Entry History of Madagascar
Part of speech name (book or play title)
Author Ellis William, 1838
Publishings 1838. Volumes: 2.
Excerpts 
page I.81
1838
The river Mangoro, from its direction and magnitude, would be well adapted for the conveyance of merchandise betwen the coast and the interior of the island, but for its numerous and rapid falls, which in some places may be considered cataracts; and, though not so large as to deserve notice as objects of curiosity or surprise, render the currents too impetuous for the purpose of navigation.
page I.85
1838
The Ikiopa is the finest river within a great distance of the Capital, which at unequal distances it almost surrounds. It rises in the east, runs southward, bearing to the west, where several tributary streams from the Ankaratra range augments its waters; continuing its course, it at length falls into the Betsiboka... The river waters the fine vale of Betsimitatatra, which lies west of the capital. The vale itself reaches from thirty to forty miles, in a direction from north to south, varying in width from half a mile to four miles. It is, however, impossible, merely by specifying its length and width, to convey an accurate idea of the form or beauty of the Betsimitatatra vale. Its rich productions throughout its whole extent,its irregular outline, terminated by innumerable rising grounds and gently-sloping hills, covered with villages, or adorned with cultivation, continually present to the traveller new and varying scenes of tranquillity and loveliness. In the rainy season especially, Betsimitatatra, viewed from the capital, presents the most charming and delightful scenery. It is extensively cultivated, and the beautiful green of the rice plantations, in the early part of the season, is not surpassed by the finest herbage of the European landscape.
page I.93
The signification of the name Tananarivo is determined by its etymology. Arivo, signifies a thousand; tanana, means a town. The compound word will therefore signify a thousand towns. It may be regarded as a name given in compliment to the extensive population thus drawn together; and, viewed as a descriptive of a native's idea of a town -- so large as to comprehend a thousand towns in one. This appears to be the correct interpretation of the term.
page I.256
1838
The Malagasy have also a custom of erecting stone pillars, of considerable height, as memorials, though without any kind of marking or inscription on them. These are called fahatsiarovana, "causing to remember." A name is also given them derived from their position, mitsangambato, "an elevated stone".
page I.315
1838
Forests of varied extent abound in different parts of the country, and an immense belt of forest, of two or three days' journey in width, surrounds the interior of the island. These forest yield abundance of timber, of different colour and texture, and of various degrees of hardness and durability... Timber is exceedingly dear at the capital, being brought from the extensive forest of Angavo, which stretches to a great distance on the north and south of Antananarivo, from which it is about forty miles distant. Multitude of the natives are constantly employed in cutting wood in the forest for the government, and others in dragging it to the capital.
page I.316
1838
To fell the timber in the forest, for the use of the sovereign, is a service devolving upon the woodmen of government. This work employs about seven hundred men, who are, consequently, called "The seven hundred... "In connection with these occupations, those of the marmittes maro-mita [many passing or crossing to and fro], native coolies or bearers of burden, may be mentioned: they belong almost exclusively to the race of the Bezanozano
page I.352
1838
The word for honour in Malagasy is highly significant, and conveys a moral lesson on its vanity -- voninahitra, i.e. "the flower of the grass!"
1stvoninahitra voalohanyPrivate
2ndvoninahitra faharoacorporal
3rdvoninahitra fahateloserjeant
4thvoninahitra fahefatraserjeant major
5thvoninahitra fahadimylieutenant
6thvoninahitra faheninacaptain
7thvoninahitra fahafitomajor
8thvoninahitra fahavalolieutenant colonel
9thvoninahitra fahasivycolonel
10thvoninahitra fahafolocolonel folo
11thvoninahitra faharaikambinifologeneral
12thvoninahitra faharoambinifolofield marshal
13thvoninahitra fahatelambinifolofield marshal
The word "folo", annexed to colonels of the tenth rank, signifies ten, and intimates that those colonels are the highest, and hold an intermediate rank between colonels and generals.
page I.353
1838
A general and valuable means of defence was found also in the hady, or deep ditch, formed around the villages. These exist at the present day; but scarcely any pains were taken by Radama to keep them in repair, partly on account of the tranquillity of Imerina during his reign, partly on account of the new modes of warfare rendering them of less use as a means of defence.
page II.397
1838
... in honour of the deceased monarch ... that the females belonging to the capital, and those from the country, according to their respective districts, should "mitomany" -- weep, presenting themselves at the courtyard, the head being shaven, and the shoulders uncovered, prostrating themselves near the palace, and uttering doleful lamentations.
page II.384
1838
... the arrival at the capital of Mr. Hovenden ... as printer, with press, types, and the requisite printing materials. But within two days of his arrival with his family at Tananarivo, they were seized with the Malagasy fever, and on the 15th of December, to the deep affliction of the members of the Mission, Mr. Hovenden died.
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Updated on 2020/08/11