Entry Madagascar before the Conquest
Part of speech name (book title)
Subtitle The island, the country, and the people
Author Sibree James, 1896
Publishings 1896. Pages: 382. T. Fisher Unwin, London; The MacMillan Co, New York.
page 12
A leisurely ride of about two hours brought us early in the afternoon to Ambatomanga... Going to the tomb on the rock above the town, just before sunset, the great, bare hills, with their bones of rock showing through the skin of turf; the bright, fresh green of the newly planted rice-fields; the red clay roads on the brownishgreen hills, all told us we were again in the heart of Madagascar.
page 26
The ancient graves of the Vazimba, the aboriginal inhabitants of the interior, are found scattered over the central province. These are shapeless heaps of stone, generally overshadowed by a fano tree, a species of acacia, which has a semi-sacred character, its seeds being used in divination.
page 26
A considerable number of upright stones, termed vatolahy (lit. "male stones"), huge undressed blocks of granite, are also found on the hills and downs. These are memorials of former chieftains, or of battles of the old times.
page 54
In the foreground, stretching away many miles, is the great rice-plain of Betsimitatatra, from which numbers of low red hills, most of them with villages, rise like islands out of a green sea when the rice is growing; along the plain the river Ikopa can be seen, winding its way north-westwards to join the Betsiboka; the united streams, with many tributaries, flowing into the sea at the Bay of Bombetoka. This great plain, "the granary of Antananarivo," was formerly an immense marsh, and earlier still a lake; but since the embanking of the river by some of the early kings of Imerina, it has become the finest rice-plain in the island, and, with its connected valleys, furnishes the bulk of the food of the people of the central province.
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