By Zoë Crossland
Nineteenth-century highland Madagascar was once a spot inhabited via the useless up to the residing. Ghosts, ancestors, and the possessed have been very important old actors along neighborhood kings and queens, infantrymen, investors, and missionaries. This publication considers the demanding situations that such actors pose for old debts of the prior and for pondering questions of presence and illustration. How have been the useless made current, and the way have been they well-known or no longer? In getting to those multifarious encounters of the 19th century, how may well we consider the ways that our personal history-writing makes the lifeless current? To take on those questions, Zoë Crossland tells an anthropological heritage of highland Madagascar from a point of view rooted in archaeology and Peircean semiotics, in addition to in panorama research, oral background, and textual resources.
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Additional info for Ancestral Encounters in Highland Madagascar: Material Signs and Traces of the Dead
Chapter 4 drops back to the early nineteenth century and the time of the state founder, Andrianampoinimerina, to explore how the king coopted ancestral landscapes as part of his takeover of the Vakinankaratra region. Here conquest played out through a semeiotics of kinship that was worked out on the ground and in history. org/core. org/core/terms. 87 Its conquest marked an important moment in the formation of Andrianampoinimerina’s fanjakana because it was incorporated into Imerina’s sixth region, known as the Vakinankaratra.
003 Uncertain Signs and the Power of the Dead 35 3. Presidential residence at Iavohola. Locating ruins After the fire, the Rova became strongly associated with the dead – and more specifically with corpses that are not properly attended to. 9 The bodies of the ancestors should be protected, wrapped in layers of silk inside the tomb, but the royal tombs had been destroyed. Like the bodies of the dead the stone carcass of the palace was bare and exposed. Until June 1868, there had been a taboo, or fady, on building dwelling places out of stone.
I consider the effects of conquest by Andrianampoinimerina’s fanjakana on the region and on how it is understood today. Landscape study shows the mass desertion of villages on the frontier after the conquest and the creation of an empty and threatening landscape filled with the ghosts of the abandoned dead. Here I consider how absences were made present through tangible signs such as tombs and standing stones. I end with an epilogue that reflects on this question on two levels: on the one hand looking at past people’s understanding of absent presences within the material world that they co-inhabited, on the other, addressing the creation of narratives about the past through material traces.