sitrany ; 2. Fa * ny didin' Angahare ro tt;anc ; 

iny no saintsaininy andro aman- Ara ny didine ro saisaingine andro araang- 

r nv hazo nambolcna eo anioron' 3. Dia tahake ny hazo nambole teo amo- 

i.i îzv, rong-drano vclo i-y. 

ui amv nv fotoanv, Izay mamoa amy ny taonge, 

koa tsv mha malazo ; Ara ny ravene Icoa tsa mba malazo ; 

ny rohctra ataonv lavorary. Ara ataonc cfa soa abc ny asangc. 

i are put in to represent a peculiar way the Betsileo hayc of drawling out certain 




Hava, Bittiim' 

V* Fa tsy mba toy iaany ny ratey fa- 4. tia mba to' Uay...Qy raUy 

nahy, fangahe, [i-y, 

Fa toy ny ako£a aelin* ny rivotra ixy. Eia tahake ny ara-bare aoleO'drivolM 

5. Ary amin' izany dia tsy hahajanona eo 5. Ara amin' ixay dia tta hahatoetie eo 
amy ny msarana ny xatiy fanah]^^ amy ny fitiarà ny ratsy £ianga&e, 

Na ny mpanota eo amy ny nangonan' ny Na ny mpangota eo am-pirorian' ay 

marina. mare. 

6. Fa fantatry Jehovah ny làlan' ny ma- 6. Fa £atatt' Andrianaagaharo ny U« 

rina, Un' ny mare, 

Fa ny làlan' ny ratsy fianahy ho very. Fa ny lilan' ny ratsy fatngahe ho vere. 

VI.— Accent and Intonation. The Betsileo intonation ig somewhat 
broader and heavier than that of the Hova, and they hâve a peculiar way of 
drawling eut some words, especially the conjunction8/a=/if0 (=5/!?] and >^â, 
to which they sometimes attach a kind of p^lrticle ; e.g. /e.,,,ro; see v. 4 
in the above Psalm. Sometimes, however, when they get excited in disputes 
or at a kadâry, they speak with great rapidity (still, however, with an occa- 
sional drawi] ; 80 that it is almost impossible for any one whose ear is uoac- 
customed to their speech to grasp a tnird of what th ey say. They are also 
very démonstrative when speaking, often dancing and leaping about in a 
firantic manner ; and their actions and grimaces at a Jtaàary, for instance, 
are often very amusing. 

Like the Hova they are very fondof proverbs, illustrations, and fables ; and, 
to the best of my knowledge, are far more clever than the Hova in extempo- 
rizing a parable or illustration. Many of our Betsileo preachers hâve ail the 
éléments of good speakers, and with a little polish would certainly make 
creditable orators. Those who hâve had any éducation, however, hardly 
ever preach in their own dialect, but in more or less perfect Hova. And as 
that dialect alone is written, we think it wise to encourage the Betsileo to 
learn and speak it as much as possible. 



THOUGH the Bètsimisàraka, in common with ail heathen nations, 
hâve an intense appréciation of the power for evil possessed by 
the spirits in which they believe, they yet seem superior to many in that 
they do recognise One Being, suprême over ail. They hâve no fiction 
of destiny or fate, to which even the king of the gods must bow, for 
they do not say that a man*s life is governed by a good or evil fate, but 
that he is '/sara (good) Zànahàry' or 'ràtsy (bad) Zanahary' This 
Zanahary they represent as a Suprême Being, Creator of ail things, 
immaterial, without visible form, dwelling above, and being everywhcre. 
Hc, in ail religions observances, is invoked first of ail. Though they 
use both * isard Zattiihary and 'ratsy Zanahary' as mentioned above, 
they will not allow that evil cornes from Him ; the former expression 


, is often used in the sensé of a 'providence' or 'pièce of good fortune.' 
Any Betsimisaraka having a natural defect or peculiarity will not say 
simply, **I was born so," but, "so Zanahary made me." I remembèr also 
' the case of a village idiot who did odd jobs for the inhabitants, such 
I as pounding rice or cutting firewood. When the people tried to take 
I advantage of his weakness of intellect and cheat him of his wages, he 
I vould say, "You think you can cheat me because I am a fool, but Zana- 
hary sees." 

The lesser divinities, ^Zanahary kély^ are also reverenced, as well as 
the dead anceators ; of the latter each family has its own ; and the more 
remote they are, the more they seem to be reverenced ; thèse are ail 
invoked in their religions cérémonies. Owing to some connection with 
their ancestors, certain animais are reverenced by varions tribes ; e.g. 
one family claims to be descended from a woman who was born of a 
cow, and therefore does not eat beef ; another shews the greatest respect 
for the bàbakbto fLichanotus brevicaudaius J , the largest species of lemur, 
because one was said to hâve saved an ancestor from a severe fall ; the 
dead body of this lemur they bury with the honours paid to a human 
being, and any person having shot one would find it hard to get a night's 
lodging in one of the villages of the tribe. 

The àngatroy which is much dreaded, seems to correspond exactly 
to the vulgar *ghost* in England. It is, they say, the spirit of the dead 
person and dwells in the air, but more particularly haunts the place 
where the body lies, sitting, some say, at the head of the corpse. No 
Betsimisaraka would approach a grave after dusk, and they believe that 
diseases or misfortunes befall those who offend the angatra in any way, 
or even take up their abode too near them ; loud talking or laughing, it 
is said, is peculiarly objectionable to some of thèse ghosts. They can give 
no reason for their dread, but they believe that the design of the angatra 
is to cause fear. In some cases, they say, it is heard to speak even in 
broad daylight, without any appearance accompanying the voice. 

On one occasion in the country one of my boatmen was sleeping 
alone in a small outbuilding in use as a kitchen ; about midnight we 
were aroused by terrible groans and exclamations, and on our going to 
him, we found him sitting up trembling, and he declared to us that he 
bad not been asleep, but that soon after he lay down something came 
ind grasped him by the throat, preventing him for some time from 
::alling out. He assured us that there was a ghost there, and that he 
must corne and share our house, which he did. One can only be aston- 
ished that such ghostly visitations are not more common, considering 
that a native usually retires to rest immediately after a very hearty meal. 

Besides the spirits already mentioned, almost every tree or stone or 
pièce of ground seems to hâve its démon or spirit, generally exerting its • 
power for evil on offence given, but sometimes for good. We find a resuit 
Df the latter belief in the custom of making a thank-offering (manao tsika- 
fàraj on a particular spot, if the ground had been more than ordinarily 
productive ; or if it were the site of a house, after inhabiting which thé 
owner had been remarkably fortunate. In this case, after the usual 
invocations, he invokes this *holy ground,' that is, I suppose, the spirit 



und«r whose protection it is, though as a fact, the place or thing itself 

is always spoken of. Passing one day in a canoë along a very narrow 
stream quite overhung with trees, I noticed that in one particularly 
awkward spot the branches were covered with strips of cloth knotted on 
to them. On asking the rowers why this particular tree was thus deco- 
rated, I was told that "it is mighty, it killed a Vazàha,*' The truth soon 
appeared on enquiry: a trader passing and finding the thick overhanging 
branches most inconvénient, had them hacked down, and it so happened 
that shortly afterwards the said trader died. His illness and death were 
put down to the vengeance of the offended spirit of this tree, and hence 
the respect shewn to it, and the désire to propitiate it. (I hâve not 
discovered whether the spirit of the tree is supposed to be a maie or a 
female ; it would be curions to see if we should get at anything like the 
ancient Nymph of the tree.) It may be noticed, in passing, that attach- 
ing a strip of cloth is the recognised mode of propitiation or, at any 
rate, of shewing respect; I hâve seen a stone of peculiar sanctity swathed 
in a comparatively large pièce, but such liberality is the exception. 

Another curions custom in this same narrow stream is that of knot- 
ting the long flags on the margin ; this I was assured was done, as we 
should say, *for luck.* On another occasion our boat passed a lovely 
spot, when the end of a range of hills met the water in a steep slope 
clothed with fine trees and dense creepers. This was the more remark- 
able, as the surrounding heights were quite bare, and it really looked at 
first sight as if the natives had been loath to spoil the effect of this 
beautiful bit of scenery ; but, on asking how it was that this had escaped 
being cleared for rice-planting, I was at once told that the attempt had 
been made, but that there was *something* there. **What do you mean 
by something ?" I asked, *'snakes, or wasps, or what ?" **No ! No !" 
was the answer, *'something uncanny ; and any one who has attempted 
to clear it has very shortly corne to a bad end." It is quite clear that the 
guardian spirit of that place had a better appréciation of natural beauty 
than the natives. 

The thank-offering (manao tsikafara) mentioned above is, as we hâve 
seen, intimately connected with this belief in local spirits, and it will 
serve as a type of other religions cérémonies. It is the usual form of 
thank-offering for any pièce of good fortune, recovery from illness, 
préservation from danger, etc. It is generally hekl at one of the mémo- 
rial stones or posts which are found scattered about the country, and 
most frcquently in the centre of the villages. The main part of the 
ccremony is killing an ox. This is taken to the appointed place, togethor 
with a supply of native rum. The ox having been slaughtered, some 
portion is set apart with a little rum and white rice, and thèse are placed 
upon a sort of table made ol short sticks bound together with creepers. 
Then the spirits are invoked, — first Zanahary lehihey then the lesscr 
divinities, maie and female, white and red, then a long string of the 
ancestors of ail présent. It is a deadly insuit to omit to invite any one 
member of a family, and to pass over the name of one of the ancestors 
is also a serions oft'ence. The invocation ended, the méat is divided 
amid singing, dancing, and rum-drinking ; the close of the ceremony is 


usually gênerai intoxication. In the oifering of the first-fruits, Vvhile the 
chief cérémonies are virtually the same, though more elaborated and 
generally held in the house, it is the custom in soine districts tQ allow 
the children to scramble for the méat and rice which had been set apart - 
for the spirits. 

I can get no explanation of the custom of calling upon the gods, 
white and red ; some say it has no particular meaning, and so we may 
suppose only arises, like the altar ''to the unknown god/' from a fecir lest 
some god should be omitted. 

The objects which are Fady^ or tabooed, seem to be much more 
numerous than in Imerina, and some are very curions. 

Some of our newly-entered school-children would eat nothing that had 
been carried in a hat; on one occasion many refused to partake of the 
îaoka (relish, on the coast always fish), because the boy who had been 
sent to buy the sait for it had brought it back in his cap. On another 
occasion, at a school treat, when the children were ravenously hungry 
through long waiting, and the méat was just being served out, one big 
fellow got up suddenly and, with tears in his eyes, walked oif and threw 
himself down under a bush ; poor fellow ! to eat any part of an ox*s head 
\\?is/ady in his family, and he had just caught sight of a pièce of jaw 
amongst the méat. Many again will not touch an eel (this is especially 
the case with the more southern tribes) ; and while you may pass through 
one village swarming with pigs, in the next, pork \^fadyt and not a pig 
is to be seen. Thèse ideas are frequently very inconvénient, as in the 
case of a servant whose/â^ was milk, for she was very unwilling even to 
carry a vessel containing it, for fear any drop should be spilled upon her. 

Coming to the Folk-lore of the Betsimisaraka, it is curions to find the 
main features of the stories which come to us from other countries rep- 
resented also in thèse ; in the few instances I propose to give, everyone will 
probably recognise some similarity to stories they hâve known from child- 
hood, and yet in every case thèse taies hâve been told me by the natives. 

First then we hâve Mermaids, called Zdzavàvy an-drânOj which cer- 
tainly hâve a strong family likeness to those of sailor lore ; they are said 
to be seen sitting upon rocks or by the shore (not generally the wa-shore, 
by the way), combing thcir hair, which is very long and beautiful. There 
are said to be some dwelling under the bluffât Màhanôro ; and on rare 
occasions others are said to hâve been caught in the nets of fishermen in 
other waters. The story goes that one fisherman out alone caught one 
in his net, and, being captivated by her beauty, proposed that she should 
become his wife ; she consented, but wamed him that he must never 
reproach her with her origin, or she would be compelled to leave him ; 
to this he agreed, and the couple lived happily together for some time, 
three children being bom to them. But one day, the man coming in at 
mid-day hungry and tired and, says the story, rather drunk, found his 
food not ready ; this led to words, and finally the man, losing his teniper, 
said, **\Vho are you to talk to me in that way? you are nothing but a thing 
I took out of the water." The wife made no answer, but on returning 
in the evening again, the fisherman found her gone, and with her his 
two younger children. The rest was told him by his eldest boy. As soon 


as his father had left the house after his meal, his mother took bim and 
the two other children down to the water, and holding one child in each 
hand (and the baby, I suppose, on her back in the usual fashion, but 
history saith not), she at once plunged in and dived. The boy soon had 
enough of it, and his mother noticing that he was being sufifocated, took 
him ashore again and said, ''You are no good ; go back to your £Éither ! 
You are no son of mine 1" Then leaving him on the shore, she again 
dived with her two children and was never seen again. 

It appears, however, that thèse dwellers in the water are not always 
females. In a large pièce of water on the high(water)-way south of 
Mahanoro, between Âmbôdihàrana and Ândrànotsàra, is said to be a 
colony of people possessing large herds of cattle. The story is that a 
father and two sons lived on the shore of this lake. One day a serions 
quarrel occurred about driving up the cattle into their pen, and the 
father declared that he would hâve nothing more to do with them if they 
would not obey him. The two young men apparently took him at his 
Word, went down to the water, and were last seen paddling out into the 
lake in their canoë. Some months after they returned home and asked 
their father if he was ready to give way ; on his stemly refusing to do 
anything of the sort, they went off again in their canoë and returned no 
more ; and, says the story, there they are, doing very well under the water, 
with large herds of oxen. The story further says that after high winds, 
when the water has been much agitated, leaves which hâve been used as 
spoons and dishes, and the other ordinary refuse of a Betsimisaraka 
house, are washed up. No account is given of how thèse two young men 
bccame a colony ; one is sorry to miss the probably interesting story of 
their watery wooing. Whatever we may think of the story, the fact 
remains, that the natives hâve a great dread of this pièce of water, and 
are always much relieved when they hâve got safely over it. This is 
more particularly true of the people in the immédiate neighbourhood, 
and if you ask them why they are especially afraid of this lake, they say, 
*'Because there is *something' in it," which is perhaps more than one can 
say of the story. 

We next come to the forest, and from there we get endless stories of 
the 'Kàlanôro,^ a sort of wild-man-of-the-woods, represented as very short 
of stature, covered with hair, with flowing beard, in the case of the maie, 
and with an amiable weakness for the warmth of a fire. An eye-witness 
relates that once, when spending a night in the heart of the forest, he lay 
awake watching the fire, whith had died down to red embers, when 
suddenly he became aware of a figure answering to the above description 
warming himself at the fire, and apparently enjoying it immensely. 
According to his story, he put a summary end to the gentleman's enjoy- 
ment by stealing down his hand, grasping a stick, and sending a shower 
of red-hot embers on to his unclothed visitor, who immediately, and 
most naturally, fled with a shriek. Another tells how, on a similar 
occasion, the maie appeared first, and after inspecting the premises and 
finding, as well as a fire, some rice left in the pot, sumraoned his better 
half; the pair squatted in front of the fire and — touching picture of 
conjugal affection — procecded to feed one another ! 


One must confess that tbe créature described looks suspiciously like 
one of the larger sorts of lemur ; but in a village near Mahanoro, and qq 
the verge of the forest. the inhat)it^ats say that very freq^enlly thèse wild 
people çoiTie for^gii^gin tlieir ï^ouses for r^nipant^ of foqdi a^id may be 
he^d calling to one another in the street. 

i\s might naturally be e^çpectçd in a country covered in every direction 
with rivers and lagoons, ail alike swarming with crocodiles, there are 
many stories of the marvellous escapes or dreadfiil deaths of people who 
who bave met with them ; but in addition to thèse, there are some 
curious ideas current about thèse brutes. The Mpàmosàvy (witches) 
are always represented as being on most friendly terms with the 
crocodiles ; it really seems to be a well-authenticated fact that thèse 
women can with impunity go down to the waterside after dark. Thev 
are said frequently on tî^ese occasions to feed Iheir strange pets with 
rice, and sometimes to entice them out of the water and take them for a 
stroll through the village at midnight ; they are also accused of trying to 
persuade people to bathe near the lair of their pet crocodile, with a view 
to fumishing him with a satisfactory meal. It is also said that if a cro- 
codile has attacked any person and tom off a limb or portion of flesh, 
and the wound proves fatal, the crocodile will sooner or later find its way 
to the grave of its victim. Many, I hâve been told, hâve been surprised 
by daylight while doing so, and, being bad travellers on dry land, hâve 
been easily overtaken by the inhabitants and slaughtered. It is quite 
certain that it is not so very uncommon to hear of a crocodile being 
found on dry land, far away from any water, but its motive in placing itself 
so fatally at a disadvantage must of course be mère matter of conjecture. 

The above particulars hâve been collected' merely in the ordinary 
course of work and travelling, and will serve some purpose if any one is 
thereby induced to undertake a more thorough investigation of what can 
hardly fail to be an interesting subject. 

G. Herbert Smith. 


AMONG the first fruits of peace between France and Madagascar is a 
welcome addition to the small, but steadily increasing, number of 
Works helpful to those interested in the study of the Malagasy language, viz. 
a Grammar in French, by the Rev. Pcre Causseque, S.J.,* recently published 
at the Press of the French Mission. This is a book of 198 pp. i2mo, that is, 
nearly double the size of Père VVebber's Grammar (1855), and about half as 
large as that of Père Ailloud (1872). This Grammar is clear and concise in 
arrangement, and is well illustrated by a good sélection of genuine Malagasy 

• Grammaire Malgache par Le R. P. Pierre Causseque y S.^., Missionaire de Madagascar. 
Antananarivo. Imprimerie Catholique, 1886. 

phrases. The most serioui otiiectloD to certaio portions is, that they leem to 
De formed too much on the style of gratnmara of the Latin and of tnodein 
European languajireB, and we get what appear such neediesB paradignis »s 
thosecoQtainedonpp. 68—81, etc., and wehear too much of "conditional"aDd 
"subjunctive" mooda, as if we hsd under our considération a language in 
whicb separate forma for theae moods actually esisted. Thèse, tof^ether with 
other apparently needless natter (e.g. { i, Za graftifnaire tnalgache 
tnseigne à parler et à écrire correctment en malgache), seem to hâve been 
inserted more for the use of MaUgasy students than for foreigners ; and as 
we meet them in our perusal of the book, it is due to the author to bear io 
mind hls own explanatloo contained in the prefoce ("Dans la réduction de 
cette grammaire, j' ai suivi le plan de la grammaire générale, et cela 
^our deux raisons: premièrement, par cette méthode, nos élhies malgache 
seront mieux initiés à r étude de la langue française ; en second Iteu, il 
m' a semblé que mes compatriotes seraient bien aises de trouver Us 
matières traitées dans le mhne ordre que dans leur propre langue. On 
pourrait ajouter que la clarté ne perd rien à cet arrangement^. On 
comparison with the Grammar of P^re Ailloud publiahed 14 years ago, the 
présent work will be seen to possess far greater cleamess of arrangemertt 
and more conciseness of statement, and it also greatly excels its prcdecessot 
in its sélection of examples. To one belonging to what Père Causseque calls 
"the Anglo-Malagasy school," this new Cframmar has peculiar interest, in 
that it shows a much greater disposition to confoim to g'eneral usage in the 
mode of writing Malagasy than has been shown by anytning hitherto writteo 
by.a French author. Especially noticeahle is the clear and decided position 
Père Causseque takes as to the desirability of joining the fragments of the 
personal pronouns with the words they defîne. For years it has seemed an 
incompréhensible thing to many hère that French writers could still be 
content to foUow the earlier Protestant missionaries (as shown, for instance. 
in the New Testament of 1830, and in the Bible of 1835), and writew/ianafr'u, 
ntpiana' ny,fo ko, atny ko, etc., insiead of mpianatro, tnpianany, foko, 
amiko, etc. Let us hope that at last ail authorities will agrée to foUow the 
usage that has prevaited from 1862 in "the Angio Malagasy school," as the 
mode most in harmony with that followed in other langua^es in which thèse 
abbreviated pronominal suffixes exist, and in favour of which Père Causseque 
o clearly and cogently argues in thi *" 

in tbe mode of writîng certain classes of phrases, This Appe 
obtained separately for sixpence, and is worthy of careful study by every one 
interested in Malagasy orthography. There are four points in it that demand 
spécial notice. 

(i) The first of thèse is the Use of the Apostrophe. Père Causseque says 
veryjustly thatweof "ihe Anglo-Malagasy school" do not seem to hâve 
attained to any consistent and well grounded principles as to the use of this 
sign, Confessedly much uncertainty and perplexity are felt by those who hâve 
the responsibility of correcting the press. Indeed one of our best linguists has 
asserted that wherc the use of the hyphen bcgins rcason ends [see Annual 
VI., p. 6j, etc.), and possibly he would be quite willing to include the 
apostrophe also in his doctrine of despair. Père Causseque proposes to 
remedy this uncertainty by the introduction of one simple and thorough- 
goinç principle, viz., that the apostrophe he nsed only and always to mark 
an ehsion, either of a single vowel or of a syllable, whether with or withoul 
a euphonie change of conaonant. He would thus write sàtrok' andr'tana, 
sàtro' birozàny, hivi" tiny,fântatr' izy miànaka, làlan' ny ilona, anatré- 


harC ny vahôaka, etc. Thougb some of thèse phrases thus written would 
00k strange for a time to those who hâve been accustomed to our présent 
vay of writing them, one cannot fail to see at a glance that in that most 
roublesome task» the teaching of young Malagasy to write their own 
anguage with correctness, the labour would be greatly lessened were we 
o adopt this one simple rule, which would cover thousands of examples, 
rhere would of course still remain the uncertainty as to whether two words 
lad become so intimately united as to hâve become one, and thus no longer 
equiring any break to suggest their origin ; for instance, are we to write 
zàva* pôana or zâvapâana, Aévf têny or hêvitêny^ 6lom* éhtsin' andrtana 
)r hiomphtsin' andrtana ? But usage would gradually settle ail outstanding 
questions of this kind. 

(2) The second principle I refer to is, that the Hyphen should only be used 
^'hen uncontracted words are sufficiently united in meaning to require some 
sign of their connection, but cannot be considered to hâve so far coalesced 
is to form single words. Thus Père Causseque would write {briteny^ Ihha^ 
t^nyt te- ho sàmbatra, etc. This again would be an easily understood rule, 
md would tend greatly to diminish the number of hyphens in use. We of 
"the Ânglo* Malagasy schooF* hâve been accustomed to use the hyphen not 
3nly in such cases as the above, but also when a syllable bas been thrown 
away, as in zàva-'Pbana, misàmbo^halàla^ ôlomàrma, and also when, 
through the elision of a vowel, two consonants bave corne together, as in 
fitiàvan*kar}na^ fisotréan-téaka. 

[x) Ânother important change advocated by Père Causseque is the Omission 
of the Apostrophe in such phrases as trànon* ny hlona, vblan* ny méivàro» 
ira, His strongest argument in favour of this change is, that it enaoles us 
to see at a glance whether a word belongs to what he well names **tnots 
iécroissanS,^^ or to **mofs croissants,** that is to say, between nouns ending io 
a weak terminal ^ka, ira, naj, and those that possess a firm terminal. This 
distinction is clearly marked m the language, and it might be a gain to use 
a simple n with no apostrophe with words possessing the firm endings, 
whenever they are followed b}^ a possessive case, etc. for, as French Gram- 
marians would say, by their ** comblement indirect,*^ see §11}. Père 
Causseque ar^es that the apostrophe is neither necessary, usefiil, nor free 
from inconvenience (see Appendix, p. 19-22). As spécimens of the various 
classes of words affected by the adoption of this rule, Père Causseque gives 
the foUowing : — 

\ fitinin ny hlona. j trànon io 6lona io, 

{ hitan ny rêny tsàra. » httan i Fàra, 

* ( trànon hlona, , | tànim bàry, 
\ httan blona, \ tanin kètsa, 

îhat some sign of connection between a *'mot croissant'* and its **comple- 
ment indirect ' is required, Père Causseque hilly concèdes, and refers to rère 
VVebber*s statement to the sarne efifect : ^' Ce fait si important n'a pas 
échappé au génie du F, Webber. Uès Vannée 1855, ^^ ^^ constate dans sa 
grammaire, p. 59, en ces termes : *Les hovas les plus intelligents, dit-il, 
doublent toujours le ny et écrivent ^ny tranony ny vahiny, ny nataony ny 
Mpanjaka, ny tompony ny lakana**^ Père Causseque was not probably 
aware that the above statement was taken from the Grammar of Mr. Edward 
Baker (p. 26), formerly Missionary Printer hère. For some years we printed 
a double ny, as in the above examples ; but in 1873 I proposed to substitute 
an apostrophe for the^ of the first ny, and to write thus : trànon' ny olona 
[see my Grammar, p. 44 of the first édition). This plan was adopled tenta- 
tively by the Bible Révision Committee, and in a remarkably short time was 
received with approbation both by natives and by foreigners of "the Anglo- 


Malagaay achool." This swept away a vast aumber of ambigulties, and na» a 
fair représentation of the actusl pronuaciation. OfcoureeonPèreCausseqne's 
principle UUt the apostrophe marks an elision, we are bound either to show 
that <he «' represents a ny, oc to ackaowledge ourselves convicted of an 
inconsistency. 1 hâve long inclbed to the belief that this m (with the similar 
« or m found in such compounds as tànin-kélsa, tànim-bary) js a fragment 
of the pronominal suffix ny ; but I caonut point to any décisive proof thaï 
this is so ; and as the pnnting of n' involves a theory, and the simple R 
equally well represents the sound, and would enable us to see at a glaoce 
whether the Word before us was one that had suffered the losa of a final 
■^tyntXf^'mot dfcroùsant' ),o\ one that, having a firra final syllable, had 
received the addition of n to indicate that it was foDowed by a possessive, 
agent, etc., I can see that Pire Causseque's suggestion has some ciear 
advantages, and coinmend it to the careful considération of those who are 
interested in Malagasy oithography. Should we on the whole gain or Xan 
by adopting it ? At présent a final n' suegests a possessive, etc., but décides 
nothing as to the character of the word ; but if we follow Père Causseque*s 
fuie, the n' will suggest this, with tlie additional fact that we havc before us 
a "mot décroissant," whilst n wiU suggest the possessive, etc., and at the 
same time remind us that the word to which it has been appended is a "mot 

(4) The last point to be noticed bere is the printing of the Prefix 1 before 
the names of persons and places which hâve not already received one of the 
other préfixes (An, Sa, Andrùin, Raini). Pire Causseque's remarks and 
illustrations bearing on this point inay be seen in 538, 330, 331 of the Granf 
mar, and on pp. 43, 44 of the Appendix. Attention has already been called 
to this question, not only in brief notices in the Grammars, but aiso in a 
tepftTSte paper publisbeâ a year or iwo since by the Rev. R. Baron, F.L 5., 
and reprinted in thit number of the Annual. 1 hâve long felt that the 
repilar use of this prefix would tend greatly to lesaen eiisting ambiguities. 
It is clearly enough retained in the pronuaciation of the natives, as, for 
instance, in such phrases as vàdiny Adàma, zànaky Abrahima. If the 
natives considered Adanta and Abrahatna as complète names as Andriam- 
bilo, for example, they would as naturally say and write vadin' Adama, 
zanak' Abrahama as they do vadin' Andriambelo, etc., but to thèse form» 
they at once object. Is not the simplest explanation of their objection to be 
found in thr fact that everv proper name requires a prefix, and that to foreign 
words like^i^iima and .ij^ro^ama, ihe prefix i is the only one admissible ? 
as no one seems disposed to say Andrianadanta or Rabrahatna. The only 
argument of any force that 1 hâve heard urged against the writing of this 
prefix t is, that it is wanting in respect ; and to a certain extent this is quite 
true. /ôwona. for instance, is less respect fui than Rànona; but when we 
find such phrases as Ingàhy Prime Mtnister, ivàdinao, isakaizanao, t&m- 
pokolàky, etc., we see that too much weighl ought not to be laid up-in this 
objection. Some ofour native helpers in the Revision Committee would be 
disposed to accept the innovation of printing this ;', if only the two wocds 
yesosy and fehovak might be made ixceptions, as ihey feel there would be 
serions irrévérence in writing i Jesosy and i Jekavah. But what, one 
might ask, is the différence between ieniny yesosy and tenin' i yesoQt 
The Sound is the same, and the second form appears to suggest the true 
analysis of the phrase. Much inconvenience arises from our not using this 
prefix, as Mr. Baron has abundanlly shown. Some time since I received a 
note pointine out an ainbiguity in our translation of i KingB xv. j^ f"tae 
2'i/za Sasa J. The combination of thèse two words sugg:ested that Tiru 
Basa U a compound pioper ooun (like Sàùaria'Fili^, etc.)> The flu^ei- 


tion of the wtiter was that we should wtite ^*tao Tirza i Basa^^^ which he said 
would at once convey the correct meaning. I hesitate to recommend the 
adoption of this suggestion in the new édition of the Bible soon to be printed, 
because it has received no fair trial in our gênerai literature. Supposing it 
were fairly tried for a few years, until compétent l'udges could form an opinion 
as to its usefulness and propriety, it might be hereafter introduced into 
éditions of the Scriptures. 

I hâve selected the four suggestions enumerated above, because they seem 
to me of ereat interest and importance, and also because I think that, as far 
as possible, foreigners of ail parties should strive to attain uniformity in their 
modes of writing Malagasy. We are certainly drawing nearer to this désira- 
ble goal, and raay now cherish the hope that soon there will be no "Anglo- 
Malagasy*' or "Franco- Malagasy'' school ; but that in Malagasy, as in 
our own languages, there will be, in the main, but one standard, to which ail 
carefui writers will feel bound to conform. 

William E. Cousins. 


