Also known as: Menabe; Ikongo; Malagasy

Tanala is the name given to an inland region in the south of Madagascar, and sometimes to the people who live there. Prior to the French conquest of 1895, Tanala was divided into two regions - Ikongo, which had a king, and Menabe, which was divided into much smaller polities. The American anthropologist Ralph Linton wrote a detailed ethnography of the Tanala based on fieldwork he conducted in Madagascar in the 1920s.

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Traditional Culture(1927)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 164-165
Nature god(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 162-164
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 165-170
Deified ancestor(s) Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 165-170
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 162-164

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 168, 169-170, 229

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 167
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 162
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 161
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 161
Culture hero(es) Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 159-240

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 161

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 150
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 37-131, 159-240

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 159-240, 247-252
Costly sacrifices and offerings Absent (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 170199
Largest religious community Larger than a local community, smaller than the society (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 132-240
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 159-240

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 115-124, 282-314
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 124
Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 115-124, 282-314
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 123-124
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 287-292
Social Environment +
Population 165,000 (Source)
Grandidier (1908), pp. 313-314
Kottak (1971)
Population of largest political community 10,000-99,999 (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 147
Grandidier (1908), pp. 313-314
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 132-146
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 132-146
Polygamy Full polygyny (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 132
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 133

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 182
Conflict within community Low (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 132-158, 247-252
(No) internal warfare Rare or never (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 182
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 18-19
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 18
Distance to nearest continent 923.8 (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 16, 18
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Possible: Disputed / ambiguous evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Blench (2007)
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Adelaar (1995A), pp. 328
Islamic influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 162-163
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 162-163
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 47-52
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 52-56
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 37-61, 52, 59, 60
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 52-56
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 37

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 56-59
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 56-59
Water-based gathering Minor (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 56-59

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Minor (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 37-131, 51-52
Metalworking Present (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 79-83
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 17-18

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Blench (2007), pp. 69
Island Size (km²) 587041.0 (Source)
Campbell (2005), pp. 19
Maximum elevation (meters) 2876.0 (Source)
Raxworthy et al (2008), pp. 1704

Location

Latitude -20.9 (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 16
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 47.6 (Source)
Linton (1933), pp. 16
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1927-2014)Expand All +
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 85, 88-89
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 71

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 63, 69-70
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 49, 63

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 71-73
Air travel Absent (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 71-73, 76
Sea port Absent (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 71-73, 76

Loss of Autonomy

Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 85, 88-89
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Harper (2002), pp. 140
External Links
References
Adelaar, A. (1995A). Asian Roots of the Malagasy: A Linguistic Perspective. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 151 (3), 325-356. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27864676.

Blench, R. (2007). New Palaeozoogeographical Evidence for the Settlement of Madagascar. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, 42 (1), 69-82. DOI: 10.1080/00672700709480451

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Campbell, G. (2005). An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750-1895: The Rise and Fall of an Island Empire. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Grandidier, A. (1908). Histoire physique, naturelle, et politique de Madagascar (Vol. IV, pt. 1: Ethnographie). Paris, France: L'Imprimerie Nationale. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/histoirephysiqu04gran/mode/1up

Harper, J. (2002). Endangered Species: Health, Illness and Death Among Madagascar's People of the Forest. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kottak, C.P. (1971). Cultural Adaptation, Kinship and Descent in Madagascar. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 27 (2), 129-147. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629236

Linton, R. (1933). The Tanala, a hill tribe of Madagascar (Vol. 22). Chicago, IL: Field Museum of Natural History.

Raxworthy, C.J.; Pearson, R.G.; Rabibisoa, M.; Rakotondrazafy, A.M.; Ramanamanjato, J.; Raselimanana, A.P.; ... & Stone, D.A. (2008). Extinction Vulnerability of Tropical Montane Endemism from Warming and Upslope Displacement: A Preliminary Appraisal for the Highest Massif in Madagascar. Global Change Biology, 14 (8), 1703-1720. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01596.x

Verin, P. & Wright, H. (1999). Indonesia and Madagascar: New Evidence from Archaeology and Linguistics. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, 18, 35-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.7152/bippa.v18i0.11697