1902 Encyclopedia > Madagascar


MADAGASCAR, an important island in the Indian Ocean, and the third largest island in the world, is about 300 miles from the south-east coast of the African con-tinent, from which it is separated by the Mozambique Size and Channel. It is 980 miles in length from north to south, position, the northern point, Cape Ambro, in 12° S. lat., inclining 16° to the east from the longitude of Cape St Mary, the southernmost point, in 25° 35' S. lat., so that the main axis of the island runs from north-north-east to south-south-west. The broadest portion of Madagascar is near the centre, where it is nearly 350 miles across, and there it is only 230 miles distant from the African coast. From this part of the island its northern half forms a long irregular triangle, while south of it the average breadth is about 250 miles. Its total area is nearly 230,000 square miles, or not quite four times the extent of England and Wales. Rxplora- Although known to Arab merchants for more than a 1 on- thousand years past, and frequently visited by Europeans since the beginning of the 16th century, Madagascar is still but imperfectly explored. A careful survey of the coast was made in 1823-25 by Captain W. F. W. Owen, R.N., but all maps of the interior up to about ten years ago were constructed on the most insufficient data. But during the last decade many portions of the island pre-viously unknown have been traversed by missionaries and naturalists, and maps, more or less detailed, have been prepared of a considerable portion of the interior. Con-spicuous in this work have been the missionaries of the London Missionary Society and the Friends' Foreign Mission, especially the late Bev. Dr Mullens, whose large map, published in 1879, embodied all that was known up to that date, and also M. Alfred Grandidier, a French traveller and scientist, whose great work on the island is now in process of publication. Bays. Madagascar has a very regular and compact form, with but few indentations considering its great extent of shore-line. Along two-thirds of its eastern side the coast is almost a straight line, without any inlet, for Tamatave and Foule Pointe, which are the most frequented ports on this side of the island, are only open roadsteads protected by coral reefs. North of this, however, is Antongil Bay, a deep and wide inlet running northwards for about 50 miles; farther north is Port Louquez, and at the extreme point of the island is Diego Suarez Bay, one of the finest harbours in the world. The north-western side of Madagascar is broken up by a number of spacious inlets, some of them landlocked and of considerable size. Going southward, these are the bays of Chimpaiky, Pasandava, Port Badama, Nariuda, Majambo, Bembatoka, and Iboina, as well as the estuaries of some of the rivers. South of Cape St Andrew, the north-west angle of the island, there is nothing else in the shape of a gulf until we reach the estuary of the river Onilahy, or St Augustine's Bay. Bounding the southern end of the island, we find no other inlet until we come to the small bay of Itapera near Fort Dauphin, at the southern extremity of the straight line of coast already mentioned. Islands, The islands around Madagascar are few and unimportant. The largest are St Marie's, near the eastern coast, a narrow island about 30 miles long, and Nosibe, larger and more compact in form, opposite Pasandava Bay on the north-west coast. Except the Minnow group, north of Nosibe, the rest are merely rocky islets, chiefly of coral. .Moun- Much light has been thrown upon the physical tains. geography of Madagascar by recent explorations. In most accounts, up to a very short time ago, a " central mountain chain " is described as running throughout the island as a sort of backbone from north to south; and most maps show this, with numerous branches extending in various directions. It is, however, now quite clear that instead of this supposed mountain chain there is an elevated mountainous region, from 3000 to 5000 feet in altitude, occupying from a third to two-fifths of the whole interior, but lying more towards the north and east. Around this upper region are extensive plains, at a much less elevation above the sea, and most developed on the western side of the island, and in its southern portion beyond 23° S. lat. But this lower region is not entirely level, as it is broken up towards the west by three prominent lines of hills running north and south. See Plate IV.

The shores of the greater portion of the southern half of the island are low and flat, but in the northern half much of the coast is bold and precipitous, the high land often approaching the sea. On the eastern side the plains vary from 10 to 50 miles in breadth, but on the western side they often exceed 100 miles across. From these coast plains the ground rises by successive ranges of hills to the high interior land. This elevated region is broken up in all directions by mountains, the highest in the island being centrally situated as regards its length, but more to the eastern side. These are the summits of the basaltic mass of Ankaratra, four of the peaks ranging in elevation from 8100 to 8950 feet above the sea, and from 3900 to 4700 feet above the general level of the surrounding country. The loftiest of these is named Tsi-afa-javona, i.e., " that which the mists cannot climb." Besides these highest points there are a considerable number of mountains in the central provinces, varying in height from 5000 to 7000 feet, the highest as yet measured being Iavohaika (" the Lofty defying one"), 7100 feet high, about 30 miles west-south-west of Ankaratra, and the highest point of a remarkably rocky and rugged district named Vavavato (" Stonemouth"). There are also very many lofty and grand peaks in the Betsileo province, some, it is said, nearly 8000 feet high; and in the Bara country the Isalo mountains are compared by a recent traveller to the u Church Buttes " and other striking features of the scenery of Utah, on the line of the Pacific Bailway. One of the grandest of all the Madagascar peaks is an isolated mountain near the northern point of the island, called Amber or Ambohitra. This is said to be more than 6000 feet high, and, rising, not as do those before-mentioned, from an elevated plateau, but from plains little above the sea-level, is a remarkably majestic hill as observed from every direction, and is well seen far out to sea.

Valley and ....

In the elevated region of Madagascar are many fertile plains and valleys. Among these are Betsimitatatra in Imenna, and Tsienimparihy in Betsileo, supplying a large proportion of the rice for the capitals of these two provinces. Still more extensive valleys are the plain of the Antsihanaka country, the valley east of Angavo, and the Ankay district between the two eastern lines of forest (all of which are one step downwards towards the lower coast plains), and the valley east of the Bemaraha range in the Sakalava country. Sections across the central portions of Madagascar show that there is a somewhat saucer-like depression in the centre, the eastern and western edges rising higher than the enclosed space. The eastern ridge is the higher of the two, so that the watershed for a con-siderable distance is much nearer the eastern than the western side, averaging from 50 to 80 miles from the sea. The country is well watered, even in the highest ranges of the interior, the abundant rainfall giving a perennial supply to the innumerable springs and streams. There are, therefore, no extensive districts that can be called desert, except parts of the west and south-west provinces, where the rainfall is scanty. The extreme southern portion is also reported to be arid, but as yet little is accurately known of this part of the country.

As is necessarily the case from the physical conformation Rivera, of the interior, the chief rivers flow to the west and north-west sides of the island. The eastern streams are all less in size, except the Mangoro, which flows for some distance parallel with the coast. Few of them, therefore, are of much service for navigation, except for the light-draught native canoes, and almost all of them are more or less closed at their outlets by sand-bars. Commencing at the southern point and going northward, on the eastern side, the principal rivers are the Mananara, Manambava, Matitanana, Mananjara, Onive and Mangoro, Maningory, and the Anjahanambo at the head of Antongil Bay, besides numerous smaller streams. On the north-west coast, going southward, are the Sofia and Mahajamba, falling into Majambo Bay, the Betsiboka with the Ikiopa, —the great drains of the northern central provinces, and forming unitedly the second largest river of the island and falling into Bembatoka Bay,—the Manjaray, Manambolo, Tsiribihina or Onimainty, the largest river of Madagascar, draining by its tributaries the Kitsamby, Mahajilo, and Mania the central parts of the island, the Morondava, Maharivo, Mangoky, the third largest river, the Mahanomby, Fiherenana, and Onilahy.