THE author of the following vagabond verses seems to hâve been 
one of those gifted unfortunates who sometimes straggle into 
the charmed domains of genius from the border-land of craziness. 
But Biàzavôla had as much of the rogue as of the artist in his nature, 
and his morals were as loose as the rhythms of his ditty. He appeared 
in Antanànarlvo during the time of the first Rànavàlona. Certainly 
net a shining light to enter the darkness of those much overclouded 
days, for he quickly became notorious by preying on the people through 
their superstitions. The account he gave of himself was, that he was a 
scion of a princely family of western Onjàtsy,* and that like most of that 
peculiar caste, he had the power of the evil tongue. Sàkaiàva-iand has 
always been the haunt of sorcery and things mysterious, and the Hova 
of Imérina were not prepared thirty years ago, as they probabiy would 
be now, to dispute the ciaims of an unknown prophet who had confi- 
dence enough in his professions to dare a crowded market-place to put 
him to the test. "Better lose the littie that I require," said Biazavola, 
**than be foilowed by the Onjatsy's curse," as he boidly walked amongst 
the squatting traders and helped himself to whatever took his fancy. To 
whom were the suflferers to appeal ? Did not the terrible Queen herself « 
summon the chiefs of this stranger's clan to curse the white-men's war- 
ships when they assembled to attack her eastem ports ? Biazavola, with 
an Arabian waist-cloth about his loins, a conical red hat upon his head, 
and a staff of sacred tamarind in his hand, was master of the situation. 

* Prieitt or divinari, chiefly among; the Taadsy, AntankÂrana and SàkaUva ; lee Annual 
m., p. 3Z {jR%prifU^ p.a86).^£DS. 


The mild-faCed wanderer, for of such an aspect one conceives him to 
hâve been, into whose eyes, when thwarted, would leap the flash of a 
doomful imprécation, was more than a match for ail the uninspired 
sanity of the chafferers of the mart. But alas ! Biazavola could not be 
always great. His erratic wits would sometimes straggle home again, 
and then he became a common fool. On such occasions he used to stand 
in the busy thoroughfare and deliver what he called a 'Message from the 
Throne/ admonishing ail and sundry in good set terms not to cheat or 
steal, but tô pay their way like honest men and women. The Malagasy 
are quick to see the joke which lurks in outrageous inconsistency, and 
must hâve been prodigiously amused. 

Amusement, however, soon casts out fear, and so it came about that 
when Biazavola began his Onjatsy opérations in a market near the Royal 
Palace, a complaint was made to Her Majesty respecting him, and he 
was immediately put in chains. The fetters, it is said, were unusually 
heavy, and, in some way or other, one of his legs was broken, and he 
became a wretched cripple. Then it was that Biazavola's démon urged 
him into song. His misery made a bard of him. He took to himself 
half of a dried pumpkin-shell, attached it to a suitable handle of wood, 
iitted on three taut strings, composed his jigging ditty, and once more 
appeared in the great market-place, with a much better outfit this time 
than any amount of Onjatsy curses. 

There was probably not much music in his rude guitar, but he had an 
excellent voice, and the bubbling human nature of his verse carried 
everything before it. He touched Imerina in its tenderest heart and 
became a tremendous success. No longer was it necessary for him to 
help himself unlawfully to the needs of life : he was helped by ail who 
heard him. He had sung his sour, he deserved his supper, and there 
was enough and to spare both for nim and the slave-girl who was bis 
constant companion, and of whom he sometimes used to sing : — 

"I shall never forget my Tsàramièra ; 
If there's broth in tbe pot, we shall drink togethefi 
And if méat be left, we shall eat together." | 

But there was little room for genius in the land in those days, and ' 
least of ail for genius which could not hold its tongue. Biazavola con- 
trived to offend almost as much by his repentance as he had previously 
done by his crimes ; and it was decided to rid the city of him as a toc 
pathetic nuisance. His chains were removed, and he and his Tsàra- 
mièra were compelled to retum to the quarter whence they came. 


î 3 5 

Ry Tahoaka, ry olona I Ry vahoaka, vy olona ! Ry vahoaka, ry olona ! 

Tsontsa anie Biazavola : Ny ana-dray aman-dreny Tsy mba nitoto vary abo ; 

Nefa tsy nangalatr' olona, Aiatsaho any an-kibo, Tsy mba nantsaka irano abc { 

Tsy mba nihady fasana, Fa tsipak* ombelaby : Tsy mba nisoron' afo abo ; 

Tsy mba nanamy trano, Ka mabavoa, mabafaty, Tsy mba nitaona xozika abo ; 

Tsy mba nangalatr' ombv; Tsy maliavoa, uialufanina. Tsy mba nikapa hazo abo ; 

Fa matin' nr vava tsy na)iy, Sadv mananatra anareo abo Tsy mba nitaona vato abo ; 

Ka matin' ny vava nâtaony. No mandatsa ny tcnako. Dâdako o, aeniko o» barako o I 



ika, ry olona I 
menatr* olona ; 
ika nitrotro ; 
5, ry zokiko o ! 
I, ry zandriko o I 
3, ry taniko o 1 
o o, ry namako o 1 

Ry Tahoaka, ry olona ! 
Tsontsa anie ano e i 
Latsa anie aho e ! 
Resy anie aho e ! 
Very anie aho e 1 
Ory anie aho e 1 
Ambaka anie aho e ! 
Maty anie aho e I 

Dadako o, tny tsontsa va re aho ? 
Neniko o, tsy latsa va re aho ? 
Zokiko o, tsy resy va re aho ? 
Zandriko o, tsy vexy va re aho ? 
Havako o, tsy ory va re aho ? 
Taniko o, tsy menatra va re aho ? 
Namako o, toy ambaka va re aho ? 
Sakaizako o, tsy maty va re aho ? 

Ry vahoaka, ry olona f 
Izao teniko isao, ly zareo, 
£nto amin' Ikalatokana : 
Mifona anie aho e ! 
Mandady anie aho e i 
Mitsotra anie aho e 1 
Mibaboka anie aho e i 
Mihohoka anie aho e I 

BÏAZAVOLA (Translation). 

od people and countrymea 1 
bas left Biazavola ; 
le never kidnapped anyoae, 
r on tombs made robbery, 
r was he a burglar, 
r he lifted cattle ; 
guilty of things unintended, 
on for talking too freely. 

od people and countrymen ! 
led am I now in sight of you ; 
iaddy used to nurse me, 
never grew tired of fondling ; 
iy mine O, brother mine I 
my mine 0, sister mine ! 
and kin O, O home of mine O! 
idso'mineOfO mates o'mmeO! 

od people and countrymen ! 

counsel parents give you, 

t find a place in your bosoms ! 

ke a buli 't may kick you, 

hit you it will kill you, 

• not 't will take your breath 


giving you advice and warning 

an awful example too. 

od people and countrymen ! 
; it bas left me, I say, 
led am I now, I say, 
Q in the mud, I say, 
altoçether, I say, 
:ched indeed, I say, 
>ed and cheated, I say, 
; for for ever and aye. 

5 O good people and countrymen ! 
Never would pound the rice, Biaza, 
Never would sfo to well, Biaza, 
Never would feed the fire, Biaza, 
Never would fetch manure, Biaza, 
Never would chop up wood, Biaza, 
Never would carry stones, Biaza, 
Daddy mine O, mammy mine 0, 

kith and kin O I 

6 good people and countrymen I 
My prayer praying to the Queen, 

my kind folks, 
Take it up to Ikàlatôkana ; 
I plead and beseech Her indeed, 
I grovel before Her indeed, 
A suppliant sinner indeed, 
A pénitent prostrate indeed, 
In dust and in ashes indeed. 

7 Daddy mine O, Tm vagabond, am 

I not? 
Mammy mine 0, reproach to you, 

am I not ? 
Brother mine O, down-trodden, O 

am I not ? 
Sister mine 0, I 'm castaway, am I 

not ? 
Kith and kin 0, in misery, am I not P 
Home of mine O, ashamed of thee, 

am I not ? 
Mates o' mine O, V m badly-used, 

am I not ? 
Friends o* mine 0, Tm done for^ 

O am I not ? 





CHARLES X. had returned to his dominions after his mad plunge into 
the Ukraine, and the, to him, fatal and décisive battle of Pultowa. 
His fortunes had becoroe desperate, but his Prime Minister, Gortz, formed a | 
scheme to benefit his master. The détails of this scheme introduce the 
following passage : — 

"For a long time past, pirates of ail nations, and particularly from 
England, had formed amongst themselves an association and infested ail the 
seas of Europe and America. Pursued everywhere and, when captured, 
granted no quarter, they at last retired to the coast of Mad^gascar. X Hère 
were thèse desperate men, notorious for deeds that only lacked jùSTlCè to be 
called heroic. They sougfat for a prince who would be willing to receive 
them under his protection ; but the laws of nations shut them out from ail 
the ports of the world. 

''From the time that they were sure that Charles had returned to Swedeo, 
they hoped that this prince, with his passion for war, which it seemed 
necessarv for him to make, and lacking both âeet and soldiers, would corne 
to some happy arrangement with them ; they therefore sent a deputy to him, 
who came to Europe in a Dutch vessel. île proposed to Baron Gortz to 
receive them at the port of Gottenburgh, where they offered to render them- 
selves up with sixty vessels, loaded with wealth. 

"The baron induced the king to agrée to the proposition; and the following 
year two Swedish gentlemen, named Cromstrom and Mendal, were sent to 
complète the négociation with thèse corsairs of Madagascar. Charles found 
afterwards some help more noble and more important in the Cardinal Albe- 
roni, a powerful geoius, who had governed Spain so long for his own glory, 
and veiy little for the good of that country." 

Translated from Histoire de Charles xii. far VolUiire, by 

Thos. Brockway. 


DURING a visit to Antsihànaka the year before last, I saw an exten- 
sive deposit of hmestone, of a coàrse crystalline texture, some reddish, some 
white. It occurs about a mile south of Ambàtondrazàka, and also a little 
fùrther distance north of that town. No use has ever been made of it, and 
its true nature is unknown to the natives. Yellow jasper rock occurs in the 
same neighbourhood, and also a compact cherty rock almost like âint. 

Quartz is very plentifuUy disiributed throughout the district of Antsihà- 
naka, and in some parts the hili-sides are covered with immense blocks of 
the pink or rose vatiety. On one hili, in addition to ordinary white quartz 
of every degree of transparency, I found the rose, milky, and smoky varieties, 
and also a bright blue stone apparently quartz also« Imbedded in the quartz 
rock was a large crystal, over six inches across, of a duU-blue colour ; but as 
I had no suitable tools with me, it was impossible to get anything but small 
pièces, into which it easily broke from the effect of long exposure of its upper 
surface to the weather. Probably it is kyanite. 

Evidences of former volcanic action are met with on ail sides of the Lake 
Alaotra in this district ; and some miles inland from the northernmost limit, 
where the land has risen to a considérable beight, are vaiious circular 


dépressions havîng ail the appearance of ancient craters. In t>ne inst 
conclusive évidence was anorded of the correctness of this opini ^' 
a gully leading down from one of thèse dépressions had been laid b 
showed cliffs of decided volcanic origin. — J. WiLLS. 


In the palatial résidence of the Duke of Westminster, Eaton Hall, 
Cheshire, is a magniôcent Gothic chapel, which is adorned by a séries of 
stained glass Windows, representing the "Te Deum.*' In one of the two 
opposite Windows illustratin^ the verse, "The noble Army of Martyrs praise 
Thee,*' is a group containmg the following figures: — **SS. Ignatius and 
Polycarp, Bishop Patteson, Ridley and Latimer with the candie, Savonarola, 
Huss, James Pamell, a [Quaker] lad of eighteen, who died a prisoner for 
conscience sake in Colchester Castle ; and, in the next compartment, SS. 
Viva Perpétua, Agnes, the child martyr. Félicitas, with Mary Dyar, Anne 
Askew and Rasalàma (who suffered in Madagascar). The mtention is to 
shew that martyrdom survives to our own day, and that it is by no means true 
that sacrifices are not still demanded as tests of Christianity/' [The Graphie^ 

ian. 23, 1886, p. 100.) Little could the humble, patient, and simple- hearted 
lalagasy woman hâve imagined that within half à century of her death, her 
name would rank among the martyrs and saints of Chnstendom, and her 
figure be emblazoned with theirs in the chapel of one of the most ancient of 
England's Norman nobility.— Ed. (J.S.) 


I HAVE long had doubts as to the correctness of the usually received expia - 
nation of the meaning of the word Antanànarivo, viz. 'City of a thousand 
Towns,' but could not find a better. Lately, however, in talking with an 
old and very intelligent Malagasy pastor, he suggested, I think, the right 
meaning, viz. that Tananarivo or Antanànarivo is not 'City of a thousand 
Towns,' but 'City of a thousand Men,' the full name being, it seems, Tanàna- 
rivolàhy ; because it had in former times a thousand soldiers stationed in it. 
The above seems to be by far the most likely explanation ; and as it is 
confirmed by others, I feel quite satisfied that it is the true one. 

The former explanation of the name of God, Andrfamànitra, used to be 
*The sweet scented Prince ;* but some ten or twelve years ago, I got a very 
différent explanation from one of the best and most intelligent of our Mala 
gasy pastors. and his explanation was this: He said that mànïtra meant 
•firesh,' as well as 'fragrant,' and that the name Andriamanitra meant *The 
fresh, the enduring, Andriana,' the one who never becomes corrupt. In 
illustration and confirmation of what he advanced, he told me that when 
Radàma I. died, the corpse was kept in the palace for about a fortnight, 
until the odour from it was very strong indeed ; but no one dared to say 
what Martha said of her brother ; on the contrary, with the most fulsome 
flattery, some of them said : '* Andriamanitra tokoa izVtfa mbola ntanitra 
ka tsy maimbo akory** ("He is certainly God, for ne is still fresh and 
does not smell at ail"). The explanation was received at the time with 
some poohpoohing ; but it seems now to be practically accepted as the best 
explanation of the name Andriamanitra, and bas been incorporated in the 
recenily re-arranged Malagasy-English Dictionary. 

Speaking of the name Andriamanitra, I am reminded of a note to a paper 
on "The Ancient Theism of the Hovas/* by the Rev. W. E. Cousins, in the 
first number of the ANNUAL. Aftet mentioning the various suggestions that 
had been made with regard to fHàniiràt we hâve (3) "that manitra is 



a lengthened form of mâny, aod means weighty, powerfui (a suggestion of 
Dr. Davidson) ; this meanine of manjf appears in the word mànilàh% 
wealthly, powerfui, and probabTy in mâniràno, dropsy (heavy from water?); 
comp. too French Dict., s.v. many** (Annual No. I. 1875 ; p. 7). 

With regard to manitra being a lengthened form of many, that is very 
likely indeed, as ka^ ira, and na are most probably only suffixes ; but I 
hardly think it is a lengthened form of that many which appears in mamrano 
or manilahyt as it has no connection with 'weight* or 'power/ but meaos 
'fetid.' Mamrano f dropsy, does not mean 'heavy from water* at ail ; it is 
the name given to dropsy from the odour of the water that cornes firom the 
body when it is openea after death. Dropsy is one of the very few cases in 
which, if a person dies, the body is allowed to be opened, in order to let the 
water escape, as the people consider it would be wrong to bury one who has 
died of dropsy in the graves of their ancestors ; and the smell of the water 
that cornes from the corpse is such, that the disease is named from it, as they 
say it is just like ràno màny, i.e. stagnant, stinking water. In the Diction- 
ary we ônd manilahy given thus : ^^Manilahy, s, and adj, [lahy, mascu- 
line.] A fem used in vapour baths for malarial fever Also wealthy, 

strong.'' Manilahy is a very strong-smelling grass fàhiiraj, I hâve been 
told ; of course it may be a kmd of a fem, as perhaps the Alalagasy would 
not know the différence, and it eroits such a strong odour when trodden 
upon that it is quite overpowering ; and a man is said to be manilahy, 
because from personal prowess, or nerceness, or from wealth, he is able to 
bribe right and left, so that no one can stand before him.— T. T. Matthsws. 


NEW BooKS ON Madagascar. 
(i) Histoire Physique, Natu- 
relie et Politique de Madagascar, 
publiée par Alfred Grandidier, 
VoL I, Géographie, Texte, — \re 
Partie, L' Imprimerie Nationale, 
Paris: 1885 ; pp. 9^, 4to. 

(2) Notice sur les Travaux Scien- 
tifiques de M, Alfred Grandidier, 
Gauthier Villars, Faris : 1884; pp. 
54, 4to ; avec deux Cartes. 

Everyreaderofthe Annual will know 
the name of the eminent French travel- 
1er and savant, M. Alfred^Gjgndidier, 
and will also know that itor sevêral 
years past he has been engaged in 
bringing out successive portions of 

his magnificent work descriptive of 
this island, which is to comprise no 
fewer than 28 quarto volumes, with 
many hundred illustrations in the 
finest style of chromo-lithography, as 
well as photographs. Althou^h the 
volume on the geography of Mada- 
gascar is called the 'first,' it has been 
preceded by several others on the 
mammalia and birds of this country.* 
By the courtesy of the author we hâve 
received a copy of the first part of 
the volume on geography, which 
consists solely of a historical account 
of the successive steps by which 
Madagascar has become known to 
the rest of the world, from the era 

* For dates of publication of thcse, as well m other particulars, see A Madageucwr BibUo* 
grapky, p. I». 



ibo and Ptolemy, through the 
e A|çes, down to modern times. 
randidier, after a careful exam- 
n of ail the data, believes 
Madagascar was the island 
I to the ancients as Menu- 
; and to Edrisi, l\\e. eminent 
an geographer, as Chezbezat 
aborate and minute account is 

in foot-notes of the steps by 
successive portions of the coast 
i island became known and 
iescribed by différent explorers ; 
particulars are given of ^he 
nations made for determining 
mgitude of various points on 
Dast. Fifty-one pages pf text 
)llowed by forty-six pages of 
giving the names and approx- 
positions of about 1600 places 
I coasts of Madagascar. Ano- 
)art, issued together with this 
' letter-press, contains a com- 
>eries of fac-similés of ail known 

of Madagascar, from the 
st rude and imperfect attempts 
ineate its outline, down to M. 
lidier's own maps. We hope 
'e in the next number of the 
AL a very full account of the 
ific researches of M. Grandi- 
1 this country, translated from 
ork whose title is the second 
se given above. 

Madagascar, An Historical 
Descriptive Account of the 
i and its Defendencies, Corn- 
by Capt. S, Pasfield Oliver, 
!., F.Ê.G.S, Macmillan and 
London : 1886 ; with 14 Maps 
•iagraras; 2 vols., abt. 560 pp. 

r since Capt. (then Lieut.) Oli- 
îrst visit to Madagascar, more 
:wentyfour years ago, as one 
suite of General Johnstone, at 
me of the coronation of King 
na II., he has retained a warm 
5t in this country, and has 
1 several books and papers 
e to it and its people.* In the 
es now being printed (of which 
iber of the proof-sheets only 
is yet reached us) Capt. Oliver 

has brought together a vast mass of 
information about this country deri- 
ved from the most récent and trust - 
worthy sources, and this is given in 
verv full détail ; scientifîc'çroceedings' 
ana 'transactions,' mission reports, 
consular retums, explorers' and mis- 
sionaries* journals, etc., etc., being 
ail laid under contribution. The 
thorough and minute character of the 
book may be seen from the fact that 
the first chapter, consisting of a 
"Historical Sketch" of the country, 
comprises no less than 176 pages, 
and contains in appendices copies of 
ail the treaties with foreign powers 
from the year i8id down to the 
amendments of the Ânglo-Malagasy 
treaty of Feb. 1883. The chapters 
on geo^aphy and topography, na- 
tural history, population, manufac- 
tures and trade, are also equally full ; 
and a bibliography of 2^ pages 
contains a number of entries not 
included in Mr. Sibree's Bibliogra- 
phy published hère last year. Accu- 
racy as to facts and native names, 
etc., has been secured by the co- 
opération of several of the L.M.S. 
missionaries now or recently residing 
in England. The numerous maps 
give a spécial value to this book, one 
of them being contributed by M. 
Grandidier. It will be noted that 
Capt. Oliver only claims to be a 
'compiler,' and large extracts are 
made from préviens books and pam- 
phlets. Of new or original informa- 
tion, therefore, with regard to Mada- 
gascar, there is not much in thèse 
volumes ; but Capt. Oliver has shewn 
admirable industry in the way in 
which he has brought together facts 
ofall kinds from ail sources, while 
he has arranged them so as to be 
very easily referred to. As a book 
of référence Capt. Oliver* s Mada- 
gascar must henceforth take its place 
as a standard work and indispensible 
to ail who are interested in this 

The titles of the following French 
Works are taken from Capt. Oliver' s 
'Bibliography' mentioned above :— 

e A Madagascar Bibliography y pp. 29, 30; and AnnuAL IX., pp. 17-26, and 122. 

s 54 


(4) Madagascar. Par H. Cas* 
tonnet des Fosses. Pari s : 1 884 . 

(s) Vin^ Ans à Madagascar, 
Çoionizahûn, Traditions nistori- 
oues, Mœurs et Croyances ; d* après 
tes notes du Père A binai et des 
plusieurs missionaires de la Com- 
pagnie de yêsus. Par le Père de la 
Vaissière, S,y. Paris: 1885. 

f6) La France et l* Angleterre à 
Madagascar. Par Fernand Huç. 
8vo. Paris: 1885, 

(7) Bibliographie des Traditions 
et ae la Littérature populaire de 
France outre-mer. Par H, Gaidoz 
et Paul Sebillot. 8vo. Paris : ï886. 

(8) Madagascar sous Louis XIV, 
Louis XIV. et la Compagnie des 
Indes Orientales de 1664. D'apr}s 
des documents inédits tirés des 
archives Coloniales du Ministère de 
la Marine et des Colonies. i8mo. 
Paris: 1886. 

(9} Madagascar, Par Raoul Pos- 
tel. i8mo. Paris: 1886; avec 5 

(10) La Colonization de Mada- 
gascar sous Louis XV., d'après la 
Correspondence inédite du Comte 
du Maudave. Par H. Pouget de St, 
André, i8mo. Paris : avec Carte. 

(11) Folk'tales and Folk^lore of 
Madagascar; vol. i. (''Publications of 
the Malagasy Folk-lore Society.") 
Edited by Revs. T. Sibree and T. 
Richardson. L.M.S. Press ; pp. 288. 
(In Malagasy.) This publication was 
commenced in monthly parts of 24 pp. 
more than ten years ago ; but after 
the issue of six numbers, it was dis- 
continued. This year, however, the 
publication has been resumed, and 
the resuit is a volume containing very 
much of interest both as regards the 
various dialects of Madagascar and 
the strange beliefs and superstitions 
of the people. It includes folk taies 
not only from Imèrina, but also from 
Bètsilèo and the Sàkalàva, as well as 
fables, songs, riddles, and tradition - 
ary history, and the larger part of a 
very full native account of Vhitana 
(or fate), and the numerous native 
beliefs connectcd with lucky and un- 
lucky days. Should sufl&cient encou- 

ragement be given to undertake 
another volume, there is stitl a 000^ 
deal of manuscript ia hand for the 
purpose, besides the remainiog por- 
tion of the Vintana paper. 

(la) We notice, aroong annouQce- 
ments of new books, the followÎQff: 
Madagascar of To-àay^ by ^^^ànn 
A, Shaw, PZ.S., LondoQ Missiw^, 
Tamatavç. London : •The R. T. S. 
Library. * 

(13) Madagascar, unddie Inseh 

Schellen, Aldabra, Kbmaren, ^nd 
skarenen. By Prof. Dr. p.. Hart- 
mann.- Leipzig and Prague : i$86. 
This little work forma the fifty- 
seventk volume of **Das Wissea der 
Gegenwart,*' a scientiBc séries whldi 
has already done so much for the 
spread of usefiil and accurate infor- 
mation amongst the Germanie popu- 
lations. The author, himself person- 
ally acquainted with some of the 
localities hère described, gives as 
clear and comprehensive an account 
of the various insular groups in the 
Indian Océan as was possible within 
the available space of 150 pages. 
Of his space over two-thirds are 
devoted to Madagascar, whose phy- 
sical constitution, natural history, 
ethnology, and political relations are 
treated with great ability. The best 
authorities, suchas Grandidier, Shaw, 
Wake, Sibree, and Hildebrandt, 
hâve been carefuUy consuhed, and 
room has even been found for the 
discussion of such controversial ques- 
tions as the existence of Sc)ater*s 
vanished Lerauria, the origin of the 
Malagasy people, the alinities of 
their language, and the présence in 
the island of the Vazimba and other 
aboriginal non-Malayan and Negri- 
to tribes. Dr. Hartmann is inclined 
to accept the statements made by 
Commerson and Modave res^arding 
the woolly-haired and dwarfisn Kimo 
people of the southem districts, and 
suggests possible affinities either with 
the South African Bushmen or the 
Andamanese and Aeta Negritos of 
the Philippine Islands. The Mala- 
gasy he regards as essentially a 
mixed race, Polynesian, Malay, and 



D (especiallv Galla and Sonaali) 
nts being found diversely in- 
igled amonest the Hova, Sa- 
U Bètsimisàraka, and other 

communittes. The Comoro, 
elles, and Mascarenhas (Mau- 

Réunion» and Rodriguez} 
^lagoes are treated with equal 
ighness, and the work is 
led with a map of the Indian 
I, an index, ana numerous well- 
ted woodcuts. — From Nature, 
Etude comparative des langues 
ache et Malaise ^ far le K. P, 

, missionaire à Madagascar 



s is a small pamphlet, of ii 
, published by the Çeographical 
y of Paris, and preceded by a 
r eulogistic introduction by M. 
l Grandidier. The essay con- 
)f a brief and orderly statement 
ilarities between the Malagasy 
lalay languages noticed by the 
when reading the Malay 
mar of the Abbé Favre. f To 
whose attention has never been 

to the évidence on which the 
jasy has long been recognised 
onging to the Malayan family 
guages, this brief essay will be 
:e interesting and instructive ; 

those who are already familiar 
:he main lines of évidence, it 
Sôrd no little surprise that any 
: this time of day should draw 
ch a statement as the above, 
ently in the belief that he had 
: a vein of gold hitherto unre- 
sed and unexplored. The main 
fiere given hâve long been well 
1, and hâve been set forth by 
vriters as Baron W. Von Hum- 

Van der Tuuk, and Marre-de 
I, to say nothing of various 
s that hâve appeared in the 

of this Annual. One para- 

in Père Jean* s essay appears, 
rer, to contain new matter, viz. 

his suggestion that the Malagasy 
causatives in mampi- and mampan- 
are derived from the Malay fonns in 
mem-per : thus in MaUy we bave 
anak (child), àeranaM (to beget), 
mem-per-anak^k^n (to cause to 
beget). Thèse forms do assuredly 
look wonderfully like tbeir Malagasy 
équivalents: teraka (offspring, des- 
cendants), miteraka (to beget, etc.), 
mampiteraka (to cause to beget, 
etc.). If this Malayan form mem-per 
were accepted as that out of which 
the Malagasy forms arose, the theory 
ofMr. Dahle (Annual No. IV. p. 
p2) would of course fall to the ground. 
fhere seems, however, one serions 
objection to Père Jean* s theory,— 
perhaps a fuUer examination of 
kindred languages would show it not 
to be fatal— viz. that in the examples 
he gives, the kan and not the ber 
seems to be the particle that gives 
the notion of causation. This brief 
essay, though it cannot be regarded 
as producing anything new, is never- 
theless a satisfactory statement, as 
far as it goes, and shows even to a 
casual reader how the similarities 
existing between the two languages 
compared lie in their very nature and 
structure, and are not simply acci- 
dentai likenesses in individual words. 
To one statement of the writer M. 
Grandidier very justly demurs, viz. 
that the Hova should be considered 
the original form of the Malagasy 
language. Evidence to the contrary 
would not, we think, be far to seek. 

Papers and Pamphlets on Ma- 
dagascar.— In the Comptes ren- 
dues de l'Académie de Sciences of 
Paris (paper read July 20, 1885), is 
an article entitled :% "Observations 
on the Fauna of the Island of Great 
Comoro, to the northwest of Mada- 

fascar, by MM. Milne- Edwards and 
;. Oustalet.** From a careful study 
of the birds and mammals of this 

lis critical notice was written last ycar, but had to be omitted through the dcmands 

Lir space. 

amnuiùe de la langue Malaise, par VAbbc P. Favrc, Vienne : Imprimerie Impériale et 

, 1876. 

le titles of this and the following papers are, of course, translations of the original Frcnch 

vhich we are unable to give, as the source of our information (Nature) gives them only 



authors conclude that it is 
not a geographical dependence of 
Madac^ascar, that it was never at- 
tached to that région, and that its 
fauna has borrowed from the sur- 
rounding lands. [Nature, July 30, 
1885; p. 311] In the same publi- 
cation (paper read Aug. 31, 1885} is 
an article entitled : "On certain 

Ç oints in the Physiological action of 
anguin, the Poison used in Ordeals 
in Madagascar." By M. Ch. E. 
Quinquand. [Nature, Sept. 17, 1885.] 
We hâve a contribution to Malagasy 
craniology in the following paper in 
the Bulletins de la Société d*An» 
thropologie de Paris, tome ix., fasc. 
i., 1886:- *'0n certain Hova andSa- 
kalava Skulls, by M. Trucy." "Both 
of thèse cranial groups are dolicho- 
cephalic, with an index of about 74, 
which is nearly the same as that of 
the Arabs of Algiers and the Pariahs 
of Bengal. The Hova and Saka- 
lava appear to be more intelligent 
than any other tribes of Madagascar; 
but while the Sakalava queen, the 
ally of France, submitted with her 
husband to be made the subject of 
careful anthropometrical observa- 
tions, she enjoined upon the French 
ofl&cers to punish with death any one 
who opened or rifled a grave. It 
was consequently only by artifice and 
extrême circumspection that M.Trucy 
was able to obtain crania or other 
human bones. In the discussion 
which followed, regarding the mixed 
characters of the Hova crania, MM. 
Topinard, Dally and others entered 
warmly into the question of typical 
and other distinctions of race.** \Na* 
ture. Tune 24, 1886 ; p. 185.] 

