Malagasy Village Life

Madagascar's economy is largely based on agriculture.  Because the country is mountainous, only 5 percent of the land is actually farmed.

Village houses are built from mud and sticks or hand-made wood fired bricks with thatched roofs made of grass and dirt floors. Farming is equally basic with tools often made by hand and fields ploughed by zebu, an ox-like creature.

Zebu cattle, which were presumably introduced from Africa, are of great importance in Madagascar. The humped animals are symbolic of wealth, and are used in religious sacrifice as well as for transportation and plowing. Since it is considered more desirable to have a large majority of thin cows than a smaller number of fat ones, the quality of local cattle remains poor, making them difficult to breed them for meat consumption or export.

Typical Malagasy houses

Men making aluminum pots. Smoke and dust is terrible in this place.  They have to wear masks to protect their lungs.

They melt all aluminum found, wherever they can find it.

Women embroidering

Women in the market selling peanuts

The house this family lives in

Zebu cattle...what we are living on!

Zebu steak and fries...

The countryside is so beautiful!