CULTURE AND TRADITION OF THE EAST
Generally, Houses in the East coast are made of Falafa (a tree which grows in water), roofs are made from dried leaves from travellers’ palm, so it is easier and costless to rebuild the house after the cyclone, Houses are often built on piles to avoid humidity and to protect it from the wind.
Houses are generally divided into 2 parts, the first room to receive guests and to sleep, and the second for the kitchen and dining-room.
People in the East region do not have tombs, they just put corpses in 2 pirogues, covered by each other, then put at the foot of a tree, and there’s no festivity when someone dies.
In the region of Mananjary in the South-East of Madagascar, there is a tradition which forbid the bringing up of twins. Thus, if any twins are born, the mother must leave one on the road. The origin of this interdiction is the defeat of one tribe caused by a mother who had twins and could not follow the people while running away at tribal war, and which caused the tribe’s defeat.
Sambatra is a special ceremony, celebrated every 7 years by the Antambahoaka tribe, in the region of Mananjary, South-East of Madagascar, which consist in doing collective circumcision of all new born boys.Boys are circumcised in the “TRANOBE”, a house found in the middle of the village where the king lives, and where traditional rituals are done, such as funeral ceremony, circumcision, sacrifices. ï»¿
The ceremony lasts one week and starts on Friday morning.
- On the First Day, the “Fangatsiatsiaha”, during which the village give good wishes to one another, and the king meets the little boys’ fathers in the Tranobe.
- The Second day, the “Mirary”, all the women leaded by the little boys mothers will fetch sacred water, and when they come back, they turn 7 times around the Tranobe, singing, dancing and drinking the “Betsa” at the same time to show their joy of having boys. The same day, at night, it is the little boys’ fathers’ turn to dance with the rhythm of drums beaten by young men.
- The Third day, The women plait new mats to be put in the Tranobe
- The Fourth day, at midnight, a group of young men are sent to find a special tree “Ramiavona”, a majestuous and sacred tree, which can only be found by a person who respect its tabou’, with special sugarcane called “Fantakadahy”, “Hasina”.
- The Fifth day,on their return at noon, all the people will welcome them with much rejoicing, they put sugarcane and the “Fantakadahy” in the South.-East corner of the Tranobe, the “Hasina” and the “Ramiavona” in the North.
- The Sixth day, all people enter the “Tranobe” with zebus’ horns, the king wears a special costume and dances around the Tranobe. Zebu is killed, then they take the sacred water fetched by the women, and put the little boys in front, to prove that they now become children of the “Tranobe” – Circumcision is done at sunset.
- The Seventh day, all people take leave and give good wishes to one another.
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