Madagascar's architecture is unusual in Africa, exhibiting a significant similarity to the construction rules and practices of Southern Borneo, from where the island's early people are said to have come. The similarity suggests that these ancient settlers may have brought their knowledge with them when they migrated to Madagascar.
The similarities between Malagasy architecture and that of Southeast Asia began to be noted as far back as 1658, when French explorers arrived on the island. They reported that most buildings were made of wood, with no stone available for cutting down trees for building purposes. Instead, they used bamboo and thatch for their homes.
In recent years, some scholars have suggested that there might also be connections between the civilizations of Madagascar and Egypt, based mainly on findings such as painted walls and wooden structures with similar techniques used in both countries. However, other researchers dispute this claim, arguing that such similarities can be found anywhere in Africa where builders had access to wood and that crops such as wheat and barley were being grown in Egypt at the time these structures were built.
The fact remains that although Madagascar shares many architectural traits with other parts of the world, it is one of a very few remaining "island nations" with largely intact rainforest habitat. Much of this forest has been cleared for farmland, but enough remains to supply timber needs for several centuries.
Over the last 2,000 years, Madagascar has attracted waves of settlers from a variety of backgrounds, including Austronesian, Bantu, Arab, South Asian, Chinese, and European groups. Centuries of intermarriage gave rise to the Malagasy people, who now account for over half of Madagascar's population.
Madagascar is the largest island in the Indian Ocean and the ninth largest overall. It is located 350 miles south of Africa and 450 miles east of Australia. The capital city is Antananarivo.
In the early 21st century, more than 95 percent of Madagascans were living in rural areas, primarily farming maize, potatoes, sugarcane, tea, beans, carrots, cashews, apples, pears, and bananas. They also raise livestock such as sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs.
There are several large cities on the island of Madagascar: Antananarivo, which is home to about 1 million people; Morondava, with approximately 100,000 residents; and Tamatave, which has an estimated population of 200,000.
Malagasy culture is based around family, community, and religion. Many traditions that exist among Madagascan people today can be traced back to their earliest ancestors. For example, the Malagasy celebrate a new year called "Aryentey" (meaning "the renewal of life").
Thus, indigenous African architecture includes pyramids, temples, clay (adobe) structures, tent structures, huts made of grass and reeds, and a combination of multiple building materials, and the tectonics of each structure varies depending on its geographical location and the time it was conceived and produced.
Pyramids were originally constructed as tombs for Egyptian pharaohs. Over time, they came to be used more generally as memorials and cultural centers. Although there are several types of pyramids, all consist of two parallel walls with a roof built over them. The walls are usually composed of stone or brick, but wood is also used sometimes. Inside the pyramid, there is a large chamber where the body of the king was kept until it could be buried along with other important objects from his life. As time passed, more and more monuments were built over existing ones; this is why many pyramids today are only partially excavated.
Africa has many different cultures with their own unique buildings. Each culture at some point in time had its own version of how a house should look like. Some of these houses still exist today while others have been replaced by modern houses which use similar construction techniques.
The most famous ancient African structure is undoubtedly the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the oldest and largest functioning pyramid in the world.
Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean's southwest, east of Africa's coast, around 400 kilometers off the coast of Mozambique. Madagascar is home to people of Malayo-Indonesian, mixed African and Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab origin. Around 45 percent of the population is made up of French citizens while another 45 percent are composed of individuals who belong to one of the many ethnic groups that make up the nation. Only 5 percent are non-Malagasy nationals.
Madagascar was discovered by Portuguese sailors in 1442 and they called it "Magellanica". The first written account of the island came from a Dutch sailor in 1512. The name "Madagascar" comes from the Malagasy language which means "the big island" because it used to be believed that the island was bigger than it actually is. Today, Madagascar has the fourth-largest island ecosystem on Earth after Greenland, Canada, and Russia.
The official language of Madagascar is French but most people also speak Malagasy which is part of the Afroasiatic language family. There are several theories about how the Arabs got to Madagascar but the most popular one is that they arrived in ships with Malay passengers about 800 years ago. At that time, Madagascar was part of the great Malay Empire which included present-day Indonesia.
Since then, the Arabs have been responsible for introducing horses to the island.