Lost People

Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar

Paperback, 469 pages

English language

Published Sept. 6, 2007 by Indiana University Press.

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Betafo, a rural community in central Madagascar, is divided between the descendants of nobles and descendants of slaves. Anthropologist David Graeber arrived for fieldwork at the height of tensions attributed to a disastrous communal ordeal two years earlier. As Graeber uncovers the layers of historical, social, and cultural knowledge required to understand this event, he elaborates a new view of power, inequality, and the political role of narrative.

3 editions


  • African studies
  • Social & cultural anthropology
  • Social Science
  • Archaeology / Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Madagascar
  • Africa - General
  • Anthropology - Cultural
  • Africa - East
  • Betafo (Madagascar)
  • Ethnology
  • Slavery