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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

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Salama e

Salama e!


The culture
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

  • The inhabitants of the Island respect their ancestors a lot and see them as next to gods

  • There is a soothsayer or

    magician in every tribe.

    Funerals involve dancing

    and Feasting.


  • The Macabre is the is a dance

    that is normally performed

    during the festival

    Famadihanaalso 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 continued
Macabre Continued…

  • Vendors 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”

The dancers
The Dancers

  • This 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 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.

Music description
Music Description

  • Traditional 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:

    • Whistle

    • Flutes

    • V ahila

    • LokangaVoatovo

    • Kabosy

Evolution of cultural expression
Evolution of Cultural Expression

  • The 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.

Changes and contributions
Changes and Contributions

  • One 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.


  • The churches have tried to change this dance. But it has been almost unchanged for 2000 years.

  • The celebration is open to anyone.

Oppression vs privilege
Oppression Vs. Privilege

  • Some 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.


  • Famadihana 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.



Good Bye


Cactus Tours. (2008). Madagascar overview, the malagasy culture. Retrieved from

Gupta, R. (2008, October 20). Culture of Madagascar. Retrieved from

Kamarudin, Y. (n.d.). Madagascar's macabre dance of the dead. Retrieved from

Randrianja, S., & Ellis, S. (2009). Madagascar a short history. Chicago: The University of Chicago Publishing

Singer, C. (1997). The traditional dances of Madagascar. Retrieved from