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Journal Articles French Colonial History Year : 2007

Le sport colonial à Madagascar (1896-1939)


Modern sports, invented and codified in the public schools of nineteenth-century England, emerged as a new educational model reserved for male elites. To proponents of social Darwinism, sports provided a useful aid to colonial expansion. Once adopted in France, sporting activities migrated to the French colonies under the impetus of the military. This article analyzes the paradoxical cultural transfer of modern sports to the French colony of Madagascar. Imported with the troops of General Galliéni in 1896, sports became genuinely popular in Madagascar after the First World War due to traditional enthusiasm for corporal fighting. Rugby, initially used to enhance military preparation, was perceived by young Malagasies as an interesting space to express solidarity and identity. By the end of the 1930s, the high-plateau Protestant elites monopolized sports to prepare for national emancipation.


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hal-02061295 , version 1 (08-03-2019)



Évelyne Combeau-Mari. Le sport colonial à Madagascar (1896-1939). French Colonial History, 2007, 8 (1), pp.123--138. ⟨10.1353/fch.2007.0005⟩. ⟨hal-02061295⟩
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