Madagascar or Malagasy Republic: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Madagascar or the Malagasy Republic, origins of the name, ethnic groups and meanings, export of rice and vanilla.



The name "Madagascar" means "the land at the end of the earth." The original inhabitants of the island probably came from Indonesia 2,000 years ago, most likely in a single voyage.

The main ethnic groups and the English translations of their names are: the Merina (the Elevated People), the Betsimisaraka (the Inseparable Multitude), the Betsileo (the Invincible Multitude), the Tsimikety (Those Who Do Not Cut Their Hair), the Sakalava (People of the Long Valley), the Antandroy (People of the Thorn Bush), the Tanala (People of the Forest), the Bara (a name of unknown origin), the Antaimoro (People of the Banks), the Antanosy (People of the Island), the Sihanaka (People of the Lake), the Mahafaly (the Joyful People), the Antaifosy (People of the Sand), the Bezanozano (Those with Many-Braided Hair), the Antakarana (People of the Rocks), and the Betanimena (People of the Red Soil).

Rice is the most important crop, but the island produces 2/3 of the world's supply of vanilla.

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