Madagascar, April 2012
The ancestral practice of spirits invocation (tromba) carries on irrigating the whole of the Malagasy society. Rather than the doctor, the judge or the lawyer, it is the “master of tromba” that is consulted as an ultimate resort. Sickness, work loss, romantic issue… People are coming from all corners of Madagascar to get advices from the mitaiza (oracle), or rather from the tromba talking through his mouth. And not anybody ! Only that of a deceased king: Andrianampoinimerina, Ralambo, or Ralaimaditra.
Zanahary - the supreme divinity - intercessors, these razana (ancestors) carry on advising, just like they did during their living life, so long as care is given to give a few coins, some rum, fruits or more as offerings, depending on the service requested. Ordinary possession scene on the sacred hill of Ankazomalaza, some fifteen kilometers away from the capital Antananarivo.
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Text: Solofo Ranaivo, journalist