In ihe Chronicle of the Lond. 
Miss. Soc. for July, 1886. is a paper 
by the Rev. W. E. Cousins, entitled, 
'•Bible Revision Work in Madagas- 
car;" pp. 272—281 (reproduced at 
pp. 209 — 215, anté) ; and in the same 
publication for Oct. 1886, by the same 
writer, is a paper entitled, "Twenty- 
five Years' Progress in Imèrina." 

In The pourri al of the Royal 
United Sen*ice Institution, vol. xxix. 
No. 132, is a paper by Capt. S. P. 

Oliver, F.R.G.S., etc., entitled, "Ex- 
amples of Military Opérations in Ma- 
dagascar by Foreign Powers, and 
Native Campaig'ns, 1642 - iBBx ; pp. 
1003 — 1044. Other political pam* 
phlets are as follows : Ministère des 
Af aires Etrangères. Documents 
Diplomatiques. Affaires de Mû' 
dagascar 1884— 1880. Paris : 1886. 
— Kaffort fait au nom de la Com- 
mission chargée d'examiner la ra» 
tification du Traité du ly Dec. 1885. 
(uovt. Papers.) Paris: 1886. 

In the K'ôlnische Zeitung, 1886, is 
a paper entitled, **Beschreibung des 
Festes der Fandroana in Madagas- 
car," by Mr. A. Levy. 

In the Edinburgh Review for Jan. 
1886 is an article entitled, "France 
and Madagascar." In the Proceed- 
ings of the Scottish Geographical 
Society, 1886, is a paper by Rev. W. 
D. Cowan entitled, ''Travels in East- 
ern and Central Madagascar; the 
Présent Condition and Commercial 
Future of that Island." 

Maps of Madagascar.— "Carte 
des Environs de Tananarivo ÇMada* 
gascar) par le P. Roblet, S.J. Echelle 
au 1/100,000." This map, of 15 in. 
by 12 in., shows the country as far 
as Ampârafàravàto, 15 miles north 
of Antanànarivo, and to Amboànjobè, 
7 miles south of it, and from Ambô- 
himalàza in the east, to Anôsiman- 
jàka in the west. The strearos, lakes 
and marshes are ail shown in blue, ! 
and the mountains are shaded in 
brown. Every town and village is 
distinçuished by a différent mark, 
according to population, from hamlets 
of 10 houses up to towns of more than 
500 houses. This is a very pretty and 
useful map. In The Chronicle of 
the L.M.S. for February is a small 
map (5 in. by 4 in.) of the province 
of Antsihànaka by Rev. J. Sibree. 
This map illustrâtes a paper by Rev. 
J. Wills (also in the March number) 
entitled,"Tour amongtheSihànaka." 
A new and much more perfect, as 
well as a larger, Map of Madagascar 
than any yet published in this country 
is now in course of préparation by 
Mr. W. Johnson of the F.F.M.A. 



iKS IN Malagasy.— iV5' Ea- 
\barana sy ny Lalàn* ny Fan- 
f Jesosy Kraisty (Exposition of 
r., vi. and vii.), by Rev. T. T. 
îws. L.M.S. Press : 8vo, pp. 
Ny Fomba Fatnpianarana 
y and Practice of Teaching and 
Management), by H. F. Stand- 
F.F.M.A. Press : 8vo, pp. 140, 
oodcuts and lith. illustrations. 
iara Mahafinaritra (Stories 
.necdotes), collected by Rev. 

Matthews. L. M. S. Press : 
pp. 137.- Lesona amy ny Ke- 
/, by H. F. Standing. F.F.M.A. 

i2mo, pp. 95, with lith. illus- 
s. — Filazana ny Dogma sasa- 
n" ny Ekklesia An^likana sy 
klesia maro koa mtray Komo- 
aminy, Nadikany F.A.Grego- 
A. S. P. G. Press : 8vo, pp. xiv. 
^5. (A translation of part of 
) Harold Browae's well-known 
n "The Thirty-nine Articles.**) 
is an important and valuable 
Dution to Malagasy literature. 
le only work in the language 
eals at ail fully with dogmatic 
gy as a whole ; and though it is 
1 from an Anglican standpoint 
r Anglican students, it contains 
rse very much tl^t Christians 
:ommunions acknowledge and 

teach. Mr. Gregory has not trans- 
lated the whole of the English work ; 
and apparently the Malagasy branch 
of the Anglican Church will possess 
only 26 Articles, instead of the his- 
tonc 30. The Introduction (on the 
book 01 Nature and the book of Holy 
Scripture) contains a concise account 
of modem scientific doctrines, and 
strongly maiutains the position, that 
'évolution,* even if ultimately accepted 
universally, should by no means lead 
us to abandon our belief in the 
présence throughout the eniire range 
of natural phenomena of intelligence 
and purpose. 

The following Médical Publications 
by Dr. J. T. Fox hâve been issued 
from the F.F.M.A. Press : - Ny Boky 
Klinikaly Voalohany^ na Fomba 
Fizahana ny Marary (First Clinical 
Handbook), with illustrations ; — Le- 
sona amy ny Anatomy^ Nos. I. and 
II., with illustrations ; — Lektora ny 
amy ny Ratra, etc. (Lectures on 
Wounds and Hurts) \—Sary amy ny 
Anatomyy Fiz. I. (Anatomical Draw- 
ings, ist pt.) 

New Maps of Kanana and Pales- 
taina (each 2ft. 6 in. by i ft. 7 in.) 
hâve also been issued from the 
F.F.M.A. Press. 



LITICALIîCthe Franco-Ma. 

LAGASY War. As every reader 

Annual knows, the war be- 

this country and France was 

lated (even oefore the issue of 

ist number) by the conclusion 

eaty of peace signed at Tama- 

n the i2th of December, 1885. 

principal points of this treaty 

s follows: "The govemment 

French Republic will represent 

DURING 1886. 

Madagascar in ail its foreign rela- 
tions ;** "a French Résident with mi- 
litary escort will réside at Antanà- 
narivo," presiding **over the foreign 
relations of Madagascar, without 
interfering with the internai adminis- 
tration of the States of Her Majesty 
the Queen ;*' "Her Majesty the 
Queen of Madagascar will continue, 
as heretofore, to préside over the 
internai administration of the wholè 


island;" a sum of ten millions of 
francs is to be paid by the Malagasy 
Government in settlement of French 
claims, and of war damages, Tama- 
tave to be occupied by French troops 
until the full payment of the said 
sum ; and the French Government 
reserves to itself the right of occupy- 
ing the Bay of Diego Suarez. Very 
conflicting opinions hâve been ex- 
pressed both in this country and by 
the European press as to the real 
bearing of this treaty upon the future 
of Madagascar. We will not attempt 
any discussion of thèse points, only 
expressing our sincère hope that the 
treaty raay prove to hâve secured a 
lasting peace to this country, as well 
as a continuance of its independence, 
and an increase of its prosperity.* 
On the 28th of Jauuary M. Patrimo* 
nio (French Consul-General at Zan- 
zibar) and Adfiiiral Miot came up 
to the Capital as French plenipo- 
tentiaries, and returned to the coast 
after a week' s stay in Antananarivo ; 
and on the i4th of May the French 
Resident-General, M. le Myre de 
Vilers, with his suite, including M. 
Buchard, Résident for the Capital, 
M. Daumas, Vice - Résident, and 
other oflScers, arrived in Antanana- 
rivo, and took up his résidence in 
the city. The French flag was form- 
ally hoisted again in the Capital on 
the i4th of JuTy. The French Roman 
Catholic mission was also re-orga- 
nized in the month of April, the Rev. 
Père Cazet, formerly Apostolic Pre- 
fect, having been appointed Bishop. 
During the months of June, July and 
August, the troops which hâve been 
stationed respectively at Manjàkan- 
drianombàna (near TamataveJ, at 
Anôrontsànga, and at Mojanga, for 
the past three years, returned to 
Imèrina and were receivcd with well- 
deserved honour and festivities by 
the Queen and the people. A new 
levy of troops has since been made, 
and the newly-organized régiments. 

to the number of from 15,00010 16,000 
men, were iospected by the Qoecfi 
and Court at a great Review 00 the 
2 1 st of October. 

New Govbrnors and Consct* 
During the year several new Gover- 
nors hâve been appoînted to impor- 
tant positions in place of old mefi- 
cient oflBcers. The English Contai 
for Madagascar, J. Hicks Graves, 
Esq., has retired, and Lient. J. G. 
Haggard, R.N., has been appointed 
as his successor. 

COMMERCIAL. — NegociatioBS 
hâve been proceeding for soroe time 
past for the establishment ÎA Mada» 
gascar of a Bank by an Englisli 
syndicate ; but nothing has yet been 
definitely arranged. A Telegraph te 
connect the Capital with Tamatave 
is to be constructed under French 

Malagasy Bible. The second anë 
&nal revision is now making satisfac- 
tory progress. The Committee has 
revised to the end of the Psalms, ani 
Mr Cousins, with his three native 
helpers (Joseph Andrianaivoravélona, 
Andrianôny, and Fran-k Ras^mà- 
nana) has reached the end of the 
Lamentationi. The revision wiU prob- 
ably be completed about May 1887. 

MEDICAL. -During this year the 
médical missionaries connected with 
the missions of the F. F. M. A., L.M.S. 
aad N.M.S. in Antananarivo hâve 
formed a Board for the more syste- 
matic and united teaching of their 
students, for examinations in medi- 
cine and surgery, and for the giving 
of a diploma to those students who 
successfully pass the final examina- 
tions. At a large meeting held in 
the Lecture Hall of the L.M.S. Col- 
lège on the i7th of September ^e 
first diplomas were handed by Hfis 
Excellency the Prime Minister t« 
eight students, who will henceforth 
be entitled to put after their names 
the letters 'M. M. M. A.', i.e. *Member 

• While thèse pages are passing tbrough the press, il is announced that a French loan 
for the payment of French claims and vrar damages (see above) has been aôcej)ted by the 
Malagasy Government ; and that consequently Tamatave will soon be restored to the native 


Médical MissiofVâ<ry Academy.' 
«noh Résident- General, toge- 
th Tn<ost «èf the foreign comma- 
»iding in the Capital, was a)so 
: on the occasion. 
see from Nature (p. 612, 1886, 

Dr. Konrad Keller. a German 
3r, was to make a scieotific 
ng expédition in this country, 

hâve no further particulars. 
Albert DanUty (de Grandpré), 

the secretaries of the Royal 
f of Arts and Sciences of 
ius, accompanied by Mr. A. L. 
, is now making a exploratory 
rough the central and south- 


eastem parts of this istand for the 
purpose of forming collections in 
natural history and botany. 

The Rev. R. Baron, F.L.S., bas 
also made a journey of nearly four 
months* duration through the An- 
tsihànaka province» Màndritsâra, and 
and across the island to the north- 
west, to Anôrontsànga, retuming by 
way of Mojangà and Mévatanâna. 
Ahhough this journey was undertaken 
of course primarily for missionary 
work, we doubt not that we shall be 
able to give in our next number many 
noteworthy particulars of scientific 
interest collected by Mr. Baron dur- 
ing his long journey. 



IR. H. M. Ridley read a paper on Orchids from Madagascar. The 
collection (fifty in number) was obtained by Mr. Fox in the neigh- 
od of Imérina. Among them are three gênera new to the flora of the 
viz. Artioftia, indigenous to the Mauritius ; Brownleea, hitherto 
lown from South Africa ; Holothrix, an East African représentative, 
îr interesting novelty is Satyrium gigas,^'' — Linnean Society ; Dec. 17, 
-Nature, Dec. 24, 1885 ; p. 190. 


VIER, in the Ossements Fossiles^ p. 44, mentions a spécimen of a 
ile from Madagascar brought by M. Havet, and considers it the same 
one from Continental Africa. I was inclined to do the same with two 
ens of the young in spirits, which the Muséum received as coming 
ladagascar. Lately the British Muséum has received a rather large 
icn direct from Mr. Lormicr, who has collected in Madagascar ; and 
iparing this spécimen and the other two with spécimens of C. vulgaris 
ontinental Africa, of about the same size, I tind th<at they ail haTe the 
■ather longer and slenderer compared with its breadth, and with 
iter sides. At the same time, the sides of the lower jaw of ail the 
ens from Madagascar are pale and marbled with darker spots, and 
es of the abdomen of the large stuffed specimeàs are marked with 
5unded spots placed in oblique cross Unes, — two peculiarities which 
not observed in any of the spécimens firom Continental Africa. I am 
re inclined to think they indicate that the crocodile which inhabits 
[-ascar is distmct from that which inhabits Continental Africa ; and I 



propose to call it Crocodilus madagascariensis, I hâve seen it somewfaeti 
observed that the crocodile of Madagascar is like the crocodile from Ane- 
rica, Molinia acuta, but this is a mistake ; for though its head somewliat 
approaches in shape and proportion that of M, acuta^ its skull and tlie 
shields of the body are those of a true crocodile. 

^'Crocodilus madagascariensis, The beak slender elongate, with a slifl4it 
ridge on each side of the central Une, united just behind the nostrils. Sides 
of the lower jaw pale, with large irregular black spots. There are tibree 
spécimens of this crocodile in the British Muséum." — Dr. J. E, Graf, 
F.R.S., in Proc, ZooL Soc, 1874 ; p. 154. 

''Among the récent scientific missions ordered by the French Minister of 
Public Instruction, we find the foUowing : — M. Bordas, to study the zoology 
of the Madagascar Islands, of the Seychelles and Comoros." — Naturt; 
July 2, 1885 > P* 2oq. 

'* Enfomological Society ; March 3, 1886. Mr. W. J. Williams exhibitedoo 
behalf of Mr. C. Bartlett, a gigantic hairy and spiny larva, perhaps allied t» 
Gastropacha, from Madagascar." — Nature; Mar. 11, 1880; p. 455. 

It may interest those who study the natural history of Madagascar to hear 
that a spécimen of a maie Aye-aye has recently been obtained by the Rev. J. 
Wills from the upper belt of forest to the east of Imèrina. Hitherto it had 
becn believed that this animal was confined to the lower and botter forest 
région of the country ; but it appears to hâve a wider range than was formeiiy 
supposed to be the case. — Eds. 



THE YEAR 1886. 


tanuary . . . . 
ebruary . . 






August .... 
September. . 
October .... 
Noveraber . . 
December . . 

No. of ^y\ 

\ rain feii. 



14 days 


12 , 


1 ; 



4 » 


3 » 


2 , 


I , 


2 » 


7 > 

y 02 

6 , 


23 » 


Rainfall for 1885. 












Average £all from 












Total,,., ' 94 days 



Ed. (j.s.) 

r*— ^— — — — " —^ — — ►Q j;* 

No. XI.-GHRISTMAS, 1887, 

(Part III. of Vol. III.) 








i FRINTKI) Aï" IHK l'Ri:S> OV TIIK Ï.()NM>()N 





AU rights re^erved. 









I^g^ 3H. foot-note |, 2nd line, for "a old friend," read ''an old frîend/* 
M 13^. 5th line from top, for "of the wesi coast," read '*east coast/* 
♦f 385» right hand column, içth and 2oth lines from top. for the 
marks X, twice, substitute in each case the marks +. 

^^ XL— Cftrtstmas!, JS87, 




AH rights resenwi. 







Rev. J. SIBREE, F.R.G.S., 


Rev. R. baron, F.L.S., 

Afissionaries of thc L.M.S. 

^^ XL— Cf)rtstmas!, JSS?. 




AU rights rcseri'ed. 

fllntanânaribo : 





X.— OVER NEW GROUND: A Journey to Mandritsara and 

THE North-West Coast. By Rev. R. Baron, L.M.S.... 261 

COMPOUND Verbal Préfixes; No. vi.— The Genitive Case 
op NouNs ; No. vii.— The Préposition 'Amy' ('Aminy' ?). 
By Rev. L. Dahle, N.M.S 283 



Rev. a. m. Hewlett, M.A., S.P.G 295 

OTHER MALAGASY TRIBES. By Rev. J. Sibreê, L.M.S. 301 


STATE' IN MALAGASY? By Mrs. A. P. Peill 310 


MA I. By thk late George Bennet, Esq., L.M.S 311 

7.— 'SIKIDY' AND 'VINTANA': Half-hours with Malagasy 

DrviNERS. (No. ii.) By Rev. L. Dahle 315 

8.— HOW WE GOT TO MADAGASCAR : A Voyage from Port 

Louis to Mananjara. By Rev. J. Pearse, L.M.S 325 

DAGASCAR. Part i.— Geographical. Iranslated from 
i?ieFrench by Rev. J. Sibrbe 329 


NESIAN LANGUAGES. By Rev. J. Richardson, F.R.G.S., 
L.M.S 345 


By h. F. Standing, Esq., F.F.M.A 354 

12.— THE KING IN IMERINA: A Dramatic Fragment. Scène 
II. By W. Clayton Pickersgill, Esq., H.B.M.'s Vice- 
Consul .... 366 


DAGASCAR. By Rev. J. Sibree 367 

14.— VARIETIES : A Remarkable Hail-storm (p. 363)— A Pro- 


Fifty Years ago — The 'Fakataovana'— Earthquake 
Shocks -Jottings on Malagasy and Malayan AFFINI- 

(*Laoka' and 'Lakana') 378 

15.— BRIEF SUMMARY dp important EVENTS in MA- 





FOR THE YEAR 1887. By Rev. J. Richardson 394 

•^* Ihe Editors do 7iot hold themselves responsible for every opinion 
expressed by those who coîitribute ta the Annual, but onlyfor the gênerai 
char ac ter of the arttc/cs as a ivhole. 








SINCE the retîrement of Mr. Pickersgill in 1882 from the 
Mission at Mojangà, the churches and schools in connec- 
tion with the London Missionary Society in the Ib6ina District 
had been left until the closing months of last year (1886) with- 
out either Visitation, help, or superintendence of any kind. 
This was due, not to any désire to abandon the work which Mr. 
Pickersgill commenced, but to the disturbed state of the country 
in conséquence of the war which continued so long between 
the French and the Malagasy, and which was carried on perhaps 
with more vigour on the north-west coast than in any other part 
of the island. The Imérina District Committee, however, deter- 
mined, as soon as circumstances permitted, to send one of their 
missionaries to this district to re-organise the churches and 
schools in so far as a brief visit would allow, to encourage the 
people in their profession of Christianity, and to report generally 
on the condition of the work. Accordingly I was asked to 
undertake the journey and, on my way, to visit the churches 
and examine the schools in Antsihànaka and Màndritsàra, Mr. 
Peill accompanying me as far as Antsihànaka. Having given 
an account of the churches and schools elsewhere, and on more 
than one occasion, I shall, in the présent paper, confine my 
remarks to a description of the country, etc. 

A journey of this kind, although by no means attended by 
the dangers and hardships almost inséparable from African 
travel, is not without its trials, and the first thing to do there- 

No. II.— Christmas, 1887. 


fore is to lay in a stock of patience and readiness to "rough it," 
without which articles you had better stay at home. You must 
not be too fastidious about the houses you sleep in, even though 
you should hâve a dozen black pigs as sharers of yoiir bâ- 
room ; you must not be alarmed at the risky craft you may 
occasionally hâve to cross a river on, with your body somewhat 
below and somewhat above water. If your bearers are taken ill 
or sometimes tum obstinate ; if the road leads through mud and 
mire, or is rendered dangerous by the présence of marauding 
bands of robbers ; if you hâve to travel with the thermometer at 
140 F.; if a thunderstorm overtakes you and soaks you through, 
you must endeavour to bring your mind to the exigencies of the 
situation and to make the best of it. Travelling in England 
and in Madagascar are two totally différent expériences. Hère, 
it is needless to say, there are neither roads, railways, hôtels, 
coaches, norother conveniences of civilization, and consequently 
there are numerous little difficulties to contend with that are 
altogether unknown in our own favoured isle. Difficulty number 
one is that of getting together your luggage ; number two is 
that of securing your bearers ; others will foUow in good time. 
As for difficulty number one, it is greater than it seems. When 
Gordon was sent to Egypt, he was on the Continent the day 
before his appointment, on the next he was on his way to Khar- 
toum. You cannot do things in a hurry hère, however ; despatch 
is an exotic that has not yet taken root in Madagascar. Even 
in Antanànarlvo you hâve to send hère and there and everywhere 
before you find the articles you need. If you want a tin trunk, 
you hâve to hunt up a tinsmith, who lives in some unnamed 
back lane. If you want a pair of boots, you must send your 
man to find a shoemaker, who résides in some unknown quarter, 
and who, when found, is as likely as not to be engaged in 
fànompbana (compulsory and unpaid government service) and 
not able to attend to the job ; or who, if free at the time, cornes 
to bargain with you (a most trying proceeding), generally asking 
much more than he finally accepts. Then there is the hiring 
and securing of your bearers. They are easily hired, but ndt so 
easily securedy unless you pay them unreasonably high wages. 
The difficulty is rendered ail the greater ifthejourneyis through 
a part of the island not often traversed, or through territory where 
malarial fever rages, or if it is to be undertaken at a time which 
will render absence from Antananarivo necessary during the 
Fandrbana festival. Before leaving for the north-west, I wrote 
down the names of nearly twice as many men as I needed, in 
order to secure a sufficient number; but when it came to 
actually starting, the majority of them did not appear. On the 


mornlng I was to leave Antananarivo one of the men came to 
say that he was sorry to hâve to beg ofF, but that he had some 
fanaméoana to do ; another man came to tell me that his m aster 
had died suddenly, so begged to be excused ; and a third said 
that a peculiar disease had overtaken him :• it began in histoes, 
passed through his feet, up his legs, and gradually mounted 
upwards until it reached the crown of his head, when it slowly 
descended again to his toes, only to return to the crown of his 
head and back again, like the rise and fall of a thermometer ! 
Several of the men I took with me were Mozambiques, who, as 
rule, prove hardy, hearty, and trustworthy. 

We left Antananarivo on Tuesday, September yth ; but on 
reaching the foot of the hill on which the Capital stands, the 
two hindermost men called out that a couple of bearers of 
luggage had disappeared, so one of them was sent ofiF to seek 
the missing individuals ; but being a long time away, his 
companion ran after him to see what had become of him, when 
he appeared from an unexpected quarter, and in turn had to go 
after his fellow. They thus kept up a mutual chase, to our 
great amusement, for fiiUy half an hour, and in the end, when 
the men were actually counted, it was found that none of the 
bearers were missing, but that the two last men had simply 
forgotten to count themselves. 

After four or five days' travelling over the bare hills of Ime- 
rina, we .reached the village of Ambôdin6noka in Antsihanaka. 
Hère Mr. Peill and I commenced a séries of school examinations 
which lasted a fortnight, the resuit of which both pleased and 
astonished us. Thèse examinations were held in six diflFerent 
Centres, viz. at Ambodinonoka, Ampàrafârav61a, Ambôhijà- 
nahàry, Tsàrahonénana, and Anôsimbôahàngy. 

The people on the western side of Lake Alaotra were, at the 
time of our visiting them, in a state of great distress on account 
of depradations committed by large bands of Bàra or Sàkalàva 
marauders. Several villages had, a few day previous to our 
visît, been pillaged by thèse desperate robbers. At one of 
them, Ampândrana, a band of thèse robbers had recently 
carried ofiF 900 oxen and 45 women and children, and had 
speared six of the men who dared to offer résistance. In another 
place, 3000 oxen and some half-dozen women and children had 
been swept ofF. We felt a little trépidation while spending the 
night at Ambôhitrômby, for only a week before, a village 
îmmediately to the north, and three days before, one to the 
south, had been attacked by the robbers. Ambôhitrômby 
consists of some fîfty or sixty houses, but there were not more 
th^n about a do^en individuals sufficiently courageous to stop 



^în the vîUdge during the night. The great bulk of the inhabi- 
tants, especially the women and children, had resorted to the 
marsh, where, hidden away among the tall rushes, they had 
erected temporary huts. Many of the villages were thus 
deserted at night. It may easily be imagined in what a state 
of fear and anxiety thèse poor Sihànaka were living. Many of 
them had lost their wives and their relatives and slaves. 
Those who hâve not travelled much in Madagascar, especially 
in the border lands between the Sakalava country and the 
centre of the island, hâve little idea of the extent to which the 
people sufFer from the raids of thèse desperate highwaymen, 
who generally go in such large numbers and so well armed 
that the people are entirely at their mercy For many hundred 
miles along the western border-land rapine and murder are 
committed by thèse robber bands with impunity from year to 
year. And there is no redress. The authorities seem to be 
helpless in the matter. So great is the danger of a night 
surprise (and indeed of a mid-day surprise even) in some of 
thèse places, that the people form underground passages with 
a secret entrance from each house, by which they can make 
good their escape in case of need. The very difficult and intri- 
cate entrances to some of thèse villages, with the thick and 
impénétrable barriers of prickly-pear and other thorny shrubs, 
are witnesses to the wild and unsettled nature of many parts of 
the country. 

The great plain of Antsihanaka has more than once been 
described; suffice it then to say that the greater part of it 
consists of an immense marsh, some 30 or 40 miles long by 
about 15 wide, covered with a dense mass of végétation com- 
posed, for the most part, of Hérana [Cyperus latifolius^ Thouars), 
Zozôro [Cyperus œqualiSy Vahlj, Bàraràta [Phragmites communis^ 
Trin,), and Vàndrona[Typha angusli/oliay'L..). At the north-west 
corner of the marsh is Lake Alaotra, about 15 or 20 miles long, 
by three or four wide. It cannot, however, be very deep, as water 
weeds may be found at the close of the dry season nearly across 
its surface. 

Now there is one very interesting fact which I discovered 
with regard to this lake, and that is, that it once extended over 
an immense tract of country, not only over the marsh and the 
flat lands on the western and southern parts of the Sihànaka 
plain, but over an extent of territory at least 200 miles in length, 
and perhaps 15 or 20 miles in average breadth ; that in fact its 
northem limit reached at a remote period farther norththan 15^ 
30' Lat. (how much farther I cannot say), and as far south as 
19° Lat., and that, moreover, the height of the lake, as it for-t 


merly existed, actually reached 1140 feet above the présent^ 
surface of Alaotra. The proofs of the former extension of^thè -^ 
lake are as follows : to the west of the lake an old tertace 
several hundred feet above Alaotra (though how many I cannot 
say) may be traced for a long distance in a northerly and 
southerly direction. Not only so, but old lake bottoms may be 
seen at various heights above the lake. There is first the marsh, 
a great part of which is still flooded when the water is high ; 
then the level grassy plain fringing the marsh, where great 
herds of cattle are pastured ; then other more or less level tracts 
rising at successive heights above the plain and visible hère 
and there, showing where the water has once been. To the 
north of Anosimboahangy and Ambàtobè again, old lake terraces 
and lake bottoms exist in abundance and are most distinct. 
One of thèse is eight or nine miles long and 800 feet above 
Alaotra. A mère glance at some of them is sufficient to shew 
their character. 

Anosimboahangy is a village (or rather, a cluster of villages) 
situated on small islands in an extensive marsh, surroundea 
on ail sides by an almost continuous terrace. This marsh, 
once a lake (which is nearly 600 feet above the présent surface 
of Alaotra), and occupying a dépression in the country, has 
been left up among the hills on the sinking of the waters. 
Further north still the ground rises, and though it has mostly 
been under water, few distinctly level lake bottoms are visible. 
They hâve become old and defaced with âge. On ail thèse 
lake beds smooth waterworn pebbles, iron nodules, and hère 
and there conglomerate and sandstone, may be found. In one 
placç, where a good part of the low hill (tanèiy) has been eaten 
away, there is a horizontal layer of large rounded stones. We 
did not discover in any of thèse terraces or lake beds any 
fossils, though a year or two ago, in Ankay plain (the southem 
extension of this ancient lake), I found numerous fossil leaves, 
fruits and stems of plants (see Annual No. VII. p. 61^. To the 
north^east of Mandritsara, however, there were in the old lake 
beds innumerable tubular holes, Jin. to {in. diameter, and a 
foot or more deep, fiUed up with hardened earth which might 
be taken out in short ruler-like pièces. Thèse holes may 
possibly hâve been the homes of a burrowing mollusc. To 
the east and west of this extensive sheet of water long ranges 
of hills (though not absolutely continuous) stretch far away to 
the north and south. Now thèse ranges form the remnants ot 
an immense arch or great mountain wave, which geologists 
call an anticline. This arch has not only been worn oflf by the 
d«nuding agents of time (not improbably, in the first instance, 


by the action of the sea waves taking advantage of a fiss 
but has also been deepened into a longitudinal trough, of w 
Alaotra probably lies in the deepest portion. Indeed this 
(or trough, as it is at présent) forms an intégral part of 
framework of the country, and was doubtless produced du 
the period when the island was being uplifted from the 
At the north-west end of Lake Alaotra there are one or 
outcrops of basait, but I could see no volcanic cônes. Qi 
is extremely abundant in the northern and eastern parts oi 
plain, and the rocks, for the most part, about the northern 
of the lake contain a large percentage of magnetic iron. 

