Lemures, " ghosts"), the name applied by Linnaeus to certain peculiar Malagasy representatives of the order PRIMATES which do not come under the designation of either monkeys or apes, and, with allied animals from the same island and tropical Asia and Africa, constitute the sub-order Prosimiae, or Lemuroidea, the characteristics of which are given in the article just mentioned.
All the Malagasy lemurs, which agree in the structure of the internal ear, are now included in the family Lemuridae, confined to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, which comprises the great majority of the group. The other families are the Nycticebidae, common to tropical Asia and Africa, and the Tarsiidae, restricted to the Malay countries.
The Malagasy province comprises, besides Madagascar, the Mascarene, Comoro and Seychelle islands.
Some of the Malagasy avifauna is certainly ancient, aboriginal, and even points to India; other forms indicate clearly their African FIG.
Further, it is the opinion of competent ornithologists that there is affinity of the Australian emeus and cassowaries with the New Zealand moas and with the Malagasy Aepyornis.
AVAHI, the native name of a Malagasy lemur (Avahis laniger) nearly allied to the indri, and the smallest representative of the subfamily Indrisinae, characterized by its woolly coat, and measuring about 28 in.
INDRI, a Malagasy word believed to mean "there it goes," but now accepted as the designation of the largest of the existing Malagasy (and indeed of all) lemurs.
In 1837 Tsiomeko, chief tainess of one of the numerous divisions of the western Malagasy known under the common name of Sakalava, was expelled by the Hova and fled to Nossi-be and Nossi-komba.
SIFAKA, apparently the name of certain large Malagasy lemurs nearly allied to the Indri but distinguished by their loiig tails, a:id hence referred to a genus apart - Propithecus, of which three species, with several local races, are recognized.
It has been urged that these brown peoples sprang from one stock with the Malays and the Malagasy of Madagascar; and that they represent this parent stock better than the Malays who have been much modified by crossings.
A third group comprises the cosmopolitan Scincidae, the African and Malagasy Gerrhosauridae which in various features remind us of the Anguidae, and the African and Eurasian Lacertidae which are the highest members of this group. Anelytropidae and perhaps also Dibamidae may be degraded Scincoids.
There were 3,509 Chinese, while the remaining 108,847 included persons of European, African or mixed descent, Malagasy, Malays and Sinhalese.
One of the most distinguished of the British governors was Sir Robert Farquhar (1810-1823), who did much to abolish the Malagasy slave trade and to establish friendly relations with the rising power of the Hova sovereign of Madagascar.
In Angola occurs a breed of this sheep which has probably been crossed with the fat-tailed Malagasy breed; while in Guinea there is a breed with lappets, or wattles, on the throat, which is probably the result of a cross with the lop-eared sheep of the same district.
The Artiodactyla are the only group of ungulates known to have been represented in Madagascar; but since both these Malagasy forms - namely two hippopotamuses (now extinct) and a river-hog - are capable of swimming, it is most probable that they reached the island by crossing the Mozambique Channel.
Iron, on the contrary, especially magnetite, is found abundantly and has for long been worked by the Malagasy with the simple appliances brought by their ancestors from their original home in the Far East.
Although flowers growing on the ground or on shrubs are not conspicuous for number or beauty, there arc many fine flowering trees, such as Poinciana regia, presenting a mass of scarlet flowers; 1 The words in parentheses are the native Malagasy names.
Among the food-giving plants are rice - the staff of life to the majority of the Malagasy - in many varieties, maize, millet, manioc, yams,;sweet-potatoes, arrowroot, which is largely used by the western tribes - as well as numerous vegetables, many of them of foreign introduction.
The natives, collectively known as Malagasy, are divided into a considerable number of tribes, each having its distinct customs. Although geographically an African island, the majority of its inhabitants are derived, the lighter portion of them from the MalayoPolynesian stock, and the darker races from the Melanesian.
It is believed that there are traces of an aboriginal people (the Vazimba), who occupied portions of the interior before the advent of the present inhabitants, and these appear to have been a somewhat dwarfish race, and lighter-coloured than the Malagasy generally.
The Malay affinities of Malagasy were noted in the 16th century; indeed, the second and fifth books published upon the country (in 1603 and 1613) were comparative vocabularies of these two languages.
Cousins have shown conclusively the close relationships between the language of the Malagasy and those of the Malayo-Polynesian regions; similar connexions exist, especially in grammatical construction, between the Malagasy and Melanesian languages.
The Malagasy had never invented for themselves a written character, and had consequently no manuscripts, inscriptions or books, until their language was reduced to writing, and its orthography settled by English missionaries.
There were many curious examples of the taboo with regard to actions connected with royalty, and also in the words used which relate to Malagasy sovereigns and their surroundings.
While the foregoing description of native society applied chiefly to the people of the central province of Imerina, it is applicable, with local modifications, to most of the Malagasy tribes.
The chief employment of the Malagasy is agriculture.
Their non-employment of skins for clothing is a marked distinction between the Malagasy and the South African races, and their use of vegetable fibres an equally strong link between them and the Polynesian peoples.
The Malagasy are skilful in metal-working; with a few rude-looking tools they manufacture silver chains of great fineness, and filagree ornaments both of gold and silver.
There is a considerable variety in the houses of the different Malagasy tribes.
Until lately polygamy has been common among all the Malagasy tribes, and divorce effected in an absurdly easy fashion.
Drunkenness is very prevalent in many parts of the island; and it can hardly be said of many of the Malagasy that they are very industrious.
The date of their immigration has been the subject of a good deal of dispute, but it may be argued that their arrival must have taken place in early times, since Malagasy speech, which is the language of the island, is principally MalayoPolynesian in origin, and contains no traces of Sanskrit.
The Malagasy have never had any organized religious system or forms of worship; there are no temples, images or stated seasons of devotion, nor is there a priesthood, properly so-called.
It is practised by all the Malagasy tribes.
This, however, only served to show in a very remarkable manner the courage and faith of the Christian Malagasy, of whom about two hundred suffered death in various cruel forms, while many hundreds were punished more or less severely by fine, degradation, imprisonment and slavery.
The native Malagasy government, though theoretically despotic, was limited in various ways.
The Hova government aspired to have Madagascar recognized as an independent civilized state, and consuls appointed by the British, French and American governments were accredited to the Malagasy sovereign, the queen RelaForetionns.
Towards the middle of 1882 the relations between the native government and that of France became much strained, and to settle, if possible, these causes of dispute, two Franco- Hova officers of high rank were sent to France as Malagasy ambassadors, but as they were not authorized to war 1883-850f.
Although the British government, in return for concessions in Zanzibar, had consented, in 1890, to recognize a French protectorate over Madagascar, the Malagasy prime minister, Rainilaiarivony, was not disposed to give any advantage to France and continued to arm and train, by the help of British officers, a large body of native soldiers.
This state of tension and irritation could not last, and at length, towards the close of 1894, the French government sent an ultimatum to the Malagasy sovereign, demanding such powers as would have made French authority supreme in the island.
But no effectual resistance was made by the Malagasy, and at length, on the 30th of September 1895, the French forces appeared on the heights north and east of Antananarivo, bombarded the city, which surrendered in the afternoon, and on the evening of the same day the French entered the capital.
French residents and numerous other officials were placed at every important town, and various projects were started for the civilization of the Malagasy in accordance with French ideas.