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Old 1st March 2021, 02:57 PM   #15
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Tribal cultures typically have the spear as a primary weapon, which serves both for hunting and warfare. Most tribal cultures, especially in isolated context, have not had inclinations toward the sword, unless incidentally by exposure to outside cultures. Even then, the sword is seen more as a curiosity and an item of prestige more than an actively used weapon form... As a maritime replenishing station, it was visited by vessels frequently, especially as well known in the golden age of piracy 17th into 18th c... With this of course, these kinds of instances would have provided certain types of weapons and tools of European styles in limited degree, but there would not been any sort of native production of these.
I follow Jim's and Colin's path in that one may find traces of outside (European) vestigials of swords but not of local sword production.
Madagascar coast was first touched by Europeans when Portuguese Diogo Dias, in August 10, 1500, saw his ship deviated from the main fleet by sea currents, while in route to the Far East. He named the island São Lourenço, the saint of the day. It is beleived that later some beligerent contacts took place, the locals being a very hard or impossible crowd to admit intruders; massacres might had happened.
Then, when jumping to the XVII-XVIII centuries, we have records of piracy activity on the East coast of the island; not that the famous Libertatia pirates sanctuary has yet been passive of evidential proof, but there a cemitery Saint Marys island), highly plausible to be one of period pirates.
To say that, it is nothing fictious to beleive that, through all these historical incursions, one could find one or two surviving swords, or their remnants, even those modified and adapted to ceremonial activities or symbols of power, like in other registered cases in Africa, for one.
As for the locals 'preferred' weaponry, history says that:
Peaceful coexistence ended in the second half of the 16th century, when the ruler Andriamanelo (c.1545-1575), started a series of wars against the Vazimba communities, forcing them to flee or assimilate. Adriamanelo is credited with the first use of ferrous spearheads in Madagascar, which gave his troops a great advantage on the battlefield.
His son Ralambo (1575-1612) continued his father's policy... He was also the first ruler to earn firearms from merchants in coastal provinces with contacts with Portuguese and Arab countries.

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