Savika (Madagascar)

Savika (Madagascar)

  • Name of sport (game): Savika
  • Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


  • Description:

    Traditional Sport Betsileo born in Amoron’i Mania (Ambositra), the Savika is a kind of bullfight which consists in fighting with bare hands against a zebu, clinging to the bump or the horns of the animal. The goal is not to hurt or kill the animal, but to prove his own strength.

  • Current status:

    At present, the Savika becomes popular and is one of the main attractions at the celebration of Easter and Pentecost.

  • Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

    It is a rite of passage that must do a young man to be accepted as a man responsible in the community.
    Savika technique is transmitted from father to son. The zebu holds a symbolic place in the Malagasy rural society; it is in all the events: funerals, “famadihana” (exhumation) and other traditional rituals.
    It is also essential companion during field work: trampling rice, pulling plows. The father entrusts to his son the care of guarding the herd, he must observe the behaviour of each animal and get to know it. The day he shall pass to Savika, he must prove that he is a man now, and as such capable of assuming its responsibilities within the family and community.

  • Sources of information :

    Ernest Ratsimbazafy, Construction identitaire à travers deux pratiques corporelles. Construction identitaire à travers le savika et le moraingy, Saarbrücken, Presses académiques francophones, 2015, 340 p.
    Fabrice Folio, Serge Bouchet, « Promotion du tourisme culturel par la mise en tourisme du savika », in Océan Indien, enjeux patrimoniaux et touristiques : actes du Grand séminaire de l'océan Indien 2014, Université de la Réunion, 2014, 224 p.


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