011 322 44 56 | mail@example.com
Madagascar's royal heritage

Madagascar’s royal heritage: the beginnings, the kings and the crimson island The beginnings, the kings and the crimson island

The royal rule in Madagascar started around 1500-1810. It was ended by colonization in 1896. There were four major kingdoms in Madagascar.

In the East, it’s the land of the ANTEMORO

From the 12th to the 19th century, Madagascar was a kingdom with a mix of Arab and Islamic ethnicities. Legend has it that a sultan named Ramakarano, who immigrated from Mecca, founded this kingdom. He set up a social structure that shaped the kingdom’s control of trade, writing system, diplomacy, and medicine. The monarchy in Eastern Madagascar saw King Ramananao arrive from Vatomandry and later followed by Ratsimilaho, the son of English pirate Thomas White and Rahena. Under Ratsimilaho’s rule, the kingdom prospered in agriculture, culture, and commerce. He named the kingdom BETSIMISARAKA. However, internal rivalry among successor chiefs led to the decline of the kingdom and made it vulnerable to conquest by the Merina people.

In the west, the Sakalava rule

The Sakalava royalty, led by the Maroseranana princes, unified Menabe and Boina. They expanded their kingdom through strategic alliances and obtaining firearms during the slave trade era. The kingdom was split into two, with Andriandahifotsy’s son establishing the Boina kingdom in Mahajanga. Through control of firearms and raiding for resources, they conquered over a third of the island. However, the Merina conquest led to the destruction of their kingdom in the early 19th century.

Southern Kingdom MAHAFALY or Masikoro and Zafimanara Kingdom

The kingdom expanded gradually to Toliara under the reign of King Olombelotsitoto in the 16th century. This ruler established a kingdom that gained respect from neighboring kingdoms, leaving a lasting historical legacy for Madagascar. The Mahafaly royalty became an esteemed part of Madagascar’s history.

The CENTRAL kingdom, the MERINA kingdom

The Merina kingdom emerged in the 19th century with notable rulers such as King Andriamanelo, who established the Andriana dynasty. Under King Ralambo, the feudal era began, and he introduced laws classifying society into three castes: Andriana, Hova, and Andevo. He also encouraged people to eat zebu meat and implemented taxes. Hostilities arose between the Merina and Bezanozano people during the 17th century, leading to a system of protection set up by King Ralambo and his son to defend against Bezanozano invasion.

King Andrianampoinimerina is one of Imerina’s most renowned monarchs for unifying the entire country with his territorial ambition expressed in the famous phrase “Ny ranomasina no valamparihiko,” meaning “the sea will be the limit of my rice field.” His son, Radama I, aimed to extend his dynasty across the entire island from east to west and north to south to prevent French interference. Queen Ranavalona I held power for 30 years after her husband’s death and thwarted attempts by Anglo-French forces to claim control over Madagascar.

The feudal era came to an end with Queen Ranavalona III’s reign from July 30, 1883, until February 28, 1897. She resisted colonization but was eventually exiled in England until her death on May 23, 1917.

Successive Kings in Feudal Madagascar

The early rulers of Madagascar were significant figures in shaping the history and culture of the island. Rafohy was the first sovereign, followed by her daughter Rangita and Andriamanelo, who introduced iron weapons and boat-making. Ralambo established Ambohitrabiby as his capital and encouraged his people to eat zebu meat. His son, Andrianjaka, founded the city of Antananarivo.

Successive leaders like Andriantsitakatrandriana, Andrianjaka Razakatsitakatrandriana, and Andrianampoinimerina continued to influence the governance of their respective times. Radama I unified the island under his rule and earned the title “King of Madagascar” from Great Britain. Ranavalona 1ère succeeded him but was known for her hostility towards Europeans.

Her successors included Radama II, assassinated due to his perceived weakness towards Europeans; Rasoherina who modernized the capital; Ranavalona II who embraced westernization and allowed British missionaries into the country; and finally Ranavalona III, niece of Ranavalona II. Their reigns marked different phases in Madagascar’s history as it navigated through modernization and European influences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *