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Distribution of Malagasy ethnic groups. Zafimaniry are classified as Betsileo.

The Zafimaniry are a sub-group of the Betsileo ethnic group of Madagascar. They live in the forested mountains of the southern central highlands.[1] The Zafimaniry speak a dialect of the Malagasy language, which is a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language group which comes from the Barito languages, that are spoken in southern Borneo.

They are known for their woodcarving knowledge and art, which was added in 2003 to UNESCO's list of the world's Intangible Cultural Heritage. This style of woodworking was once common throughout Madagascar but has decreased because of deforestation.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Video about the Zafimaniry woodworkers


  1. ^ Bradt, Hilary; Austin, Daniel (2007). Madagascar (9th ed.). Guilford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press Inc. pp. 113–115. ISBN 1-84162-197-8. 
  2. ^ "The Woodcrafting Knowledge of the Zafimaniry". UNESCO Culture Sector. Retrieved 2009-09-07.