Of these western rivers the Betsiboka could be ascended by steamers of light draught for about 90 miles, and the Tsiribihina is also navigable for a considerable distance. The former is about 300 miles long; the latter is somewhat less, but by its affluents spreads over a greater extent of country. It brings down so large a body of water that the sea is said to be fresh 3 miles from the land. But owing to the height of the interior of Madagascar there is no uninterrupted water-communication with it from the sea by any of the rivers, which are all crossed by rocky bars, and in some cases by grand waterfalls, as on the Mania. The eastern rivers cut their way through the ramparts of the high land by magnificent gorges, amidst dense forest, and descend by a succession of rapids and cataracts. The Matitanana, whose falls were first seen by the present writer in 1876, descends at one plunge some 400 or 500 feet, lagoons On the eastern side of Madagascar the contest between and the fresh water of the rivers and the sea has caused the lakes. formation of a long chain of lagoons for nearly three hundred miles. In many parts these look like a river following the coastdine, but frequently they spread out into extensive sheets of water. So short is the distance between these that, by cutting about 30 miles of canal to connect them, a continuous water-way could be formed for 260 miles along the coast. This will doubtless be accomplished at some future time, with great benefit to the commerce of the country. Besides these lagoons, there are few lakes of any size in Madagascar, although there were probably some very extensive ones in a recent geological epoch. Of one of the largest of these the Alaotra Lake in the Antsihanaka plain is the relic; it is about 25 miles long. Next comes Itasy, in western Imerina, about 8 miles long; and a large lake is reported by the natives to be formed by an expansion of the river Mangoky. Two salt lakes are said to exist near the south-west coast. Volcanic Among the many new facts brought to light by recent belt. research in Madagascar is the evidence of very widespread and powerful subterranean action throughout a great part of the island, apparently extending almost unbroken from the south-east to the north-west and extreme north. This volcanic belt is part of a line which has its northern extremity in the Comoro Islands, all of which are volcanic in origin, and where, in Great Comoro, there is a still active vent. There is now no active volcano in Madagascar, but a large number of extinct cones have been observed in various parts of the country. In the central province of Imerina, within an arc of about 90 miles round the mass of Ankaratra, Dr Mullens counted a hundred craters. Others are found farther north, in the Antsihanaka province and the Mandritsara valley, and on the north-west coast and its islands, the great mountain Ambohitra being an old volcano. Others have been observed towards the southern extremity of the higher region of the island, as well as columnar basalt, and beds of lava rock, pumice, and ash. Slight shocks of earthquake are felt every year in Madagascar, and other signs of subterranean action are evident in the hot springs which occur at several places in the central and eastern provinces. Several of these are sulphurous and medicinal, and have been found efficacious in skin diseases.


The geology of Madagascar has as yet been very imperfectly investigated, for few travellers have possessed the special scientific knowledge requisite to give much value to their observations; and hardly anything has yet been done towards making collections of fossils, or in procuring specimens of rocks and minerals. There are, however, a few facts of a general character which are easily recogniz-able. In the first place, the upper region of the island already mentioned appears to consist chiefly of Primary and unstratified rocks—granite, gneiss, and basalt—which form the highest points of the hills, and present most varied and picturesque outlines, resembling titanic castles, cathedrals, domes, pyramids, and spires. The general face of the country consists of bare rolling moors, with a great amount of bright red and light brown clays, while the valleys have a rich vegetable soil of bluish-black alluvium. No stratified or f ossiliferous rocks have yet been discovered in this upper part of the island, which appears to be very ancient land, and during portions of the Secondary and Tertiary periods probably formed the entire island, then about from a third to two-fifths of its present size, while the extensive southern and western plains were again and again submerged.

Fossils .

The lower portions of Madagascar do not, as far as is yet known, much exceed from 300 to 600 feet in height and above the sea-level (except, of course, the three chains of mmerals. hills in the south-west). They appear in several localities to consist of strata of the Secondary period, with fossils of the Neocomian age belonging to the genera Nerinea, Turritella, Ammonites, Terebratula, Rhynconella, Neritina, and Echinoderms, and also Foraminifera of the genera Alveolina, Orbitoides, Triloculina, &c. There are also beds of a much later age, containing fossils of recently extinct gigantic tortoises, hippopotami, and struthious birds. In addition to the rocks already mentioned as found in the higher portions of the island, there are also slate, mica schist, greywacke, chert, pink and white quartz, and an unstratified limestone deposited by hot springs. Iron exists in great abundance in the central parts of the country, and copper and silver are said to have been found in small quantities, but are not worked. Antimony seems to be plentiful in the north, and rock-salt, iron pyrites, plumbago, and various ochres and coloured earths are among the mineral products. On the north-west coast thin beds of lignite, suitable for steam coal, occur, but no true coal has yet been discovered.


The climate varies very much in different parts of the country. In the high interior districts it resembles that of the temperate zones, with no intense heat, and is quite cold during the nights in winter. These parts of the island are therefore tolerably healthy for Europeans. But the coasts are much hotter, especially on the western side ; and, from the large amount of marsh and lagoon, malarial fever is prevalent, and frequently fatal both to Europeans and to natives from the interior. The seasons are two— the hot and rainy season from November to April, and the cool and dry season during the rest of the year. Bain indeed falls almost all the year round on the eastern coast, I which is exposed to the vapour-laden south-east trade winds, but it is much less frequent on the western side, being intercepted by the high interior land. No snow is known even on the loftiest mountains, but thin ice is very occasionally found; and hail showers, often very destruc-tive, are frequent in the rainy season. Terrific thunder storms are also common at that period; waterspouts are sometimes seen, and hurricanes occur every few years, at very rare intervals ascending into the interior high land. Very few extended or complete observations have been made in different parts of the island as to temperature. On the eastern coast the heat is probably not very different from that of Bourbon and Mauritius, where the average annual mean is 77° and 78° in the shade, and the average daily range from 70° at sunrise to 86° in the afternoon. The temperature of the capital resembles that of Naples or Palermo.