About twenty or thirty miles to the north of Ambatobe, 
place named Anàlarôamàso, there is a considérable depoi 
siliceous sinter, which has embedded within it particles of 
and pebbles. Ten or twelve miles further north again 1 
is a second deposit of a similar character, where there is al 
circular hollow, with a border of sinter. This has doub 
once been a geyser, whence the water with the silex in soli 
has issued. In one or two places also we saw what appe 
to be miniature craters. Another point is perhaps worth 
mention with regard to this part of the island : it is that 
inner line of forest (the one on the eastern confines of Ime 
does not, as marked in maps of Madagascar, join the main 
of forest to the north-east. It ends somewhere to the 
of Amparafaravola. Probably it was continuons with i 
one time, since forests in Madagascar are so ruthlessly desi 
ed by the natives.* 

After leaving Ambatobe, the road passes throughuninh al 
territory, the next village, Ambàlavàry, being four days'jou 
to the north. The country, for the most part, is well wooded, 
agreatpart of it is covered with forest, the thickest part of^^ 
is to the north of the valley known as Andàlanafîndra. The • 
paratively level country and the good wide pathway rendei 
velling pleasant, and never did I more enjoy a joumey throu 
Malagasy forest than I did through that between Andalan 
dra and Ambalavary. Varions trees and plants, not foun 
Imerina, make their appearance hère. There was a fern ^ 
was particularly striking, and which I had never seen be 
It was a climbing fern, clinging close to the trees which it r 
its habitat. Most of the leaves were button-shaped, about |î 

* At one of the villages Mr. Peill and I visited we counted the young trees that had 
used in making the palisade round it, and we found that about 10,000 had been thui ei 
ed. Thèse are renewed every eight or nine years. When in Bétsiléo I remember se 
road which had been eut through the forest in order to drag a gravestnne throurh it. 
25,000 treei had been thus destroyed. Thèse, however, are not the only ways oy whi< 
forMt is baing consigned to destruction. 


diameter, and thick and fleshy. Thèse were probably the young 
ones ; but those in fructification were about 3 in. long, and ^în. 
wide. Close to our encampment in the valley of Andalanafin- 
dra there was a human skeleton, that of a soldier who, retuming 
home from the war, was taken ill on the road, and was le|it by 
his companions to die alone. Soon after leaving the forest, 
several very level lake beds may be seen at various heights. 
On one of the lowest of thèse, close by the road-side, there is a 
crater-shaped hoUow. It is as remarkably perfect and regular 
in outline as it could possibly be, and it is impossible to 
account for it except by volcanic action. 

A little further on in front rose Amblniviny, the noblest 
mountain I ever saw. It is one vast précipice, rising from the 
valley below to the height of fuUy 2000 feet. It is almost 
enough to make one dizzy to look up at it ; it must be simply 
awful to look down from its summit. Ambiniviny is the abrupt 
northern end of a long ridge of gneiss running in a N.N.E. dir- 
ection for a distance of about 30 miles. From Ambiniviny the 
ridge takes a sudden sweep round to the N.N.W., forming a 
précipice several miles in length ; but, with the exception of the 
break in the hills to the south of Ambalavary, the range, more 
or less regularly, continues north and, some of the people say, 
runs as far as Antômboka, at the extrême north of the island. 

The road descends some 1400 or 1500 feet through this break 
in the range, until the village of Ambalavary is reached. We 
are now in what may be called the Mandritsara valley, which is 
bounded on the east by what appears to be a range of mountains, 
but which is in reality an elevated plateau (nearly 2000 feet 
above the valley) and the bed of the old lake mentioned above. 
In descending into this valley either from the south or east 
there is quite an abrupt change in thecharacter oftheflora. The 
Tamarind, Adàbo [Ftcus sp,)^ a species of Rbtra [Eugenia sp,^ a 
large tree), Sakdana [Sclerocarya sp>)y and other trees, none of 
which are found in any but the warmer parts of the island^ 
become common and occupy ail the valleys and river courses. 
The Mandritsara valley is noù volcanic, as has been supposed. 
There are numerous short hill-ranges and detached hills of a 
black and barren aspect, but thèse consist of gneiss, occasion- 
ally fissile in structure and weathering into spheroids. Crys- 
talline limestone and graphite are also found in one or two 
places near Mandritsara. 

We slept at Ambalavary, at the eastem foot of Ambiniviny, 
where the chief occupation of the people, who are Hova, is the 
manufacture of rum, which is drunk to a feariul extent by 
almost ail the Malagasy tribes. It is not merely the Bètsimisà* 


rakâ who are given up to intoxication ; drunkenness abounds 
quite as much among the Sakalava, Bara, etc. It is only after 
travelling in various parts of the island that one begins to 
realize how almost universal is the love of the people for ÛHika 
(native rum). 

It may be as well to state hère that the town marked on the 
map Màrotandràno (^not Màritandràno) ought really to be Isôa- 
niadànana. It is a town of perhaps loo or 150 houses, sufEci- 
ently important to possess an officer with 1 1 honours as its 
govemor. Màrotandràno is a Sakalava village of some thirty 
house:^, a little to the west of the road. To the east of the road 
again there is a village of about 20 houses inhabited solely by 
Mozambiques. Of thèse three éléments of population the Saka- 
lava much preponderate ; then come the Hova, next the Mozam- 
biques or Mak6a, or Zàzamànga, as they prefer to call them 
selves. It seems that thèse 'Sakalava/ so called, are not really 
such, and that the name is a misnomer given them by the 
Hova. Their tribal name is Tsimihèty, and they are in no way 
allied to the pure Sakalava. 

We next proceded to Mandritsara, the most important town 
in.this part of the country. It is about 15 or 16 miles north of 
Isoaniadanana, and consists of about 300 houses. The popu- 
lation consists of Hova and Tsimihèty ; but on the southern bank 
of the river Mangàrahàra, which flows at the* foot of the low 
hill on which Mandritsara stands, there is a town of some fifty 
4 houses inhabited entirely by Mozambiques. There is really no 
district known as Mandritsara, and what is marked as such 
on the maps should be Andrôna, the southern boundary of 
which is Ampantàkamàrorèny, and the north ern, the River 
Sofia. One thing that struck me with regard to this part of the 
-» island was the scantiness of the population. I expected to find 
a considérable number of good-sized villages, whereas Man- 
dritsara and Isoaniadanana seem to be the only two of any 
importance. There are, however, a good many scattered 
hamlets of from six houses and upwards even within compara- 
tively short distances of Mandritsara. 

Leaving Mandritsara the road leads over the south-west end 
of Bèmolàly ('much soot,' or *besooted'), a mountain almost as 
black and forbidding as its name implies, though it is only one 
of many such in this part of the country. The character of 
Bemolaly, however, is somewhat redeemed by the présence of 
two shrubs, bearing perhaps the prettiest flowers 1 hâve seen 
in Madagascar. One of thèse is a Bignoniad, with tufts of 
large yellow trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches. 
But its fruit is as uninviting as its flowers are attractive, 


yeing covered with numerous grappling hooks about ?n jnr^— 
on g, exactly like a four-pronged anchor. It is almost impossible 
ifter taking hold of it with the hand to get it ofiF again without 
Lts tearing the flesh. The plant flowers when it is bare of leaves. 
rhe second shrub, an Apocynad (probably a species of Pachy- 
t>odîum), is a succulent thorny plant, much swollen at the base 
of the stem, which, like the last, is five or six feet high. From 
a tuft of leaves at the end of the branches there proceeds a 
bunch of gorgeous scarlet flowers. Both thèse plants grow on 
the bare rock, where it is exposed at the surface. They would 
make real ornaments in conservatories. Mango trees of 
enormous size, though not so large as those on the west coast, 
are very abundant in the valleys hère; and the fruit must 
literally rot from an insufficiency of consumers. 

On the first day after leaving Mandritsara we saw two or three 
flocks of the small green parrakeets, sometimes called love-birds 
[Psittacula canay Gm.J ; and also a flock of guinea-fowl. The par- 
rakeets, which hâve a very swift flight and are gregarious, are 
only found in the warmer parts of the island. The guinea-fowl, 
though not inhabiting the highest régions of the country, 
ascend to a colder climate than the parrakeets dare venture to. 
Both thèse birds are extremely abundant in the western parts 
of the island. 

On the second day after leaving Mandritsara we entered a 
région of granitic gneiss, which soon passed into a pinkish 
granité, in many parts porphyritic, and in one or two places 
rising into dome-shaped bosses. One of thèse is surmounted by 
two blocks of stone, at one of which Radàma I., in one of his 
military expéditions, is said to bave practised his hand as a 
marksman, Near another of thèse bosses, which rises out of 
the valley to the height of perhaps 100 feet, there is a pièce of 
what is evidently calcined gneiss raised on end, so that its dip 
corresponds with the face of the granité. The calcination is 
very marked, and numerous minerai crystals (chiefly garnets) 
hâve been developed in it. This granité therefore is eruptive 
and not metamorphic. 

The fan-palm known as Sàtramïra first makes its appearance 
hère and continues almost to the sea- coast. It is a tree about 
1 2 feet high and is probably a species of Hyphœne. The fruit 
is largely used by the Sakalava in the manufacture of rum. 
The tree divides into two, three, four or more branches, which 
rise from the very surface of, or even somewhat under, the 
ground, so that they seem almost like separate trees forming 
U-shaped figures. 

We spent the night of the second dAy after leaving Mandri* 


tsara at Ambôdimanàry, a small village of six or seven houses 
on the northern bank of the river Sofia, and at the southern 
foot of the Sàhantôana mountain. The river Sofia is hère a 
wide but shallow stream. There is no town named Sofia, as 
marked on the maps, neither is there, properly speaking, a 
town named Bèfandrlana, as also given on the maps. Befan- 
driana is the name of a mountain, and also the nanie of the 
district. What is given as the town of Befandriana is really 
Isombôana, sometimes called Andrôvanimàvo, because the 
governor of the district (who, by the way, is under the govemor 
of Antsihanaka), a Sakalava of ii honours, is named Ramàvo. 
This is one of the very few places where there is a non-Hova 
governor. The river Isombôana, rising a little to the east, 
flows past the south side of the town. It joins the Ankazàmbo 
(which flows a mile or two south of the town) ; the Ankazàmbo 
joins the Tsînjomôrona, which flows into the Dorôa ; and this 
last empties itself into the sea somewhere between the river 
Anjlngo (given on maps as Antsingo) and the Sofia.* 

From Isombôana onwards to the sea the country becomes 
comparatively level (or rather, covered with innumerable very 
low hillocks from 20 to 50 feet high), with a low hill-range away 
to the west, and an isolated mountain hère and there. The 
valleys bet^-een the hillocks are mostly occupied by marshes or 
ponds. A long valley of some 15 to 20 miles runs to the south, 
and a range of mountains immediately to the east runs for away 
to the north. The strike of the gneiss is in a northerly direc- 
tion, with a dip to the east of about 60°. 

On our arrivai at Isombôana, the population of which consists 
almost whoUy of Hova, we found dwelling in small extempo- 
rized huts by the river side a large number of Sakalava, who 
had been collected from the surrounding country to do fanom-' 
poana in the shape of building a new résidence for the govemor. 
This, however, was not the only building that was being erected 
in the town, for, as there had been a récent fire, nearly ail the 
houses, some fifty or sixty, had been burnt down, a fi'equent 
occurrence in thèse villages, where the houses are built of palm 
leaves and grass and placed in close proximity ; for if one takes 
fire, the whole town is almost sure to be destroyed. 

From Isombôana to Andrànosamônta [samànta^high tide, 
or rather, the tide at its highestj is four days' journey. As one 
nears the sea the country becomes covered with large blackened 
and rounded blocks of gneiss. I expected soon £ifter leaving 

♦ The geographical elrors pointed out in this paper hâve been cotrected in Mr» Jdhtison'i 
récent map iMued from the F. F. M. A. Preii, in which also the map of the district trtTvned U 
far as Anôrontsànga has been embodiedt 


Befandriana to reach the limits of the gneiss, butT^with the 
exception of basait, which I found in one place, the ^(aaiei5&,.wth 
a dip of 70® or 80® to the west, stretches as far as the village of 
Iraony, not many miles from the sea. 

After leaving Isomboana, we slept at the small village ot 
Ampôtamainty, a little to the south of the hill Mahèrivàratra. 
Next day we had our raid-day meal in a wood with a stream 
running through it, but the Mbkafbhy (a small stinging fly) were 
so abundant that we were heartily glad to quit the place. 

We encamped for the night on the northem bank of the 
river Anjingo. After we wère comfortably ensconced, a very 
heavy shower came on accompanied with thunder and light- 
ning. Several Saohakàka (a species of frog or toad), but différent 
from the Saobakaka found in Imerina, visited us in our tent. 
Also a very large Tàrahihy (a species of Mygale 1) looked in to 
see what was going on. This certainly was a most unwelcome 
visitor, and some of the men quite shrieked with fear, for, if 
native accounts are correct, the bite of this spider is fatal. It 
is a trap-door spider, but leaves its h oie open, in the same way 
as the spider known as Ambôabé in Imerina. After we had laid 
down to sleep (for the rain pouring down unmercifuUy upon us, I 
had accommodatednine men in my tent), it was discovered that 
we had fixed the tent over an ants' nest. The men, however, 
forcibly stopped up the entrance, and, as far as the mosquitoes 
would allow, they got a comfortable night. 

For the greater part of the next day the road foUowed the 
bank, sometimes the bed (for the river was now very shallow), 
of the Anjingo. We stopped to rest uhder the shade of the trees 
by the side of the river, and had a refreshing bath. The men 
caught an eel and also a couple of tïamènay a fish about the 
size of a trout. Prominent among the végétation which clothed 
the river banks and made the scène beautiftil were a Barring- 
tonia [B. speciosa)^ with its long pendent spike of flowers, the 
Rôtra^ a very large tree common on the banks of rivers in this 
part of the island, the Sohihy^ also found along the river banks 
of West Madagascar, the Adàbo [Ficus sp.)^ a species of prickly 
Mimosa [M. asperata\ a palm, a pandanus, the Jack-fruit tree, 
with its enormous fruit, as well as numerous other trees and 

Next night we slept at the village of Iraony, near which 
there is a larcish river of the same name. A mile or two to 
the north of the river there is a beautiftiUy situated small lake 
named Andràmpônga, a resort of wild-fowl and crocodiles. 
Near Iraony the gneiss passes under limestone and sandstone 
formations. A light* coloured sandstone was the first of the 


sedimentary rocks that came into view, but a mile or two fiirther 
on a grey hard limestone made its appearance, which was 
crowded with fossils, especially bivalves and gasteropods.* The 
sandstone, however, was the prevailing rock, and attained a 
great thickness further west, where a range of hills, running for 
many miles in a northerly and southerly direction, occupies the 
peninsula to the west of Radama Bay. Indeed the greater 
part of the country hereabouts is covered with sandstone, which 
dips seawards at an angle of about six degrees. Both the 
sandstone and the limestone lie un^conformably on the gneiss, 
indeed the gneiss, where it passes under the sandstone and 
limestone, is nearly vertical (having a dip to the west of about 
80®). The végétation, as one nears the sea, with the exception 
of the trees and shrubs which seem particularly to love the 
river sides, consists raainly of Sàtramïray Sàtrambè^ Vâavântaka^ 
Sakôanay Bondra^ and Màvoràvina^ which are spread far and 
wide over the country, while the valleys are occupied chiefly 
with Rofia palms and, if suflS.ciently moist, with Vïha (a large 
arum). Of course numerous other plants are found, but the 
above constitute the chief forms of végétation. The SaPramira 
and the Satrambe are both species of fan-palm {Hyphœne f). 
The Vàavàntakaj a low prickly tree, with a fruit much like an 
orange in appearance, but much larger and with a hard shell, 
is a species of Strychnos [S. spinosa^ Lara.). The Sakoana 
[ScUrocarya sp.) is a tree which supplies an edible fruit about 
the size of an apple, but with an acid taste. The Bonara {A/itz* 
zia Lebbeky Benth.) is the Bois-noir or Black-wood ; and the 
Mavoravina (which belongs to the Order Malpighiaceœ) is a tall 
shrub or small tree with long, weak, straggling branches, which 
appear as though they had once been in the habit of climbing, 
but had recently resolved to lean no longer on others for sup- 

The birds hère were nearly ail unknown to me. The Goaika 
(a crow, Corvus scapuLaiuSy Dand.j, Papàfigo (a kite, Milvus 
œgypiiuSy Gm ), Tsikoràvana (a fruit-thrush, Hypsipetes ouravang^ 
Gm ), Kaitso (a cuckoo, Coua ccerulea^ L.j, Tolbho (a lark-heeled cuc- 
koo, Centropus tolouy Gm.j, Kankàfotra (a cuckoo, Cuculus Rochih 
Hartl.), Vàrompbtsy (an egret, Ardea bubulcus^ Sav.), Manàrana (a 

* I may say that we found fossils in many places, not only on the road to Anorontsanga 
but aUo between Mojanga and Antananarivo, in fact wherever the limestone occurred. I 
hope at some future time, after their identification in Ëngland, to give a list of them, and the 
locaiities where found, as ala»o further particulars of the geology generallv of the north-west of 
the island than are given in this papcr. Suffice it hère to say that tne fossils consiited of 
Ammonites, Beiemnites, Gryâ/uea, NauHliMt OsireaftPentacrinus^ Aficratitr (?), etc., présent* 
ing a leriei of forms which almost certainly beloag to the Cretaceous or Turaaeic formations 
A little to the north of Majàmba Bay on the sea-coast we found NummolitUi iimeetonei 


species of cormorant ?j, and the Akànga (guînea-fowl) were about 
the only birds I recognized. The Akanga are very abundant and 
afiford excellent food. The Toloho too are exceedingly common. 
After some four hours' travelling from Iraony we came to the 
river Mèvaràno, which is the northern boundary of Befandriana, 
As we were crossing the river, a singular occurrence took place. 
Two crows were quarrelling and pecking at one another in the 
air, when suddenly one fell helpless into the water. We found 
that its wing was broken. We set it free, and it seemed quite 
astonished at its inability to rise in the air. However, it went 
skipping off under the trees. 

We stayed a day or two at Andranosamonta, a village of 
about 100 houses, situated on the south-east bank of the inlet 
of the sea known as Radama Bay. Leaving Andranosamonta, 
our road led northwards. In an hour or two we came across 
abedofshale with numerous fossils, more especially species 
ofBelemnites and Ammonites. The Belemnites seem to be 
common in many localities in the western parts of the island. 
The Sakalava use them as ritle balls and call them bdlahàra. 
Some of the Ammonites are of large size ; one we saw was 
fuUy a foot in diameter. 

About a mile and a half to the north of the village of Mahi- 
tsihàzo the road leads up an ascent on which there is a rather 
remarkable rock. It is about the size of a cottage and rests 
apparently on the sandstone. But it is most curiously though 
irregfularly guttered with deep and somewhat canoe-shaped chan- 
riels, some of which are fully a yard in depth. It is as though 
it had been put into a lathe and gouged, leaving ridges and 
prominences between the channels, which, however, are not 
continuous round the rock. In the valley immediately to the 
south there is another of thèse curious rocks, and to the north 
there are several others. From under one of them we obtained 
a kind of blue clay, which was apparently mixed with decayed 
sandstone. They seemed to me to be perched blocks, as there 
was no hill near from which they could hâve fallen, nor any 
rock of the kind tn situ, I could think of no agent to account 
for their occurrence but that of glacial action. But having an 
appointment at the time, I could only examine them in a 
cursory manner ; I leave the matter therefore to be determined 
by future travellers. The country hère becomes hilly, with 
fréquent patches of forest. It reminded me of the Tanàla 
country to the east of Bètsilèo ; the végétation, however, is 
quite différent from that of the interior, or that of the eastern 
part of the island. The Traveller's-tree [Ravenala madagasca- 
rtenstSf Sonn.) becomes common, but the Adabo and the 


Tamarind tree are not so abundant as they are further itiland. 
Among the trees and shrubs I recognized hère the gracefiil 
Bamboo [Nastus capttatuSy Kunth.), the Kbropétaka (custard 
apple?); the Cardamom {Amomum Danielliiy Hook. fil.); the 
Sorïndrana [Sortndta madagascariensis^ DC.)> * ^^^^ wîth sweet 
edible fruit in bunches ; and others. 

To the east of Andranomalaza, where we slept after leaving 
Andranosamonta, there is a remarkable hlU named Angoraony. 
It îs composed entirely of sandstone in numerous and almost 
horizontal beds. It has quite a uniqUe cathedral-like appear- 
ance ; I know nothing at ail similar to it in Madagascar. 

Leaving Andranosamonta, the next day brought us to An- 
karàmv, where the Malagasy forces were encamped during the 
war with the French, It is a large town (for Madagascar) of 
some 500 houses. Before the war it was of no great impor- 
tance, and now that peace has been restored, many of the 
people are returning to their homes, so that it is becomlng 
considerably deserted. 

We next proceeded to Ambôdimadlro, which is about seven 
hours' distance north of Ankaramy. The road passes frequent- 
ly through patçhes of forest, which branch out from the great 
mass of végétation which clothes the mountains immediately 
to the east. Apparently the forest, which runs round the 
northern part and then down the eastern side of Ihe island, 
commences hereabouts. It seems to be generally believed that 
this forest forms a continuous belt around the island ; personalljr 
I hâve long doubted the existence of any such continuous forest. 
In the western part of the country there are no doubt forests 
hère and there, sometimes of great extent, but they do not seem 
to be continuous, unless indeed country with abundant, but 
mostly open, végétation is reckoned as covered with forest. 

Ambodimadiro lies in a snug hollow on the sea shore, with 
abundant trees and shrubs in its neighbourhood. Nôsibè may 
be seen quite distinctly in the distance. The town of Ambo- 
dimadiro was in the hands of the French during the time of the^ 
war ; the Hova hâve again returned to it, though the inhabi- 
tants are as yet by no means so numerous as they were four or 
five years ago. The place is, howèver, gradually increasing, 
and will doubtless soon assume its former importance. 

On the sea shore hère the rock is of slate-like appearance ; 
it is, however, a limestone, or rather, a limestone shale, black, 
split up into numerous joints, and traversed by numerous dykes. 
Our next destination was Anôrontsànga, which we meant to 
reach by sea. There were, however, no boats in the harbour 
at the time, and we had to wait two days before one made its 


appearance. As it was too small to accommodate more than 
eight or nine of us, the remainder had to go by a làkam-ptàra 
or outrigger canoë.* As the wind was unfavourable, it took 
us two days to reach Anorontsanga. On the first day we 
caught a couple of *Sucking-fish' or Rémora (probably the 
Echenets naucrates\ that strange fish with the flat dise on its 
head, by whîch it attaches itself to ships, sharks, etc. We 
found them excellent eating. We had our mid-day meal in one 
of the villages belonging to Benao, a Sakalava chief who, 
during the récent Franco-Malagasy war, fought against the 
Hova. This was the only place in ail our journey where no 
officiai enquiries were made after the Queen, Prime Minister, 
etc., indeed we appeared to be unwelcome visitors. However, 
the stiffhess of the chief man somewhat relaxed after a little 
conversation, and he brought me a chair, and on our departure 
gave me four young cocoa-nuts. That night we cast anchor 
near the shore and slept on the boat, but the roUing was so 
heavy that we could only get snatches of sleep. In the night 
we had a shower of rain, upon which the boatmen put over our 
heads a very uncomfortable greasy oil-cloth, fuU of holes, which 
dripped at a score of places, allowing the dirty water to trickle 
ail over us. Fortunately, however, the rain did not last more 
than a few minutes. The next day brought us to Anorontsan- 
ga, where we were warmly welcomed by the worthy governor, 
Rakotovao, 13 Honours, and his staff. 

Perhaps it is needless to say that Anorontsanga, like Mo- 
janga, consists of two towns, one near the sea, where the 
Europeans, Hindoos, Arabs, Mozambiques, etc., live ; and the 
other half a mile distant from the coast to the north, situated 
on a hill, planted with mangoes, cashew-nut trees, etc. The 
viewfrom this hill is very beautifil : in front lies a bay proceed- 
ing from the Mozambique Channel; the sea shore is lined 
with an abundance of cocoa-nut trees ; and the country around, 
which is mountainous, is well wooded, the graceful bamboo, so 
ebundant on the eastern side of the island, waving its head 
amid the végétation. As it is only recently that the people hâve 
returned from Ankaramy, the whole place is yet more or less 
in a State of dilapidation. The ruins of houses blown down or 
fired by the French are still standing, heaps of rubbish and 
fallen walls are everywhere visible, and it will be some time 
before the place is restored to anything like order. 

After our work was completed at Anorontsanga, we hired a 
boat, with the help of the governor, from a Hindoo trader, for 

« See AnnvAL No. III., p. 23 ; Retint, p. 279. 


oighteen dollars, to take us to Mojanga. We set sail therefbre 
one fine hot morning about nine o'clock with a fair breeze, 
and that evening reached Nôsy Lava. An Arab is the Queen's 
représentative hère, and he sent word that he would corne to 
receive us by and by, but must first go to evening prayers. 
After a short time, he came and made through an interpréter 
the usual formai enquiries after Rànavàlomanjàka, etc., and 
conducted us to a small but clean hut made of dried palm-leavea 
(the leaves of the Satrafnhe)^ and containing no other fumîture 
than a couch. By and by a meal was brought me, of which 
the cofiFee was truly excellent. I was then asked if I needed 
water to drink, to which I replied in the affirmative. "Scent* 
ed ?" said the man ? *<Yes," I replied, for I had already been 
told that the water on the island was most insipîd, besides I 
was cufious to know what the scented water was like. Being 
very thirsty, I took a copions draught of it, but after I ceased 
drinking, I felt certain that the beverage I had partaken of was 
not only scented with, but mixed with, paraffin oil. After spend- 
ing a comfortable night hère, we left early next morning ; but as 
there was little wind, we scarcely made any headway that day. 

Nosy Lava is an island composed of a light-çoloured sand- 
stone in numerous step-like horizontal beds. The village at 
which we atopped consists of perhaps loo houses stretching in 
a double row along the edge of the semicircular bay. The 
inhabitants are mostly Sakalava belonging to lànona ; but 
there are also a good many Arabs, who trade in rice, etc. 
There are one or two other villages on the island besides that 
at which we called, but how many and how large I do not know. 

The next night we anchored near the shore and slept on the 
boat, but the rolling was so heavy as to make as ail sick and 
ill. The night following we spent at a small Sakalava village 
of from eight to ten houses, named Ambôlobôzo, some distance 
to the north of Majàmba Bay. Hère I had a delicacy in the 
shape of oysters. On the north-west coast there are two 
species of oyster, one called by the Sakalava Sàja^ which may- 
be seen covering the rocks in great abundance on the sea shore 
at low water.* It is a small oyster, but excellent in quality. 
Another, known by the Sakalava as Mandrbmbo or Téfakuy is 
only found below water at some depth. It is a much larger 
oyster than the Sàja^ with the interior of the shell beautiftilly 
pearly. Whether connoisseurs would pronounce it excellent I 
cannot say, but to my taste it was delicious. 

The rock on the sea shore at Ambolobozo is a light-coloured 

* It is also found on the £ast coast. 


limestone, full of fossils; in some parts it is Inclined to be 
crystalline. Hère and there it is worn into very sharp edges 
and points, rendering it dangerous to walk on, a character 
which is venr common in the rocks of N.W. Madagascar. 
Some parts of it again resemble walls of ruined masonry. It 
is also somewhat cavemous. In one place in the low clifiF 
accessible to the sea, a tunnel has been worn into the limestone 
about twelve feet high, but so narrow as to permit one to enter it 
only with difficulty. Not knowing what size the cavem might be, 
I lit my lantem and entered it ; however, my exploration was 
no sooner commenced than ended, for I found the passage tobe 
not more than 30 or 40 feet long. Large detached blocks of 
the limestone were Iving by the edge of the sea, in which were 
numerous small hollows containing pools of sea water, the 
homes of small fish, crabs, etc. 

We hoped to reach Mojangà the next day, for with a good 
breeze the joumey from Anorontsanga to Mojangà may be ac- 
complished in a couple of days, but the wind suddenly failing us 
in the evening, we were obliged to heave to and remain another 
night in the roUing boat, getting what snatches of sleep we 
could. They were, however, truly 'snatches,' for no sooner had 
we relapsed into self-oblivion, than a sudden lurch roused us to 
the fear that the boat had upset. Early on the following 
morning, however, we entered Mojangà, where we had a most 
hearty and kindly réception from the governor, Ramàmbazàfy, 
14 Honours, and the people. A bath, some food, and a sleep, 
soon restored us to comparative comfort, except that everything 
seemed to be reeling, as though in a gentle and prolongea 

Mojangà was altered somewhat by the French duringtheir oc- 
cupation of the town. A jetty from 80 to 100 yards long, and 5 to 
6 yards wide, for unlading ships, now exists in the harbour ; many 
of the fine mango trees, though by no means ail, were eut down, 
and almost ail the Hova houses destroyed, including the one 
in which Mr. Pickersgill resided. 

After remaining a week at Mojangà, weresumed our journey, 
with our faces homewards. We first of ail visited Betsàko, a 
village of 60 or 80 houses, about. six or seven hours' ride to the 
east (or north-east ?) of Mojangà. The mango trees hère were 
the largest and finest I ever saw. They were laden with fruit, 
so that ail of us ate to our heart's content. The fruit actually 
reached down to the ground, so that one of my men truly 
remarked that one could eat it ofFthe tree, not only sitting, but 
»ven lying on one's back. 
We next visited Ambôhitrômbikèly, south-east of Mojangà. 


îh^ H^ya camp was stationed hère during the récent war. The 
'^-4pwn, w!|pch, during the war, contained perhaps 500 houses, is 
no\^lmost deserted ; there is, however, a sufficient population 
left to justify the existence of a govemor. 

The country to the east of Mojangà for a great distance 
consists of limestone, in many parts fossiliferous. The strata are 
almost horizontal and of great thickness, and are in many parts 
covered with water during the rainy season. Thèse limestone 1 
strata end abruptly a few miles to the south-east of Ambohi- 
trombikely, forming a declivity, which may be seen running 
away to the east. The sea has formerly doubtless reached up 
to this declivity, but has now retreated, owing to the deposit of 
détritus by the River Bètsibôka. The végétation in this part 
of the country consists, for the most part, of the Vakàana tree 
(a Pandanus) and the two fan-palms, Sàtramïra and Satramhc^ 
which in fact occupy a vast area in the north-west of the Island. 
While speaking of the végétation, I may say that the flora of 
the north-west coast (and doubtless of the west coast generally) 
is quite distinct from that of the east coast, and both from that 
of the interior of Madagascar. A few forms, as the Filao^ Langàzy^ 
Vihay the Traveller*s-tree, etc., are common to both the east and 
west sides 6f the Island ; while some score or so of plants that 
occur in the north-west are not only found in the east, but also 
in the interior. The great bulk of the flora, however, is peculiar 
to the west coast. 

