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Thread: Madagascar (Malagasy)'s philosophical outlook: "Knowledge of Words" (hainteny).

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    Arrow Madagascar (Malagasy)'s philosophical outlook: "Knowledge of Words" (hainteny).

    Background
    1.1 🧬 Genetics
    Three Malagasy populations, Temoro, Vezo, and Mikea, have approx. 70% African ancestry and 30% Asian ancestry while others have lower African ancestry.[1] In a recent island-wide survey the male-only Y chromosomes of African origin are more common than those of East Asian origin but it varies depending on the study (70.7 vs. 20.7% or 51% vs 34%).[2] However the mtDNA lineages, passed down from mother to child, are the opposite (42.4 African origin vs. 50.1% East Asian origin).[3]

    1.2. Similarities
    The nobles of many Malagasy communities in the pre-colonial period would commonly employ advisers known as the ombiasy (from olona-be-hasina, "man of much virtue") of the southeastern Antemoro ethnic group, who trace their ancestry back to early Arab settlers.[177] The most emblematic instrument of Madagascar, the valiha, is a bamboo tube zither carried to Madagascar by early settlers from southern Borneo, and is very similar in form to those found in Indonesia and the Philippines today.[178] Traditional houses in Madagascar are likewise similar to those of southern Borneo in terms of symbolism and construction, featuring a rectangular layout with a peaked roof and central support pillar.[179]

    The closest Asian parental population of the Malagasy are the Banjar and other South Kalimantan Dayak people of south east Borneo.[1][5] Language footprints of their ancestors from Southeast Asia can presently be witnessed by many shared basic vocabulary with the Ma'anyan language, a language from the region of the Barito River in southern Borneo.

    1.3. Worldview
    A a number of core cultural features that are common throughout the island: A creator god and veneration of the ancestors, the traditional Malagasy worldview is shaped by values that emphasize
    • fihavanana (solidarity),
    • vintana (destiny),
    • tody (karma),
    • hasina, a sacred life force that traditional communities believe imbues and thereby legitimates authority figures within the community or family.

    Other cultural elements commonly found throughout the island include the practice of male circumcision; strong kinship ties; a widespread belief in the power of magic, diviners, astrology and witch doctors; and a traditional division of social classes into nobles, commoners, and slaves.[23][173]

    Knowledge of words (hainteny)
    [hajnˈtenʲ], Malagasy for "knowledge of words" is a traditional form of Malagasy oral literature and poetry, involving heavy use of metaphor. Hainteny often incorporates ohabolana (proverbs) and kabary (public discourse).

    Proverbs

    Ohabolana are not the property of a particular class but are rather at the disposition of anyone who finds a salient application of a particular expression to a given situation. Their form persists unchanged from ancient times even when grammar and syntax of contemporary speech have since evolved because, as Fox notes, altering an ohabolana would constitute disregard for the venerated ancestors who are their originators. Ohabolana are characteristically brief, metaphorical, symmetrical in pattern and syntax.
    Examples:[9]
    Manasa lamba be tseroka; na madio aza, mangarahara.—Washing a very dirty dress: even though it gets clean, it becomes full of holes.

    Ny tsiny toy ny rivotra: mikasika ny tena, fa tsy hita tarehy.—Blame is like the wind: felt but not seen.
    Ny voky tsy mahaleo ny tsaroana.—A good belly-full doesn't equal a kind remembrance.
    Ny hevitra toy ny atody, ka fo manan-kelitra.— Ideas are like eggs. Once hatched, they have wings.
    Aza asesiky ny fitia tanteraka, ka tsy mahalala ny ranonorana ho avy.—Don't be so much in love that you can't tell when the rain is coming.
    Public discourse

    Kabary is a highly stylized form of speech that has formed an important part of Malagasy culture for centuries. One who speaks kabary is known as mpikabary. Skill in this form of ceremonial public speaking—in which ohabolana proverbs play a privileged role—is highly esteemed and one who shows himself to be a tompon'ny kabary (master of kabary) enjoys a higher level of respect and even authority. According to the classic collection of Malagasy folklore "Tantara ny Andriana eto Madagasikara" the right to rule could even be determined by one's eloquence and skills in kabary, to the point where tompon'ny kabary and sovereign become interchangeable concepts:
    We understand therein the function of the kabary:

    there is a master of the words,
    there is somebody who answers.
    It is the master of the words who rules the kingdom;
    As for the one who answers to the kabary, it is the public acknowledgment of his submission.[10]





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    Yeah, I am thinking Madagascar is

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