Sambatra, a man’s joy

Sambatra, a man’s joy
As its name suggests, the Sambatra, a phenomenal circumcision ritual, means joy.  It is one of the most preserved customs in Madagascar.   It takes place in the Mananjary region, in the southeast of Madagascar, but it is a national phenomenon, because many people from all regions of Madagascar expect it to return every 7 years. 
The conduct of the ceremony
The ceremony usually focuses on the fate of little boys to be circumcised during the event.  They are numerous and all dressed in red.  Each of their parents plays an important role in the event.  Mothers, according to the ritual, comb their hair in traditional braids, prepare the sacred water to wash the wound, while fathers decorate the ridge of the huts with a carved dove and uncles bring the little ones.   In fact, sambatra is a whole procedure for both women and men. 
The sambatra festival
This tradition is one of the witnesses of the close relationship between the Arabs and the population of this region: the Antambahoaka.  The huge procession that is arranged during the event makes up Raminia’s journey from Mecca to Mananjary.  He is the ancestor of these peoples. The form of this long walk is therefore welcomed with great festivity: dancing, collective and traditional games,… the before and after circumcision is done in festivity under only one condition: it is necessary to dress in the traditional way and during the visit of the “tranobe”, the dress must be in black as well as the sandals. Men wear lefona or spears and these give rise to a nostalgic feeling and an image of the ancestral era