Hypothesis on a Parsi Community in Tamatave in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century


  • Matteo Miele Kyoto University


Parsis, Zoroastrianism, Madagascar, Tamatave, Indian Ocean, British Raj


Although there are already several significant works on the Parsi Zoroastrian diaspora in the panorama of historical research, many communities, stories, and aspects still remain unknown or little studied. In 1898, Delphine Menant mentioned two Parsis, partners of the London-based Parsi company Dadabhoy & C., in Madagascar. The information given by the French scholar, however, has not been followed up in more recent academic publications. This paper focuses on some British archival documents that would demonstrate a Parsi presence in Tamatave, since the 1870s. Through the study of some letters relating to the inheritance of a Parsi priest, the comparison with the later text of Menant and taking into consideration the larger Parsi community in Mauritius, it is possible to hypothesize a small community in the Malagasy coastal city. The article is also intended to be an invitation to other studies of the issue.

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