The Betsileo are one of approximately twenty ethnic units of Madagascar. They speak a Malagasy language in the Malayo-Polynesian language family. The Betsileo are agriculturalists. The Betsileo began to use that term for themselves after their conquest by the Merina in the nineteenth century. Around 1830, their ancestors were incorporated into Betsileo Province, the sixth major subdivision of the Merina Empire, which conquered much of Madagascar.
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Africa --Southern Africa
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The Betsileo collection consists only of this culture summary. This article was published originally in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Volume 9, Africa and the Middle East, John Middleton and Amal Rassam Volume editors. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co: 1995.