Antaifasy people

Antaifasy

Antaifasy

The Antaifasy are an ethnic group of Madagascar inhabiting the southeast coastal region around Farafangana. Historically a fishing and farming people, many Antaifasy were heavily conscripted into forced labor (fanampoana) and brought to Antananarivo as slaves under the 19th century authority of the Kingdom of Imerina. Antaifasy society was historically divided into three groups, each ruled by a king and strongly concentrated around the constraints of traditional moral codes. Approximately 150,000 Antaifasy inhabit Madagascar as of 2013.

 
Society

There are approximately 150,000 Antaifasy as of 2013. Their name means "people of the sand." Antaifasy society is traditionally divided into three clans, each governed by its own king: the Randroy, Andrianseranana and Marofela.

Culture

The moral codes that guide Antaifasy social life are very strict.

Traditional clothing among the Antaifasy was made of bark cloth or woven mats of beaten reeds or sedges sewn together. The bark cloth from the Antaifasy region was made from a mix of fibers blended together for sheen and softness and became a specialty trade product of the area. For women, this material was sewn to form a tube that was belted at the waist or pulled up at the shoulder. Women and adolescent girls also often wore a mahampy reed band or short top with or without sleeves, to cover the breasts. Men wore a bark loincloth, and over it they would typically wear a vest or tunic; sleeves were added for older men. Woven hats were also commonly worn by Antaifasy men.

 

Funeral rites

Like the Antaisaka, the Antaifasy do not bury their dead but instead place them in a kibory funeral house located in a sacred and distant patch of forest.

 

Language

The Antaifasy speak a dialect of the Malagasy language, which is a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language group derived from the Barito languages, spoken in southern Borneo.

 

Economy

The cultivation of rice and fishing from freshwater lakes and rivers are traditional sources of livelihoods among the Antaifasy.[11] In recent decades, there has been a large migration of Antaifasy from their coastal homeland to seek employment farther north.

 

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