Known for its benefits of beauty and its different exceptional virtues, the Masonjoany is much more than that for the Malagasy. Representing the tradition and Malagasy custom of the people of the west coast and the south of the island of Madagascar, the Masonjoany is the heritage that the Indians have left to the Malagasy.
What is Masonjoany?
The Masonjoany, from its scientific names Enterospermum madagascariensis, Santalina madagascariensis or Coptosperma madagascariensis, is a small tree that grows in the western part of the island of Madagascar. Originally from tropical Asia, it is mainly used by Malagasy women as a complement of beauty for the face, it also protects their faces from the UV ray.
The Masonjoany in its historical context
Originally sandalwood is used mostly by the indians in the manufacture of incense, and essential oil beneficial for meditation, it is still burned in India during religious ceremonies or in the sculptures of temples, he has been known for 4000 years.
Towards the 9th century, Arab sailors visit the island of Nosy Be periodically, which they named “Assada” or “Sada”, the Malagasy people named the island “Vario Be”, the Arabs refueled on the island and there creates a trading post at Mahilaka, with a wall of 4 meters high by 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 is from there that the Malagasy have started to use sandalwood as Malagasy sunscreen, sandalwood is therefore a tree precious and a heritage that the Indians have left us.
What are the virtues of Masonjoany?
Used mainly by Malagasy women for cosmetic purposes to protect themselves from UV rays and at the same time eliminate stains and lighten the face, Madagascar sandalwood also has several virtues, indeed it has soothing, disinfecting, relaxing properties and antiseptics. It is also ideal to cleanse your skin deeply, because it has the gift of eliminating toxins resulting in a feeling of lightness after use.
The Masonjoany a Malagasy tradition or a beauty ritual?
Since always the Sakalava women of Diego or Nosy be or the Vezo women of Tulear have the habit of applying the Masonjoany or as the Vezo nicknamed, the Tabaky in mask to protect from the sun, because in this part of the the island of Madagascar the heat is very intense, but that does not stop there, because the Malagasy women integrated in their lifestyles daily the application of this miracle mask to make it the traditional symbol of the women of the West and South. Today during traditional ceremonies, it is rare not to see women with a masonjoany mask on their faces, be it a Miss Madagascar election where Sakalava women dress traditionally to represent their regions or when a burial, the masonjoany is everywhere and always as the symbol of the tradition of the Malagasy women, but at the same time the young women apply it mainly for its virtues of beauty and not really within the framework of the tradition, it is even become a kind of “fashion” adopted by young women, because we often find on the beach of Nosy be, people who specialize only in the application of this mask, but in drawing using floral patterns by mixing with small, tight dots like a kind of “painting face”.
So if the Masonjoany has become the traditional symbol of Sakalava women in their clothing and customs, it is also now considered by the new generations as being a kind of evolutionary mode of painting Malagasy to enjoy its cosmetic benefits .
How to use the Masonjoany ?
First Masonjoany can be presented in different ways in shops, powder, lotion, cream, soap, etc. But if you want the typical Malagasy way, just take the end of a masonjoany and rub it on a stone called coral stone before rubbing it must pour a little water on the stone, and you will get then a paste that you apply immediately on your face, because it dries very quickly, the disadvantage of this method is that it tires the arm to rub too much on the stone you will quickly feel fatigue or it takes some quantity so that the whole face is covered, so if this method does not please you to buy the powder, it is enough to mix it with a little water and to apply it on all the face by insisting on the parties subject to the acne and stains, during use you will feel that your face is pulling a little when the mask is dry, but the effect fades easily nothing to fear.
Where to find Masonjoany in Nosy be ?
The Masonjoany tree of course grows on the island of Nosy be, but to buy the end of a masonjoany you just have to go to Hell City market and go to a “Malagasy pharmacy” that sells specially cheap natural remedies, you can find the powder or in whole, but if you have a preference rather for the lotion or cream address you to the “homeopharma” of Hell city, but the price will not be the same as for a “Malagasy pharmacy”, the market of Darsalam also has its own “Malagasy pharmacy” which sells various natural remedies.