Made in Madagascar
•It is clear that the locals and the ‘foreigners’ (anthropologist do not agree on the significance of
•Antankarana kingdom and Antankarana people are largely connected. Ex. Direction is based
on relevance to the person discussing it; points with chin in direction rather than using map.
•Malagasy ethos of growth- a lived philosophy based on the ideal of the fruitful continuation and
growth of life (seen during the ceremony of “entering into the cave” where rain and good
harvests are prayed for).
•The portrayal of this sacred space is often seen as one geared towards conservation of a
natural wonder (biodiversity)
oContradictory with the local portrayal, one that shows growth (population growth, cattle
growth, larger fields) which goes completely against the foreign idea of sustainability
oThere has been a boom in population from Malagasy people who see the region as a
place of opportunity, not sacred land or natural beauty
This has become more threatening than the growth of the Antankarana people
•Zama is an elder in the community. He was the one who first experienced the sapphire
demand. Two men came to the village and asked for his permission to go looking, he didn’t see
a problem with it as long as they sacrificed some of their findings to the tree for the ancestors.
They did but as word got out about the sapphires more and more people began coming to the
village who weren’t following the rules. Zama ended up putting up the warning about the ‘taboo’
forest’ which did little to keep people out.
•Sapphire rush meant a boom of temporary immigration to the region, exploitation of large and
the Park as well as rapid urbanization (small cities with clubs and bars popped up)
•The sapphire rush only lasted a few years, now there are still people living within the Park
illegally but security has not been strict since the population has decreased.
•The author then explains why Madagascar is so interesting to him; he says it is interested not
because of its uniqueness but because of its similarities to other issues in Africa as well as
across the world.
oHe is interested in the interaction between various people (natives, foreigners,
conservationists) but most importantly the locals who are actually affected and he aims
to understand the issue through their lens.
•The locals had no use for the rocks, without the foreign trade the industry would not exist.
•A lot of risk with very little reward (other than money), it didn’t stimulate other areas of the
economy or serve much benefit to the local people and certainly not their land
•Young men were now making more money than they knew what to do with, this was referred to
as “hot money” or money that wasn’t invested but instead was spent on beer or other
oThere was no use in investing in a home since they weren’t planning on staying there,
instead they invested in easily transportable items: bikes, jewelry, clothes.
•The trade in this economy didn’t stop at sapphires, it also included the trade of information
about how much to sell these gems for--- at the beginning some sapphires were being traded