Malanjaona M. Rakotomalala : ” Carnal need ” : a weapon enabling resistance to christianism with the former generations of merinas

In the 19th century the Bible suggested a new approach of the human body to the Merinas who were the most powerful and most evalized kingdom in Malagasy. Christianism was supposed to inspire them towards an integration into ” civilization “. Some ancestral institutions, believed to be adverse to the new traditions were given up. Yet, the ” carnal need “, which was the neologism by which the missionaries defined lust remained insensitive to the christianization of the customs. The Merinas used sexuality as a field for resistance, confronted as they were to the fear of a total seizure of their identity by the Westerners. Whether it be amid the royal family or with common people, the actors were mainly adolescents : their behaviour had been approved by their parents.