Date: June 11, 2024

TOURISMER redefines boundaries

TOURISMER advocates for Moring, a traditional art form with deep roots in the Indian Ocean region.

"Moring" in Reunion is called "M'Rengué" in Mayotte, "Mourengué" in the Comoros, and "Moraingy" in Madagascar.

Photo Hery Zo Rakotondramanana sur Flickr

TOURISMER highlights the “Moring”. This theme is of great relevance because it occupies a central place in the culture of the Indian Ocean islands.

Moring is a traditional martial art originating from Mozambique which successfully established itself in Madagascar in the 17th century, during the reign of King Andrianapoimerina. In the 18th century, massive population movements due to slavery favored the spread of Moring in the islands of the Indian Ocean, such as Reunion and the Comoros. However, it is complicated to establish a precise date of the first practices in these countries due to the lack of written documents.

Before the abolition of slavery in 1848, Moring was considered the favorite entertainment of slaves, allowing them to celebrate their cultural identity. This traditional combat sport, practiced with bare hands, highlights the strength and courage of the participants.

It is true that moring is present in several countries of the Indian Ocean, there are similarities and differences.

In most countries, the fight usually begins with a challenge. In the Comoros, Madagascar and Reunion, a similar scene of challenge is unfolding in these three countries. A competitor stands out from the crowd to challenge a potential opponent, while a group of musicians liven up the event with the sound of drums or using zinc cans. Defiance may also be marked by war cries. To respond to the provocation, a man will step forward to confront the first fighter.

In Madagascar, the Comoros Islands and Reunion, the fighters circle the track, marked by a circle drawn on the ground. The fight begins to the rhythm of the drummer who animates the demonstration. Depending on the style practiced, the techniques used vary according to the customs of the country. On the island of Madagascar, Moraingy fighters do not use their feet and are not allowed to strike vital points, the same for Mourengué in the Comoros Islands. While Reunionese Moring mainly uses foot techniques.

Photo ironaxia sur Flickr

Photo Hery Zo Rakotondramanana sur Flickr

More than a combat sport, moring is also a precious cultural heritage that it is essential to preserve. It embodies a rich tradition passed down from generation to generation, combining dance, music and combat techniques. Each movement, each drum rhythm tells a story, a collective memory that continues through the ages. Initiates learn not only combat techniques, but also the values ​​of respect, solidarity and courage. Moring ceremonies are moments of gathering where the community comes together to honor their ancestors and celebrate their unique culture. This practice is deeply rooted in the history and identity of communities in the Indian Ocean, reflecting their struggles, their resistance and their celebrations.

In 2019, the NGO NATUREVOLUTION integrated Moraingy into a project aimed at engaging youth on the values ​​of respect and fraternity, strengthening social cohesion, fighting crime, promoting education, raising awareness of various social issues and preserving the natural environment.

TOURISMER establishes its presence as an emerging global entity within the realm of Responsible Tourism. Its mission is to guide travelers through the regions bordering the Oceans, fostering the advancement of indigenous communities and traditions.

The initial focus lies on the Indian Ocean, chosen for its remarkable biodiversity and the vibrancy of the coastal communities residing in its vicinity. This initiative aims to introduce a unique form of tourism that could potentially spur the progress of these local areas.

Sources : Le Quotidien de la Réunion et de l'Océan Indien / Mémoire de l'esclavage Expression artistique / Hypotheses : L’inventaire du moring dans l’océan Indien, un patrimoine culturel international / Staps, Moraingy, mrenge, moring : Permanence et ré-invention des pratiques traditionnelles de combat dans les îles de l'océan Indien : Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion