To meet with the people, one may favor home hospitality. That will give the opportunity to attend traditional ceremonies which are still common practice at several places. Malagasy tales or prohibitions are, in a way, expressions of a civilization that is changing, but whose links with Ancestors is essential. As any Malagasy is bound to become an Ancestor or “Razana” someday, he will take particular care of his final resting place, in comparison with which his “terrestrial” dwelling is nothing more than a temporary one. One then should not be surprised that among some ethnic groups, one may really talk about funeral art.
Historical tombs of Madagascar
One may see along the roads, very beautiful tombs made up with flat stones piled one above the other, and topped by a monolith. In the old days, the custom was also to erect wood posts called “Teza” close to them. They were to left without care so as to return to dust someday.
There is another tendency which replaces stones by mortar. Then the tombs become real mausoleums painted in bright colors and decorated with either portraits or geometrical patterns. In the middle, there is usually a sacred little house ornamented with small mirrors. Antandroy Tomb and Mahafaly Tomb in the south-East, in particular are one of these sites that attract visitors and tourists.
The “famadihana” (turning of the bones) is supremely the most famous and sharedburial practice in the island. A customs in wich buried loved one remains are removed from a tomb seven years after death and wrapped in another burial envelop called “lambamena”. Several tourist often lucky and used to spend their time watching celebrations that last up to week before continuing their rainforest holidays to the North of Madagascar.
Rainforest holidays: Discover Malagasy’s belief and ancestral ritual (South of Madagascar)
Many monuments are considered as secondary gods and nature spirits. Beliefs have in turn influence of peoples’ live who may often visit those places to pray and make bows. Spirit can possesshuman’s body and turn them into trances during age-old ritual. You can be witness of these natural facts and phenomenonthroughout your visit in the South of Madagascar. By the way, animals and plants can be inhabited too, so then this might be a great discovery you can do in the time between baobab travel and vacations.