A Famadihana in Ivato, Madagascar

The day after we arrived, September 6th,  Joyce and I were able to get some Ariary (Madagascar cash) from a nearby ATM. At Ivato airport there are two ATM’s and both were out of ordedr upon our arrival and the exchange rate offered at the currency exchange desks were pitiful so we crossed our fingers we could find a bank the next day. In the afternoon we had our truck delivered and were enjoying a beverage on the terrace when we heard a very loud commotion not far from our B&B. We walked out our gate and to a small (main?) road just metres away we witnessed an extraordinary event that typically only happens once every 7 years “Famadihana”. Below is from Wikipedia.

“Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. During this ceremony, known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts, rewrap the corpses in fresh cloth and rewrite their names on the cloth so they will always be remembered. Then they dance to live music while carrying the corpses over their heads and go around the tomb before returning the corpses to the family tomb.”

 

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