The Rising of the Red Shawls

Loyalists and insurgents alike saw it as the start of a national rising. Rabozaka called his followers tia-tanindrazana, 'lovers of the homeland'. They were also called menalamba, 'red shawls', because they stained their clothes with ...

The Rising of the Red Shawls

Author: Stephen Ellis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110763489X

Page: 226

View: 201

Originally published in 1985, this book examines the rising of the menalamba, the Red Shawls, against French colonial rule in Madagascar in the 1890s. Using the words of the Malagasy themselves and the archives of the Malagasy kings and queens, as well as European records, it tells from the inside the story of an Afro-Asian society at a moment of crisis. In the century before the French conquest, rising tensions between modernising kings, self-seeking Christian oligarchs and reactionary guardians of the ancient talismans had weakened the capacity of the kingdom to resist. But just two months after the French occupation of the capital the menalamba revivalist movement sought to restore the customs of the ancestors and expel the French from the island. The civil war of 1895-9, which was fully described here for the first time, has cast a shadow on Malagasy politics ever since.

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