III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > D. Africa, 500–1500 > 4. Regions, 1000–1500 > g. Madagascar
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 650–1000)
g. Madagascar
Indonesian immigrants had been settled on the island since the previous century.  1
Arab Muslim influence became important as a result of immigrants involved with trade to the Arab and Swahili worlds.  2
A new wave of Indonesian immigration to the east coast or northwest brought irrigated cultivation of rice, bananas, yams, and cocoa. Immigrants encountered earlier mix of Indonesian settlers and Africans, whom they called Vazimba. The two groups initially cooperated but eventually come into conflict, which led to the founding of Merina state on the interior plateau, toward the end of the period. The new immigrants (including Muslims) brought institutions of royalty, which had not existed previously on the island, but the developing political institutions reflected the contributions of Asians, Africans, and Muslims.  3
Muslim settlers arrived in the Comoro Islands from the east coast of Africa, and later settled in northwestern and northeastern Madagascar.  4
By this time, Muslim settlements comparable to the Swahili coastal towns had been established on the northwestern and (later in the century) northeastern coasts, for trading with the Swahili and Arab worlds. The settlements exported rice and soapstone carvings in exchange for imported pearls, cloth, and Chinese ceramics. (See Madagascar)  5
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.