Leaving Ambohitrombikely, we next stayed at Mèvaràno; 
where the mosquitoes were unspeakably unbearable. My men 
managed to make for theraselves mosquito curtains by hanging 
up their làtnba in such a way as to allow the sides and ends to 
reach the ground, thus efiFectually keeping the insects out. 

Our next resting-place was Miadàna, and the day following 
we arrived at Màrovoay. This is a town of probably 300 or 400 
houses. The country round about for many miles is composed 
of alluvial soil which has been deposited by the Betsiboka, 
which a little below hère enters the sea. The stumps of AfiÀfy 
trees (probably a species of mangrovej, which are only found on 
the sea-shore, may still be seen several miles inland at the foot 
of a low range of hills, where also there is an old anchor. 
Some time ago an old cannon was also found about the same 
locality, and the people think there must formerly hâve been 
a shipwreck, which indeed is probable. 

Leaving Màrovoay we crossed the Betsiboka and arrived at 
Mahàbo, where the Màngoràyio fa variety of mango) were 
extremely abundant and exceedingly delicious. We next 
follovved the west bank of the Betsiboka for some distance, then 


travelled by (ianoe for a few miles, seeing innumerable crocodiles, 
and slept at a village not far from Bèsèva, Then we proceed- 
ed to Beseva and Ambèrobè, at which latter place the beat 
(140° F. in the sunj was most intolérable. The country from 
Marovoay to Amberobe consists of sandstone and shale, the 
latter containing numerous fossils, especially Belemnites. At 
Amberobe we saw the head of a wild-boar which had just been 
killed. The people hère say that there are three kinds of wild 
boar, the Làmbo, LàmbostOy and Làmborômba. 

We next made for Ant6ngodrahôja, calling at Trabônjy, An- 
koàla, Ambàlanjànakômby, etc., on the way, At Antongo- 
drahoja there are the remnants of several large volcanic craters, 
Two of thèse form the rude figure of a 3 ; a third, on the western 
(or nofth-western r) side of the hill on which the village stands, 
has probably been about three miles in diameter. In some 
parts of the basait which form the rim of the crater, numerous 
and beautiful potato-stones, which are hoUow and lined with 
sparkling quartz crystals, occur. 

We went from Antongodrahoja to Amparihibè, where we 
found the River Betsiboka had shifted its bed, for instead of 
flowing past the south of the town (as it did a few .years ago), 
it now passes a mile or so to the east. 

After leaving Amparihibè, we proceeded to Mèvatanàna. As 
the country to the south of this town is often infested by 
robberbands, people travelling in that direction coUect hère and 
start every Monday in a great company for mutual protection. 
There were about 300 of us therefore when we left Mevatanana. 
We passed through the infested district without seeing any- 
thing more than a rude grave and traces of the blood of a man 
who a few days before had been fouUy murdered. A week after 
leaving Meyatanana we reached Antananarivo ail safe and 
WçU, hftving been away about three months and a half. 

R. Baron (Ed.). 

Subjoined is a list of words, not found in the Dictionary, 
most of which I coUected on the journey. 

Alatnpàtana, Antsih. A species of snake. 

Xlantsàvoka, Betsiro. Same as kirxhitràla (brushwood, under- 

Alôvo, Sak. A species of sea-fish. 

Ambariaka, S. ,, ,, ,, ,, 

Ambàriray, Btm. The raised floor of a house. 

Ampàndro, S. A species of sea-fish. 

Ampàtrana On high ground. 



^vonkôtrika, A. 
**"^'''*-Au4ôny, S. 
Angèra, Btm. 
Aniamànga, Betsileo 
Ankia, S. 

Ankôadàvitra, Tandrona 
Antàfa. S. 
Antèndo, S. 
Antèndy, S. 
An-tèty, S. 

Antrôva or Tsîantrôva, Btm. 
Antsèraka, S. 
Bilahàra, S. 

Bàlaniirika, S. 
Bankôra, S. 
Besisika, S. 
Bètrâtra, Btm. 
Bètro, S. 
Bika, S. 

Bôdofôtsy, Imerina 
Boriaka, A. 
Botràndra, Btm. 
Dànga, Bts. 
Dingadingana, S. 

Dinta, S. 

Dongôrovoànana, I. 
Fanàngo, Btm. 

Fanèntambàto, W. I, 

Fiaminty, Btm. 
Fibéza, S. 
Fihôhoka, Bts. 
Fisaodrànofôtsy, Bts. 
Fitizy, I. 
Fôfok' aina, T. 
Fôlotsipay, I (?). 
Fonaingo, Btm. 
Fôtabé, Btm. 
Fôto-bàdy, Bts. 
Gàsilaitra, N.W. coast. 
Gàsy, N.W. coast. 
Goàka, A. 
Hakàtrana, A. 

Halàmpom-bôninàhitray I (?). 
Hàzofôdy. I. 
Hèrotra, S. 
Himby, S. 

Hitikitika, Btm. 

A epecies of wild-fowl, 
,, 8ea*fisht 



M >> fl 

Black lead. 


A large edible cockle. 

Either a species of millipede or Zephronia. 

A species of sea-fish. Sa me as Zômpona, B. 



Dates (same as t}ndy), 

Same as an tanéfy^ 

A fresh-water fîsh ; east coaat. 

A species of sea-fish. 

Nodules of iron pyrites having a radlated 
structure ; also species of BeUmniUSt both 
of which are used by the Sakalava as riflo 

The same as Balahara, above. 

A species of sea-fish « 




Akindofpartridge. SidJSitd^sTraotrao{^^W9.\ 


A species of sea-fish* 

A light-coloured snake, 

A Joke, a jest, 

A sea-fish. 

A kind of bird. 

A small marine animal found on the ses 

shore. (Not a fish, as in Dictionary.) 
A species of sea-fish. 
A larcpe dark-coloured héron. 
A white kind of bird. Perhaps the same u 

Vâromphfsy (the white egret). 
A species of ant-lion as yet unknown to 

science. Palmarès sf, 
A species of sea«fish, 

I» f> If I» 

A kind of bird. 

A kind of sandpiper. Same as Fandiafàsika. 


Same diS fôfon* aina* 

A kind of bird. 

A tree. Barringtonia sfeciosa, Forst. 
Same ^s/ôfom bàdy, 

Same as Gàsy (from Engl. *ga8-lighf)below. 
Paraffin oil (from Engl. 'gas*). 
A crow. Same as Goaika, 
A species of fish. Perhaps the same as JTa- 
tràkana, A. 

A plant, probably introduced. 

A species of sea-fish. 

The 'Rémora* or sucking-fish. Echeneis 

A cane or rush framç for catching fish with. 


, Btm. 
, Bts. 


bo, Btm. 
:ana, A. 


càmba, S. 
ana, Btm. 
1, S. 



', S. 

>rômba, S. 
sio, S. 
lantsôro, I. 
ty, Btm. 
sakasira, S. 
i, A. 

idri-bâry, I. 
•ka vàry, A. 
la, Bts. 
igatra, Btm. 
'gy. T. 
sona, Bts» 
ômbo, S. 
àbo, S. 
day, S. 
ôra, S. 
a, T. 

ôatôaka, Btm. 
so, S. 
ka, I. 
ibôky, L 
i, S. 
), Btm. 
lokômana, A. 
?o, S. 

' tàntana, I. 
ôrika, I. 
ika. I. 
ôa, S. 
a, S. 
ndro, S. 
aka, S. 

tsy, S. 
y. S. 
kna, Bts. 

The octopus (not the cuttle-fish, as in 

A species of sea-fish. [n 

The south of the hearth. 

A mother. 

A lamp. 

A fresn-water fish ; east coast. 

A mai). 

A species of cricket. 

A species of fish. Perhaps the same as Ha- 

Intestinal worms. [kàtrana^ A. 

A species of sea-fish. 

A kind of bird. 

A species of sea-fish. 

The fan-tailed warbler. Same as Tsintsina, 

A pebble. 

A water bird. 

A tough fibrous plant. 

Same as Ankta, above. 

A species of wild-boar. 

Uirtoides, Baker. 
Xerofhyia dasy* 






A large Caterpillar. 

A species of sea-fish. 

The sea. 

Twopence. [comes dear. 

To lay in a stock of rice for sale when it be • 

Same as mivély vàry (to thresh corn). 

Same as mànkatràtra, 

To bewitch. 

A woman. 

To smell anything. 

A large edible oyster. 

The fruit of the Rofia palm. 


A father. 

The sun ( the o like o in *note*). 

A fresh -water fish ; east coast. 

Same as mahàrikivy (bitter). 

Bent, awry. Same as fnhtrirtoka (to whiz). 

To play. 

To sinç. 

A species of wild-fowl. 

A tree, probably an acacia. 

To be level. 

To run, as molten lead. 

A species of sea-fish* 

A father. 

A species of sea fish. 

.» ,, „ (not Pêlafîka, as in Dic- 
A species of sea-fish. [tionary). 

A thorny tree. 
A father. 

A kind of soft reddish rock uscd for colouring 




Ratàna, Btm. 
Rôndro, S. 
Sahàza, A. 
Sàja, S. 

Sakivy, I. 
Salàmovàlo, Bts, 
Sampia, S. 
Sànabàvy, I. 
Sànadàhy, I. 
Sanéndry, S. 
Sarôy, Btm. 
Sàtrambè, S. 
Sohihy, Bts. 
Sàngotàny, I. 

Soritra, A. 
Sosôy, S. 
Taboro, S. 

Tahôboka, Bts. and Btm. 
Tamàna, S. 
Tambôho, Btm. 
Tatàrosônisôny, Bts. 
Tàvina, Btm. 
Téfaka, S. 
Tôkitôky, S. 
Tonàndro, A. 
Tôngo, T. 
Tratrao, S. 
Tsàkatsàkangily, S. 
Tsakôko, Btm. 
Tsarôro, Btm. 
Tsiandiandômboky, S. 
Tsibôlobôlo, S. 
Tsilàmodàmoka, A« 
Tsiantrôva, Btm. 
Tsingàlamainty, I. 
Tsingàlavâdika, I. 

Tsingaotràtra, Btm. 
Tsiotsioka, Btm. 
Tsivôngo, A. 
Valàladrisa, I. 
Vâlohàra, S. 
Vànjahilatra, T. 
Vànovàno, Btm. 

Vàtonômby, W. I. 
Vàzandàhy, Bts. 
Vàzimbàzina, I. 
Vôantsànjy, S. 
Vôlonjôro, A. 
Vônitra, S. 
Vôronkôntsy, Btra. 

A species of snake. 

The sky (as well as 'a cloud*). 

Same as vhky (full, satisfied). 

A kind of edible oyster found abundantly od 

rocks on the sea shore. 
The larva of a beetle (a kind of V6ang6ry) 
A kind of bird. 
A species of sea-fish. 
An imprécation. 



An imported aromatic vegetable substance. 
A fresh-water fish ; east coast. 
A species of fan-palm. Hyfhœne sp, 
,, ,, ,, wild-duck. Same as Tsiriry. 
A projecting headland ; also a small island 

m rice-fields, etc. 
A species of lark. Same as Sar6hitta, 
tt ti tt sea-fish. 
A kind of tree. 
A cooking-pot. 

Fat» plump. Same as matàvy. 
Same as tanéty (downs, open counliy^ 
A kind of bird. 
Same a^s/àly (?). **Mttàvtna ny vlalavo.'^ 

f, ,f MandràmbOt above. 
A kind of sea-shell. 
A species of lemur. 

tt tt tt tt 

A kind of sea-fish. 

The teeth. 

A kind of bird. 

A species of cuttle-fish. 

t, ,, ,f sea-fish* 

A kind of caterpillar. 

A cat-like animal. 

A species of sea-fish. Same as Antrhvû. 

,, minute black water beetle. 

», water-boatman. (AU the Tsin- 
gala appear to be water- beetles.) 
An insect found on sugar- cane. 
A species of sea fish. 
The maie Arlsy (a wild-duck). 
A grasshopper. 
A kind of limpet. 
A small eel found abundantly in the sand at 

the outlets of lagoons. 
Quartz pebbles containing tourmaline. 
Same as Bolbky (a black parrot). 

A species of sea-crab. 

Same as Vôronjozhro (a species of warbler). 


The white egret. Same as V6romp6t^. 







IN my article "On the Inflexion of the Verb in Malagasy," in No. IV. of 
this magazine, I tried to show that the causative and reciprocal pré- 
fixes in Malagasy {mampan, mampàha, mampi, mampiha, mi/an) are com- 
pounds, formed in a very simple and systematic manner by a combination 
of the corresponding simple ones {mariy mi, maha, mihà), placing a new 
prefix before the verbal noun of the verb formed by the simple one 
(e.g. mamèly, to beat ; mi-famlly, to beat one another), only subjecting 
this juxtaposition to the gênerai laws of euphony ; e.g. manao, to do ; 
fanaOy manner of doing ; mam-panao (for man-fanao, which would be 
an impossible combination in Malagasy), to cause one to do a thing. 
And I hâve up to this time seen no reason for changing my opinion. 

But a writer in the last number of this Annual (No. X. p. 255), 
briefly reviewing a little French pamphlet by Père Jean, says that if this 
author is right in considering the Malagasy causative prefix mampi to be 
derived from the Malay memper, **the theory of Mr. Dahle would of 
course fall to the ground." He has, however, himseïf some doubt as 
to the correctness of this dérivation, chiefly because it seems to him 
that the causative sensé in Malay is produced less by the prefix memptr^ 
than by the affix kan generally coupled with it. 

The suspicion intimated is certainly reasonable enough ; for, as a 
rule, the causative sensé in Malay clings to the affix kan^ and does not' 
at ail dépend on the/^r (s=^^r) in memper. In Malay the causatives can 
be formed in two ways, viz. — (i) By the prefix men (=Malagasy man) 
and the affix kan. (2) By the prefix rnemper (i.e. men-ber) and the affix 
kan (applied at the same time). It is only quite exceptionally that memper 
alone renders a verb causative.* 

If we now compare with this the compound préfixes (as I consider 
them) in Malagasy which I hâve enumerated above, we shall hâve to 
make the following remarks : — 

{a) Ail the Malagasy verbs in mampi hâve a causative sensé ; whereas 
the Malay verbs commencing in memper^ as a rule, only get a causative 
sensé when the affix kan is added. 

{b) In Malagasy the only manner of forming a causative verb is to make 
it commence in mamp {mampi, mampan^ etc.) ; whereas in Malay the 
causative verbs are more frequently formed without the syllable per (in 
memper)^ and only by the affix kan and the prefix nun. This proves that 
the syllable per in Malay is generally of no importance whatever for the 
causative sensé, while the/ (/>/', pan, etc.; in Malagasy is essential to it. 

[c) If the Malagasy mampi is to be "derived" from the Malay memper, 
what then has become of the final r ? This letter may in thèse languages 

♦ See L'Abbé P. Favre'g Grammaire de la Langue Malaise, Vienne ; X876 ; p. 117-126. 


easily pass into l ot d and even into z (Malagasy %atOy Malay ratus\ but 
does not often fall out altogether where it really belongs to the root. 

(</) Provided that mampi could be explained as suggested by Père 
Jean, what then about mampan, mampaha^ mampiha^ and mi/an, which 
are evidently ail of them formed by analogous rules ? Any one who under- 
takes to explain one of thèse from a Malayan source must try to account 
for the others too, as they must undoubtedly ail go together. 

I venture to think that thèse observations, brief as they are, will prove 
sufficient to show that Père Jean's "dérivation" on this point at least is a 
case of **lucus a non lucendo.** And if this is the strongest blow my 
theory is to be exposed to, I see no reason to feel nervous about it. 

It was, again, not to be expected that a compound prefix could be 
proved to be "derived" from another language, for such forms seldom 
are so obtained. The simple préfixes may be (and often are) essen- 
tially the same, but the manner of combining them is often characteristic 
of each individual language ; and it was not to be expected that it would 
be otherwise in Malagasy, which is certainly one of the finest and best 
developed languages in the family to which it belongs. 

But although each language may hâve its own peculiar way of com- 
bining the simple préfixes, it may be anticipated that there would be 
some analogy in this respect between languages of the same family. 
And so there is. So far, a référence to the Malay memper does not only 
not overtum my theory, but is a very strong argument in its faveur. 
For what is the Malay memper? Nothing but a compound prefix. Just as 
mam-pan — on my theory— is composed oîman-man^ and mam-pioï man-mi 
(through the médiums of verbal nouns in /an, fi, corresponding respec- 
tively to the verbs in man and mi), so is the Malay memper composed of 
the two préfixes men and ber, both of which may be used alone to form 
a verb, the first one generally in a more transitive, the second one in a 
more intransitive sensé, corresponding nearly to man and mi in Mala- 
gasy ; e.g. her-pukul, to beat ; but memukul, if an object is added. When 
mem and her are combined in Malay, the affix kan is generally added at 
the same time ; and this then makes the verb causative ; e.g. ber-anak, 
to hâve children, mem-per-anak-kan, to cause to hâve children. The 
peculiarity of Malagasy as compared with Malay is, that the combination 
of the two préfixes is effected by means of the verbal noun of the verb 
formed by the first one of the two as pointed out above) ; and that this 
combination of the préfixes is in itself sufllicient to render the verb 
causative, without any additional affix as is required in Malay. 

It may perhaps be said that my **verbal noun," as an intermediate link, 
is, at the best, only a hypothesis. This I admit, but it is a hypothesis 
which explains the facts consistently with the euphonie laws of the 
language. Besides this, theie are a good many facts which go faf 
towards proving that this hypothesis is the true explanation of the 
matter in hand. I may mention the following :— 

I . The conception expressed by thèse verbs (causative and reciprocal) 
is certainly a compound one, and it is therefore only natural that the 
form of the verb should also be compound. 
a. In the cognate languages compound conceptions (compound actions 


and States) are generally expressed by compound préfixes (as we hâve 
already seen to be the case in Malay). It was then to be expected that 
such should also be the case in Malagasy. 

3. lï mampan \^ VioX^=man'\-man, or mampi not=/«a«+/wi, etc., how 
is it that the first form invariably forms the causative of verbs whose 
simple prefix is man (e.g. mandèha, màmpandéha) ; and the second one, 
as invariably, the causative of those whose simple prefix is mi{e,g, mi/âiy, 
màmpijàly)^ and never vice versa ? 

4. But if it must be admitted that thèse préfixes are compounds, then 
the only way of explaining their form in Malagasy is to consider the 
verbal noun (of the forms fanao, fandèhuy fijàly) the intermediate Con- 
necting link. Man-mijaly^ for instance, could never become mam-pîjaly 
but through the verbal noun fijaly ; but man-fijaly naturally becomes 

5. This procédure is also a very simple and logical one. The verbal 
noun is simply treated as a new secondary root, and the new prefix 
placed before it simply adds its own force to that of the prefix of the 
primary verb froro which the verbal noun has been formed (e.g. mijaly^ 
to suffer ; fijaly ^ sufFering ; mampijaly^ for man-fijaly^ to cause suffering) ; 
no other changes taking place than such euphonie modifications as 
always must occur when a prefix terminating in a consonant is to 
be joined to a root beginning with a consonant that does not agrée 
(euphonically) with it.* 

The meaning of thèse préfixes becomes very simple and clear on my 
theory, the whole being govemed by the following rules :— 

a. Active (transitive) préfixes may be combined with active ones, or 
in other words, reduplicated, as in mampan for man^man. In this case 
the verb generally becomes doubly active, i.e. can be construed with 
two objects. 

h. An active prefix may be placed before a neuter (intransitive) one. 
This will, as a {^le, give us a causative verb, but one that cannot take a 
double object. 

c, A neuter prefix before an active one [mi-fan for mi-man) gives the 
verb the sensé of reciprocity, i.e. the subject is both acting and acted 
upon ; e.g. mifameîy^ to beat one another {mamely, to beat). In this case 
the prefix mi seems to hâve almost a passive sensé, a sensé which also, 
though seldom, is found in the simple verbs in mi ; e.g. misàsa is *being 

d. If the active prefix {man) in the simple verb has a neuter sensé, or if 
the neuter prefix {mi) has an active sensé, which wexceptionallythe case, 
this will appear also in the compound forms of them ; e.g. mampivély can 
take a double object (against the rule ^), because mively is transitive, 
notwithstanding its neuter prefix. On the contrary, mampandeha would 

• A Malag^asy scholar may object, that although mampi is euphonically correct, we should 
rather hâve expected nmmijaly, as roots with /or v ox p for their initial fetter eenerally drop 
it after such a prefix and change the n to m. This is true ; but* we hâve still traces of an 
older practice in such verbs as mamboly^ mambôaira (for mnmoly^ matHoatra)^ and this 
analogy has been followed in the compound préfixes. In ordinary compounda, »-/ alwayi 
becomes m-p ; t g. àlom»pid\na for olona /Idina, 


take only a single object (against the raie a), because mandeha is intran- 
sitive, notwithstanding its active prefix. 

e, Two neuter préfixes are never joined without an active one between 
them ; as in mi/àmpirèsaka, The reason is, upon my theory, self-e vident. 
We can easily see the force of combining two active préfixes, or one 
active with one passive (neuter), in order to show that there are two 
agents, of whom the one acts on the other to make him act or suffer 
(or both at the same time, as in the reciprocal forms) what the verbal 
root expresses. But it is scarcely conceivable what two neuter préfixes 
{mifi'=.mi'mi) could express, as they could not influence one another; 
thé double form could hardly add any other sensé to that of the simple 
one than that of répétition or continued action. But this is in Mala- 
gasy expressed by reduplication of the root. If we therefore had a form 
mifivézyy it would, I présume, hâve had the same meaning as mivézivhy 
(to ramble), which is actually in use. 

But ail thèse mies may be comprised in a single one, namely : Any 
additional verbal prefix to be supplied is placed before the verbal noun oj Ou 
simpler verb, and adds its own peculiar force to that of the prefix (ox préfixes) 
of the verbfrom which this verbal noun has been formed. 

For a fuller explanation of the infiection of the Malagasy verb in 
gênerai, I must refer the reader to my former articles in the Annual, to 
the earlier ones of which I might, however, hâve a good deal to add, if 
I could rewrite them now. The présent article is only written in corrob- 
oration of my theory of the formation of what I consider "compound 
verbal préfixes." 

L. Dahle. 


The genitive case of nouns in Malagasy is expressed iB the following 
ways : — 

1. By adding an n (or «') to the preceding noun ; e.g. andevon' hlona^ 
people's slaves ; or ny andevon^ olona, the slaves of people ; or ny andevori 
ny olona, the slaves of the people {andevo, slave or slaves, and olona 
people ; ny is the article). This is the genitive properly so called. 

2. By simple juxtaposition of the two words. This generally takes 
place when the relation of the two words is that of a genitive of 
identity (e.g., ny tany Palesiina, the iand of Palestine ; ny t}ndrombbhitra 
Oliva^ the mountain called Olivet), or of materials (e.g. tràno vàto, a 
house made of stone ; èfiira làmba, a separaling partition made of cloth). 

3. By joining the two words into one, with or without a hyphen ; e.g. 
hèvitènyt or hevi-teny^ exegesis [hevitra^ meaning, and teny^ words, the 
meaning of words). 

4. By verbal nouns. The noun, which we should càll a genitivUs objec' 
tivus, is simply added to the verbal noun as object in the accusative ; 
e.g. fitiàvana ny mpanjàka, love of the king. 

Thèse are the principal means of expressing the genitive in Malagasy. 
But as I only intend to treat of the first, which is at any rate the genitive 


propefy I hâve not aimed at exhaustiveness in other respects, and there- 
fore hâve not paid any regard to the exceptions to, or modifications of, 
thèse rules that may take place in spécial cases. As the modification 
marking the genitive does not affect the word which is put in the geni- 
tive, but the preceding one, which governs it, it is évident that even the 
words in the first of the above modes are, to ail appearance, not a true 
genitive, but a status constructus, just as in Hebrew. But what is this n 
(or «') or status constructus in Malagasy ? and how did it originate ? To 
give an answer to this question is the object of the présent article. 

In the earlier Malagasy books we generally find -ny for the 
présent form -«*, except in cases where the following letter was a vowel ; 
for hère an apostrophe was often put for the final^, instead of this ny, to 
avoid a hiatus, The earliest Malagasy grammarians (as Mr. Freeman 
and Mr. Griffiths) explained this ny to be the suffix of the third person 
(sing. and plur.). The phrase vblarC blona, people's money, is by Mr. 
Griffiths written volany ny olona^ and explained as "money of them, the 
people." This explanation was considered doubtful, but the practice 
was for a long time generally followed in ail books issued by the Protes- 
tant Societies hère. Sometimes, however, the ny was left out entirely, 
when the following noun had the article [ny\ so as to avoid a double ny, 

It was, I believe, Rev. W. E. Cousins who, in his Grammar* first 
suggested that the better practice might be to write -«', so as to avoid 
the possibility of any confusion with the personal suffix ;t but he did not 
attempt to explain the etymology of this -«'. The practice he suggest- 
ed was certainly an improvement, as it agreed better with the pronun- 
ciation in the spoken language and helped us to avoid ambiguity. It 
was therefore readily accepted and has since then been followed pretty 
uniformly in ail the publications of the English and Norwegian Presses. 

In the Malagasy publications issued from the Press of the French 
Roman Catholic Mission hère the practice has, until quite lately, been 
to leave out tbis -ny (-«*) before the article of the following noun ; to 
Write it in full before a proper noun (as this has no article ny) ; to com- 
bine it with the consonant of the following noun, if that begins with a 
consonant and has no article (in which case both nouns are loined by 
means of a hyphen) ; and, finally, to join it with an apostrophe to the 
following noun, if this was an appellative without an article* A similar 
practice was also followed in the very first publications of the L.M.S» 

Père Caussèque, in his Grammaire Malgache (Antananarivo : 1886), 
says that this practice was accepted by Père Webber from the first 
publications of the L.M.S. ; and he contends that it ought to be given up. 
He would not, however, accept the -«* uniformly, but thinks that we 
ought to Write -« in ail ''mots croissants" and -«' in ail "mots décrois- 
sants." By the first term he utiderstands words that simply add -« in the 
genitive; by the last, words that drop their final syllable (or part of it) 

in the genitive (i.e. in status constructus before a genitive). He would 

- - • • — 

^ A Conçue Introduction to the Study of the Malagasy Languagt as êfoken in Imérina, 
Antananarivo: 1873. 
t See the foot-nott on p. 44 of hii Grammar. 


therefore persuade us to write trànon olona {/rano, house), but lâlan" oiona 
{lâiana, way, road), as làlana has hère dropped tbe final a and therefore 
should hâve the apostrophe, whereas trano has not dropped any vowel, 
and should consequently not hâve the apostrophe. He lays so much 
stress on this point that he dévotes about twenty pages of bis Apptniix 
to it, although he does not in any way even attempt to explain tbis -« 
or -«'. 

This position seems at first sight reasonable enougb, but is neverthe- 
less wrong, even upon bis own very sound principle, that an apostrophe 
should be put where an elision has taken place, and nowhere else ; for 
what he really does in the examples given (and they are bis own) is, to 
omit tbe apostrophe where a whole syllable has been dropped, and to put 
it in where, upon bis own theory, nothing has been left out. Tbis I shall 
now proceed to prove. But let me remark at the outset, that in so doing 
I do not wish to depreciate bis Grammar, which is in many respects a 
useful book ; but as it has been suggested that we should modify our 
practice and make it agrée with bis views on tbis point, against this I 
feel bound to stand out as against an error. 

Père Caussèque leaves out the apostrophe where an entire syllable has 
been dropped, for he writes làlarC for làla{nà)n\ Now what is left out 
hère ? Of course the termination na in làlana^ but as tbis termination 
précèdes the nota genitivi («'), which, according to him, ought not to 
bave any apostrophe, be should, upon bis own principle, bave written 
làlà'n, Tbe cause of his error is, that he has considered the n* in làlarC 
as the remnant of the termination tuiy whereas it really is tbe nota 
genitivi («') joined to the root làlay the loose termination na being drop- 
ped, as it always is, before any additional syllable. 

Père Caussèque may say that I must prove that the na is really 
thrown off hère. To this I reply : That no one who knows anytbing of 
Malagasy at ail will deny that the antepenults terminating in na 
invariably drop the na before any additional syllable ; and that if any one 
makes a single case the exception to this gênerai rule, the onus probandi 
certainly rests with him and not with those who simply abide by tbe 
gênerai rule. If any further proof is wanted, we bave it in tbe manner 
in which the personal suffixes are joined to the nouns. Thèse suffixes 
are, of course, virtually the genitive of the personal pronouns. If, there- 
fore, the n of the termination na is kept before the genitive of the nouns^ 
we should naturally expect it to be kept before ail forms of tbe suffixes 
where the laws of euphony wouW allow it. We should consequently, on 
tbis supposition, expect to find lalankoy which would bave been perfectly 
right, as a mère matter of euphony» but, as every one knows, it becomes 
lalako, The n appears only in such suffixes as bave an n of their 
own, and is in such cases equally found after words not terminating in 
na ; e.g. trano-wat? as well as lala-«a(?. We see that lalana is, before ail 
suffixes, treated as if it had been lala^ the na being simply dropped, and 
no regard paid to it. Why should it be otherwise in the genitive of tbe 
nouns ? But as the nota genitivi of nouns («') and the first consonant of 
most of tbe suffixes happen to be the same as the last consonant of 
lalana {n\ the combination of the two parts is somewhat obscured ; 


and it is so far explainable how people hâve been led into the error that 
the n' in lalan^ is only a remnant of the termination na. But the suiaSx 
of the first person sing, {ko), which has no n of its own, is the real test of 
the points in question. For if the n in lalan* had been the remnant 
of the termination na, we see no reason why it should hâve been dropped 
before ko (as nk is perfectly admissible in Malagasy) ; but if, on the 
other hand, it is the nota gtnitivi «' (joined to /a/a), it is self-evident that 
it must be left out, as ko is itself the genitive and takes its place. 

