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Tanibe kingdom (Madagascar)

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by bruce berry
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[Tanibe flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005 See also:

Tanibe Kingdom

I have no idea exactly where on Madagascar this kingdom was.
On this website is a flag:
c.1822 - 1828 - white, in each corner a fleur-de-lis, in the center a 5-pointed star, surrounded by two bent corn-ears, all yellow. Image based on a small image by Jaume Ollé, based on Flag Bulletin, X:2/3, 1971 and Lucien Philippe's, Les anciens drapeaux de Madagascar, 6° ICV, IJssel Meer, 1975.

Data according to the above mentioned site:
20 Mar 1822          Kingdom of Tanibe
1828                      Annexed by Imernia/Madagascar.

20 Mar 1822 - 1828        Jacques Glond
Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005

No idea either, but the name of the king does not sound very Malagasy. I guess it was a short-lived kingdom proclaimed by a French (or even a Belgian) adventurer. Before the establishment of the French protectorate, only a few trade posts had a significant administration, and they controlled only very limited areas.
Ivan Sache, 19 Jul 2005

There is a bit more info, in Italian, at It seems Glond was a European and Tanibe had something to do with the east coast. The flag has the heading "Tanambao" above it and that is the name of a city on the east coast.
Ned Smith, 19 Jul 2005

Stielers' Handatlas (1877) is always quite accurate but doesn't list Tanibe or Tanambao - it does have a state of Betanimena, which according to the UNESCO History of Africa was a kingdom in the 18th century without a port. According to an old
Geographical dictionary (van Wijk, MDCCCXXI) its meaning was: "land of the red inhabitants"; its main village was Andavourante (=Andevorandro), which could provide 10.000 warriors (sic), on an estuary due east of Antananarivo. It was given control of Tamatave by a friendly neighbour, who later on as a playful gesture snatched it away again, whereupon
Betanimena became a harbour-less state again - and very insignificant. IMO the perfect realm of an adventurer seeking eternal glory (or suffer (in)glorious defeat).
It is quite difficult to spot Malagasy names because of the use of pre- and suffices, but to me it seems that "Tanibe" and "Betanimena" are not a million miles apart...
Jarig Bakker, 20 Jul 2005

Some comments about the Tanibe kingdom, which is one that I have never heard of although I lived in Madagascar for 15 years, but as someone mentions, many small kingdoms were set up along the coasts by/with the help of ship wrecked sailors and pirates. Mr. Bakker speaks of "Betanimena" as meaning "place of the red people". Actually, broken down, 'Be' is a prefix or suffix which means 'big' or 'much of'; 'tany' (which becomes 'tani') means 'soil'; and 'mena' is 'red'.  Hence 'Betanimena' translates as 'place of (much) red soil'. There is no shortage of red soil in Madagascar so that doesn't help much in location. As for 'Tanambao', it is a common village/town name, often combined with a second word, so would be difficult to pinpoint.

All very interesting. Sad that too much of Madagascar's peculiar history has been lost. Great that your site has put together so much of the obscure information.
Charlie Welch, 03 Mar 2006