As in all cultures of the world, the women of Madagascar are not left out when it comes to the search for beauty. If you travel the roads of the North Island to the South or from East to West, you will surely meet women dressed in color on the face.
It is these beauty masks that adorn their face practically in their daily life. They only remove them for going out, for parties or gatherings.
These colors vary from white to red and for that, they use pieces of wood, shells or even earth and clay but the most widely used is undoubtedly Malagasy sandalwood or "masonjoany".
The masonjoany is much more than a face mask. In addition to its benefits and its various virtues, sandalwood is part of the customs and tradition in the west and south coast of our island.
Around the ninth century, Arab navigators occasionally visited the island of Nosy Be, which they named "Assada" or "Sada", the Malagasy people named the island "Vario Be", the Arabs obtained supplies on the island and created a trading post there in Mahilaka, with a perimeter wall of 4 meters high towards 900, then in 1100 the Arabs also create a counter in Ambanoro (the city of Marodoka today) where was the first port of Nosy be, the Indians then came to settle in Ambanoro (Marodoka) for trade and it was from there that the Malagasy started using sandalwood as an ingredient for local sunscreens, sandalwood is therefore a precious tree and a heritage that the Indians left us.
From its scientific name Santalinamadagascariensis, sandalwood is a small tree that grows in the western part of Madagascar. Native to tropical Asia, Masonjoany was used to make Indian incense. It is becoming more and more in demand in the cosmetics world. It is a real ally in protecting your skin against UV rays. This is why virtually all women of sunny coasts embrace sandalwood on a daily basis. Nowadays, it is even found even in the highlands.
The masonjoany is also defined as a fashion accessory for Malagasy women. In Sakalava women, wearing the masonjoany mask is a tradition during ceremonies. otherwise, you will understand the importance of this ritual by visiting Nosy Be, Diego or Tulear.
Masonjoany also has soothing properties, disinfectant and relaxing on the skin. It delays the appearance of wrinkles because it deeply cleanses the skin and eliminates toxins from the face. Aesthetic, the masonjoany mask inspires the most talented.
How to use it?
Here are the ingredients needed to make your own beauty product : a piece of sandalwood, a stone or a coral and a little water. To obtain a smooth paste, you just have to rub the small piece of wood against the stone. Add a little water to your powder. Thereafter, you can apply it on your face.
Then, leave on for a few minutes and the color will change from yellow brown to almost a pale white. To remove boredom from a painting without a pattern, Sakalava women began to make flower patterns. This tradition has gradually been exported to other regions.
To rest your face at night, just rinse off with lukewarm water. You can rinse with lukewarm water.
Photo credit @ africamatters2015