Père Caussèque has also himself felt that the form lalako is incom- 
patible with his theory. He says : "Seule la combination lalako fait 
difficulté pour l'analyse ;" but he has a very easy way of disposing of the 
difficulty, adding : **C*est une exception" !* If a theory fails in the only 
instance in which it can be brought to a décisive test, it utterly breaks 
down. He adds that this exception does not matter much (**Peu im- 
porte," /.f.), as **six cases out of seven must be sufficient to establish the 
rule;" but unfortunately the other six cases (lalanao, lalany, lalanay, 
lalantsika, lalanareo, lalan* tzareo) ail rest on a misunderstanding. What 
he tries to make out is, that the n in ail thèse cases is a remnant of the 
ria in laiana, as this is a **mot décroissant." But this view breaks down 
entirely from the fact that words which are, upon his own theory, not 
"mots décroissants" and hâve no n of their own (do not terminate in na), 
gel exactly the same forms ; e.g. /rano (house) : /ranoNAY, tranoNY, etc., 
just as with laiana, Consequently the n in thèse suffixes cannot be the 
remnant of the termination na of the noun in question. 

To sum up : laiana is treated exactly as Irano throughout, only that 
na is dropped before ail thèse suffixes, just as it is before the nota genitivi 
(»*) of the nouns ; or, in other words : laiana is, both before the suffixes 
and before the «' of the genitive, treated as if its form had been lala 
(which is indeed the root). I may add, that Père Caussèque, on his own 
theor}', ought to hâve written lalan^nao, lalan'ny, etc. ; for if irano, which 
does not terminate in na, nevertheless gets an «, and laiana also keeps 
its terminative n, it ought to hâve two {rC «), That words terminating 
in ka and ira hâve somewhat deviating forms does not concern us hère, as 
they generally do not take any »* in the genitive at ail, and consequently 
do not bear upon the question we are discussing. 

Thèse remarks are, I think, sufficient to prove that the «' in lalan^ and 
the «' in tranon' are in no respect différent from one another. If one 
of them should be written with the apostrophe, the other should also be 
so wiitten. 

But, it may be said, why write any of them with an apostrophe ? Père 
Caussèque contends that an apostrophe should not be used if there is 
no elision of a vowel ; and I think he is right. He adds that it has not 
yet h&tn proved ÛidX this n («') in Malagasy is an abbreviation of a fuller 
form tenninating in a vowel, or, in other words, that we hère hâve an 
elision of a vowel that calls for an apostrophe. Hère he is right again. 
It has not yet been proved. In fact, scarcely any altempt has been 
made to explain the etymology of this «*, nor does he himself make any 

♦ Grammaire Malgache ; Apftndix^ p. 29. 


attempt to do so. The earlier Malagasy grammarians considérée! ittobe 
the suffix of the third person {ny) and wrote it âccordingly (-«y), as alreadj 
mentioned. As this was the original mode of writing it, and -n* the later 
one, this latter was considered an abbreviation of -ny. Hence the apos- 
trophe. But this of course does not amount to a proof that it ought to 
be written with an apostrophe, it only explains the origin of the présent 

But how is this usage to be proved to be correct, or the reverse ? As 
the Malagasy language has no history of its own for any length of time, 
we hâve to tum to the cognate languages for an explanation of its cornip- 
ted and obscure forms. What then is the nota genùwi in the cognate 
languages ? 

I. — Malayan Family, The genitive is in thèse languages often ex- 
pressed simply by juxtaposition, but often also by placing a separate 
Word between the two nouns. In Malay proper this word is na ; e.g. 
anak-na râda^ the child of the king. This na has by many been thought 
to be the pronominal suffix of the jrd person (sing. and pi.), which atany 
rate has the same form. And as this suffix na is evidently the Malagasy 
ny, it has been concluded that Malagasy «* or ny (in gen.) must also be 
the pronominal suffix ny^ as mentioned above. As I was familiar with 
this peculiar manner of expressing the genitive \ixA per. suffix) in the 
Syriac, I was once inclined to think that this was the right solution.* 
But as I find that this na (sometimes dwindled into n, as in Malagasy) 
is used to express the genitive even in those Malayan dialects where ihe 
suffix for the 3rd person is quite différent (e.g. the Dayak suffix 3rd pers, 
sing. and pi. is (?, but the nota genitivi is «), I feel convinced that it is a 
separate word, although both this na (or «) and the suffix na^ ni ma? 
originally hâve sprung from the same root (probably the one from wbicn 
both tny and the article ny in Malagasy originated).t 

2. — In Polynesian languages the genitive is generally expressed by the 
insertion of the so-called "particles of relation" «a, no, which often 
dwindle into a, Oy the n being dropped. (N,B. The fréquent elisipn of 
consonants is characteristic of the Polynesian languages.) This na or 
no is of course the ver>' same word as the na, ni («, «') spoken of above. 
And hère it can not be the pronominal suffix, as there is no such suffix in 
the Polynesian languages. 

3. — Melanesian Family, As far as I can make out from Gabelentz and 
Codrington (almost our only authorities for Melanesian), the genitive is 
formed in the following ways : — 

{a) By simple juxtaposition of the two nouns ; sometimes with a slight 
modification of the final vowel of the first one \a becoming e), (3) By 
means of a pronominal suffix ; some cases are given by Codrington, but 
are perhaps doubtful. {c) Most frequently— at any rate in the more 
developed languages — by a separate word, inserted between the two 
nouns. This **particle of relation" is sometimes ono or no, (na, ne, 
seldom), but by far most frequently ni \ by elision of n it sometimes hère, 
as in Polynesian, becomes /", e, or 0, This ni is by thèse two scholars 

♦ See my passing remark on this in ANnual No, VIII. p. 77, 
t Cf. my remarlw on theso words, /.c. p. 75 — 77. 


considered as a préposition, governing the genitive ; which is no doubt 
the right view of it. It is so common in the form ni, that in Codring- 
ton's list* of prépositions goveming the genitive it occurs as the nota 
genitivi in ten Melanesian languages, whereas na occurs only in three 
(and in one of those only as a collatéral form to «0» ^^ i^ o^^®» ^^^^ ^^e 
abbreviated form (i, ^ o) in four (in one collatéral to ni), Ono, according 
to Gabelentz, occurs in Mare, collatéral to o, 

After this I do not think we need hesitate to consider the Malagasy 
no/a genitivi («, »*) an abbreviation of an original préposition {m\ na, no) 
goveming the genitive case. And as its vowel has been lost by elision 
(just as its consonant has been lost by elision in other dialects, as 
pointed out above), we hâve good etymological grounds for writing it 
with the apostrophe [«'), which is our présent practice. 

I should not, however, consider it necessary on that score to do so. 
The n alone wôuld be quite sufficient for ail cases. We do not generally 
mark etymological élisions by an apostrophe. When we write a word 
like the English *subtle,' we ail know it is the Latin subtiiis, but we do 
not think it necessary to mark the elision of the vowel by an apostrophe. 
And so in many similar cases. 

L. Dahle. 



In Article vii., § i of the Appendix to his Grammaire Malgache (Anta- 
nanarivo: 1886), rère Caussèque tries to prove that there exists no 
préposition àmy in Malagasy, as the word in question, he says, really 
is àminy, and not amy^ as the ''école Anglaise" has made it. His proofs 
are the two following : — 

(i) We frequently hear the form aminy in the colloquial language 
before words which are quite indefinite, and consequently it cannot be 
right to résolve it into amy ny, as the sensé would not in such cases 
require the definite article {ny), 

(2) As we can say amin* before nouns beginning in a vowel (e.g. 
amin' alahèlo) the word must be aminy and belong to the same category 
as the "mots croissants" (i.e. words terminating in na), just as if it had 
been amina, He sums up the case by saying that **logic and sensé** 
alike are in favour of his view, and that amy is ''a barbarism in no case 
to be tolerated." 

A faithful pupil of his — at least his pupil in this point — recently wrote 
an article in Malagasy (in the Madagascar Times) expatiating on the 
same view ; but as neither that writer, nor the Malagasy who wrote an 
article against him in the same newspaper, advanced any new argument 
in the case, I shail not pay any regard to them hère. 

As to the two arguments stated above, I will only remark : — 

I . — That the first one only proves that a Malagasy would use the 
definite article in cases where a Frenchman or an Englishman would 

* Melarusian Lann^uages ; Oxford: X885 ; p. 150—151. 


not use it, and could not see the force of it, a fact we hâve met with 
over and over again during our Revision of the Malagasy Bible, See, 
for instance, the use of the article with nouns that hâve the possessive 
(suffix) added, e.g. ny tbmpokoy where no modem European language 
would use it. But this is of course nothing at ail strange, as scarcelv 
any two languages in the world use the definite article in exactly the 
same manner. Consequently this argument is really no argument at ail. 

2. — That the second is not only no argument in favour of this theoiy 
but the very strongest argument against it, as I shall prove presently. 
Hère I will only hint at my view by adding that if amtny had been the 
Word in question, we should hâve to write QtninirC olona, for amirC olona 
would hâve been simply an impossibility. Consequently this argument 
is a good deal worse than none at ail. 

After having thus answered the alleged arguments in favour of aminy, 
I shall proceed to show what arguments positively prove that amy^ acd 
not amtny, is the word in question. 

I. — The accent (âminy). If we ejçcept words in which the final 
syllable ny is simply the suffix 3rd person (as /ârany, iàhiny, an-kèriny, 
tvèlany), we shall scarcely be able to point out a single antepenult 
in Malagasy terminating in ny. They are ail penults {vahiny, faKxny, 
ankehitriny, etc.). It is quite différent with words in na (e.g. lâlana), 
which are generally antepenults. Still, I should not consider this ahm 
a décisive proof ; amtny might be an exception to the gênerai rule. 

2. — But quite décisive is the manner in which this word combines 
with suffixes and nouns governed by it. Ail the words terminating 
in ny, and in which this ny is not the suffix ny, invariably keep this ny 
before suffixes and nouns alike. 

{a) With suffixes» In order to show this, I shall choose the two 
suffixes of the ist and 3rd persons singular, although the others would 
do equally well. Examples : tàny, land, taniko, my land, taniny, bis 
land (not tako, iany) ; tsiny, biame, tsiniko, tsininy (not tsiko, isiny) ; 
vinàny, guess, vinaniko, vinaniny (not vinako, vinany) ; and so on, with- 
out exception. If any one supposes that it might be différent with 
prépositions, we will try two prépositions terminating in ny, Ambôny, 
above ; amboniko, above me ; amhoniny, above him (not amboko, ambony), 
Ambàny, under ; ambaniko, under me ; ambaniny, under him (not ambako, 
ambany), Now nothing can be more évident than that amtny would on 
this analogy hâve to become amim'ko, amtntny. But as it invariably 
is amiko and aminy, this proves that the word is amy, not amtny, 

{b) With nouns. Hère we invariably hâve : tanin^ olona (not tari 
oiona); vinanin* olona (not vinan' olona) \ ambonin' olona (not ambon' 
olona), and so on. The termination ny is invariably kept before the 
nota genitivi (/;*). Consequently, if the word in question had been 
aminy, we should hâve to write aminin' olona. But — as we ail admit — 
every one (natives and Europeans) both says and writes amin' olona, the 
word in question must be amy, and not aminy. Why Père Caussèque 
has failed to see this is, 1 suppose, chieliy because he has been misled 
by his peculiar theory about the genitives of **mots décroissants" in na 
(araongst which be, wrongly, classes his aminy), a theory which 


rely rests on a misunderstanding, as I hâve endeavoured to prove in 
preceding article. The reason why amy and other prépositions in 
agasy can be construed with a following genitive, just like a noun 
in* olona, like tanin* oiona), will be clear in the following section. 

, — If we look to the cognate languages, we find the préposition anty 
considérable variety of forms (maiiin Poiynesian], mt\ me, ma, mo, 
[composed of i-w/]) in Poiynesian and Melanesian, but no trace of 
ngthened form like aminy. That thèse mi, me, etc., are identical 
i the Malagasy amy, no scholar can doubt for a moment, as the words 
so similar, the meaning and use are the same, and thèse languages 
^e to hâve such a number of like words in common. Besides this mi, 
Melanesian also has another préposition, ana or an, with very much 
same meanîng. This is of course the Malagasy an, which always 
bines more closely with the follawing word, a combination which 
lalagasy is usually marked with a hyphen {an-tanèty, an-tàny, an- 
lira, am-po, etc.). 

r. Codrington, who, in his Melanesian Languages, has examined thèse 
stions more thoroughly and minutely than any other author I ahi 
lainted with, contends that mi was originally a noun, and says that it 
till in use as a noun in some of the Melanesian dialects. Now let us 
)ose the same to be the case with the Malagasy amy, This suppos- 
1 would explain : 

r) lis form {Amy, not my). If the original mi (my) was a noun, we 
easily conceive that a true préposition would be added to it to make 
prepositional phrase. Now we hâve precisely such a préposition (a) 
lalagasy, which is joined to nouns to make a prepositional phrase 
. Anâsy, Amârony, Afàra [provincial for aoriana, and quite common 
''âkinankàratra]). A collatéral form to this a is i (e.g. vvbhony, wêlany, 
ina ; they always say of soldiers who run away on the road : '*Afivè- 

ILALANA izy^). In Melanesiana both a and i are used as separate 
)ositions. In Malagasy it has become customary to join them to 
following word in writing ; but this différence is of course of no 
ortance as to the etymology and meaning of the words ; it is only a 
îrent orthography. In Melanesian a and / are quite common prepo- 
ms ; in Malagasy they occur only exceptionally, in the manner 
itioned. They may, however (like an), be found as formative 
lents of secondary roots ; but this has not yet been investigated. 
•) Ils construction. We hâve already seen that amy is construed with 
xes and genitivcs exactly as a noun, and that before nouns in the 
itive it takes the nota genitivi (;/*) just as a noun (e.g. amin* olona, 

tranon' olona). This is only explainable on the supposition that 
is a noun governcd by the préposition a {amyz=.a-my or, with a geni- 
, amin'-=ia-min'). Supposing now that the meaning of the noun 
mi) was that of the Svhereabouts' of something (which seems to be 
meaning in Melanesian), a phrase like amin' ny trano (as it ought 
e written) would mcan *at the whereabouts of the house/ i.e. at, in, 
irds, or from the house. Amy is wide enough to cover ail this, and 
etymological explanation given would also account for its wideness 


Other Malagasy prépositions can be explained in the same manner, 
especially the pair ambàny and ambbny (below and above). They are 
evidently compounds (not, however, with a, but with an\ and they are 
construed exactly in the same manner as amy (as seen by the examples 
I hâve given). Ambany no doubt points back to a noun vàny, the 
under side of a thing, although such a noun is not to be found in Mala- 
gasy now.* In the cognate languages it might perhaps be found. 
Ambony, in the same manner, points back to a noun vony^ the top of a 
thing. This we hâve in Malagasy only in the sensé of a 'flower* (the 
top of the plant ?). An-vany and an-vony would, by virtue of the 
euphonie laws of the ianguage, necessarily become ambany and ambany. 
If this is the true explanation of thèse prépositions — which it certainly 
is — we ought to write amin\ ambanin\ ambonirC (and se also with 
ail the prépositions that can take a suffix), uniformly before ail 
nouns, with or without an article, only with such modifications before 
consonants as the euphonie laws would require (e.g. amim-pi/aliana or 
amM pi/alïana). 

Considering, as I do, thèse prépositions to be nouns, I ought perhaps 
to add that the idea of a noun (in a very indefinite way, or of a verb) 
seems to lurk underneath almost everywhere in Malagasy, as it does in 
ail the Oceanic groups of languages. Aïza f (where ?) seems to us to 
be as clearly an adverb as any word in the Ianguage. Still, when we 
say : ^^AizarC Ilàfy Namlhana V (**In what direction from Ilafyis Name- 
hana ?") and reply : ''Any andrefany (**To the west of it"), we hâve 
clearly treated aiza as a noun with following genitive. And when we 
come to examine it, we find it is composed of a-iza ? (at what ? for ita 
is used even of things— as well as of persons— when they are defined) 
and the phrase would mean : **At what of (what side of) Ilafy is Name- 
hana ?" And if we carried the analysis further, I believe we should find 
that iza itself was composed of the pre-formative /* and the noun za— 
zàvatra. (In the Ianguage of Lo on Torres Islands — za or ja means *a 
thing,' just as does the Malagasy zavatra.) Even the Malagasy interjec- 
tion hay ! (really !) is in Melanesian shown to be at least a pronoun 
(*what ?') and is most likely ultimately a noun. In other words : the 
'parts of speech* flow into one another in a remarkable manner in thèse 
languages, as I intimated in another article in this magazine nine years 
ago (Annual IV., p. 77, 78). 

I hâve long been of opinion that thèse prépositions are to be regarded 
as nouns, but I hâve not found time to discuss the subject. But as a 
discussion has been recently raised with regard to amy, and my reading 
of Dr. Codrington's work fumished me at the same time both with new 
materials and gave me a new impulse to re-examine the question, I 
thought I had better explain my views briefly, as I hâve tried to do in 
the présent article. But although I had to be brief, I could not entirely 
abstain from entering into the etyviology of amy, Words are living 
personalitics, with a history of their own, and it will never do to look at 
them as if they had emanated from Babel yesterday. 

L. Dahle. 

♦ Perhaps it exists in t'any, the part bet^'een the knucklcs, and between the knots of sugar- 
cane, bamboo, etc. — Ed. 





3N one of the closing days of the year 1878 the Church of 
St. Joseph, on the edge of the plain of Imàhamàsina, 
est of Antanànaiivo, was Ihe scène of a funeral service, celebra- 
îd with the accustomed ritual of the Roman Church. Bishop 
lestell-Cornish and other non-members of that Church were 
resent at the service, to do honour to the memory of a man 
ho indeed deserves to be distinguished in the history of 
[adagascar, M. Jean Baptist Laborde, Consul of France, who 
ad spent 47 of the 73 years of his life in this country, and was 
>r the greater part of that time employed in the service of the 
lalagasy Court. When the cérémonies in church were com- 
leted, the body was borne along the grand high road whîch 
e himself had constructed, some 20 miles E.S.E. of the Capital, 
) Màntasôa, the scène of the chief labours of his life-time. 
Tiere it rests in a small enclosure containing a substantial 
)mb of stone surmounted by a pillar and shaded by a clump 
f loquat trees. A French traveller* has justly remarked that 
either the man nor his work hâve received from English 
Titers on Madagascar the notice they deserve. For the main 
icts in this paper the writer is indebted to a small Malagasy 
eriodical formerly published by the Jesuit missionf, lent him by 
le courtesy of the Rev. P. Caussèque, S.J. Notices in French 
terature there probably are, but, so far as the writer knows, no 
ccount has appeared in English, except a passing notice of M. 
aborde's death in this Annual No. IV. p. 123 ; Reprint^ p. 536. 
About the year 1 83 1, a ship was wrecked somewhere near Màti- 
mana, on the S.E. coastof Madagascar. Amongthepassengers 
as M. Laborde, who had made the voyage from India to secure 
le salvage of a wreck at Juan de Nova. He was accompanied 
y an African boy, who was his faithful servant through the 
îst of his life, and is still living at Mantasoa, honoured by the 
atives with the title of 'Ingàhy Mainty* (*Sir Black*), and 
njoying nothing better than to be interviewed on the subject 
f his beloved master and ail that he did. M. Laborde is said 
) hâve been instrumental in saving the lives of his fellow 
assengers by swimming on shore with a rope. Having 

• See Trois Mois de Séjour à Madagascar^ by Captain Dupré. f R^Mka vol, for 1879, 


made bis way some loo miles north to Mahèla, he was 
there received by a fellow countryman named Delastelle, who 
was in the employ of Rânavàlona I., the reigning sovereign. 
Brought by Delastelle to the Capital, it soon appeared that he 
had talents which might be turned to account, though indeeda 
marvellous readiness to turn his brain and his hand to an3rthing 
seems, rather than any spécial knowledge, to hâve been the 
secret of his success. He first commenced casting giins north 
of Ilàfy, some six miles north of the Capital, but, difficulties 
arising from the scarcity of water and of fuel, he was directed by 
the Queen to choose a more suitable site for future opérations, 
and he at length chose Mantasoa. The forest was then near at 
hand for procuring fuel, and water was obtained by making two 
large réservoirs, which, as one sees them now, set like sapphires 
in the surrounding hills, seem almost to deserve the name of 
lakes. From the higher one, called Rànofitolàha, or *The 
Water from Seven springs', there is a descent to the second, and 
thence the water is carried by aqueducts, eut in places through 
solid rock, to the site of the workshops. "I cannot describe," 
M. Laborde used to say, "the trouble I had in making thèse 
pools, and the banks round them, and the great aqueduct;" 
and indeed one cannot visit the spot without marvelling at what 
the genius and industry of one man has achieved, with only 
what may be called unskilled labour to carry out his plans. 

Hands indeed were not wanting. It is said that the Queen 
assigned him nearly 2000 men ; and for them with their wives 
and children he built a town, of which the ruins may still be 
seen scattered over the hill-sides. It is well known thatunpaid 
labour for the Government or for superiors is the rule in Mada- 
gascar, yjfw^w/^^wa or govern ment service taking the place of 
taxes. Wherever subjects are sent, there they must go ; and 
what they are bidden to do, they must do. The rules of the 
service at Mantasoa were so strict that it has become a proverb 
to describe any hard service : ^^Rdharàhan* Imantasoa : man- 
déha tsy mtèrUy màty làso ; mandèha mtéray niàty vénty ; that is, 
"It's a Mantasoa business: if you go away without leave, you are 
fined a florin ; if you get leave to go, you are fined eight-pence." 
M. Laborde, however, was of a gênerons disposition and often 
divided amongst the work-people money given him by the 
Queen for himself. One of the traits which his old serx^ant 
speaks of, was his unfailing generosity and unbounded hospita- 
lity ; no day passed without his giving to those who asked, and 
no guest came whom he did not welcome to his house. 

M. Laborde's invention was unbounded, and his ingenuity in 
the application of means to an end was not easily beaten. 


Whatever the Queen required he either made or attempted to 
make, and seldom indeed was the attempt unsuccessful. He 
got books from France and studied them by night, Ithat he 
might know how to proceed in the various opérations of which 
he had no previous knowledge. I remember standing on the 
hill-side with a native, who pointed out the uses of the various 
workshops which lay in ruins before us. "There," he said, 
"cannon were made, there guns, there glass, and there swords." 
The little monthly magazine already referred to gives an 
astounding list of the things manufactured between the years 
183 1 and 1857: guns, powder, cannon and shot, brass, steel, 
swords, glass, silk, lime, black paint made from bones, blue 
and red paint, ink, whitesoap, potash, lump-sugar, sugar-candy, 
bricks and tiles, and lightning conductors. Add to thèse the 
various breeds of animais brought from abroad : draught oxen, 
antelopes (called by my old friend Ingahy Mainty, antilompy)^ 
merino sheep, and others. Add again the fruits of the earth : 
vanilla, arrowroot, apple-trees and vines, from which aquantity 
of wine was made. Add again the royal gardens and the 
unfinished palace at Imahàzoarivo, the aqueduct which formerly 
brought water (from a hill near Isoàvina; into the palace in the 
Capital, and the famous road mentioned above, along the 
greater part of which a carriage might be driven — no small 
praise for a road in Madagascar ! 

As the cannon were finished they were sent off to various 
forts in the interior or on the coast ; the first one finished, how- 
ever, was placed in town. It was called Mamônjisôa ('Saviour 
of good'j, and on the day of its completion the Queen is said 
to hâve given M. Laborde 15,000 dollars, the whole of which 
he distributed amongst the work-people before the day was 
over. The Queen raised him to the highest rank of the nobles 
(the Zànak' Andriamàsinavàlona), and wished also to make him 
an officer of the Fifteenth Honour (then the highest military 
rank), which favour, however, he declined. 

But "ail work and no play'* was not the character of Manta- 
soa. The French writer referred to above says : "It was the 
Versailles and the Marly of Madagascar." You may see on the 
river bank the house which M. Laborde built for Prince Radama, 
and, in the town, the Rôva or sacred enclosure, which was also 
the occasional abode of royalty. Hère there were dances and 
amusements of various kinds, "fêtes improvisées par l'imagina- 
tion féconde de M. Laborde," who seems to hâve been as 
successful in improvising sports as in more serious occupations. 
He was apparently of a very génial disposition and loved by 
ail alike. A Malagasy friend recalls the time when he was a 


young man and disposed to hold himself aloof from the Gom- 
moner sort, and how M. Laborde would give him a gentle dig 
in the rîbs and admonish him, ^^Manaova tzay ataon' oUma" that 
is, "Do as other people do." (Those who know Malagasy will 
perhaps fancy they see a twinkle of the eye accompanying the 
use of the active imperative.) He was a spécial favourite of 
Queen Ràsohèrina. He had attended her as doctor when she 
was a child and often carried her on his back within the pre- 
cincts of the palace, and he accompaniad her on her last 
journey to the coast in search of health in 1867. 

When the ports of Madagascar were closed (1845 — '^53]» ^^^ 
ail intercourse with foreigners forbidden, M. Laborde seems to 
hâve been for some years the only European left in the Island, 
but he at length had to fall before the dread of foreign inter- 
férence. For some complicity (whether real or only supposed*) 
in the design to set Rakôton-dRadàma on the throne in the 
place of Ranavalona I., he was banished in 1857, and remain- 
ed at Bourbon until the island was again opened up in 1861. 
It does not clearly appear whether the work at Mantasoa was 
continued through that period or not, but soon after his retum 
the final cessation came. King Radama II., it is said, acted 
with too great précipitation in carrying out his wish to abate 
forced labour; word was given at Mantasoa that those who 
choose to go to their own homes might do so, and, with a 
unanimity scarcely wonderful, ail thereupon departed. First 
came désertion, then decay ; and it is a sufficient indication of 
the love of the Malagasy for firewood, when it is near at hand, 
that, while walls of brick and walls of stone, and aqueduct and 
columns and furnaces may still be seen at Mantasoa in abun-^ 
dance, no house, except those of the sovereign, of M. Laborde,** 
and of the few présent inhabitants, has a vestige of a roof left; 
and of the timber, brought by labour of men and oxen to such 
an extent that it has perceptibly made the Une of forest to 
recède four or five miles, one gigantic axle of a waterwheel 
is the solitary remnant. For the remaining years of his life 
M. Laborde seems to hâve lived chiefly in the Capital, acting 
as Consul of France, and attending the services of that Church 
of which he was a devoted member. 

Those whose pleasant lot it has been to spend a few holiday 
hours at Mantasoa — and to the présent writer no spot has 
pleasanter memories — must hâve been struck by the extraordi- 
nary ability of the one man who created it ail. To plan works 

* Thcre can be little doubt that M. Laborde had a good dcal to do with the Lambert plot 
hère alluded to ; see Madame Pfeiffer's Laii TravtU ; OUver'i Madagoicar, toi. i. pp. ySA^I 
and othur book«.«£D. 


of such extent and so various in kind, to marshal such an army 
of workmen and teach them their différent parts, to see that 
orders were carried out and things really completed : ail this 
needed a man of no common powers. It is sad that such a 
work should hâve been stopped ; sad to walk along the deserted 
causeways and through the ruined workshops, and to be remind- 
ed in a small degree of the giant cities of the Eastern empires 
of old time — the memorials of a civilization that was, and that 
might still hâve been. 

Let u*s briefly describe the scène with thèse mingled 
feelings of admiration and regret in our minds. Let us take 
our stand inside the enclosure, where formerly royalty came 
to be entertained. Just below us, on the left, is the tomb of 
M. Laborde, and beyond that, in the distance, is his house, 
a large low bungalow built of magnificently joined timber, of 
which the roof alone shews any signs of decay. It is surround- 
ed by a glorious grove oi ZàhanaXx^^s [PhyllarthronBojerianum^ 
DC), dark glossy evergreen, spangled with pink blossoms in 
the spring-time. Away there on the left runs the high road to 
Màhanôro, much frequented when Tamatave was shut up in 
the days of the late war, but now almost deserted. The beauti- 
ful réservoirs mentioned above are behind us, and before us, 
as we look to the south-east, the river runs, now gliding far 
like gentle Avon, and now broken into dashing falls. A little 
wood clothes the opposite bank, rising steeply to a tiny village 
with picturesque cottages and tombs. On this side is the 
house of Prince Radama, and there, stretching along west- 
ward in front of us, in a meadow on the river bank, we see the 
workshops standing in a long line ; one mighty one some 180 feet 
lin lengfth by 36 in breadth, and four others half that size. To 
the right again is a large furnace and forge, which bears the 
royal insignia of Madagascar (a crown and *R.M.') and the 
date 1841. If we descend we shall find that each of thèse shops 
contained wheels worked by the water from the lakes above. 
The twin octagonal columns of solid granité, graceful enough 
for a village church, still stand in the rear of each of the houses, 
but the troughs which carried the water across them hâve 
ail disappeared. Entering one of the houses, and pushing our 
way through overgrowing brambles, we mount a flight of stone 
steps and see the enoi^nous size of the wheel indicated by the 
curve of the stone-work below us ; and there are the side channels 
which worked other smaller wheels; and there, beyond, is the 
tunnel by which the water, its work done, passed away to the 
river. Sel4om perhaps could one witness such skilful and 
laborious application of slight means to a great end, and morç 


^wseïajyn, one would trust, shall we see the fruits of ingenuity 
^bqd industry so soon falling into decay. The place has changed 
indèed since those busy days in the forties when it teemed with 

There was an attempt made to change its name from Man- 
tasoa ('Destitute of good') to Sôatsimànampiovàna f'Grood that 
knows no change') ; but alas ! history has not justified the latter 
appellation. It is only the glory of the hills that remains un- 
changed, and the river, gently flowing by now as then. Labitur 
et labetur ! 

