The Great Red Island: Unusual Facts about Madagascar

The Great Red Island: Unusual Facts about Madagascar

Jean-Marie De La Beaujardiere, CFIS-AIA
April 8, 2018

Tucked away in the Indian Ocean near Africa, Madagascar is rarely mentioned in the news. The existence of the island was known to some extent by Asiatic navigators since the 12th century, prompting the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan to send for a feather from the fabled giant bird Ruck. Not until the 17th century was the newly-discovered Isola di San Lorenzo equated with the Madeisgascar mentioned by Marco Polo. In this talk, we will explore the conditions for the island’s unique fauna, the arrival of humans from an unexpected area of the world, the emergence of the early Malagasy kingdoms, the influence of British missionaries on the evolution of the society, the reasons for the two Franco-Malagasy wars and the colonization, the capture of the French colony by the British during WWII, and the current situation after four constitutions and fifteen governments since 1960.

Jean-Marie De La Beaujardiere was born and raised in Madagascar and is currently developing an encyclopedic dictionary of the Malagasy language and culture. He is an advocate for the promotion of the Malagasy language and has been an Adjunct Research Professor in connection with the study of Austronesian languages at the University of Western Ontario. He is a retired computer scientist, who has worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Control Data Corporation and the Atomic Energy Commission in Paris, France. He and his wife now reside in Albuquerque.

Supported by Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group
and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union