The Tsimihety of Madagascar
Scripture: “All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God.” (Psalm 86:9-10)
Population: 1,963,000 (according to Joshua Project website)
Location: The Tsimihety live in the mountainous North-Central area of Madagascar.
History: There are accounts of Tsimihety which date back to the 16th century. The current people are descendants of immigrants from Betsimisaraka villages of the East coast who fled Merina oppression in the early 19th century. Tension between the two peoples continue to the present day.
Culture: Their name means “those who do not cut their hair” which was a sign of refusal to recognize the monarch. They are considered extremely egalitarian, refusing to recognize authority.
Boys and young men tend the cows, and the rest of the family farm, mostly rice.
Religion: Many Tsimihety are animists. They have a vague belief in a supreme being who presides over the spirit world, which is inhabited by the spirits of their ancestors. Veneration of ancestral spirits through rituals, offerings and adhering to a strict system of taboos are believed to lead to blessing.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Please pray for the work of the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara, at the centre of the Tsimihety region. The project has a vision for a church to be established in every town and village in the Mandritsara district, and in the capitals of the other districts in the Tsimihety region. 70-80 village church groups have started through contact made through the project over the last 20 years. Please pray that this vision would become more of a reality in the coming years, and that the project would maintain a clear gospel and church-planting focus.
Please pray for the vision to establish new churches within the southern part of the Tsimihety region, which until now remains largely unreached. This will be the focus of the Good News Hospital, Mandritsara, community health outreach during 2018.