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Ambositra, the city of roses

Ambositra is the city of art, culture, and crafts. You’ll discover that there are warm and welcoming people. Capital of the Zafimaniry territory, this people from the heights of Betsileo work the wood in a very refined way. This will be a trip to Zafimaniry lands that you won’t forget.

Ambositra

A city of culture and crafts

Ambositra is located in the highlands of the Big Island and is different from other cities especially in terms of culture. Formerly known as the city of roses, this town used its forest resources to stand out to become master in Malagasy marquetry. It’s also famour for being the source of an ancestral handmade craftsmanship: Zafimaniry art.

There, you will find many sculpted objects, which testify the creativity and mastery of this art. Besides crafts, you’ll discover the “famadihana” which is a ceremony of the dead. For several days, you would attend dances, local culinary specialities and various activities, including the famous “skiva” show, a traditional sport in which people try to tame raging bulls.

Discover the Zafimaniry people and their art

The Ambositra region must not be visited without having been in a real Zafimaniry village. Unforgettable experience, you will discover a refined art, worked in wood. Houses, utensils, and everyday objects are hand-crafted in geometric shapes of Austronesian motifs, reminiscing the Arabic influence (which is very present in Malagasy culture), called “Sikotra”. The oldest village is Antoetra, where you’ll discover a warm and welcoming people. A walking tour will make you discover beautiful and undulating landscapes where many villagers work together in rice fields.

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The "Famadihana", funeral custom

Also known as “the turning of the bones”, this custom consists in digging up the bodies of the ancestors, re-wrapping them in silk fabrics and dancing around them before burying them again. This tradition is becoming rare, but you’d maybe see it during your excursion, and so discover more about the region’s people.

What can you see in Ambositra ?

Visit the colorful Anjoma-Akona Market, held every Friday. There, you’ll be able to buy numerous souvenirs: basketry, mats, pottery, and sculpted objects. The Soatanana village is also a must-see, where you can visit workshops of natural silk fabric, but above all, you’ll be able to discover the community of “disciples of the lord,” for whom the village constitutes the historic home. The Ambositra surroundings are not to be missed. During a short stroll, you’ll find an incredible waterfall named Andriamamovoka, place of purification. You’ll also find the Andohariana tapas forest, the Royal Palace of the last King Mpanalina or Mount Antety. All of these are exceptional places to  visit.

Where is Ambositra ?

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