Peter Kneitz, "The Sakalava Pilgrimage as a Royal Service (Western Madagascar)", in: Ute Luig (Ed.), Approaching the Sacred. Pilgrimage in historical and intercultural perspective, Berlin: Edition Topoi, 2018, 239–275


My contribution presents a case study of pilgrimage and procession connected to the main shrine of the Sakalava royalty in western Madagascar. Sakalava pilgrimage developed within a cultural logic decidedly outside the Western world and is perceived as one of many aspects of royal work (fanompoa), performed to confirm and to reassure the relationship with royal ancestors. The renewal of family relations, friendship and identity is a natural part of this event, in particular, for those coming from abroad. My contribution will focus on the meaning of what can be described as Sakalava pilgrimage, and its changes throughout time and space. The analysis of more than 300 years of historical changes reveals, among others, manifold impacts of global conditions on the more recent development of Sakalava pilgrimage.

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