History of Madagascar

Madagascar Rova Castle in AntananarivoThe culture of Madagascar shows a strong influence of the Austronesian expansion.
Some of the earliest human settlers spoke the Malagasy language that belongs to the group of Malayo-Polynesian languages, the rest of which are spoken on the island nations of Southeastern Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

The written history of Madagascar didn’t come to fruition until the 7th century AD, when the Arabs established trading posts along the northwest coast. European contact began in the 1500s, when a Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island after his ship got separated from his fleet going through the area on their way to India.

In 1665, Francois Caron, the general director of the French East India Company sailed to Madagascar but failed to establish ports there. In the late 17th century, the French established trading posts along the east coast. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Madagascar was a favorite haunt for pirates, including American pirates.

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