The flora of Madagascar is one of great fulness and interest, and recent collections have thrown much light upon its relationships. One of the most prominent features is the existence of an almost unbroken belt of dense forest all round the island, at no great distance from the sea, and generally following the coast-line. It appears to be continuous everywhere except on the north-west coast, where, however, the two lines overlap for about 100 miles, leaving an opening of 70 miles wide between them. This forest belt has an average breadth of from 15 to 20 miles, but reaches 40 miles in the north-east, and contains a large variety of hard-wooded and valuable timber trees, as well as numerous species of palm, bamboo, tree-fern, euphorbia, pandanus, baobab, tamarind, &c. Ferns are numerous, about two hundred and fifty species having been already collected, and there are many interesting orchids. The vegetation of the forests, the abundant epiphytes, the tree-mosses, the filmy ferns, and the viviparous character of many of the ferns, show clearly how abundant the rainfall is in the forest region. Several trees and plants are characteristic of Madagascar vegetation; some of them are endemic, and others are very prominent features in the landscape. Among these are the traveller's-tree (Urania speciosa), with its graceful crown of plantain-like ieaves growing in a fan shape at the top of a lofty trunk, and supplying a quantity of pure cool water, and every portion of it being of some service in building; the rdfia palm (Sagus Euffla), from whose pinnate leaves a valuable fibre used for cloth is obtained; the curious and beautiful lace-leaf or lattice-leaf (Ouvirandra fenestralis),& water plant whose root is edible; the Madagascar spice (Ravintsara madagascariensis), a large forest tree with fragrant fruit and leaves; and the tangefia (Tanghinia veneniflua), formerly so destructive to life from its employ-ment as a poison ordeal. Although flowers growing on the ground are not remarkable for number or beauty, there are many magnificent flowering trees; conspicuous among these are the Poinciana regia, presenting, when in bloom, a mass of scarlet flowers ; Colvillia racemosa, with yellow flowers; Gryptostegia madagascariensis, a purple-flowered creeper, and several species of Hibiscus, Mascarenhasia, Kitchingia, Tachiadenus, &c. There are large numbers of spiny and prickly plants, and numerous grasses, reeds, and rushes, many of them of great service in the native manufac-tures. Mr J. G. Baker of Kew says :—" We now know no less than two thousand flowering plants, and among the tropical types there are a considerable number of endemic genera. One natural order, Ghlxnacese, is strictly confined to Madagascar, and there are not less than fifty peculiar genera of plants, some of them very curious types. Besides these the tropical flora contains a large proportion—(1) of endemic species of genera not known elsewhere; (2) of species common to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bourbon, but not known elsewhere ; (3) of species that spread across tropical Africa; (4) of species spread universally through the tropics of the Old World; and (5) of species spread through the tropics of both hemispheres. A small proportion of the Madagascar species are Asian but not African ; and the flora of the mountains corresponds closely with that of the great ranges of the tropical zone of Africa." "In the island altogether, the number of genera now known is about seven hundred; of these about eighty are supposed to be endemic, as far as present knowledge extends." " The general plan of the flora follows thoroughly the same lines as that of the tropical regions of the Old World," and thus leads to somewhat different conclusions to what are suggested (as will be presently seen) by a study of the fauna. It is, however, probable that the flora is as yet not half known, so that fuller research may modify some of the inferences drawn from the collections now available.

Food Plants.

Among the food-giving plants are rice—the staff of life to the Malagasy—in several varieties, maize, millet, giving manioc, yams, sweet potatoes, and numerous vegetables of European introduction. The fruits, indigenous and introduced, are the banana, peach, loquat, mango, melon, pine-apple, mulberry, orange, citron, lemon, guava, Chinese guava, fig, raspberry, tomato, and several others. Several spices are grown; ginger, sugar-cane, coffee, indigo, to-bacco, cotton, hemp, gourds, dye-woods, and gums are also among the vegetable productions ; and gum-copal and india-rubber have been exported in considerable quantities. Besides the dense forest belt already mentioned, a great extent of the coast plains is also well wooded, as well as the river valleys in the upper parts of the island; and, as many portions of the country, especially of the forests, have not yet been traversed by Europeans, its vegetable wealth is probably still far from being fully known.


The fauna of Madagascar, while deficient in most of the characteristic tropical forms of life, is one of great interest to the naturalist. As a continental island, probably separated at a very remote period from the mainland, it possesses no large quadrupeds—none of the larger car-nivorous, ungulate, proboscoid, or quadrumanous animals; but it is the headquarters of the Lemuridx, no less than thirty-six of which animals are found in its forests and wooded plains. Some of these creatures are highly specialized, while the curious aye-aye (Ghiromys madagasca-riensis),^ allied form, is one of the most remarkable animals known, forming a genus and family by itself. Its whole structure is strangely modified to enable it to procure the wood-boring larvae which form its food. Other peculiar animals are several species of the Gentetidx, a family of the Insectivora which is almost confined to Madagascar; while of the Garnivora there are several small creatures belonging to the civets (Viverridx). The largest of the ferocious animals, also forming a genus and family by itself, is the Gryptoprocta ferox; it is a plantigrade animal, 3 feet long, but very like an enormous weasel, and attacks the largest animals with great ferocity. African humped cattle were introduced several hundred years ago into Madagascar, and now exist in large herds all over the island. The fat-tailed sheep, goats, and swine have also been naturalized, as well as all kinds of domestic poultry, which are reared in great abundance for export as well as for home consumption.

The avi-fauna is much richer than the mammalian, and, although wanting the largest birds, as well as the most brilliantly coloured, comprises more than two hundred and twenty species, nearly half of which are peculiar to the island. Many of the birds are remarkable, not so much for their shape or colouring as for their distant relationships; many belong to peculiar genera, and some are so isolated that it is very difficult to classify them, and they yet remain a puzzle to ornithologists. There is a large variety of perching birds, including several species of brilliant plumage—sun-birds, kingfishers, &c.; kites, hawks, and owls are numerous; and the lakes and streams abound with water-fowl. Although there is now no living member of the Struthidx, until four or five centuries ago Madagascar was the home of a very large bird of this family, the extinct Mpyornis, whose eggs, found in a sub-fossil state, are the largest known (12^ inches by 9^ inches). The island is almost, if not quite, free from deadly serpents, but contains two or three small species of boa; crocodiles abound in the rivers and lakes, and numerous species of lizard, chameleon, and tree-frog inhabit the woods. There are several peculiar tortoises, but the gigantic species are extinct on the mainland, and are now only found alive on the little island of Aldebra to the north. The insect life com-prises many brilliantly coloured beetles, butterflies, moths, spiders, locusts, and flies, and also noxious spiders, and scorpions and centipedes. As a whole, the Madagascar fauna is marked by a strong individuality, which would appear to be the result of long isolation from the other zoological " regions."

Numerous interesting questions suggested by the peculiar fauna are closely connected with the physical geography of the island, and that of the numerous groups of small islands to the north and north-east. The Asiatic and Malayan affinities of many of its animals, as well as the physical conditions of the bed of the western part of the Indian Ocean, make it highly probable that Madagascar is the chief relic of a considerable archipelago formerly occupying that area, and now only shown by groups of small islands, and by coral atolls and shoals, which are gradually disappearing beneath the waves. These questions have been most fully treated by Mr A. R. Wallace in his Geographical Distribution of Animals (vol. i. chap, ix.) and Island Life (chap. xix.). Inhabi- The people of Madagascar, who are collectively known tants. by the name of Malagasy, are divided into a considerable number of tribes, each having its own distinct name and customs. Although by its geographical position the country is an African island, a large portion, if not the majority, of its inhabitants appear not to be derived from Africa, but to belong to the Malayo-Polynesian stock. This is inferred from their similarity to the peoples of the Indian and Pacific archipelagoes in their physical appear-ance, mental habits, customs, and, above all, in their language. Their traditions also point in the same direction. There is, however, an undoubted African mixture in the western and some other tribes; and there is also an Arab element both on the north-west and south-east coasts. It is believed that there are traces of an aboriginal people who occupied portions of the interior before the advent of the present inhabitants, and these appear to have been a somewhat dwarfish race, and lighter-coloured than the Malagasy generally. Looked at as regards their present geographical position, the people of Madagascar may be classed in three divisions : the eastern, including the Betsimisaraka, Bezanozano, Tanala, Taisaka, and Taimoro ; the central, including the Sihanaka, Hova, Betsileo, and Bara ; and the western, comprehending a number of peoples commonly known under the name of Sakalava, because this tribe conquered all the others, but each of which retains also its own proper name. Of all these the Hova, who occupy the central province of Imenna, are now the dominant tribe; they appear to be the latest immigrants, and are the lightest in colour ; and they are also the most advanced, intelligent, and civilized of all the peoples inhabiting the island. Lan- As regards both language and customs, there appears guage. t0 be a wider difference between the Hova and all the surrounding tribes than exists between any of these latter, although living on opposite sides of the island, far separate from one another. The most striking proof of the virtual unity of the inhabitants of Madagascar is that there is substantially but one language spoken over the whole country. There are considerable dialectic differences both in vocabulary and in pronunciation, but there is no evidence that any other distinctly different language was ever spoken in any part of the island. The Malay affinities of Malagasy were noted more than two hundred and seventy years ago ; indeed, the . second and fifth books published upon the country (in 1603 and 1613) were comparative vocabularies of these two languages. Fuller and later investigations have quite confirmed the conclusions thus early arrived at; and very recently Van der Tuuk, Marre de Marin, and W. E. Cousins have shown conclusively the close relationships which exist between the language of the Malagasy and those of the Malayan and Polynesian regions. The Malagasy had never invented for themselves a written character, and had consequently no manuscripts, inscrip-tions, or books, until their language was reduced to writing by English missionaries about sixty years ago. Their speech nevertheless is very full in many of its verbal and other forms, while it also exhibits some curious deficiencies. It is very soft and musical in sound, full of vowels and liquids, and free from all harsh gutturals. Native oratory abounds in figures, metaphors, and parables; and within the last five or six years a large number of folk-tales, songs, and legends have been brought to light which, together with the very numerous proverbs, give ample evidence of the mental ability and imaginative powers of the Malagasy.


