Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1792 Merina warrior
Subject: warrior
Culture: highland Malagasy / Hova
Setting: Merina kingdom, Madagascar late 19th-early 20thc





Context

* Murray 1998 p217
"Madagascar was united by the monarchy of the Hova, a people of the central plateau.  Adrianapoinimerina (1785-1810) and his son Radama I (1810-28) completed the unification of the island and, playing on Franco-British rivalry, kept Madagascar independent."

* Brown 2001 p105-106
"After so many years of anarchy ..., military force was an essential requirement for the re-unification of Imerina.  During the years of peace Nampoina established fortified villages on the limits of his territory, obtained large quantities of firearms and organized and trained his soldiers.  The core of his army was an Elite 'imperial guard' of fifty, later seventy, warriors, including the twelve chiefs who had placed him in power; but when battle called, all able bodied-men [sic] were expected to exchange their spade for a spear or musket."


Costume

* Selected works from the collection of the National Museum of African Art v1 1999 p177
"Both men and women wore warp-stripe cloths ... wrapped around their upper bodies.  Called a lamba by some Malagasy groups, such everyday garments were removed only to execute the most vigorous tasks."



Spear

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