Ibonia: The Ramayana of Madagascar

-Abhay K. Ibonia is an epic poem of Madagascar dating back centuries which tells the tale of conception, birth, betrothal, struggle and death of its hero Ibonia (Iboniamasiboniamanoro or "he of the clear and captivating glance"). The tale begins with the conception of Ibonia by his mother with the help of divine intervention. Ibonia starts talking … Continue reading Ibonia: The Ramayana of Madagascar

#MadagascarLitMonth: The Poetry of Elie Rajaonarison

By Mialy Andriamananjara Elie Rajaonarison was a Malagasy poet, for whom Malagasy literature was above all an oral literature. He was born on November 15, 1951 in Ambatondrazaka, a town in the central highlands of Madagascar known for its rice and tobacco production. He was a “poète engagé” who “served as Secretary General to the … Continue reading #MadagascarLitMonth: The Poetry of Elie Rajaonarison

#MadagascarLitMonth: Soamiely Andriamananjara interviewed by Abhay K.

In this interview novelist Soamiely Andriamananjara tells Abhay K., the guest editor of Global Literature in Libraries Initiative for #MadagascarLitMonth about his collection of short stories “Rough Draft”, why did he write them, how long did it take to write these short stories, surprises he came across while writing  them and his favourite Malagasy writers. … Continue reading #MadagascarLitMonth: Soamiely Andriamananjara interviewed by Abhay K.

Hainteny: Traditional Poetry of Madagascar

Hainteny  is the traditional poetry of Madagascar. Hainteny means ‘knowledge of words’ in Malagasy language. It is part of traditional oral literature of Madagascar, which is mostly in the form of a dialogue between a female and a male, and strongly reminds me of poems of Tamil Sangam literature and Gatha Saptasati of India. Leonard … Continue reading Hainteny: Traditional Poetry of Madagascar

#MadagascarLitMonth: From Sorabe script to Latin script

A Journey of Malagasy Script by Mose Njo First of all, let’s go back to 1817, more than 200 years ago. Something happened on the 26th of March. And that sealed the fate of the Malagasy language, therefore the Madagascan literature, at least for the next two centuries and counting. That year, Radama, the King … Continue reading #MadagascarLitMonth: From Sorabe script to Latin script

Kabary: Traditional Malagasy Speech

Kabary is a highly stylized form of speech delivered in a loud voice in a public gathering which has been a vital part of Malagasy culture for centuries. The Malagasy word 'Kabary' comes from the Arab word 'Kabar' which means a way of thinking. It has to be accompanied by proverbs (Ohabolana) and sayings so … Continue reading Kabary: Traditional Malagasy Speech