Traditional Kings of Madagascar || Ampanjaka

Did you know that Madagascar still has tribal kings to date? Yes, Madagascar has many tribal kings who rule te various ethnic groups around the country. Madagascar now a republic was previously a Kingdom controlled by the Merina Kings and Queens until its abolition in 1897 by the colonial french. However other tribes still had their own kingdoms despite rule by the Merina kings and queens

Today most kings are locally called Mpanjaka(King). Below is amap showing the major ethnic groups of Madagascar

By Lemurbaby – Own work; based on Map of Malagasy ethnic groups at, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Merina Kingdom

This was the ruling house of the Kingdom of Madagscar as a whole before abolition of the monarchy in 1897 by the colonail french. It is also the royal house of the Merina tribe of madagascar

Mpanjaka must and only comes from the Zanakandriana house and the rest follows if there’s no one in it. The actual ranking of the first 7 families/houses of Merinas nobles is;

  • Zanakandriana (Prince/Princess, it is a nominative title, and even some of the King’s/Queen’s children are not granted this title)
  • Zazamarolahy
  • Andriamasinavalona
    • Those three are what are called Terak’ Ifohiloha (the descendants of those who are entitled to the short-horned or low-pitched maisonette on their tombs called trano manara- colfhouse)
  • Andrianteloray (translation: the nobles with three fathers):
  • Andriantompokoindrindra (they also have a tranomanara on their tombs, their ancestors built the first one in Imerina so the privilege staid)
  • Andrianamboninolona
  • Andriandranando
  • Zanadralambo Credit – Sarobidy

  • Andrianerinerina* (Son of God incarnate. According to popular belief, descended from the skies and established his kingdom at Anerinerina)
  • Andriananjavonana*
  • Andrianamponga I*
  • Andrianamboniravina*
  • Andriandranolava (Andranolava)*
  • Andrianampandrandrandava (Rafandrandrava)*
  • Andriamasindohafandrana (Ramasindohafandrana)*
  • Rafandrampohy*
  • Andriampandramanenitra (Rafandramanenitra)*
  • Queen Rangita (Rangitamanjakatrimovavy) (1520–1530)
  • Queen Rafohy (1530–1540)
  • King Andriamanelo (1540–1575)
  • King Ralambo (1575–1612)
  • King Andrianjaka (1612–1630)
  • King Andriantsitakatrandriana (1630–1650)
  • King Andriantsimitoviaminandriandehibe (1650–1670)
  • King Andrianjaka Razakatsitakatrandriana (1670–1675)
  • King Andriamasinavalona (Andrianjakanavalondambo) (1675–1710)
  • King Andriantsimitoviaminiandriana Andriandrazaka (Andriantsimitoviaminandriandrazaka) (1710–1730)
  • King Andriambelomasina (1730–1770)
  • King Andrianjafynandriamanitra (Andrianjafinjanahary or Andrianjafy) (1770–1787)
  • King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810)
  • King Radama I the Great
  • Queen Ranavalona I
  • King Radama II
  • Queen Rasoherina
  • Queen Ranavalona II
  • Queen Ranavalona III

The last sovereign monarch of Merina kingdom / Kingdom of Madagascar was Queen Ranavalona III who died in 1917. She ruled from July 30, 1883 to February 28, 1897 in a reign marked by ultimately futile efforts to resist the colonial designs of the government of France. Today there are various claimants to the throne

Photo; Wikipedia, Kerry Taylor Auctions

Antankarana Kingdom

The Antankarana are a ethnic group inhabiting the northern tip of Madagascar, around Antsiranana. Their name means “the people of the tsingy,” the limestone rock formations that distinguish their traditional territory. They were originally a branch of the Sakalava royal line called the Zafin’i’fotsy (children of silver) but broke away from the Sakalava in the 17th century following a dispute with the Zafin’i’mena (children of gold) that ended with the latter’s exclusive right to the kingship. Having been refused the right to the throne, the Zafin’i’fotsy left the Sakalava homeland on the southwestern coast to settle just north of the boundaries of Sakalava control. Their own soverign monarchy exists todate.

 Ampanjaka Issa Tsimiharo III is the current king (Ampanjaka) of Antankarana people of Madagascar

  • 1609 – 1639 – Kozobe I
  • 1639 – 1689: Andriamaitso
  • 1689 – 1692: Andriamanapela
  • 1692 – 1710: Andriatsirotso
  • 1710 – 1790: Lamboeny
  • 1790 – 1802: Tehimbola
  • 1802 – 1809: Boanahazy
  • 1809 – 1822: Tsialana I
  • 1822 – 1882: Tsimiaro I
  • 1883 – 1924: Tsialana Il
  • 1925 – 1938: Lamboeny II
  • 1938 – 1959: Tsialana III
  • 1959 – 1982: Tsimiaro II
  • 1982 – todate: Tsimiaro III

Sakalava Menabe Kingdom

Sakalava are an ethnic group of Madagascar. They were organised into different tribal monarchies headed by different dynasties. Particularly of interest is that they allowed female succession, with some kingdoms being ruled by only women.

  • Sakalava Bemihisatra of Nosy Be
  • Sakalava Bemihisatra of Analalava
  • Sakalava Bemazava /Nosy Faly
  • Sakalava Menabe

Late Princess Georgette Kamamy, ruler of Sakalava people of Menabe, Madagascar (2004-2019). She was in charge of traditional rituals and ceremonies among her people until her death aged 81 in 2019.

Sakalava Bemihisatra Kingdom of Nosy Be

The Sakalava Bemihisatra of Nosy Be kingdom was the most notable according to history. This is particularly due to their Queen Binao who has succeeded her mother and ruled until her death in 1927. She was succeeded by her younger brother King Amada 1 (died 1969). Queen Fatoma took over then Soulaimana Andriantsoly (1994-2005). Their latest was King Amada II who succeeded his late brother in 2005 and reigned until his death in 2011.

Sakalava Bemihisatra of Analalava

The monarchs title was Mpanjaka. Their most recent monarchs was late Princess Soazara Augustine who died in 2017 and was succeeded by her daughter Mpanjaka Zalifa Bente Salim.

Sakalava Bemazava Kingdom of Nosy Faly

This group called their king, Mpanjaka. Their first photographed King was Tsiaraso I who died in 1919. He was succeeded in order by; Queen Tsiresy II – King Rachidy – King Tsiaraso II – King Tsiaraso III. Their current King is King Tsiaraso IV Rachidy who has been monarch since 1993.

more to be added

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