On the other side of the crystal
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water".
- Loren Eiseley, (in How to read water by Tristan Gooley).
or the Malagasy people, the ancestors and the ties to the ancestral land (tanindrazana) are an essential part of living a good life; in other words it is the moral lifeblood of society. Solidarity with each other - especially to those who share the same tanindrazana - is a crucial element of this. To understand how access to land and water is arranged we have to look at all the interrelated cultural notions (see section ‘caring for water’).
Also for the construction of the water pumps we found that the role of the ancestors - or to receive their blessing - is vital. The ancestors who dwell on the other side of the crystal need to be addressed and consulted during all community activities.
When the new water pump was constructed (see section "The construction of a Malagasy bush pump") not all the actors appeared willing to join. The most crucial element of all, the generator that was necessary to extract water, refused to work. While collective despair loomed, it dawned on the community that an existential realm has been left out. That is, on the other side of the crystal.
The sacrifice has been accepted and the land is blessed by the members on the other side of the crystal - a joyful moment that is celebrated by sharing the rest of the rum with all the adult community members.