ANDRIANAMPOINIMERINA – A past King of the Merina people and the Demi-God who ruled over the birds called crows. From the time Andrianampoinimerina was a small child crows were his special protectors and always kept a watchful eye on him.
Once when a wild boar attacked the youngster the crows guarding him rapidly beat their wings in the eyes of the boar and pecked at it, ultimately driving it off.
Another instance of crows protecting the young Andrianampoinimerina came when his usurping Uncle Andrianjafy sent soldiers to kill the boy in the dead of night. The crows detected the approaching soldiers and began cawing to awaken Andrianampoinimerina, who escaped into the jungle.
Years later, 1787 to be precise, when Andrianampoinimerina became the king he rewarded his attendant birds by making it taboo to hunt them. He would also have ritual offerings of ox meat laid out for crows on a regular basis.
Another myth about this figure from his reign as king depicted him wanting to overcome the Marovatana people as efficiently as possible, hopefully without the need for yet another military campaign. To that end Andrianampoinimerina sought to absorb the Marovatana kingdom into his own by marrying their Princess Rambolamasoandro.
The king/ demigod knew that the Princess’ family would look favorably on a union with a wooer whose retinue entered their capital city Ambohidatrimo from the “correct” or “blessed” gate. Andrianampoinimerina released a crow from his hand in the direction of Ambohidatrimo and, after circling the city, the bird flew in through the southeast entrance.
Following the bird’s example Andrianampoinimerina and his twelve councillors likewise entered through the southeast entrance. The courting of Princess Rambolamasoandro was a success and the two kingdoms were joined together.
*** There is a great deal to be written about the historical figure Andrianampoinimerina but I’m covering JUST the tales that concern his fictional nature as a demigod. ***
I’LL BE EXAMINING ADDITIONAL MERINO DEITIES IN A FEW DAYS.
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