A. M. Hewlett. 

Note, — I venture to add a few words to Mr. Hewlett's paper, since my 
acquaintance with Mantasoa dates back a few years earlier than that of 
my friend, when the place was not quite such a ruin as it is now. 
During most of the years of the décade 1870 — 80 it was frequently 
seen by many of the European community of the Capital, on our way 
to and from the country house belonging to Dr. Davidson on the edge 
of the upper forest at Andràngolôaka, three or four miles beyond Iman- 
tasoa, and where many of us, by Dr. Davidson's kindness, spent several 
pleasant holiday times in the hot seasons. Mantasoa was often made 
a place for a day's picnic from Andràngolôaka ; and in the early part 
of 1872, when I first saw it, the workshops were much more perfect 
than they are now. The largest one, which Mr. Hewlett speaks of, was 
then crowned by a high-pitched roof, covered with tiles. The walls of 
this building were (and are) of dressed stone-work, massive as that of 
a castle, and about six feet in thickness. In this building, the fumaces 
and cannon-casting apparatus were still existing; and in the four 
smaller workshops more of the waterwheel machinery was then remain- 
ing than is now the case ; and, if I am not mistaken, there were iron 
aqueducts, carried by the octagonal stone pillars, leading the water into 
each workshop. The forge, of beautifully dressed stone, had then its 
roofs nearly perfect, surrounding the openings to the fumaces; and 
there were two kilns, also of well-finished masonry, for firing the pottery 
manufactured at Mantasoa. 

One other point may be mentioned in connection with this remark- 
able création of M. Laborde's skill, but of a less pleasing character 
than many of those described by Mr. Hewlett, viz., that during the long 
persécution between the years 1836 — 1861, many of the Malagasy 
Christians had to work as a punishment at thèse great buildings. For 
several years some of them had to labour in quarrying the stone and 
building thèse massive workshops. I hâve been told by the pastor of 
one of the country churches formerly under my charge, that they had no 
rest either on Sundays or on other days, and that their bondage was 
very severe, many of them dying under its pressure. So that the acces- 
sion of Radama II. was welcomed, by them especially, as a time of 
**liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that 
were bound."— James Sibree, Jr. (Ed.) 




T is a fact well known to ail philologists that in several groups of 
language there are found classes of words which are only used by 

people when speaking of their sovereigns or chiefs, with regard to 
ir persons, their actions, and their surroundings, as well as to the 
lours paid to them both when they are living and after their death. 
d thèse spécial words are in some countries used not only in matters 
iting to the sovereign and the chiefs, but also in those referring to the 
mbers of their families. In certain languages (e.g. in those of some of 
: Pacific groups) such spécial words are found applying not only to a few 
ions, or parts of the body, etc., of the chiefs, but they occur in such a 
ge number as to form a distinct dialect, or kind of *court language,* used 
the higher classes, or by others of lower rank when speaking to them. 
urther élaboration of this specialized speech is found in some islands 
ère no less than three distinct dialects occur : one used by, or in 
;aking to, the king or principal chief; another, in use by, or in 
tters relating to, the secondary chiefs ; and a third employed by the 
ss of the people. 

rhese peculiarities of speech are found, I believe, more or less deve- 
)ed over the whole Malayo-Polynesian family of languages, and they 
:ordingly make their appearance also in Malagasy, as a member of 
Lt great stock of human speech. In Madagascar, however, they hâve 
ver been developed to the extent just described as found in- some of 
î Pacific islands ; but for a long time past it has been known that 
re in Imèrina there are a number of such specialized words which are 
iployed with regard to the sovereign, and thèse hâve probably been 
use for centuries as applied to the chiefs of the central province, 
will be seen that thèse are not words which are not employed with 
l^ard to ordinary persons or things or actions, but are almost ail of 
îm commonly used words which hâve gained a spécial and différent 
laning when applied to the sovereign. 

rhe more noticeable of thèse words are connected with the illness, 
cease, and burial cérémonies of a Malagasy sovereign, although there 
; also two or three which are applied to the living king or queen. 
erhaps, however, thèse are more of the nature of honorific titles than 
ictly coming within the class of words we are hère discussing.) Thus; 

old Word for a sovereign is Ampingàra-hôlamlna, literally, *golden 
n,' the first part of the phrase being taken from the Portuguese 
mgarda, so that this term is not of more ancient origin than about 
ree centuries ago, or, at most, three centuries and ahalf. Another term 
plied to the sovereign is Fdhiray, *first,' a word which is not used with 
jard to things generally, although it is formed strictlv according to 
9 rule for making ordinal from cardinal numbers (e.g. fdharba^ second, 


from rba, two ; fàhatélo, third, from télo, three), the word vâalbhany [vk, 
fruit, lôha, head) being always used for *first.'* A term sometimes 
applied to the Queen by elderly officers in public speeches seems to our 
notions somewhat impertinentiy famiiiar, viz. Ikàlatokana ; in ordiD^ry 
talk by the people this means *our only lass,' and the word tkala is often 
applied also to hens. If one might venture on such a free translation, it 
seems to mean {not *cock of the walk,' but) *hen of the roosting-place.' 
It is, however, very like, in its free familiarity, the use of the word lalàhy 
(*you fellow') tothe former kings by some of their most privileged council- 
lors. The members of the royal family are termed Atinandriana (lit. *the 
liver,' or 'inside,' of the sovereign or chief). 

Retuming, however, to the more exact illustrations of the subject, a 
Malagasy king or queen is not said to be *iir {maràry)^ but 'rather warm' 
{mafanafàna). And they do not *die' {mà(y), but are said to 'retire/ or 
*to turn the back' {miambôho). In parts of Madagascar distant from 
Imerina, the ^oxéfôlaka (bent, broken, weakened) is employed inspeak- 
ing of a deceased chief. (With regard to people generally, among the 
Tanàla and other tribes, the, fâ/a-màn fa {nian/a, raw) is used for 
sudden death ; folaka an-dantony \Jantony, the fore-arm ?J, for dying 
young ; while trdno folaka is the house [trano] where a corpse lies in 
State.) Then the dead body of a sovereign is not termed a 'corpse' (fàty\ 
but *the sacred thing* [ny màstna\). The late Queen Rànavàlona IL, 
who died in 1883, is always spoken of as Ny Mastna in the govemment 
Gazette and in proclamations, as well as by the people generally in 
ordinary conversation. There is among the Hova, as well as among the 
other Malagasy tribes, a deep sensé of **the divinity that doth bedge 
a king ;" and until the acceptance of Christianity by the late Queen and 
her Government, the Hova sovereigns were termed 'the visible God' 
{Andnamdnitra hita maso); other terms ofsimilar import were also applied 
to them. In accordance also with this same belief, upon the stbne 
structure covering the chamber formed of slabs of naked rock, where the 
royal corpse is deposited, a small timber-framed building is erected, 
which is called the *sacred house* {trano mastna). This is in appearance 
exactly like the old style of native house, made of timber fhuning, 
with walls of thick upright planking, and high-pitched roof covered witn 
wooden shingles. This distinction of having a timber house t)uilt upon 
the stone tomb is also shared by the higher ranks of nobles, who, it 
should be remembered, are descended from ancient kings in Imerina. 

When the corpse of a sovereign is lying in state, the women in their 
varions divisions or tribes are expected to come in relays to moam ; but 
this cérémonial mourning is not called by its usual name {misaona\ but 

* Â curious word for chiefs and their wives is used by the Bàra, Sàkàlava aod tome other 
Malagasy tribes, viz., btby, which in Imerina usually means 'animal,' 'beast,' or, as an adjectire, 
'sensual,^ 'brutal ;* although it is also used hère of children as wdl, pfobably mudi m the same 
way as words of an unpleasant (and even na«ty) meaning are oflén applied to dEUdrea and 
infants from fear of some envious and malign influence, such as the 'evil e3re.' Pfiriiapt, 
however, it is really a word of entirely différent origin, from tiie Swahili blby, mj lady, my 

t Afasina, however, cxcept in very modern Malagasy, does not mean 'holy,' but, coasecra- 
ttd, Mt apart, established, conûrmecT. 


the people are said to 'présent' or 'ofFer, tears' {miàtt-drànomàso), Then 
again, a sovereign is not said to be *buried' {alevina), but is *hidden' 
{a/énina) ; and the massive silver cofïin made dollars hammered into 
plates, in which most of the Hova kings or queens in more récent times 
bave been buried, is called the *silver canoë' {làkam-bôla), a word in 
which a little bit of history is doubtless preserved : a remembrance of a 
former period when the Hova were not, as they are now, an inland 
people, but a coast-dwelling or an island tribe, and buried their dead in 
old canoë, as is stiil the custom with the Sàkalàva,* the Bétsimisàraka, 
and other Malagasy peoples living on the coast.f 

When the royal corpse has been deposited in its last resting-place, and 
the stonework at the entrance to the tomb is being closed up again, this 
act is called *stopping up the sun' {Jàmpi-màsoàndro) ; the sovereign 
being *the sun,' the light and warmth of his people, and was formerly 
often so termed in public speeches. Much the same idea appears in the 
phrase used by some of the coast tribes in speaking of the decease of 
their chiefs, viz., 'the king is reclining,* or, *leaning on one side' {mihtlana 
ny ampanjàkà), This same word is used in Imerina to dénote the 
aftemoon, the 'décline of the day* {mihtlana ny àndro). A very bold and 
poetical figure is also employed to express the gênerai mourning at the 
decease of a sovereign, Mihôhoka ny tdny aman-ddnitra, i.e. 'Heaven 
and earth are turned upside down* I This is not the place to describe 
in détail the many and curious cérémonies, as well as the numerous 
things prohibited to be done, at the decease of a Malagasy king or queen ; 
suffice it to say that, with very few exceptions, every one's head had to be 
shaved ; no hat could be wom or umbrella carried ; the làmba only (no 
European dress) could be worn, and this had to be bound under the arrapits, 
leaving the shoulders uncovered ; ail singing, dancing, or playing of 
musical instruments was prohibited, as well as the practice of many 
handicrafts, as spinning, weaving, making of pottery, gold and silver 
work, etc.J Of course some occupations could not be altogether aban- 
doned, such as the tilling of the soil, sowing and planting rice, etc. ; 
but such work was not called by the usual terms, but was mentioned as 
mildisaka an-tsdha^ i.e. 'going into the country,* or, 'settling down in the 
fields.* So also, the usual word for 'market' i/sèna) was not employed 
during the time of public mourning, but thèse great con courses of 

Gople were called simply 'meetings,' or, 'places of resort' \Jihaonana),\ 
speaking of the death of relatives of the sovereign, they are not said 
to be dead, but 'absent,' or, 'missing* {diso), The same figurative phrase 
as is used by ourselves in speaking of friends or relatives who are dead 
as 'departed,' is also employed by the Malagasy, who say their friends 

♦ See Annual Vin., X884, p. 67. 

t A somewhat similar historical fragment lies under the word used for the water used in 
tlie circutncision cérémonies : it is termed ràno màsina^ 'sait water,* and in the case of children 
who are heirs to the throne, it must actualhr be fetched from the sea {ratunnasina). Doubt- 
less sea-water was formerly used in ail such cases while the Hova were still a shore-dwelling 

X See a very full account of the funeral cérémonies at the dcath of Radàma I. in 
Tyerman and Bennet's Voyagtt and TravelM round the World; and éd., pp. 28411286. 

{ They tre alio called tttna màlahèlQt 'torrowful marketi*' 


are làsa, *gone ;' they also speak of them as làisaka, i.e. 'fallen* or 
*laid ;* while the surviving members of a family of which some are dead 
are spoken of as *not up to the right number* {latsak' isa)*, With reeard 
to the ordinary people also, their dead relatives are said to be *lost* {vtry\ 
and *finished* or *done' {vita). 

Although not strictly included in the présent subject, it may hère be 
noticed that the same use of euphemistic expressions as those just men- 
tioned with regard to death, is also seen in those used by the Malagasy in 
speaking of things they hâve a great dread of, especially small-pox, which, 
before the introduction of vaccination, often made fearful ravages in 
Imerina, as it still occasionally does among the coast tribes. This 
terrible disease is called hêlémhy, i.e. *greatly deserted,* no doubt from 
the condition of the villages where it had appeared. It is also called 
lavira, an imperative or optative formed from the adjective làvitra^ *far 
off,' and thus meaning, *be far away 1' or, *avaunt 1' A feeling of delicacy 
causes other euphemisms, such as the phrase didlam-phitra^ literallj, 
'cutting the navel,' instead of fàra and other terms denoting the 
circumcision cérémonies. 

The use of some spécial words as applied to certain classes of royal 
servants or attendants may hère be noticed ; although possibly thèse 
also are not, speaking exactly, of the class of euphemistic expressions like 
the majority of those described above. Thus, the royal cooks are termed 
*the clean-handed ones' (madio tànana) ; describing, no doubt, whatthey 
should be, even if they occasionally are not exactly what their naroe imp- 
lies. Then, some companies of royal guards a fewyears ago were termed 
the *sharp ones* {marànitra ; cf. Eng. 'sharpshooters' ?). The govem- 
ment couriers in the provinces are called kèli-lohàUkay lit. *little-kneed ;* 
while a class of palace servants in constant attendance on the sovereign, 
and from whom the queen's messengers are chosen, are the tsimandb 
or tsimandaoy i.e. 'never forsaking,* because some of them are always in 
attendance day and night upon the sovereign. The queen*s représen- 
tatives at distant places are called màsoivbho, i.e. *eyes behind ;' but this 
Word is also now used in the more gênerai sensé of *an agent' of other 
persons besides the sovereign. 

The illustrations already given are numerous enough to shew that the 
use of spécial words, or of common words in a spécial sensé, as applied 
to matters relating to royalty, is a distinct feature in the Hova dialect of 
Malagasy. Some little time ago, in talking to a class of my students 
about this peculiarity of their language, 1 happened to remark upon it 
as one which Malagasy had in common with many of the Malayo-Poly- 
nesian languages, but said that it seemed to be far less developed in 
Madagascar than in many of the Pacific groups. Hereupon one of the 
young men, Rajaonâry, a student from North Bètsilèo, told me that such 
spécial words, as applied to the chiefs, were a very marked feature in the 
speech of the Betsileo people, and that, in fact, there were a much 
larger number of thèse words employed in the southern province than 

♦ A very poetical expression, in which the word lahnka also occurs, is used in speaking of 
the dead, who are said to bo as 'Sait talleu into water which cannot be tait again* ('.3tV(t 
iàlsaka an-dràno ka iiy himpôdy tn/sény). 


use among the Hova. He gave me at the same time a number 
pies ; and I then asked him to note down thèse words, which he 
igly did in a few days, writing quite a small essay on the subject. 
ïms to me se well worth preserving in an English dress, that 
low proceed to translate it. He entitles it : 

:iAL Words employed among the Betsileo with référence 


Betsileo are a people who pay extraordinary respect to their 
ind from this fact everything relating to them is a thing kept 
^ for them, and is not allowed to be mixed up with what belongs 
lass of the people. The chiefs* houses, although there is very 
ïerence between them and those of the people generally, are 
lething sacred or set apart in a spécial manner, so that no one 
er them at will, but onîy after having asked and obtained leave 
hief, or after being summoned by him. And again, after having 
, no one'can push himself forward north of the hearth,* or stand 
)ut, but must sit quietly and respectfully south of the hearth. 
the same manner also, the things in the house are set apart, for 
iking-tin, the spoons, the plates, etc., cannot be handled or put 
ips ; for if any one drinks from them, the hand must be held to 
jth, and the water then poured into it from above. The chiefs 
d cannot be used by any person except one who is also a chief. 
it on which a chief sits in his house must not be trodden upon, 
5t be lifted up in passing, and cannot be sat upon by any one but 
. And ail the furniture in the house is like something sacred, 
st not be lightly touched when carried outside, for those who 
it are warned by the words 'an-ddpa* (*belonging to the palace'), 
îy may take care of it. And not only are the things in the chiefs 
thus set apart for his own use, but also even those in the people*s 

should the chief hâve chanced to use them ; and even their own 
g-tins, ladles, etc., are often kept untouched by the lips, lest the 
lould chance to pass by and require them, so that the Betsileo 
ustomed to drink water out their hands. 

not only are things thus kept by the Betsileo for spécial use by 
liefs, but many words are also set apart for them, both the names 
ain things and other words as well. Thèse may be divided into 
lasses, as follows :— 

Words specially applied to the Family of Chiefs, from their birth until 
y, but while their parents are still living. See the following : — 

Betsileo English. Word used for tht Chil- Meaning. 


dren of Chiefs, 


Anakova Child of the Hova.f 



Aftsâa Son, in Hova, good, pleasant. 

Plate or dish 

Fisoàvana Verbal noun from above. 


Mahazba nâno ma- Lit. 'May y ou gct a sacred 
sina. nipplc.'î 

! place of honour in a Malagasy house.] 

; Word Hova secras to convey the idea of 'noble,' 'princely,* in many of the non- 


Isa. ht, x6 : "Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts 


OnlUéfy Beisileo Bnglùk. 

Word uHdfbr ilu. CkiU Meamng. 
dren of Ckùfi»* 



To bear offiprmg 




To cauM to dasccad. 
Bent, brokan, weakeBad, 

p. 302, anie, 
Broken or bent money. 

"2.— Words specially applied to Elderly Chte/s^ that is, those who are 
too old to hâve their father and mother still living. When that is the 
case, there is a considérable change made in the names given to the 
parts of the body, as well as in certain words describing their actions and 
their condition. This will be seen by the following list : — 

Ordinary Beisileo Englùk, 


(wife of above) 












Màndry^na Ma- 



An adult man (Ut. 

'child of the 

An adult woman 

ilit. 'at the great 
To eat 
Dish, plate 
To ne down, to sleep 

Word usedfor Elderly Meaniitg, 


Màsina Sacred, estabtiahed, tee p. 30t. 

Hbva, oiny andriam» Hova (Me atUê), or the praice. 

ffotfa.oTnyandriafH' Hova, or the prince». 

Husband or wife 

Farewell (lit. may 
you live) 
A kbiy àngharèo ? J How aro you ? 




















The listening (or IktoiMr) 

The taker 

The treader 

A flaç (lit the hoverer) 

(?) Verbal noun from precedisg 
To be erect (in Hova) 
To remove (do.) 


Place of denre (?) 

A ford (in Hova) 


The losing 

Be sacred, establiahed, etc. 

Manao akory ny rd' How did you sleep ? (see abore, 
lana ? mirolra.) 

[It will be seen from the above list that several of the words for the 
parts of the body — the eye, the ear, the hand, the foot— are simply words 
describing the actual office of thèse members, as light-giving, means of 
hearing, taking, treading, etc. Probably the very gênerai practice of 
tabooing {making/ddy) words which form the names or parts of the 
names of chiefs (which we shall notice again further on) has had influence 
in producing some of thèse specialized words.] 

* This phrase (the last one overleaf) is customary in public speaking as a mark of re^>ect to 
the chiefs childrcn. when deprccating blamc [as is always done in the opening sentences of > 

t [Cf. "The ]i{,^ht of the body is the eye."] 

* Sonietiraes this s;ilutition of the common peoplo is substituted by the phraae : "Akory 
ny uatuirîangh4vêo ? a {)hrasc of the same mcaning as the one addresscd to tbe chief, oafy 
that tho ordinary word màndry is hère kept instead of the spécial one mirotra. 


"3. — Words speaaUy applied to Chiefs, whetker Old or JToung. 

Ordinary BeUiUo EnglUk, Word uted for Chùft, Mioning, 

Trâno House Là^a ? Also used in Imerixuii 

Maràry 111, unwell Manilo To shade, to ihelter. 

Mijàho To nurse (the sick) Mitràmbo ? 

Mtandrhwma To ting at a fanerai. Mampibiraka ?* 

Trdnovorona Bier, lit. 'bird-house.' Trànoviiana The finished house (?). 

Miàhy To lie in state Mampiàry To cause to go round about4 

Fâtana Tomb TrânonUna Red house.f 

Mandèvma To buxy Mantriira . To plunge, to dive ; in Ime« 

rina the phrase anAritra is 
used to describe the tempo - 
raiy burial of a corpse until 
the propcr tomb is completed. 

'•The polès on which a chiefs corpse is carried to burial are termed 
hâzomàsma, 'sacred wood ;' and the water into which they are cast away 
after the funeral is called rànoàritra, * water of endurance' (? àritra^ 
endurance, patience, etc.). When the dead from among the common 
people are spoken of, the words Raivilona (*Living father*) or Rinivllona 
(*Living mother*) are prefixed to their names ; but in the case of deceased 
chiefs, the word Zànahàry (God, lit. Creator) is prefixed to their names 
when they are spoken of ; in the same way as the word Rabevoina (The 
one overtaken by much calamity* ?, is employed by the Hovain speaking 
of the departed, or simply, Ithmpokolàhy (*Sir,* or *My lord'), or Itômpoko- 
vàvy ('Madam,' or *My lady*). 

"Thèse then are the spécial words used by the Betsileo with regard 
to their chiefs ; but what can be the reason of their giving them such 
extrême honour ? It is this : — 

"The chiefs of the Betsileo are considered as far above the common 
people, and are looked upon almost as if they were gods. If anjrthing 
angers a chief and he curses, the people consider the words he speaks 
as unalterable and must surely be fulfilled ; so the persons whom he 
may chance to curse are exceedingly afraid and in deep distress. And, 
on the other hand, if anything pleases*him, and he thanks (lit. *blesses') 
any one, then thosè who receive his blessing are exceedingly glad, 
bccause they suppose that that also must certainly be fulfilled. For the 
chiefs are supposed to hâve power as regards the words they utter, not, 
however, merely the power which a king possesses, but power like that 
of God ; a power which works of itself on account of its inhérent virtue, 
and not power exerted through soldiers and strong servants. Besides 
which, when a person is accused by another of having donc evil, and 
he dénies it, he is bidden to lick (or kiss) the back of the hand of the 
chief, or to measure his house,§ and to imprecate evil (on himself) 

♦ [In Hova kbiraka means *boiling,' but porhaps there is no connection between the two 

t [Scarlet is the royal colour in Madagascar ; at the funeral of Radama I. one of the large 
palaces was drapcd from the ridge of the roof to the ground with scarlet cloth ; the sovcreign 
alone has a large scarlet umbrella carried ovcr her, and dresses in a scarlet lamba or robe.] 

\ [Sec Mr. Richardson's description of Betsileo funeral cérémonies ; Annl AL 1. p. 71 
{Reprint, p. 74).] 

\ [Measuring the tomb of their master is, I am told, a practice foUowed by slaves hcrc m 
Imerîna as an mvocation of evil on themselves if they hâve really done something of which 
they are accused.] 


while doing it. In this way, so they say, it is found out whether be 
really has committed the offence, or not : if he did offend and yet still 
persists in denying it, then it is believed that the curse which he invoked 
when licking the hand of the chief, or when measuring his house, 
will retum upon him ; if, on the contrary, he is innocent, he will 
remain unharmed. In like manner also, the chief is supposed to hâve 
power which works of itself, on account of his sacred character, to convict 
of any secret fault. And when the chiefs die, they are supposed to really 
become God, and to be able to bless their subjects who are still living; 
and the révérence in which they are held is extrême, for when their name 
chances to be mentioned, the utmost respect is paid to it both before 
and after the utterance of it : before it, the words Ny Zanahary (God) 
must be prefixed, and after it the following words are added : "May the 
mouth strike on the rock, and the teeth flow with blood, for he has gone 
to be God*** (the speaker's mouth and teeth being meant). And when 
the chiefs grave is cleared of weeds and rubbish, the people dare not do 
that unless they hâve first killed oxen and made supplication with 
outstretched hands to the deceased. 

**The belief of the Betsileo that their chiefs are so sacred and exalted 
as hère described is therefore the reason of their setting apart so many 
things specially for them, whether actions or words. It must, however, 
be said that it is the customs of the northern Betsileo which hâve mostly 
been hère noted, although probably they do not greatly differ from those 
in the southern part of the province.'* 

While considering the customs connected with Malagasy royalty and 
chieftainship, a word or two may be hère said about the practice of 
tabooing — or makingy^^v — the words or parts of words which happen to 
form the names of chiefs. This appears to be prévalent ail over Mada- 
. gascar, and is a custom the Malagasy hâve in common with many of the 
Oceanic races with which they are so closely connected. There are no 
family names in Madagascar (although there ar^ tribal ones, and although 
also, one name or part of a name is often seen in a variety of combina- 
tions among members of the same familyf), and almost every personal 
name has some distinct mcaning, being part of the living and still 
s|»oken language, either as names of things — birds, beasts, plants, trees, 
inanimate objects, or names describing colour, quality, etc., or words 
which dénote actions of various kinds. (There are a few exceptions to 
this — a few names which embody obsolète or obscure words or forms of 
the verb — but they do not affect the gênerai rule hère laid down.) So 
that the names of the chiefs almost always contain some word which is in 
common use by the people. In such a case, howcvcr, the ordinar}' word 
by which su( h thing or action has hithcrto becn known must be chan^ed 
for another, which hunccforth takes its place in daily speech. Thus when 
the Princess Rahôdo bi^came Queen in 1863, at the decease of Radama IL, 
she took a new name, Rasohcrina (or, in fuller form, Rasohèrimanjàka). 

* ''Mikapoha amy ny vato nyvavay ary mandchana va ny ni/y, fa efa lasan-ko Andria- 
maniltiï /cv." 

t Thus, a friend o{ raine at Ambùhimànpa who is callcd Kainizaivèlo, has four dauehten 
named respectively Razaivèlo, Raovélo, Kavèlonôro, and Ranôrovèlo. 



7ow sohérina is the word for chrvsalis, especially for that of the silkworm 
loth ; but having been dignifiea by being chosen as the royal name, 

became sacred {fady) and could no longer be employed for common 
se ; and the chrvsalis thenceforth was tertned zàna-dàndy, 'ofFspring of 
ilk.' So again, if a chief had or took the name of an animal, say of the 
og {amb6a)f and was known as Ramboa, the animal would be henceforth 
alled by another name, probably a descriptive one, such as fandrbaka^ 
e. *the driver away/ oxfamhvo^ *the barker/ etc. 

As far as we can ascertain, this tabooing of words in the names of 
hiefs seems hardly to hâve been carried out by the Hova to such an 
xtent as it is, or has been, by the other Malagasy tribes ; although 
ossibly this seeming exception is only due to that centralization of 
uthority in Imerina which nas been going on for nearly two centuries, 
nd which has gradually diminished the practice, and has thus reduced to 
minimum the variety of nomenclature it would otherwise cause. With 
ne sovereign, instead of a great number of petty chiefs or kings, the 
langes would pf course be minute and wou^d leave no great impression 
n the language. But we can easily conceive what a most annoying 
infusion and uncertainty would be introduced into a language by a very 
ide extension of such tabooed words, arising from a multiplicity of 
liefs. It is as if we in England had had to avoid, and make substitutes 
►r, ail such words as 'geoXogyt *geography,* etc., because they formed part 
" the name of King George ; and such words as *wt7l\ '^^;l7/ing,' *i«;/7ful,* 
:c., because they were part of the name of King William ; or had now to 
.boo words like 'victory' *vicf\ïti* etc., because thèse syllables form 
irt of the name of Queen Victoria. It can hardly be doubted that 
lis custom has done very much to differentiate the various dialects 
mnd in Madagascar ; and it is a matter for some surprise that there is not 

much greater diversity amongthem than we findto be actually the case. 

Among the western tribes of the country, on account of the large 
umber of petty but independent and absolute kings, a great deal of change 
\ the spoken language does take place. Mr. Hastie, who was British 
Lgent at the Court of Radama I., says : **The chieftains of the Sakalava 
re averse that any name prterm should approach in sound eitherthe name 
f themselves or any part of their family. Hence, when it was deter- 
lined that the mother of Ratàratsa, who came unexpectedly into the 
•rorld, should be named Ravahîny [vahtny, a stranger], it was forbidden 
hat the term vahiny should be applied to any other person except her- 
elf ; and the worth ampainsick* was instituted to denominate 'stranger.* 
«"rom similar causes the names of rivers, places and things hâve suffered 
o many changes on the western coast, that fréquent confusion occurs ; 
or, after being prohibited by their chieftains from giving to any particular 
erms the accustomed signification, the natives will not acknowledge to 
lave ever known them in their former sensé." 

One more point as to Malagasy royal names must conclude this paper. 
imong the Sakalava the chiefs* names are changed as well as among the 
lova, not, however, at their accession to power, but after their death. A 
ew name is then given to them, by which they are ever afterwards 

♦ In Dalmond's Vocabulaire M al f^achc- Français pour Us langues Sakaloxf et Belsimitsa' 
j, p. 5, 1 ^d thU Word thus given : "AmpenïZEK, s. Neuf, nouveau, nouvel arrivé." 


(Lnown, and it is a crime to utter the name by which they were 
calleé- when living. Thèse posthumous names ail begiu with An- 
drian- (prince) and end with -arivo (a thousand), signifying that such 
a chief was a 'prince mling over,' or *loved bv,* or 'feared by, or 'regret- 
ted by, thousands' of his subjects. Thus a cnief called Raimôsa, while 
living, wastenned Andriamandlonarivo after death ; another, called atfirst 
Mikàla, was after death known only as Andrfanitsôanarlvo. M. Goillain 
says : ''This custom was not confined to the Sakalava ; it existed among the 
différent populations of the south of the Island, in Fiherènana, Màhafàly 
and Andrôy." Drury also (in whose substantial accuracy I still believe, 
pace Capt. Oliver) says : **They also invoke the soûls of their ancestors 
and hold them in great vénération ; they call them by names which they 
give them after their death, and even regard it as a crime to mention 
them by that which they bore when living ; and thèse names are princi- 
pally characterised by the word arivou^ which terminâtes them." 

