December 2, 2003 - Personal Web Site: A little About Maevatanana by Peace Corps Volunteer Amie Kabia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Madagascar: Peace Corps Madagascar : The Peace Corps in Madagascar: December 2, 2003 - Personal Web Site: A little About Maevatanana by Peace Corps Volunteer Amie Kabia

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 10:10 am: Edit Post

A little About Maevatanana by Peace Corps Volunteer Amie Kabia

A little About Maevatanana by Peace Corps Volunteer Amie Kabia

A little About Maevatanana

I am presently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the western province of Mahajanga. It is the hottest region in Madagascar and the village where I am serving, Maevatanana, is said to have recorded the highest temperatures in the country. The temperature climbs to about 95 degrees daily.

In the Mahajanga province, one can find a variety of terrain ranging from a beautiful coast line to arid deserts and savannas. This part of the island is the most similar to the eastern regions of mainland Africa. This fact is not only true in terms of vegetation but also in terms of customs and race.

The main groups of people that I live with in this region are the Sakalava. They were at one time the largest and most powerful tribe in Madagascar. ( The Sakalava’s dialect of Malagasy has the most amounts of words that originate from the Swahili language. It really is beautiful to hear people speak to one and other. I especially enjoy listening to women partaking in heated discussions; it almost sounds as if they are singing to each other.

The majority of people in this area are cattle herders. They take ownership of many cows very seriously. It really comes to no surprise that the more cattle one owns, the higher status they hold in society. Cows play an important role in every significant event in Maevatanana and Madagascar as a whole; they are included somehow in every birth, wedding, and funeral. People also sacrifice cows when asking for forgiveness if ever someone has gone against a sacred custom. Women are also regarded highly to the Sakalava people. Before actually sacrificing a cow it is acceptable to ask an elder woman or Ray aman-dreny for pardon and you will be exempt from losing the animal. (Peace Corps Madagascar /Taboo & Culture)

Of the 48 volunteers who arrived in February, I am one of two health volunteers posted in the Mahajanga region. In August, three new education volunteers were also added. Since Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and is terribly rich in diversity, one should really make it a point to try and experience every part of the island if ever visiting. Because it is so big, when people visit Madagascar they make the mistake of only going to see the island resorts or the capital. Indeed those places are very nice, however, people should also make it a point to come and experience this region of Madagascar. Unfortunately, this region tends to be avoided due to the heat (so I am told); nonetheless, it really does have a lot to off in terms of culture and new experiences.

Written by Amie Kabia

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Madagascar; PCVs in the Field - Madagascar



By Jean Dar ( - on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 10:35 am: Edit Post

hello my name is Jean, and I am currently studying abroad in Madagascar. I am working on an independent study project on Cow sacrifices in Tana. I was wondering if you could tell me more of what you know on cow sacrifices. Also if you know any one i could get in contact with in tana. Thank you my email is

By Anonymous ( on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:42 pm: Edit Post


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.