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  Friday, 25th july 2014  
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Antsoheribory, cradle to the Antalaotra or Antalaotsy 23/06/2014 | 11:49:03

The Mahajanga province is by rights allowed to boast its "City of Flowers" now progressively recovery its past dazzle. Still, its locations filled with major historical memory are definitely neither the last nor the least of its curiosities, which are not worth the call in.

To nature, Antsoheribory is but a small sandy island lost in the Bay of Boeny in the Mozambique Channel, well covered in the southwest with mangroves regularly bathed by the tide, but much more welcoming from its center to its northeastern end. To people, this small island used to be a major bone of contention, as recalled by the presence of a "doany", a sacred house of Sakalava origin. But long before the Sakalava, an ancient nation called the "Antalaotsy", name understood as "those who come from the sea", massively boarded the island, potentially due to military downturn or most likely because of the attractive commercial activities conducted with Arabian traders pushed away from their Islamic homelands by then torn apart by emerging divisions. Those traders from the Gulf settled on the northwest coast of Madagascar, merged into the local population, and subsequently gave birth to the  Antalaotsy Islamic culture. In the process, Antsoheribory had become one of the most prominent Arabian trading posts of the time. Nowadays on the island it is still possible to catch a glimpse of 45 remains of ancient tombs, ruins of two major houses adorned with a large dome, which would have served as a "Cabin to the Sultan," and a mosque. According to archaeological excavations, the island was occupied between 1580 and 1750.


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