The market place in Madagascar
The market is the place of exchange of goods. As elsewhere, barter has been practiced in Madagascar since the beginning of the Malagasy community and especially since the arrival of the Arabs. Long before colonization, this exchange took place on the market weekly in principle and is fixed for one day in the week according to the practices in each of the communities. It was in the 18th century that the market was developed by King Andrianampoinimerina to master the economic and administrative system which was subsequently revolutionized with the introduction of currency by French colonization.
All the goods of necessity are found on the market, imported or manufactured locally and especially the food products that are: vegetables such as potato, bean, pea of cap, lentil, onion, garlic, tomato, apple, peach, pear, banana, mango, orange, tangerine, grape, pineapple, grenadella … white rice and red rice, paddy, cassava, corn, potatoes, tobacco, rum … there are also tools: knife, hash … so many other consumer products: coffee, pepper, pepper, soy, peanut … There are also handicrafts like sobika, harona – basket, tsihy, malabary, pants, dress, skirt, lamba …
Cattles, sheeps, pigs, goats, poultry are also clearly visible on market day separately in a special corner.
The day of the market is not only made for exchanges and purchases of goods but also and especially the place of meetings, family and friendly appointments of any kind, and everything and nothing: discussion of famadihana project, a plan for the cultivation of the land, the sharing of land, and the encounters of love; It is also the time to drink a little bit the common juice “Toaka Gasy” – the alcohol produced artisanally made from sugar cane, well present especially on market day.
The Malagasy market has thus become a cultural space.
The market was organized in the open air with white umbrellas as shelter; especially for products that need it most. Carts drawn by zebu as the common means of transport are stationed in the vicinity; They are regularly found even in this 21st century era. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s that urban market infrastructures were developed for large towns and municipalities.
The largest historical market in Madagascar, also one of the largest markets in the world, was the Zoma market (every Friday) installed on the Independence Square – the whole extent of Analakely – Antananarivo.