Madagascar's cultural particularity basically lies on the fact that the country is a place where the Bantu people from Eastern Africa and South-East-Asia once met. The different physiognomies of the various tribes in Madagascar cannot be overlooked. Regarding the Betsileo and Merina tribes, the Indonesian impact is clearly visible in their almond shaped eyes, bright skin and straight hair. As for the other tribes, such as the Tsimihety, Sakalava and Bara, their Bantu origin is recognisable in their curly hair and black skin. The mix of African and Indonesian elements in the Malagasy culture is fascinating.
The pastoral or nomad culture, a distinct characteristic of the Bara, indicates their African origin. The cult of possession, or Tromba, of the Sakalava also has African origin. What’s more, a lot of agricultural products, such as sorghum, watermelons and onions originated in Africa. On the other hand, many elements such as the rectangular building structure, the rice terraces of the Merina and Betsileo, the forging technology with its air supply by two cylinders, the outriggers of the Vezo tribe, the excessive ancestor worship of almost every tribe and the grave sculptures of the Sakalava, Antandroy and Mahafaly originated in Indonesia. Despite the different ethnic groups in Madagascar, there is one single language on the island. The Malagasy language belongs to the Ma´anyan language family of Western Indonesia.