Distribution of Malagasy ethnic groups
The Bezanozano are believed to be one of the earliest Malagasy ethnic groups to establish themselves in Madagascar, where they inhabit an inland area between the Betsimisaraka lowlands and the Merina highlands. Their name means "those of many small plaits" in reference to their traditional hairstyle, and like the Merina they practice famadihana (the reburial ceremony). There were around 100,000 Bezanozano living in Madagascar in 2013.
The Bezanozano speak a dialect of the Malagasy language, which is a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language group derived from the Barito languages, spoken in southern Borneo.