While the people are not civilized in a European sense, they are not a savage race, and some of the tribes can hardly be classed among barbarous peoples. They have never, for instance, fallen into the cannibal practices of many allied races in Polynesia; and the tribal instincts are strong among all sections of the population. They are law-obeying and loyal, living in settled communities, in villages which are often fortified with considerable skill, with a government of chiefs and elders, a development of a primitive patriarchal system.

Native society in Imenna among the Hova is divided Ranks of into three great classes : the Andriana, or nobles; theHova, society, freemen or commoners ; and the Andevo, or slaves. The Andriana, however, although generally termed " nobles," are, strictly speaking, royal clans, being descendants of the families of several of the petty kings or chiefs who once ruled small divisions of the central province, and who were conquered, or otherwise lost their authority, through the increasing power of the ancestors of the present reigning family. Their descendants have retained certain honours in virtue of their royal origin, such as special terms of salutation, the use of the smaller scarlet umbrella (the larger one is the mark of royal rank), the right to build a particular kind of tomb, &c; they also enjoy exemption from certain Government service, and from some punish-ments for crime. There are six ranks of Andriana be-sides the royal clan, and many members of the higher ranks hold their lands on a kind of feudal tenure from the sovereign. They form a large proportion of the people, whole villages being often occupied almost entirely by them and their slaves, and they monopolize some handicrafts. Many are very poor, and there are no out-ward distinctions in dress, &c, between them and the people generally.

The Hova or commoners form the mass of the free population of Imerina. They are composed of a large number of tribes, who usually intermarry strictly among themselves, as indeed do families, so that property and land may be kept together. Hitherto they have also been divided into two great sections—the burozdno or civilians, and the miaraniila or military class; but this distinction does not follow tribal lines, members of the same family belonging to both classes; and the Andriana are also almost all members either of the civilian or the military orders.

The third great division of native society comprises the slave population. Until the year 1877 it was also again subdivided into three classes :—(a) the Zaza-h6va, that is, " offspring of the Hova," or free people who have been reduced to slavery for debt or for political or criminal offences; (b) the Andevo, or slaves proper, mostly the descendants of people of other Malagasy tribes who have been conquered by the Hova, and thus have become their slaves; and (c) the Mozambiques or African slaves, whose ancestors or they themselves have been brought across from the African coast by the Arab slaving dhows. These last, however, were in 1877 formally set free, and will be henceforth mostly reckoned among the Hova.

Royalty and chieftainship in Madagascar has many peculiar customs connected with it. It still retains a semi-sacred character, the chief being in heathen tribes, while living, the high priest for his people, and after death worshipped as a god; and in its modern development among the Hova sovereigns it has gathered round it much state and ceremony. There are many curious examples of the tabu with regard to actions connected with royalty, and also in the words used which relate to Malagasy sovereigns and their surroundings. These are particularly seen in every thing having to do with the burial of a deceased king or queen.
While the foregoing description of native society applies chiefly to the people of the central province of Imerina, it is more or less applicable, with local modifications, to most of the Malagasy tribes, amongst almost all of whom similar distinctions of rank are found. In modern times a kind of non-hereditary nobility has arisen, derived from military "honours"; and the tendency of recent changes in the native government is to depress the old feudal authority and influence, and to make it subservient to the army and its officers.


The chief employment of the Malagasy is agriculture, a large portion of their time being spent in the cultivation of rice, their staple food. In this they show very great ingenuity, the Jeetsa grounds, where the rice is sown before transplanting, being formed either on the margins of the streams or in the hollows of the hills in a series of terraces, to which water is often conducted from a considerable distance. In this agricultural engineering no people surpass the 136tsileo tribes. No plough is used, but all work is done by a long-handled spade; and oxen are only employed to tread out the soft mud preparatory to transplanting. The other processes are very primitive : the rice is threshed by being beaten in bundles on stones set upright on the threshing-floor; and when beaten out the grain is stored by the H6va in rice-pits dug in the hard red clay, but by the coast tribes in small timber houses raised on posts to protect them from vermin. In prepar-ing the rice for use it is pounded in a wooden mortar to remove the husk, this work being always done by the women. The manioc root is also largely consumed, together with several other roots and many vegetables; but little animal food (save fish and freshwater Crustacea) is taken by the mass of the people except at festival times. Rice is used less by the western tribes than by those of the central and eastern provinces, and the former people are more nomadic in their habits than are the others. Large herds of fine humped cattle are kept almost all over the island.


The central and eastern peoples have a considerable amount of manual dexterity. The women spin and weave, and with the rudest appliances manufacture a variety of strong and durable cloths of silk, cotton, and hemp, and of rofia palm, aloe, and banana fibre, of elegant patterns, and often with much taste in colour. They also make from straw and papyrus peel strong and beautiful mats and baskets in great variety, some of much fineness and delicacy, and also hats resembling those of Panama. The people of the south and south-east make large use of soft rush matting for covering, and they also prepare a rough cloth of bark. Their non-employment of skins for cloth-ing is a marked distinction between the Malagasy and the South African races, and their use of vegetable fibres an equally strong link between them and the Polynesian peoples. The ordinary native dress is a loin-cloth or salaka for the men, and a Mtamby or apron folded round the body from waist to heel for the women; both sexes use over this the lamba, a large square of cloth folded round the body something like the Roman toga. The Malagasy are skilful in metal working; with a few rude-looking tools they manufacture silver chains of great fineness, and filagree ornaments both of gold and silver. Their iron-work is of excellent quality, and in copper and brass they can produce copies of anything made by Europeans. They display considerable inventive power, and they are exceedingly quick to adopt new ideas from Europeans.


