”Fitiavana, Tanindrazana, Ambony” - ”Amour, Patrie, Noblesse” - ”Love, Fatherland, Nobility”
The Kingdom of Madagasikara, commonly known simply as Madagasikara (or, on occasion, Madagascar, though this can be confused as referring to the island itself), is a constitutional monarchy in southeastern Africa. Its territory is composed of the mainland of Madagascar, as well as Nosy-Fihaonana (Reunion Island), Comores (Comoros), Maorisy (Mauritius) and Mayotte. The capital city of Madagasikara is Antananaviro, and its largest port city is Toamasina. The country boasts a population of an estimated 14 million, with a substantial predicted growth rate. Common religions in the Kingdom are Protestant and Catholic Christianity, though a substantial movement based upon folk religion known as Zanaharism has gained considerable popularity in recent years making it the most popular religion. In addition, a small portion of population is Muslim. It is worth nothing that fully orthodox believers in non-folk religions are almost unheard of, as these beliefs are commonly mixed with traditional ones. Madagascar alone is home to 18 distinctly recognised ethnic groups, with other territorial possessions granting 21 recognised ethnic backgrounds originating from Malagasy territory. In addition to this, a substantial amount of the population has French or Arabic heritage, though most Malagasy ethnic groups have a unique mixed Bantu (East African) and Austronesian (South-East Asian) ancestry. Madagasikara has two official languages: Malagasy and French.
The current ruler of Madagasikara is King Andrianary Razoarimihaja. Despite ostensibly being a constitutional monarchy, the nation is known for high levels of corruption, and there have been numerous reported instances of civil rights violations. Even the constitution itself affords few definite rights to the Malagasy people. There is known to be a sizeable armed force under the control of survivors of the previous communist government’s downfall. The military of Madagascar is limited in power, and divided into four broad branches under different command bodies: the Royal Malagasy Army (Malagasy Tafika Mpanjaka or Armée Royale Malgache) under the General Staff, the Internal Security Group (Vondrona Anatiny Fiarovana or Groupe de Sécurité Interne) under the Directorate of Security, the Royal Malagasy Navy (Malagasy Tafika An-Dranomasina Mpanjaka or Marine Malgache Royale) under the Admiralty, and the Royal Malagasy Air Force (Malagasy Tafika An-Lanitra Mpanjaka or Force Aérienne Malgache Royale) under the Aerial Command.
Madagasikara boasts a range of environments, from the southern spiny forests (top left) and eastern coastal rainforests (top right) to the central highlands (bottom left) and urban areas such as Antananaviro (bottom right)
A map of the principalities of Madagasikara
Comores sy Mayotte
The name of this principality means “Comoros and Mayotte”, referring to the islands within its jurisdiction. Currently, this principality is ruled by Prince Masoandro. The main ethnic groups of the principality are French and Comorian.
Nosy-Fihaonana sy Maorisy
The name of this principality means “Reunion Island and Mauritius”, referring to the islands within its jurisdiction. The principality is ruled by Princess Masina. The main ethnicities of Nosy-Finhaonana sy Maorisy are French, Arab and Indian.
The name of this principality means “land of the Antankarana”, referring to its most prominent ethnic group, though it is also home to the Tsimihety and Sinahaka. It is ruled by Prince Zafimiarina.
The name of this principality means “land of the Merina”, referring to its most prominent ethic group, and indeed that of all Madagasikara. It is also home to ethnic groups such some Sakalava and the Bezanozano. It contains the capital of Antananarivo, and is ruled by Prince Rakoto, though the King himself has considerable direct power over the area as he lives there, along with Queen Zalifa.
The name of this principality means “land of the Betsimisaraka”, the dominant ethnic group in the area. Due to accepting the most immigrants, it also home to large French, Arab, Indian and even Chinese communities. It is also home to Toamasina, the largest port city of the nation. The area is ruled by Prince Vivien.
The name of this principality means “land of the Sakalava”, referring to the area’s dominant ethnic group. It thus also contains their offshoots, the Mikea, Makoa and Vezo. The area is ruled by Prince Tovananahary.
The name of this principality means “land of the Bara”, referring to the area’s most prominent ethnic group. Other major groups in the region include the Betsileo (and the Zafimaniry), the Tanala, the Antambahoaka, the Antaimoro, the Antaifasy, and the Zafisoro. It is ruled by Prince Mandresy.
The name of this principality means “greater Androy”, and it is home to the Tandroy people (along with the Mahafaly, Antanosy and Antaisaka). It is ruled by Princess Liantsoa.
Malagasy culture contains numerous major divides. These include an ideological divide (monarchy vs democracy vs communism), a religious divide (Christianity vs Zanaharism), a ethnic divide (highlander vs coastal vs islander) and a class divide (villagers vs urban workers vs upper class).
While a few areas of the nation are urbanised, the majority of Madagasikara is made up of villages with distinct tribal identities. Ethnic divides are very common in these regions, as are traditional customs and rituals. Some of these pervade even the major cities. For example, numerous fady (taboos) exist throughout Malagasy culture, most notably a belief in the inherent malevolence of twins and various death-related ceremonies. Veneration of ancestors is common, with tombs constructed to honour the dead, and their names being changed after their demise and a taboo being placed on speaking the old name.
There are numerous ethnic groups native to Madagasikara. These are generally divided based upon their area of origin. The two main groups are highlanders (Merina, Betsileo, Sihanaka and Zafimaniry) and the coastal peoples (effectively every other ethnic group native to Madagascar). Historically, the highlanders have held privileged positions. Some ethnic groups have particular traits associated with them: for example, the Zafamaniry are known for their exceptional woodworking skills and the Mahafaly are known for their monumental tombs. Some groups are not as much ethnic groups as they are lifestyles: these include the Vezo fishermen and the Mikea foragers.
King Andrianary Razoarimihaja: The monarch of Madagasikara, known for his immaturity, controlling nature, and charisma. He is also known as the “Heir of the Vazimba”, as he claims to be a descent of the a nigh-mythical ancient culture respected across Madagascar. This claim, and his charisma, allowed him to overthrow the previous government. However, due to his disrespect for the constitution he established, his popularity has steadily declined.
Sylvaine Ralazasoa: A priestess of the Lord (a female priest of Malasgy Christianity), Sylvaine is a part of the King’s personal retinue and is consulted on matters of faith, health, spirituality, and various other topics. Many suspect she was chosen purely due to the rarity of a priestess and the King’s appreciation for exotic women. Sylvania is known to have a harsh rivalry with Tsiky. She herself is of a partially French heritage, hence her name and accent.
Tsiky Oumouri: A sorceress (or ombiasy) of Antaimoro descent. Tsiky serves as a part of the King’s personal retinue, generally consulted over medical and spiritual concerns, along with requests for astrological readings and other forms of arcane arts. An archaic Zanaharist with some Muslim influence, Tsiky has a fierce rivalry with Sylvaine. It is believed by many that she is only a part of the King’s retinue due to him considering her exotic.
Yun Xiong: Also known as the Generalissimo, Yun Xiong was high-ranking military commander of the Malagasy People’s Republic, and survived the old government’s overthrow. He and his forces remain at large in southern Madagascar. Yun is the descendent of Chinese immigrants.
Heir to the Vazimba