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Salama e!. Hello. Madagascar Dance and Culture the Macabre Dance. Toe & Skyler. The Culture. The Island of Madagascar houses 18 tribes and the culture is mixture of all the tribes. Religion in Madagascar: 51% African Religion, 41% Christian, 7% Islam, and 1% Other - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Madagascar Dance and Culture the Macabre Dance

HelloSalama e!Toe & Skyler Madagascar Dance and Culture the Macabre DanceThe Island of Madagascar houses 18 tribes and the culture is mixture of all the tribes. Religion in Madagascar: 51% African Religion, 41% Christian, 7% Islam, and 1% OtherThe inhabitants of the Island respect their ancestors a lot and see them as next to godsThere is a soothsayer or magician in every tribe. Funerals involve dancing and Feasting. The Culture

Since the people of Madagascar are afraid of the wrath of their ancestors they appease the spirits of the dead by taking their corpses out of their graves in order to change their clothes. Other Religions include Hindu, Buddhism, and other Christian based religions. It is important to understand that most Malagasy do not consider death as the end of their obligations to their ancestors. They believe that the deceased elders continue look down upon them, guide them, keep them safe, and help. 3The Macabre is the is a dance that is normally performed during the festival Famadihana also known as the Turning of the Bones.This is more like a party rather than a formal dance.This dance and festival is like the Day of the Dead ceremony. One major difference is that the Turning of the Bones is preformed with the bones of the families dead Ancestors. Macabre

The Famadihanais is the burial ceremony that takes place from June to September.This is probably one of the most important ceremony in Madagascar because they respect their ancestors. Very festive atmosphere in the crowd as the tomb is opened. The family enter the tomb by candle light to retrieve the remains of their ancestors.

4Vendors may set up stalls to sell cigarettes and ice cream to the crowed.The departed are retrieved from the tomb as guests of honor. After the celebration is over the corpses are reburied with gifts from the living, including bottles of alcohol.This is usually performed ever 3, 5, and 7 years. A feast must be served at every Famadihana celebration. Zebu

Macabre Continued

Close family members retrieve the remains from the tombs. Family crypts are sometimes even better maintained than the family home. The bones of the ancestors are carefully unwrapped from their old lambas, any accumulated filth is cleaned off, and they are rewrapped in their new clothes. Pieces of the old lambas may be kept by women who will either swallow them or put them under their mattress in the hop that this will help them conceive.While this is happening the dead are spoken to and brought up to date on the latest news and gossip. The family of the deceased must provide all their guests with a feast. Zebu, a type of humpbacked cattle, are sacrificed and cooked, ready to be served with traditional mounds of rice drenched in fat. The ancestors remains must be back in their homes Crypts by an exact time, usually just before sunset. This can be performed so that the families can return home knowing that they have appeased the dead. Bad health or misfortune among the surviving family members or even a dream may signal the ancestor's need for attention, and therefore an earlier Famadihana ceremony. At the same time, relatives who cannot afford to hold the ritual after seven years may delay it until they can.

5This dance is not performed by a select few. It is performed by the family members of the dead, friends, and the entire community. The guest of honors at this dance is the family ancestors. They emerge covered in their shrouds, known as lambas.

The Dancers

The lambas should be made of costly red silk, however a cheapre white cotton can be substituted if absolutely necessary.The corpses in their shrouds are lovingly carried and danced with by ritual participants. Once everyone is ready, the boisterous gathering walks, and dances, its way to the designated tomb accompanied by the playing band, sometimes for quite a distance. All members of the immediate family are required to contribute to the ceremonies, at the risk of losing their spot in the family tomb if they dont comply. 6The dead emerge wearing their shrouds, known as lambas, and are laid out on the ground ready to be unwrapped and the bones lovingly cleaned. It involves food, drink, and music. Attendees gather to drink and dance to live bands that will continue to play for almost the entire ritual. This dance is more of a social free for all then a normal dance. DescriptionAfter the remains are cleaned they are then rewrapped in their new burial clothes, ready to join the celebrations.Corpses are identified by lables written onto their shrouds.To those of us more accustomed to somber and sometimes almost clinical memorial services, the Famadihana ceremony may seem odd or even ghoulish. To those who take part in the ritual, it is a joyous occasion. Death is celebrated rather than mourned. There is a cheerful mood, no doubt brought on partly by the local hooch (moonshine), which many have been drinking, but also by the music and the occasion itself. 7Traditional and contemporary music revolves around dance rhythms which are influenced both from the African as well as the Indonesian mainland. Music is a very important portion of the festival. It is a very jaunty sound of mainly brass instruments. The music is preformed by:WhistleFlutesV ahilaLokanga VoatovoKabosyMusic Description

Vahila is a 28-stringed instrument that looks like a bassoon and is played like a harp.Kabosy is very similar to an ukulele.The only portion of the entire event that the band is quiet is when it is being retrieved from the tomb. It is the most somber part of the event. Once the corpses are in their new lambas the band strikes up again. The musicians display amazing stamina because they play for almost the entire ceremony and feast. People sing and dance to the movement. 8The Macabre has been a dance that has been performed for thousands of years. It was a ritual that went back over 2000 years ago according to ancient writing. Not much change.

Evolution of Cultural Expression

As time goes on this ritual is looked down upon and some people are trying to suppress it. The native people believe that it is a ritual that should not be forgotten. 9One of the largest contributions of Madagascan culture in America is that the sounds of the music is a precursor to Jazz in New Orleans. Not much change.Changes and Contributions

According to our research the dance and the festival has not changed the rituals for thousands of year. 10The churches have tried to change this dance. But it has been almost unchanged for 2000 years. The celebration is open to anyone. Acculturation

The Macabre dance has not been affected by acculturation too much. The only effect that acculturation has had on the Macabre is that less Malagasy people participate in it then they use to. 11Some Malagasy have called for an end to the Famadihana ritual because it places a great financial strain on the family. The Christian Church and Muslim clerics in Madagascar have also tried to end the ritual. The ritual has stated to lose its popularity.

Oppression Vs. Privilege

Some families start saving years in advance to pay for the entire event because they must pay for everyone to eat and drink. Some Malagasy people believe that the money would be better spent on the living rather than the dead. So far nothing has yet to stop ritual. The Roman Catholic Church in Madagascar now accepts the rite. They compare the ritual to a tradition rather that a religious ceremony. One Malagasy wrote, To deprive the people of this ceremony would be to rob them of some spiritual landmark We would be lost and soulless.12Famadihana holds an important place in the hearts of the Malagasy people. Famadihana is an act of love anthropologist Professor Maurice Block.Famous for being very friendly and hospitable. Conclusion

The Malagasy culture is one that can be appreciated. It is amazing how much family is apart of there lives. I always thought that I had a strong family bond but my bond is nothing like there's. 13Good ByeVelomaCactus Tours. (2008). Madagascar overview, the malagasy culture. Retrieved from Gupta, R. (2008, October 20). Culture of Madagascar. Retrieved from, Y. (n.d.). Madagascar's macabre dance of the dead. Retrieved from, S., & Ellis, S. (2009). Madagascar a short history. Chicago: The University of Chicago Publishing Singer, C. (1997). The traditional dances of Madagascar. Retrieved from