There is a considerable variety in the houses of the different Malagasy tribes. The majority of Hova houses and are built of layers of the hard red clay of the country, with high-pitched roofs thatched with grass or rush. The chiefs and wealthy people have houses of framed timber, with massive upright planking, and lofty roofs covered with shingles or tiles. The forest and coast tribes make their dwellings chiefly of wood framing, filled in with the leaf-stalks of the traveller's-tree, with the leaves themselves forming the roof covering. The houses of the Betsil^o and Sakalava are very small and dirty, but those of the coast peoples are more cleanly and roomy. Among the Hova and Betsileo the old villages were always built for security on the summits of lofty hills, around which were dug several deep fosses, one within the other. In other districts the villages and homesteads are enclosed within formidable defences of prickly pear or thorny mimosas.


The country is very deficient in means of communication. There are no roads or wheeled vehicles, so that all goods are carried either by canoes, where practicable, or on the shoulders of bearers along the rough paths which traverse the country, and which have only been formed by the feet of the travellers. Intercourse between distant portions of the island is therefore very limited, but a large quantity of European goods is brought up to the capital city and its neighbourhood, and a good deal of native pro-duce is taken down to the coast. Commerce is gradually increasing, as shown by the consular returns, the chief articles of export being bullocks, rice, hides, rofia palm cloths (rabannas) and fibre, and also gum-copal and india-rubber, although the yield of these products has latterly much diminished. Coffee is being planted to some extent by creole traders, and is likely to become a staple article of export, and from the natural fertility of the soil almost unlimited quantities of most tropical produce could be obtained—sugar, coffee, rice, cotton, tobacco, indigo, spices, &c. The chief imports are European and American calicoes and prints, hardware, and spirits. On the west coast a sea-going canoe with outrigger is employed, but in the south-east an ingeniously constructed boat, with all the timbers tied together, is used for going through the heavy surf. A considerable number of European traders are scattered along the coasts, especially at Tamatave and other eastern seaports, and there is a large Arab and Indian community in the north-western ports. There is no native coinage, but the French five-franc piece or dollar is the standard, and all sums under that amount are obtained by cutting up these coins into all shapes and sizes, which are weighed with small weights and scales into halves, quarters, eighths, twelfths, and twenty-fourths of a dollar, and are even reckoned down to the seven-hundred-and-twentieth fraction of the same amount. Morals. Apart from the modern influence of religious teaching, the people are very immoral and untruthful, disregarded of human life and suffering, and cruel in war. Until lately polygamy has been common among all the Malagasy tribes, and divorce effected in an absurdly easy fashion. At the same time the position of woman is much higher in Madagascar than in most heathen countries; and, since for more than fifty years past there have been (with a few months' exception) only female sovereigns, this has helped to give women considerable influence in native society. Among some of the tribes, as, for instance, the Bara, there is often a shameless indecency of speech and gesture. The southern and western peoples still practice infanticide as regards children born on several unlucky days in each month. This was formerly the general practice all over the island. The old laws among the Hova were very barbarous in their punishments, and death in various cruel forms was inflicted for very trifling offences. Drunkenness is very prevalent in many parts of the island (except in Imerina, where it is much restrained by the laws); and it can hardly be said of many of the Malagasy that they are very industrious. But, on the other hand, they are courageous and loyal to their chiefs and tribe, and for short periods are capable of much strenuous exertion. They are affectionate and firm in their friendships, kind to their children and their aged and infirm relatives, very respectful to old age, most courteous and polite, and very hospitable to strangers. Although slavery has existed among them from time immemorial, it bears quite a patriarchal and family character, and is seldom exercised in a cruel or oppressive way. In 1877 all the African slaves who had been brought into the island were formally set free; the other slaves are still retained in servitude, but probably with the advance of Christianity slavery will eventually pass away.


In their religious notions and practices the Malagasy seem to occupy a middle position among heathen peoples. On the one hand, they have never had any organized religious system or forms of worship ; there are no temples, images, or stated seasons of devotion, nor is there a priest-hood, properly so called. On the other hand, they have never been without some distinct recognition of a Supreme Being, whom they call Andriamdnitra, " The Fragrant One," and Zdnahdry, " The Creator,"—words which are recognized all over the island. They have also retained in their public and oratorical forms of speech many ancient sayings, proverbial in their style, which enforce many of the truths of natural religion as to the attributes of God. With all this, however, there has long existed a kind of idolatry, which in its origin is simply fetichism, the belief in charms—worthless objects of almost any kind—as having power to procure various benefits and protect from certain evils. Among the Hova in modern times some four or five of these charms had acquired special sanctity and renown, and were each honoured as a kind of national deity, being called god, and brought out on all public . occasions to sanctify the proceedings. Together with this idolatry there is also a firm belief in the power of witch-craft and sorcery, in divination, in lucky and unlucky days and times, in ancestor worship, especially that of the sovereign's predecessors, and in several curious ordeals for the detection of crime. The chief of these was the cele-brated tangena poison ordeal, in which there was implicit belief as a test of guilt or innocence, and by which, until its prohibition by an article in the Anglo-Malagasy treaty of 1865, thousands of persons, mostly innocent, perished every year. Sacrifices of fowls and sheep are made at many places at sacred stones and altars, both in thanks-giving at times of harvest, &c, and as propitiatory offerings. Blood and fat are used to anoint many of these stones, as well as the tombs of ancestors, and especially those of the Vazimba, the supposed aboriginal inhabitants of the central provinces. In some of the southern districts it is said that human sacrifices were occasionally offered. The chief festival among the Hova, and almost confined to them, is that of the New Year, at which time a kind of sacrificial killing of oxen takes place, and a ceremonial bathing, from which the festival takes its name of Fandrbana (the Bath). Another and more general feast is at circumcision times. This rite is observed by royal command at intervals of a few years ; these are occasions of great rejoicing, but also of much drunkenness and licentiousness. Funerals are also times of much feasting, and at the death of people of rank and wealth numbers of bullocks are killed. Although, as already observed, there was no proper priesthood, the idol keepers, the diviners, the day-declarers, and some others formed a class of people closely connected with heathen customs and interested in their continued observ-ance.


Early political divisions.

From the earliest accounts given of the people of Madagascar by European travellers, as well as from what may be inferred from their present condition over a large portion of the island, they seem for many centuries to have been divided into a number of tribes, each occupying its own territory, and often divided from the others by a wide extent of uninhabited country. Each of these was under its own chief, and was often at war with its neighbours. No one tribe seems to have gained any great ascendency over the rest until about two hundred and thirty years ago, when a small but warlike people called Sakalava, in the south-west of Madagascar, advanced north-ward, conquered all the inhabitants of the western half of the island, as well as some northern and central tribes, and eventually founded two kingdoms which retained their supremacy until the close of last century. About that time, however, the Hova in the central province of Imerina began to assert their own position under two warlike and energetic chieftains, Andrianimpiina and his son Radama ; they threw off the Sakalava authority, and after several wars obtained a nominal allegiance from them ; they also conquered the surrounding tribes, and so made themselves virtual kings of Madagascar. Since that time the Hova authority has been retained over the central and eastern provinces, but is only nominal over much of the western side of the island, while in the south-west the people are quite independent, and are still under their own petty kings or chiefs.

Arab intercourse and influence.

