The Hazomanga among the Masikoro of Southwest Madagascar: Identity and History
Abstract

In this article Masikoro identity is linked to the Sakalava of western and northwestern Madagascar. An analysis that associates two ritual objects, the hazomanga (a wooden pole symbolizing a lineage, sometimes shaped like a cross, upon which sacrificial blood is consecrated to ones raza or ancestors) and the jiny (ancestral relics), is presented in support of the Sakalava-Masikoro link. A number of rituals involving jiny and hazomanga are considered, including circumcision and adoption of a new member into a lineage. The role of women in relation to these ritual objects is historicized and compared briefly to a contemporary politicized context.


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