On How Religion Creates New Life-stories
The book will be essential assigned reading in university courses in development studies, anthropology, and missiology.
Chapter 4. Bara Becoming Malagasy: A Story of Change in Southwestern Madagascar
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BARA BECOMING MALAGASY:A STORY OF CHANGE IN SOUTHWESTERN MADAGASCAR
It was the day that a messenger from the village Androkombato stormed into my family’s residence in order to tell me that the village head had died that I understood that I was reckoned as a member of the village and family fellowship, as one of them. During the two years previous to this event, I had spent a lot of time together with the inhabitants of the village, and had gained more and more respect for the Bara as people and for their lifestyle. This laid the foundation for my relationship to this group, a relationship that has continued to be part of my life since then. In the spring of 2012 I again did fieldwork among the Bara.
The Bara group lives in the Ihorombe region, in the central, southern part of Madagascar, one of the 22 administrative regions of the country. The area lies between the central agricultural areas in the northern highlands and the dry savanna areas in the southwestern parts of the island. It comprises the three districts Ihosy, Ivohibe and Iakora.
The Bara area has the lowest population density on the island, with around 6.5 inhabitants per square kilometer (Plan Regional de Developpement Ihorombe 2005, 27). According to population statistics from 2001,← 61 | 62 → there were at that time around 206,000 inhabitants in the region.25 About 85% of the Bara population live...
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