While European intercourse with Madagascar is comparatively recent, the connexion of the Arabs with the island dates from a very remote epoch ; and in very early times settlements were formed both on the north-west and south-east coasts. In the latter locality there are still traces of their influence in the knowledge of Arabic possessed by a few of the people ; and it is asserted that the ruling clans of the Tanala and other tribes in that district are all of Arab descent. But in these provinces they have almost lost all separate existence, and have become merged in the general mass of the people. It is different, however, in the north-west of the island. Here are several large Arab colonies, occupying the ports of Amorontsanga, M6janga, Marovoay, and Morondava, and retaining their distinct nationality, together with their own dress, habits, houses, worship, and language. There is also in these districts a Hindu element in the population, for intercourse has also been maintained for some centuries between India and northern Madagascar, and in some towns the Banyan Indian element is as prominent as the Arab one, and Hindu dress, ornament, music, food, and speech are marked features in the social life of these places. In the early times of their intercourse with Madagascar, the Arabs had a very powerful and marked influence upon the Malagasy. This is seen in the num-ber of words derived from the Arabic which are found in the native language. Among these are the names of the months and the days of the week, those used in astrology and divination, some forms of salutation, words for dress and bedding, money, musical instru-ments, books and writing, together with a number of miscellaneous terms. These form enduring memorials of the influence the Arabs have exerted upon Malagasy civilization, and also on their superstition.

European intercourse and attempted colonization.

The island is mentioned by several of the early Arabic writers and geographers, but mediaeval maps show curious ignorance of its size and position. Marco Polo has a chapter upon it, and terms it Madeigascar, but his accounts are evidently confused with those of the mainland of Africa. The first European voyager who saw Madagascar appears to have been a Portuguese captain named Fernando Soares, in command of a squadron of eight ships from the fleet of Don Francisco de Almeida. On his way home from India he sighted the island on the 1st of February 1506. The Portuguese gave names to most of the capes, but made no persistent attempts at colonization. After them the Dutch endeavoured, but with little success, to form colonies; and in the time of Charles I. proposals were made to form an English "plantation," but these were never carried into effect, although for a short time there was a settlement formed on the south-west coast. In the latter part of the 17th and during most of the 18th century the French attempted to establish military positions at various places on the east coast, but with little permanent result. For some time they held the extreme south-east point of the island at Fort Dauphin ; but several of their commandants were so incapable and tyrannical that they were frequently involved in war with the people, and more than once their stations were destroyed and the French were massacred. Early in the present century all their positions on the mainland were relinquished, and they now retain nothing but the islands of St Marie on the east coast and Nosibe on the north-west. No foreign power now holds any portion of Madagascar, for the native Government has jealously reserved all territorial rights to itself, and will suffer no purchase of land by foreigners, allowing it only to be held on short leases.

Radama I.

The political history of Madagascar as a whole may be said to date from the reign of Radama I. (1810-28). The ancestors of that king had been merely chiefs of the central provinces, but he was the first to claim by right of conquest to be supreme ruler of the whole island, although actually exercising authority over less than two-thirds of its surface. Radama was a man much in advance of his age,—shrewd, enterprising, and undeterred by difficulty,—a kind of Peter the Great of his time. He saw that it was necessary for his people to be educated and civilized if the country was to pro-gress ; and making a treaty with the governor of Mauritius to abolish the export of slaves, he received every year in compensation a subsidy of arms, ammunition, and uniforms, as well as English training for his troops. He was thus enabled to establish his authority over a large portion of the island, and, although this was often effected with much cruelty, the ultimate results were bene-ficial to the country as a whole. A number of native youths were sent to Mauritius, and others to England, for education and instruc-tion in some of the arts of civilization, as well as in seamanship. For some years a British agent, Mr Hastie, resided at Radama's court, and exercised a powerful influence over the king, doing very much for the material advance of the country. At the same period Intro-(1820) Christian teaching was commenced in the capital by the auction London Missionary Society, and by the efforts of its missionaries of Chris-the language was for the first time reduced to a systematic written tianity. form, and the art of printing introduced ; books were prepared, the Scriptures were translated, numerous schools were formed, and several Christian congregations were gathered together. The know-ledge of many of the useful arts was also imparted, and many valuable natural productions were discovered, and their pre-paration and manufacture taught to the people. At the same time the power of superstition was greatly broken, a result partly due to the keen good sense of the king, but chiefly to the spread of know-ledge and religious teaching.

The bright prospects thus opening up for the country were Ranava-clouded by the death of Radama at the early age of thirty-six, and lona I. the seizure of the royal authority by one of his wives, the Princess Ranavalona. Superstitious and despotic in temper, the new sovereign looked with much suspicion upon the ideas then gaining power among many of her people, and after a few years of tem-porizing she at length determined to strike a decisive blow at the new teaching. In 1835 the profession of the Christian religion was declared illegal; all worship was to cease, and all religious books were ordered to be given up. By the middle of the following year all the English missionaries were obliged to leave the island, and for twenty-five years the most strenuous efforts were made by the queen and her Government to suppress all opposition to her commands. This, however, only served to show in a very remarkable manner the courage and faith of the Christian Malagasy, of whom about two hundred suffered death in various cruel forms, while many hundreds were punished more or less severely by fine, degradation, imprisonment, and slavery. During the queen's reign the political condition of the country was deplorable ; there were fre-quent rebellions owing to the oppressive nature of the government; many of the distant provinces were desolated by barbarous wars ; and for some years all Europeans were excluded, and foreign commerce almost ceased. This last circumstance was partly owing to an ill-managed attack upon Tamatave in 1846 by a combined English and French force, made to redress the wrongs inflicted upon the foreign traders of that port. But for the leaven of Christianity and education which had been introduced into the country it would have quite reverted to a state of barbarism.

Radama II. Rasoherina.

This reign of terror was brought to a close in 1861 by the death of the queen and the accession of her son Radama II. The island was reopened to European trade, and missionary efforts were recom-menced. A determined attempt was made by some enterprising Frenchmen to gain for their country an overwhelming influence by means of a treaty which they induced the king to sign. But this act, as well as the vices and insane follies into which he was led by worthless foreign and native favourites, soon brought his reign and his life to an end. He was put to death in his palace (1863) after having reigned for less than two years, and his wife was placed on the throne. The new sovereign and her Government refused to ratify the agreement which had been illegally obtained, choosing rather to pay a million francs as compensation to the French company. During the five years' reign of Queen Rasoherina, quiet and steady advances were made in civilization and education, and treaties were concluded with the English, French, and American Governments.

Ranavalona II.

At the death of Rasoherina in 1868, she was succeeded by her cousin, the present (1882) sovereign, Ranavalona II. One of the first acts of the new queen was the public recognition of Christianity; and very soon afterwards she and her husband, the prime minister, were baptized, and the erection of a chapel royal was commenced in the palace yard. These acts were followed in the succeeding year by the burning of the royal idols, and immediately afterwards by the destruction of the idols throughout the central provinces, the people generally putting themselves under Christian instruction. Since that time education and enlightenment have made great progress, chiefly through the labours of the London Missionary Society's missionaries, with whom are also associated several agents of the Friends' Foreign Mission Association. About 1200 congrega-tions have been formed, and about 900 schools, in wdiich nearly 50,000 children receive instruction; and there are also normal schools and colleges where teachers, pastors, evangelists, and the sons of the upper classes are well educated. A considerable amount of literature has been prepared, and several printing presses are con-stantly at work. Very marked advance has been made as regards the morality of the people by the suppression of the grosser and more open forms of vice, the abolition of polygamy, and the restric-tions placed upon arbitrary divorce. All the barbarous punishments of the old laws have been done away with ; and the only war carried on during the present reign was conducted with such humanity as well as sagacity that peace was speedily restored.

