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Malagasy Traditional Dances Madagascar

Exploring Malagasy Traditional Dances, Music, and Oral Art from the Red Island

Traditional dances, music, and oral art forms

Traditional dances in Madagascar vary by region and ethnicity, each with its unique style and music. For example, the Tsapiky dance is specific to the South West region, while Afindrafindrao is a traditional dance performed at the opening of every ball across different regions. Malesa is a traditional dance in the North West region, Bahoejy is a popular traditional dance in Antsohy, Salegy is a relatively recent dance from the Southern region that emerged in the 1960s. Hira gasy represents the most traditional Malagasy music, while Vakisaova and vakodrazana are historical musical forms practiced during royal times. Each of these dances has its distinct instruments and steps, showcasing the rich diversity of traditional Malagasy culture.

The kabary: Traditional Malagasy Oral Communication

Kabary is an important part of the culture in Madagascar. It’s a traditional way of speaking and communicating during ceremonies. The orators, called mpikabary, exchange speeches with each other as part of this tradition. Initially reserved for men, Kabary now also includes women who participate as well.

In addition to the oral tradition, there are schools that teach Kabary and dance to young people, including children. These institutions aim to pass down the art and tradition to the next generation, ensuring its continuity into the future.

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