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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Sacred Acquisition: Andrianampoinimerina at Ambohimanga, 1777-1790
Author:Berg, Gerald M.
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Madagascar
Merina polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182380
Abstract:Between 1775 and 1810 Andrianampoinimerina laid the foundations of the Merina State which in subsequent decades was to rule most of Madagascar. Though various circumstances such as the development of irrigated riziculture and slavery, the monopoly of profits and of muskets from coastal trade, and the manipulation of ritual, contributed in part to the nascent monarchy's strength, they equally touched other political formations within Imerina and elsewhere and therefore do not explain why Adrianampoinimerina's organization endured while others did not. Andrianampoinimerina's first successful attempt to rule Ambohimanga in 1783 shows that his success depended upon exploiting both good luck and pervasive kinship values which recognized individual financial prowess. Thus the resurgent trade with the east coast did not redefine Merina kinship. Rather, trade provided an expanded arena of economic activity in which Andrianampoinimerina demonstrated superior skill at kinship politics, expanding his kin group and assuming the role of sole mediator between the residents of Ambohimanga and their ancestors. Notes, ref.