Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Sakalavas

Sakalavas, the aborigines of the west coast of Madagascar, a wild people little removed from the savage state, semi-independent of the Central Government, but without national coherence, and divided into a great many tribal groups, of which the most numerous are the Behisotra, Isimahety, Tandrona, and Antankaras; worship Zanahary, a great spirit dwelling on the mountain tops, in the forests and rivers; type fundamentally Negro, modified by Malay and perhaps Arab elements; speech Malagasy, differing little from that of _the Hovas (q.v.); population about 500,000 (A. Walen, The Sakalava, in Antananarivo Annual, 1884).