Entry Madagascar in War Time
Part of speech   name (book or play title)
Subtitle   The "Times" special correspondent's experiences among the Hovas during the French invasion of 1895
Author   Knight E. F., 1895
Publisher   Longmans, Green and Co., London. 1896. 336 pages, map and illustrations.
(1896)
Tables and plates   All the titles
Extracts  
We were joined at Durban by another passenger for Madagascar, the Rev. J. Pearse, of the London Missionary Society, who has lived in Madagascar for thirty years, and most probably understands the language and the people better than any other white man on the island.
The system of fananpoana, or forced labour, puts it in the power of every provincial governor, and indeed of every petty official, to enrich himself at the expense of the wretched cultivators of the soil. For example, should the Prime Minister order a Governor to send a hundred labourers to the capital for some purpose, the Governor would despatch his dekas (a corruption of aide-de-camp) to impress four hundred men, the superfluous three hundred of whom he would release on payment of their part of blackmail.
This proved to be Mr. Nielsen, a Norwegian missionary, whose residence is at Fort Dauphin, who had come from some other station of his mission further north.
This left us eight men each to carry our filanjana (palanquins)... These trained palanquin-bearers in Madagascar have marvellous agility and endurance. It is usual to take eight men: while four carry the palanquin, the other four trot on in front ready to take their place. They relieve each other at frequent intervals, and there is no check in the pace when this is done, the men one by one slipping nimbly aside while their fellows, running alongside, in their turn place their shoulders under the long poles. In this way they can easily carry a man thirty miles a day and more if the conditions are favourable;

Updated on 2014/10/16