The peoples of Madagascar are renowned for the prominence they give to the dead. In this edited volume, regional specialists reassess the significance of ancestors for changing relations of power, emerging identities, and local historical consciousness.
Case-studies include The Royal Bath of 1817 (Pier Larson), Succession in an Urbanized Sakalava Kingdom (Lesley Sharp), The Antankaraìa Ritual Cycle (Michael Lambek, Andrew Walsh), Nineteenth-Century Norwegian Missionary Culture (Karina Hestad Skeie), Sacrifice on the East Coast (Jennifer Cole), Violence among the Zafimaniry (Maurice Bloch), and Circumcision and Colonialism in the South (Karen Middleton).
Three further chapters present original research on slavery, memory, and cultural politics in the Highlands (Sandra Evers, David Graeber, Françoise Raison-Jourde). Diversity and complexity make this volume a valuable addition to the literature on ritual and religion.
Karen Middleton, D.Phil. (1988) in Anthropology, University of Oxford, is the author of several articles on the culture and history of the Karembola of southern Madagascar.
This volume reinforces the argument for discarding the myth of the "Malagasy Kingdom" and the traditional obsession with te Marina.' Gwyn Campbell,
African Studies Review.
The book will appeal to all those interested in anthropology, cultural studies, social history, comparative religion and ritual, politics and social identity, as well as Madagascar and African Studies.