The Zafimaniry occupy a mountainous area to the southeast of Ambositra and have developed an exceptional architectural art across the ages. Doors and windows are elaborated in wood and sculpted in the form of geometric figures representing the Zafimaniry universe. Registered as a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site, this incredible art will impress you.
Registered in 2008 as a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site, Zafimaniry art is the last repository of woodworking in Madagascar. History tells how in the 18th century, the Zafimaniry people retreated into the forested lands of the Southeast to escape deforestation. Their refined art is very interesting and many tourists come to admire their symbols. During your excursions you’ll find that all the houses, shutters and daily life objects are meticulously carved and richly carved in wood. The tree forms reflect the Austronesian culture but also the Arab influence.
The Zafimaniry use 20 different species of endemic trees, each one is adapted to a specific type of construction or decorative function. The geometric motifs which decorate the shutters and windows of these wooden houses are reminiscences of magic signs designed to protect the community and to testify to its links with its environment. This is the peculiarity of their art: in the ties that the Zafimaniry weave between themselves and with nature.
The Zafimaniry are known to be very good architects. Indeed, during your strolls in the villages you won’t miss to see that all the houses are built without nails or hinges and are completely removable. With relatively large sizes, they are decorated with geometric engravings called “sokitra”.
Alongside the residence
Treks from 2 days to a week are offered. They allow you to immerse yourself in this particularly preserved and authentic region. In the evening, you’ll be accomodated in these beautiful traditional carved houses.
You will live at the rhythm of the village, a true initiatory journey in lands where beliefs and legends are transmitted from generation to generation.