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It stroke me as it doesn't apply anywhere else in the island: a wool blanket as a shawl.
In winter, you will see men in the streets, wearing a wool or synthetic blanket as it's freezing hard (see another tip for what to wear when staying in the highlands, esp. Antsirabe). Such clothing is useful to counter the cold winter, especially for peasants who work in the fields and looking after cattle.
In a sense, blanket shawl replaces wool coat.
My pic was taken in Antsirabe market where blanket is most sold and worn (!) in the island...
Updated Jun 13, 2003
Antsirabe men use to wear lamba (a piece of fabrics that wraps both head, shoulder and whole body: cotton fabrics for casual wear and for special occasions, natural silk for Merina and Betsileo women ). So do Betsileo men (In Fianar region). Both wear a hat as well.
See in my pic how they use to wear it.
Written Jun 11, 2003