Malagasy people

Malagasy People

Studies released earlier this year found the people of Madagascar have origins in Borneo and East Africa.

Half of the genetic lineages of human inhabitants of Madagascar come from 4500 miles away in Borneo, while the other half derive from East Africa, according to a study published in May by a UK team.

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The origin of the Malagasy people remains a mystery to this day. It seems that the first inhabitants came from Indonesia and East Africa to Madagascar. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover the island in 1500, followed by the Dutch and the English in the 17th century and finally the French.

At the end of the 17th century, King Andrianampoinimerina unified most of the Imerina people. His son Radama expanded the kingdom down to the coast and unified a large portion of the island until his wife Ranavalona took the throne and introduced a period of xenophobia and religious intolerance. Radama II succeeded his mother in 1862, but was later killed.