Indian Ocean Travel by TOURISMER



Sorbian writing, a tradition still alive in Madagascar




Sora-be or Sorbian is an alphabet of Arabic origin adapted to transcribe the languages of southeastern Madagascar, in particular Antemoro. Several hundred ancient manuscripts have come down to us, although the oldest of them do not seem to date back beyond the 17th century. Most of the texts contain magic formulas, but there are also some historical stories relating the origin of certain human groups in the region. Origins that are sometimes traced back to Mecca or even to Muhammad, although as a general rule, the very practice of Islam is lacking here, which constitutes a rather exceptional fact. Knowledge of Sora-B spread all over Madagascar from the 18th century and the Merina king Andrianampoinimerina brought Antemoro scribes to him to initiate the children of the court into writing. Thus, from his childhood, the future King Radama knew how to read and write.

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Sorbian writing, a tradition still alive in Madagascar