Although these changes have as yet only affected about a fourth part of the whole population, there is reason to believe that the influences at work in the centre of the island will eventually affect all the different tribes. Missionary work is also carried on by English Episcopalians (S. P. G.), Norwegian Lutherans, and French Roman Catholics.


The government of Madagascar during the present century has been and still is monarchical theoretically despotic, but practi-cally limited in various ways. Radama I. and Ranavalona I. were much more absolute sovereigns than those before or after them, but even they were largely restrained by public opinion. New laws are announced at large assemblies of the people, whose consent is asked, and always given through the headmen of the different divisions of native society ; and this custom is no doubt a '' sur-vival " from a time when the popular assent was not a merely for-mal act, as it has now almost entirely become. The large disciplined army formed by Radama I. aided much in changing what was formerly a somewdiat limited monarchy into an -absolute one.. The Hova queen's authority is maintained over the central and eastern portions of Madagascar, and at almost all the ports, by governors appointed by the queen, and supported by small garrisons of H6va troops. At the same time the chiefs of the various tribes are left in possession of a good deal of their former honours and influence, so long as they acknowledge the suzerainty of the Hova sovereign, and perform a certain amount of Government service. The present queen and her predecessor have both been married to the prime minister, a man of great ability and sagacity, who, by his position as husband and chief adviser of the sovereign, is the virtual ruler of the country. Chiefly owing to his influence, the last five or six years have been marked by the introduction of several measures tending to modify the government of the country and improve the administration. The purpose of these new laws is to weaken the old oppressive feudal system ; to remodel the army; to appoint a kind of local magistracy and registrars ; to encourage education ; and to form a responsible ministry, with departments of justice, war, education, agriculture, commerce, revenue, &c.


Owing to the conservative habits of the people, considerable time will probably elapse before all these measures are carried into effect, but their mere enactment is a proof of the progress of enlightened ideas. Until lately the military service has been very oppressive upon certain classes, being for life, and without any pay; but it is now to be made compulsory upon all, and for short periods only. The Hova army has been variously estimated at from 30,000 to 40,000 men, although it is popularly termed ny Fblo-alin-dahy, i.e., "the Ten ten-thousand men." Military rank is reckoned by num-bers, from one " honour," that of a private, to sixteen " honours," the rank of the highest officer ; but several of the English words for different ranks are employed, as a sergeant, captain, general, Justice, marshal, &c. Justice has hitherto been administered by a number of unpaid judges appointed by the sovereign, and they generally sit in the open air. There appears to be a somewhat small amount of crimes of violence; but cattle-stealing raids made by one tribe upon another are a frequent cause of petty wars away from the Hova Revenue, authority. The revenue of the Government is derived from customs duties, first fruits, fines and confiscation of offenders' property, and a money offering called hasina, presented on a great variety of occasions both to the sovereign in person and to her representa-tives ; and these are supplemented by '' benevolences" (in the mediaeval sense of the word) levied upon the people for occasional state necessities. Besides these, the Government claims the unpaid service of all classes of the community for all kinds of public work.

Foreign Relations.

Consuls appointed by the English, French, and American Governments are accredited to the Malagasy sovereign, and the queen has a consul in England, and a consular agent at Mauritius. During the late Lord Clarendon's tenure of office as foreign secretary an understanding was come to between the English and French Governments by which it was agreed that each power should respect the independence of Madagascar; and, although the intrigues of Jesuit priests have more than once fomented difficulties between the native Government and the French, it may be hoped that the home authorities in France will still refuse to interfere, and will allow the Malagasy—undisturbed by fear of foreign invasion—_ quietly to advance in that path of progress which they have for some years been following with such happy results. The best prospects for the future of the country would appear to be bound up in the gradual consolidation of the central Hova authority over the whole island, bringing to every part of it those civilizing and enlightening influences which have already worked such changes in the central provinces.

The capital.

Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, is by far the largest city in the island. It has about 100,000 inhabitants, and has been almost rebuilt during the last twelve years, the old timber and rush houses being nearly all replaced by much larger and more substan-tial ones of sun-dried brick and stone, constructed in European fashion. A group of royal palaces, wdth lofty roofs and stone-arched verandahs, crowns the summit of the ridge on and around which the city is built, and hardly less conspicuous is the grand new residence of the prime minister. Four handsome stone memorial churches, with spires or towers, mark the spots where the Christian martyrs suffered ; and other prominent buildings are the Chapel Royal, the Norwegian and the Roman Catholic churches, the London Missionary College, the London Missionary Society and the Friends' normal schools, mission hospitals, the court of justice, and numerous large Congregational churches of sun-dried brick.

Other towns.

Next to the capital in size are the port of Mojangà, on the north-west coast, with about 14,000 inhabitants; ïamatàve, the chief eastern port, and Fianàrantsòa, the chief town of the Bétsiléo, each with about 6000 people ; and Ambòhimànga, the old capital of Imérina, with about 5000. There are very few places besides these with as many as 5000 people, and the majority of native towns are small.


The population is dense in two or three districts only, and the entire island is variously estimated to contain from four to five millions of inhabitants.

Literature [Further Reading].

A considerable number of books have been written upon Madagascar, both in the English and French languages, but many of the latter are of little value. And during the last twenty years a great many papers upon the exploration, natural resources, animal and vegetable life, and political and religious condition of the country have appeared in various periodicals and in the ''Proceedings of the different learned societies, both English and French. In the following lists no attempt is made at completeness, but only to select the most important of each class. As regards the scientific aspects of the country, almost everything worth preserving in previous books and papers will be included in the magnificent work now in course of publication in twenty-eight 4to vols, by M. Alfred Grandidier, entitled, Histoire Naturelle, Physique, et Politique de Madagascar. Of this magnum opus four volumes are already issued.

books treating of the country generally, the following are the most note-worthy :— Hamond, Madagascar, the Richest and most Frvitfull Island in the World, London, 1643 ; Eoothby, A Breife Discovery or Description of the most famous Island of Madagascar or St Laurence, London, 1664 ; Flacourt, Histoire de la grande Isle de Madagascar, Paris, 1658; Madagascar, or Robert Drury's Journal during Fifteen Years' Captivity on that Island, London, 1729 ; Voyages et Mémoires de Maurice Auguste comte de Benyowski, Paris, 1791; Rochon, Voyages à Madagascar, &c, Paris, an x.; Froherville, Histoire de Madagascar, Isle de France, 1809; Copland, A History of the Island of Madagascar, London, 1822 ; Ellis, History of Madagascar, London, 1838 ; Leguevel de Lacombe, Voyage à Madagascar et aux îles Comores, Paris, 1840 ; Guillain, Documents sur . . '. la partie occidentale de Madagascar, Paris, 1845; Macé Descartes, Histoire et Géographie de Madagascar, Paris, 1846 ; Ellis, Three Visits to Madagascar, London, 1859 ; Oliver, Madagascar and the Malagasy, London, 1863 ; Sibree, Madagascar and its People, London, 1870 ; articles in Revue des Deux Mondes, 1872 ; Tantara ny Andriana tto Madgascar : Histoire des Rois d'Imérina d'après les manuscrits Malgaches, Antana-narivo, 1875 ; Mullens, Twelve Months in Madagascar, London, 1875 ; Blanchard, L'Île de Madagascar, Paris, 1875; Dahle. Madagaskar og dets Beboere, Christiania, 1876-78 ; The Antananarivo Annual, Nos. i.-v., 1875-81; and Sibree, The Great African Island, London, 1880, and "The Arts and Commerce of Madagascar," Jour. Soc. Arts, June 4, 1880.

Philology.—Houtman, Spraak ende woord boek in de Maleische ende Madagaskar sehe taten, Amsterdam, 1603; Voyage de C. van Heemskerk; vocabulaire de la langue parlée dans l'ile Saint-Laurent, Amsterdam, 1603 ; Megiser, Beschreibung der Mechtigen und Weitberhümbten Insul Madagascar, with dictionary and dialogues, Altenburg, 1609 ; Arthus, Colloquia Latino-Maleyica et Madagascarica, Frankfort, 1613; Challand, Vocabulaire français-malgache et malgache-français, île de France, 1773 ; Froherville, Dictionnaire français-madecasse, 3 vols., île de France, 1809; Dumont D'Urville, Voyage de la Corvette r Astrolabe, volume on " Philologie," Paris, 1833; Freeman and Johns, Dictionary of the Malagasy Language (Eng.-Mal. and Mal.-Eng.), Antananarivo, 1835; Dalmond, Vocabulaire et Grammaire pour les langues Malgaches, Sàkalàva et Bétsimisàra, Bourbon, 1842; R. C. Missionaries1 Dictionnaire Français-Malgache, Réunion,1853, and Dictionnaire Malgache-Français, Réunion, 1855; Van der Tuuk, " Outlines of a Grammar of the Malagasy Language," Jour. Roy. Asiat. Soc, 1860; Ailloud, Grammaire Malgache-Hòva, Antananarivo, 1872; W. E. Cousins, Concise Introduction to the Study of the Malagasy Language as spoken in Imérina, Antan., 1873 ; Sewell, Diksionary Eng. sy Mal., Antan., 1875; Marre de Marin, Grammaire Malgache, Paris, 1876 ; Id., Essai sur le Malgache, ou Étude comparée des langues Javanaise, Malgache, et Malayse, Paris, 1876 ; Id., Le Jardin des Racines Océaniennes, Paris, 1876 ; Dahle, Specimens of Malagasy Folk-lore, Antan., 1877 ; and W. E. Cousins, " The Malagasy Language," in Trans Phil, Soc, 1878. Besides these there are several valuable papers by Dahle in the yearly numbers of The Antananarivo Annual (ante), and a number of short vocabularies of coast and other dialects of Malagasy in the notes of various exploratory journeys published at Antananarivo, noticed below.

Scientific: General and Exploratory.—Vinson, Voyage à Madagascar, Paris, 1S65 ; Coignet, "Excursion sur la Côte Nord-est de l''île de Madagascar," Bull. Soc. Géog., Sept, et Oct., 1867; Grandidier, "Madagascar," Bull. Soc Géog., August 1871; Id., " Excursion chez les Antanosses émigrés," Bull. Soc Géog., Feb. 1872; Id., " Madagascar," Bull. Soc Géog., April 1872; Mullens, "Central Provinces of Madagascar," Proc Roy. Geog. Soc., January 1875 ; Sibree, South-east Madagascar, Antan., 1876 ; Houlder, North-east Madagascar, Antan., 1877 ; Richardson, JÄghts and Shadows [South-west Madagascar], Antan., 1877 ; chap, xi., vol. i., of "Wallace's Geographical Distribution of Animals, London, 1876; Sibree, "Observations on the Physical Geography and Geology of Madagas-car," Nature, August 14, 1879 ; Id., "History of our Geographical Knowledge of Madagascar," Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc, October 1879; chap. xix. in Wallace's Island Life, London,. 1880; Cowan, The Bara Land, Antan., 1881; Id., "Explorations in South Madagascar," Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc, Sept. 1882. The best general map of Madagascar is that published by Rev. Dr Mullens in 1879, which is to a large scale (12J miles to the inch), and includes almost every journey made up to that date, but is somewhat deficient as regards the delineation of the physical geography.

Zoology.—Klug, " Insekten von Madagaskar," in Kön. Ak. der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1832; Boisduval, Faune Entomologique de Madagascar, &c, Paris, 1883 ; Owen, Monograph on the Aye-aye, London, 1863; Vinson, Araneides des iles Re-union, Madagascar, &c, Paris, 1863; Bates, " Natural History of Madagascar," Proc Zool. Soc, 1863; Sclater, "Mammals of Madagascar," Quart. Jour. Sci., April 1864; Pollen and Van Dam, Recherches sur la Faune de Madagascar et ses Dépendances, 5 vols., Leyden, 1867 sq. ; Hartlaub, Die Vögel Madagascars und der benachbarten Inselgruppen, Halle, 1877 ; " Reliquiae Rutenbergianœ—Zoologie," in the Bremen Naturwissenschaftliche Verein, April 1881 ; also very numerous articles on Madagascar animals, birds, &c. in Proc Zool. Soc, 1863-81, and in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., 1863-81.

Botany.—Du Petit Thouars, Histoire des Végétaux recueilles sur les isles de . . . Madagascar, Paris, 1804; "Floras Madagascariensis fragmenta," in Annales des Sciences Naturelles, 4 ser., vols, vi., viii., ix. ; Davidson, "Account, Historical and Physiological, of the Madagascar Poison Ordeal (Tanghinia Veneniflud)," Jour, of Anat. and Phys., vol. viii.; articles on ferns and flowering plants, in Linn. Soc. Jour.—Bot., for 1864, 1876, 1877; 1880 ; " Reliquiae Rutenbergianas," in the Bremen Naturwissenschaftliche Verein, No-vember 1880; fiaker on " The Plants of Madagascar," Nature, December 9, 1880, and on " Botany of Madagascar," Proc. of Brit. Assoc., 1881.

Anthropology.—Oliyer, "The Hbvas and other Characteristic Tribes of Madagascar," Jour. Anthrop. Inst., 1868; Wake, 11 The Race Elements of the Madecasses," Ibid., 1869 ; Mullens, " On the Origin and Progress of the People of Madagascar "Ibid., 1875; Wake, "Notes on the Origin of the Malagasy," Paid., 1881; Sibree, " Malagasy Folk-Lore and Popular Superstitions," Folk-Lore Soc. Record, 1880; Id., The Oratory, Songs, Legends, and Folk-Tales of the Malagasy, 1882.

Religious History.—Freeman and Johns, Narrative of the Persecutions of the Christians in Madagascar, London, 1840; Prout, Madagascar, its Missions and its Martyrs, London, 1863 ; Ellis, Madagascar Revisited, London, 1867 ; Id., The Martyr Church, London, 1869; ''Religion in Madagascar," Ch. Quart. Rev., July 1878; and Ten Years' Review of Mission Work in Connexion with the London Missionary Society, 1870-80, Antan., 1880. (J. S., jr.)

The above article was written by Rev. J. Sibree, Jun., author of The Great African Island.

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