James Sibree, Jun. (£pO 



IN teaching the grammatical parsing of Malagasy sentences our pupils 
are instructed (by our grammars) to ignore altogether one of the regular 
forms of the lançuage, and to treat, for instance, the phrase **Ny làmbàn* 
^«^rw«a/Vé?'* just as if it were written '*Ny lamha Andrianawo,** And 
yet this disregarded inflection is so important that its présence may give a 
totally différent meaning to a sentence in Malagasy. Hère are examples : 

z Tsy mèty ràha màka ny lamban^ Andrianaivo. (It is not right to take Ancbianiivo*! 

lamba.) ^the lambau) 

ïa. Tsy mety raha maka ny lamba Andrtanaivo. (It is not right for Andrianaivo to take 

2. MUy mantmba ny trànon' ny zànakao. (Some one is injuring your childrc»i*s hoote.) 

20. Misy mantmba ny trano ny zanakao. (Some one of your childrén is injuring the hooie.) 

In the former of the two sentences the subject is understood ; I thmk, how- 

ever, it will be agreed that this occurs commonly, especially in colloquial 

Malagasy where a gênerai injunction is given. 

No one can mistake the very différent meanings of the two sentences in 
each group ; and yet the infiection of the words lamba and trano — the sole 
différence between the sentences in each pair — is quite ignored in the parsing 
of thèse words, although the thing of which it is the sign, and the ooly sigo, 
is, of course, recognised. In the "Concise Introduction to the Malagasy 
Language'* (MaL-Eng. Dictionary^ p. xl ), this infiection or affix is called a 
j>ronoun, Is this a correct description ? or is not the -ny (or -«*) rather a 
euphonie addition for the purpose of more closely Connecting the two nouns 
(viz. the goveminç noun and the genitive), and thus analogous to the 'construct 
State' in Hebrewl (Vide Rodiger's Gesenïus's Hehrew Grammar, trans. 
by Dr. Davies ; sect. 89, par. i.) The manner of infiection is dijQferent in the 
two languages, the Hebrew changing the middle of the word, the Malagasy 
its ending; but with this exception, and omitting, of course, the examples, 
the paragraph above referred to from Gesenius appears to me to be wnoUy 
and thoroughly applicable to the Malagasy language. I venture to hope 
that this analogy may be recognised, and the *construct state* find a place in 
future éditions of Malagasy grammars, so that this important infiection o{ 
the nouns may no longer be ignored in their parsing. — ^A. P. PçiLL, 




)N Sunday, the third day after the announcement of the death of 
Radàma (August 4, 1828), therea was large kabàry, or national 
mbly, held in a fine open space in the city, on the west side of the 
on which Antanànarfvo stands. In this space were assembled from 

00 to 30.000 persons, seated in groups according to the districts 
hich they belonged. 

t the close of this kahary it was proclaimed that, according to the 
om of the country, as a token of mouming, every person in tne king- 
L of every âge must shave or eut off closely the hair of their heads, 
whosoever should be found with their heads unshaved, after three 

1 from the proclamation, should be liable to be put to death. Also, 
no person vvhatsoever should do any kind of work (except those 
should be employed in preparing the royal tomb, coffin, etc.) ; no 
should présume to sleep upon a bed, but on the floor only, during the 
î of mourning. No woman, however high her rank, the Queen only 
;pted, should wear her lamba or cloth above her shoulders, but 
t, during the same period, go always with her shoulders, chest, and 
i uncovered. 

uringthe interval between this Sunday and the i2th instant, the 
mfully silent appearance of the city, though tens of thousands of 
ons were constantly crowding through the streets — some dragging 
5 pièces of granité or beams of timber, or carr)'ing red earth in 
:ets on their heads, for the construction of the tomb ; others, and 
e chiefly females, going with naked heads and shoulders, to the 
ce to mourn, or else retuming from that place after staying there as 
rners perhaps twelve hours,— was exceedingly impressive. The air 
5ep melancholy on the countenances of ail, and the audible moanings 
le multitudes who filled the courts of the palace and the adjoining 
îts, quite afFected us, and produced the conviction that the grief was 

and deep for one whom they regarded as their benefactor and 
kd, and as the best king that Madagascar had ever known. The 
;s of the principal chiefs from the neighbouring districts were carried 
nd from the place of mouming, each on the back of a stout man, just 
le manner boys at school are accustomed to carry one another : the 

having her person, from the waist to the feet, covered with her 
e lamba or cloth. 

n Sunday, the i ith, Her Majesty sent to us to say that we might be 
ent the day after, to assist at the funeral cérémonies ; and that 
eral Brady would, at eight a.m., receive us* at his bouse and conduct 
) the palace. Accordingly, at eight on the i2th we attended, when 
eral Brady and Prince Correllere conducted us through the crowded 

rcorge Bennet, Esq., one of a Deputation from the London Missionary Society, and tiien 
eting hère in Madagascar their Visitation of the varions stations occupied by the Society 
érent parts o£ the world. — Eds. 


streets of moumers, through the guards of soldiers, and through the still 
more crowded courts of the palace, which were thronged chiefly by 
women and girls, couched down, or prostrate in many instances, xnaJûng 
audible lamentations. 

There are several courts, with one or more palaces in eacb, separated 
from each other by high wooden railing ; and the whole of the courts 
and palaces are surrounded by a heavy railing of great heigbt, twenty- 
five feet, including a dwarf stone wall on which the wooden railing ii 
fixed. The whole extent of this railing was covered with white cloth, 
as were also the oldest and most sacred of the palaces. The favourite 
palace of Radama, in which he died, and where in fact the body then 
lay, is called the Silver Palace ; it is a square building, of two floors, and 
two handsome verandahs running round it. This palace is named the 
Silver Palace on account of its being omamented, from the ground to 
the roof, by a profusion of large flat-headed silver nails and plates of the 
same métal. The roof of this palace (as indeed of ail the principal 
bouses), a very high pitched roof, is so high, that from the top of the 
wall to the ridge is as great a distance as from the foundation to the top 
of the wall supporting the roof. We found it covered from the roof to 
the ground with hangings of rich satins, velvets, sllks, their native costlj 
silk lamhdSy etc.; and ail the vast roof was covered with the finest 
English scarlet broad cloth. 

In front of this palace had been erected a most splendid pavilion, 
surrounded by highly-decorated pillars, which were wrapped round with 
varions coloured silks, satins, etc. The pavilion was ten feet square, 
raised on pillars also richly omamented. A platform of wood was 
thrown over upon the pillars ; and above this platform hung, supported 
by one transverse pôle, an immense canopy or pall of the richest gold 
brocade, with stripes of blue satin and scarlet cloth ; the whole bordered 
by a broad gold lace and finished by a deep gold fringe. Ail the arran- 
gements were in good taste and formed together a most brilliant spectacle. 

We had nearly reached the Silver Palace when we were stopped, it 
being announced that the corpse was at that moment about to be brought 
out, to be conveyed to the more sacred White Palace previous to its 
being entombed. We immediately saw about sixteen or twentv females 
brought out of the apartment where the corpse lay, each lady on the 
back of her stout bearer, weeping and lamenting aloud ; thèse were the 
queens and princesses of the royal family and formed the first part of the 
procession from one to the other palace ; our place was appointed 
immediately after the queens, but it was with diffîculty we could get 
along, many females having thrown themselves on the path which was 
to hâve been kept open. The moumers had done this that the corpse 
might pass over them, and we in fact were many times under the 
necessity of treading upon their prostrate persons. The corpse was 
carried into the White Palace that it might, in this more sacred place, 
be stripped of its old clothes and clothed with new, and also that it 
might be placed in a wooden coffin. In this palace we were honoured 
with a station not far frôm the corpse, which was being fanned by about 
•izteen or twenty young ladies, daughters of principal chiefs. 


At eight, on the moming of Tuesday, we were again at the palace, 
and were conducted by General Brady and Prince Correllere through the 
crowds of moumers, indeed over some of them, as well as over ten fine 
favourite bulls of the late king ; thèse lay directly in our path, and we 
could not help treading on them. The paths were ail covered with blue • 
or white cloth of the country. The corpse had been transferred at the 
close of the day before to a huge coflSn or chest, of their heaviest and 
and most valuable wood. The coflSn was then carried from this White 
Palace back to the Silver Palace in solemn procession, the queens, 
etc., following next the coffin, and we succeeded them; some of the 
Europeans had accepted the honour of assisting to carry the coffin, 
which was a tremendous weight, judging from appearance. I declined 
the honour, charging myself with the care of our missionary ladies. 

On again reaching the Silver Palace, the coffin was not taken in, but 
raised upon the wooden platform over the pavilion, over which the 
splendid pall or canopy of gold was drawn, which concealed it entirely 
from view. In this pavilion, under the platform (which was raised 
about seven feet), upon mats placed on the ground, the royal females 
seated or threw themselves in seeming agonies of woe, which continued 
through the day ; and at sunset, when the entombment was taking 
place, their lamentations were distressing in the extrême. AU the day 
great multitudes had been employed in preparing the tomb, which was 
in the court, and not far from the pavilion. This tomb, at which tens 
qf thousands had been incessantly working ever since the announcement • 
of the king*s death — either in fetching earth or granité stones or timber, 
or else in cutting or fitting the stones, timber, etc. — consisted of a 
huge mound of a square figure, build up of clods and earth, surrounded or 
faced by masses of granité, brought and eut and built up by the people. 

The height of this mound was upwards of twenty feet ; about sixty 
feet square at the base, gradually decreasing as it rose, until at the top 
it was about twenty feet square. The actual tomb, or place to receive 
the coffin and the treasures destined to accompany the corpse, was a , 
square well or recess, in the upper part of this mound or pyramid, about 
ten feet cube, built of granité and alterwards being lined, floored, and 
ceiled with their most valuable timbers. 

At the foot of this mound had been standing most of the day the large 
and massy nlver coffin, destined to receive the royal corpse ; this coffin • 
was about eight feet long, three feet and a half deep, and the same in 
width ; it was formed of silver plates strongly rivetted together with 
nails of the same métal, ail made from Spanish dollars: twdve thousand • 
dollars were employed in its construction. About six in the evening this 
coffin was by the multitude heaved up one of the steep sides of the 
mound to the top and placed in the tomb or chamber. Immense 
quantities of treasures of various kinds were deposited in or about the 
coffin, belonging to His late Majesty, consisting especially of such things ' 
as during his life he most prized. Ten thousand nard dollars were laid • 
in the silver coffin for him to lie upon ; and either inside, or chiefly 
outside of the coffin, were placed or cast ail his rich habiliments, especially 
military : there were eighty suits of very costly Briti^h uniforms, bats 


and feathers ; a golden helmet, gorgets, epaulettes, sashes, gold spurs, 
very valuable swords, daggers, spears (two of gold), beautifiil pistols, 
muskets, fowling-pieces, watches, rings, brooches, and trinkets ; his 
whole superb sideboard of silvcr plate, and large and splendid solid 
gold cup, with many others presented to him by the King of England; | 
great quantities of costly silks, satins, fine cloths, very valuable silk \ 
lambas of Madagascar, etc., etc. 

We were fatigued and pained by the sight of such quantities of 
precious things consigned to a tomb. As ten of his fine favourite bulls 
had been slaughtered yesterday, so six of his finest horses were speared 
to-day and lay in the courtyard near the tomb ; and to-morrow six 
more are to be killed. When to ail thèse extravagant expenses are 
added the 20,000 oxen, worth hère five Spanish dollars each (which bave 
been given to the people and used by them for food during the prépara- 
tion for, and at the funeral), the Missionaries conjecture that the expansé 
of the funeral cannot be less than sixty thousand pounds sterling. Ail agrée 
that though thèse people are singularly extravagant in the expenses they 
incur at their funerals, yet there never was a royal funeral so expensive as 
this, for no sovereign in this counlry ever possessed one fifth of his riches. 

The silver coffin having been placed in the tomb, the corpse in the 
wooden one was conveyed by weeping numbers from the top of the 
platform over the pavilion to the top of the pyramid and placed beside 
the chamber. Hère the wooden coffin was broken up, and the corpse 
exposed to those near. At this time the royal female moumers, who had 
been ail day uttering their moans in the pavilion, now crawled up thè 
side of the pyramid to take a last view of the remains. They were most 
of them obliged to be forced away ; their lamentations were now ver}* 
loud and truly distressing to hear. The expressions used by them in 
lamentation were some of them translated for us : the following was 
chiefly the substance: — "Why did you go away and leave me hère? 
Oh ! come again, and fetcli me to you !" The body was transferred 
from the coffin of wood to that of silver. Those who were engaged in 
this service seemed to suffer from the effluvia, though many wore con- 
stantly employed in sprinkling eau-de-cologne. When the transfer had 
taken place, the wooden coffin was thrown pieccmeal into the tomb. 

During the whole of this day, while the chamber in the tomb was 
■» being prepared, the King's two banJs of music, with drums and fifes, 
etc., were in the court and played almost unceasingly, relieving each 
other by tums. The tunes were such as Radama most delighted in— 
many of the peculiar and favourite airs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 
with waltzes, marches, etc. During intervais cannon and musketrj- were 
fired outside of the courts of the palace, and answered by musketry from 
the numerous soldiers inside of the courts. 

On the who"e, while this funeral of Radama was the most extravagant, 
it was the most splendid and orderly thing that could be conceived 
amongst such an uncivilized people. 


Rev. Daniel Tyerman and George Bennet, Esq. London: 1840; 
tnd^t cd.pp, 2 «4-2 86. 





( Continued front Annual No. X.^ 

HE WoRKiNG OF THE SiKiDY fcontinued.J B.^The Siktdy of 
_ différent (Unique) Figures, 'Sikidy Tôkana' f continued), Before 
leaving this section, I must add a few words on two kinds 
of sikidy which are closely connected with the preceding twelve 
classes, and are by the natives called respectively Sikidy Mifamàly fi.e. 
sikidy mutually corresponding to one another) and Sikidy Fanahana, 
which my helper explains to mean fanàtitra hasôîony (*a sacrifice as 
substitute for a person*). 

1. The first one is of less importance and may be sufiîciently 
expiai ned by the following short rules : — 

(tf ) If the figure Sàka occurs in Tràno and Kizo in Talê^ or if, in reverse order, 
Kizo occurs in Trano and Saka in TaUs this is called Pd;r/-é/àAy ('Thorouehly 
squeezed* ?). The meaning is that you hâve to trample in the mud, and the 
ciods of mud squeezed out under your feet you mast throw away as fàditrd 
(to prevent yourself from being dashed or crushed). 

{b) U A /aimâr a occurs in Fâàaswy, OT J^izo in Taie, it as called Zéhi* 
h^njana (*The strong one'), and two hens are to be beaten against the earth 
to avert evil. ^ 

2. The Sikidy Fanahàna is a much grander afFair. The figure in ques- 
tion seems chiefly to hâve had the office of intimating that some young 
man was in danger of dying ; and the rules accompanying it point out the 
means of averting the evil. The following seems to be the substance 
of it ; — 

(a) If Alaimora is the unique figure in a sikidy and happens to occur 
in the vo\mcFàhavdlo, this is called Màsoàndro-mandàlo (The passingsun*), 
which intimâtes that there is danger of a man dying ; and the following 
is the procédure resorted to in order to avert the evil : a red cock is 
fetched and adomed with crocodile*s teeth and a pièce of bark of the 
Nàto tree, which has been soaked in boiling water fora night. This cock 
is brought to a place to the east of the house, a little before sunrise, 
and is put on a new mat on which no one has yet slept. The mpisikidy 
or mpisôrona (priest) who is to perform the act must wear a red làmha 
(a large pièce of cloth very much like the Greek epiblema or himation and 
the Roman amictus), and a pièce of black cloth on the back, both new, 
and at any rate not sewn or mended (*7^ nodiàvim-panjaitra akory ; fa 
fàdy izàny), The man for whom the sikidy is worked must place him- 
self on a similar mat in the house and wear a similar dress. The mpisi^ 
kidy then exclaims : **The sun is *supported* {fàhana) by us so as not to 
pass by such an one. Such an one is supported by us so as not to be 
passed by (Jalovina) the rays of his sun {zàra-masoandronyy which my 
native helper explains ^s^=Andriamdniny^ 'his God'). Then assoon as the 
snn rises, the mpisikidy cuts offthe head of the red cock» enters the house 


with the bloody knife in his hand, and touches with this the person for 
whom the sikidy is made. 

(Tbi) If Alaimora cornes into Taie and Adihijàdy into Fahasivy, or Adibi" 
jady into Fahasivy and Alaimora into Taie, it is called Lehi-henjana (The 
strong one*), and the meaning is, that a son of young parents is likelv 
to die young, if some effective remedy is not resorted to. And this is 
the remedy : — Two bullock*s homs (one from the right and one 
from the left side of the head) are taken and placed on the 
top of a pièce of Hàzo-bbka (literally, *the leprosy-tree/ a kind of tree), 
which is then erected close to a river, so as to throw its shadow on the 
water. Thjs being done, a trench is made from the water up into the 
land. Then the man for whom the sikidy is worked enters into this 
trench and through this into the water. Finally, an assistant takes the 
trunk of a banana tree, of the same length as the man for whom the 
sikidy is worked, puts it into the trench and joins the mpisikidy (or mpi- 
sorona) in exclaiming : **This is a substitute for such an one ; if you 
mean to take him, God ! This is an effective substitute, a valid one 
indeed {'Uakàlo màhaiakdloy shlo màhasblo io") ; therefpre, take this, O God, 
and let such an one live long on the earth and eat good rice (râjo), and 
let him be free from the lot of dying young !" About sunset the man in 
question is sprinkled with rànon-aody and ràno-tsiléon-dôza (two kinds of 
consecrated water, I suppose), and the proceedings are at an end. 

G. — The Sikidy of Comhined Figures ( Lhfin-isikidy), My native helper 
was astounded at my ignorance when I was forced to confess that 
I neither knew the noun làfika nor the verb mandbfika, which he 
explained to mean respectively 'investigation* and *to investigate ;' 
and I can assure you that he gave me a look expressive of a profound 
disrespect for our Malagasy-English Dictionaries, when I, in excuse 
for my own ignorance, ventured to point to the fact that none of them 
had got any root lofika in this sensé. '*Asan* ny Vazàha tokba irhi/ 
(*Those are the works of Europeans indeed"), he said. And as the 
word was to him the technical name of very complicated proceedings 
depending on no less than eleven rules, I can quite understand that I did 
not look much wiser in his eyes than a man who did not know the 
words theology or grammar would hâve done in mine. He was, 
however, forced to admit that the word only occurs in the sikidy termi- 
nology, and is restricted to the peculiar proceeding by which new 
figures are formed from those already occurring in an ordinary sikidy, by 
combining two and two of them. This explanation put me on the tract 
as to its etymology and origin. As it is never used but in the sikidy, and 
is only applied to the process of forming new figures by a combination 
of two existing ones, it is evidently the Arabie la/aq, which means *to 
connect,' especially to combine two things into a new one (*'junciis duabus 
partihus consuit, connexuiV^ ) , 

It may happen that neither the ordinary sikidy nor the Sikidy Tokana 
gives any reasonable answer to the questions, and then the Lofin-tsikidy 
is the final resort. The gênerai rules for this opération are the follow- 

ï, You may combine the figures in any two rubrics of an ordinary 


tsàngan-isikidy (i.e. an arrangement like the one given in my**dTagram) 
by means of combination, in the very same manner as that^byv which ail 
the other rubrics in the diagram (on p. 226) were filled from the four 
at the top of it. 

2. Thèse new figures must of course be like some of the 16 figures 
we hâve enumerated ; but the rubrics they are to occupy get new names 
and consequently give us materials for new answers. Their names do 
not, however, dépend on what figures come out, but from what rubrics 
(i.e. by the combination ofwhat rubrics) they hâve been derived. For 
instance, if I compare the figures in the two rubrics Fahasivy and Andro 
(square by square), and put one bean in the corresponding square of the 
new rubric, when that combination gives us odds, and secondly, when it 
gives us equal numbers, we may of course get any of the 1 6 figures in 
our new rubric. This dépends on what figures we may happen to hâve 
in the two rubrics we are combining ; if they were like those in my 
diagram, the new one would be an Adihijady ( {.; ) ; but this rubric will 
always hâve the name Lôzabi ('Great calamity'). In the same manner a 
new figure formed from the two rubrics Fahasivy and Vbhitra would 
always be considered as having its home in a new rubric called Résy 

3. But thèse new combinations are by no means restricted to a com- 
bination of two and two of the rubrics in my diagram. There are three 
other possibilities, and they are ail made use of, viz. : — 

(a) Only a part of some rubrics may be combined with another part 
of the same rubrics, or with a part of other rubrics. In this way we can, 
for instance, combine the two upper squares in Fahasivy and Marina with 
the two lower ones in Andro and Nia^ and we then get a figure whose 
rubric is called Mosàvin^ ny àvo-ràzana (*Bewitched by people of high 
famil/), a rather startling answer to the question, **What is the matter 
with me ?" 

{b) One of the rubrics in the diagram may be combined with one of 
the new ones ; for instant^e, Vohitra may be combined with Resy^ which 
would give us a new figure, the name of whose rubric is Résy an-tànin- 
drdzana (*Conquered with regard to a lawsuit on (or, respecting) one's 
native soir ?). 

(r) Two of the new rubrics may be combined with one another in the 
same manner. Mosavin* ny avo-razana^ for instance, may be combined 
with another new one, Mosàvin* andévo (which is itself the outcome of 
Mariny and Martny an-trano hafa) ; and the resuit will be a new figure, 
the name of whose rubric is the terrible one, Mosavy màhafdty^ i.e. 
*Bewitchment that kills.' 

But thèse combinations are not at ail done at random ; on the contrary, 
they are subjected to strict rules, stating clearly which two rubrics can 
give birth to such and such a new one. In this manner my native teacher 
manages to get 81 new rubrics (i.e. besides those in the diagram), 
subjected to as many rules, and contributing materials for as many new 
answers to questions. The relation of thèse new rubrics to the question 
to be answered is the same as that between the original rubrics (in the 
diagram) and the questions ; that is to sayi when I, in the proceeding 


just described, corne to a nibric the name of which can fairly be taken 
as an answer, and the figure of which is like the one in the rabric 
representing my question (e.g. Talé), then — and not until then — I shall 
hâve finished my opérations. 

If, however, I were to give ail the 8i new rubrics, with their respective 
raies, I should want ail the space of this number of the Annual. I 
hâve therefore restricted myself to the gênerai theory of the proceedings. 
But I am afraid the reader may find it quite intricate enough as it is. 
This sikidy really reminds one of the Danish proverb : "Deceit is a 
science, said the Devil, when he gave lectures at Kiel." 

My native helper gives me, as an appendix to this chapter, a long list 
of raies (23 in number) regarding famadirana (the orthodox manner of 
obtainingy3e///rfl (piacula) for the différent evils to be averted ; but as I 
am obliged to abbreviate, I shall not be able to reproduce it hère. 

VI. — MiscELLANEOus SiKiDY. In ail the varieties of sikidy we havc 
hitherto dealt with, the chief object in view has been to get an answer to 
quesiionSy while it has been only a secondary and subordinate object to 
find out the remédies againsi evils, that is, if the answer informed us that 
some evil might be apprehended. But now we corne to some sikidy 
practices, the chief object of which was to remedy the' evils, or to procure 
a prophyllactic against them. To this class belong the Ody basy, the 
Fampidiran* àloka, the Fangalàn-keo, and others. In other forms of this 
miscellaneous sikidy the object aimed at was, to find out times and 
directions, when and where something was to be found, or was to take 
place. This was the case in Andron-tàny and Andro fbtsy, and some 

A. — Ody basy (Charms against guns). The name (^«-charms) seems 
to suggest that this kind of sikidy must be of a comparatively récent 
origin, as guns hâve scarcely been known hère for much more than a 
century ; at least they hâve not been used much earlier in war to such an 
extent as to call for a spécial protecting charm, the charm in war. Bat I 
suspect that the sikidy practice in question is much older ; and the name 
may hâve been modernised a little since guns came into use. Before 
that time the charms were probably called Spear-charms ; and even later 
on we find the expression odim-basy aman-defona (charms against guns 
and spears). The comparatively simple raies for this kind of sikidy are 
the following: — 

1. Such a sikidy was invariably to be undertaken on the last one of 
the two days in each month which borrowed their names from the month 
Adàlo ( Vôdin-adàlo), because the object of the charm was, so my native 
informant says, to make the bail (or spear) mandàlo (pass by [without 
hitting]) the person for whom the sikidy was made ; a very curions 
little pièce of Malagasy etymology for an Arabie word {Adalo^èn* 
Ad-dalvu, Aquarius in the Zodiac). 

2. Next corne the raies for the erecting of this sikidy, which seems 
to hâve been a \exy laborious affair. The great object was to get a 
sikidy in which the figure Aditsimà ( V ) occurred in the rabric Andria^ 
manitra (God), and nowhere else (i e. in no other rabric in the same sikidy). 
If this did not happen, he had to erect the sikidy anew over and ovet 


again until it happened. And as he must hâve seven such sikidy in which 
Aditsimà happened to fall into the rubric Andriamanitra^ it must. often 
hâve taken a very long time before the business was finished, if the 
arrangement was left to hap-hazard. But a good diviner was of course 
supposed to be inspired, and then he may hâve hit upon it. at once. 

3. Having at last finished his seven sikidy of the said description, he 
took out the beans forming the figure Aditsimà in ail of them, and applied 
thèse beans to the thing (for instance, a pièce of wood) to be used as a 
gun-charm. In what manner he applied them to it is not quite clear to 
me. My native helper simply says that he **mixed them with it" {'^nahâ-' 
rony tàminy) ; but anyhow this 'application' made the said thing a 
sure charm against guns. 

One may ask why the figure Aditsimà in the rubric *God' should hâve 
such a protecting power. I do not doubt that the natives explained this 
frora the etymology suggested by th.eir pronunciation of Aditsimà {Aditsi- 
may, literalîy, *a battle that does not burn' , thinking that when this 
figure occurred in the rubric *God/ it naturally meant that God would 
make the battle tolerably moderate (not too hot !) for the man who wore 
the charm. But this etymology is of course not the true one of the 
Arabie word Aditsimà, .Treating of Aditsimà among the i6 figures in 
the beginning of this article, I was at a loss as to its etymology. Seeing 
now the spécial meaning it has hère oï di protecting charm, it has occurred 
to me that it may be a corruption of the Arabie al-himà, the inaccessible, 
the protected one {hama, to protect against evils ; humàya, protection 
against danger). This would at any rate agrée exceedingly well with 
the use of that figure hère, for it would then meafl 'Protection from God/ 
and reminds one of the Arabie saying : **Nobody is infallibly protected 
{Aima) but God and His Prophet" \i.e. Mohammed). 

B. — Odim-bàrotra (Trade-charms). Thèse were used to make trade 
successful. They were effected by erecting a sikidy in which there occurred 
eleven Adikasàjy ( .;. ). The beans of thèse eleven identical figures 
were then applied to the things to be used as charms to make trade 
Bucceed well. 

C: — Qdim-pitia (Love-charms). Thèse were prepared in a similar 
manner, but by erecting a sikidy in which the figure Vontsira ( . -, ) 
occurred in the rubric Harena (and nowhere else), and the figure 
Kizo ( • i • ) in the rubric Nia (and nowhere else). Such a Vontsira was 
called Mdmy dho (*I am sweet*), and such a Kizo, Kély momba ny nàhiny 
('Small and [but ?] sticks to what is intended'). The charms prepared 
in this manner were also used as trade-charms, as the great object in 
view in trade also is to make the customers 'love' the things (i.e. like 
them — a Malagasy idiom). k 

D.~ General charms (Charms for everything). If a sikidy was erected 
in which the figure Vànda miondrika ( • : • , also called Mhlahtdy) occurred 
only in the rubric Andriamanitra, this was a good gênerai charm for 

Y.,—Fan\ndri'l6a -Charms against vomiting). The description my 
native helper has given of this and the next opération is not very clear 
to me, but, as far as I can make out, the mpisikidy arranged his beans 


80 as to make a rough picture of a man (sometimes he seems to bave 
made this picture in the sand). Then he gathered them together and 
mixed them with a décoction of the two plants Aferon-tàny {MoUugo 
nudicaulis) and Tambttsy {Psorospermum androsœmi/olium, Baker) and made 
the vomiting person drink it ; and after having also made him drink 
some gravy of fat beef {ron^ omby matavy), he was cured (no doubt 
about it !). 

F. — Odtn* ny èîona tôhina (Charms against dislike to food). Hère il 
a useful prescription for those whose appetite is failing. The mpisikidy 
arranges his beans so as to make four égures. The first one is a Vanda 
miondrika ( * ; I ) ; the second and third represent the backbone of a 
man {columna vertebraîis) ; the fourth one a bird. Then he gathers his 
beans, mixes them with water (.by means of seven pièces of Vérivàlaka), and 
makes the person in question drink the water, and the cure is complète. 
At any rate the mpisikidy did not, I believe, mention a single case in 
which it had failed ! This opération was called Tdfik-amtna (*War 
against diseases'). 

G,^Fangalàn-kéo (Remedy for diseases caused by eating food in which 
there was a matôatàa [the spirit of a dead man]). Fangalan-keo is of 
course the catching of a keo (or heo it might be) ; but what is keo f M? 
native informant saj's it is a disease caused in the manner indicated 
above, and manifesting itself chiefly by vomiting and dislike to food. 
It is certainly not a Malagasy word, as it occurs only in the sikidy (per- 
haps it is the Arabie qaiuy vomiting). 

The following seems to hâve been the procédure of the mpisikidy in 
such a case : — If he suspected that the disease of his patient had been 
caused by eating some food in which there had been a matoaioa^ he fetched 
water from nine différent valleys [lôhasàha swy) and nine différent kinds 
of food, as sweet-potatoes, earth-nuts, etc. (but not including n«, 
*yêz ny vàry dia Andriamanitra^^ [**the rice is God"], says my native). 
Having got ail thèse before him he began to examine them severally, 
asking each of them (or, rather, the spirit in them) : "Is it thou who hast 
made this man ill.^'* to which questions the mpisikidy himself gave the 
answers (of course only as interpréter of the spirit) in the négative or aflSr- 
mative. Having at last got an affirmative answer, he took a cooking- 
pot and made three lines across it insidc : one with white earth, one 
with red, and one with a pièce of charcoal— **as he could not before- 
hand know whether the matoatoa in question was that of a white man, or 
of a red one, or of a black one," says my native