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Children's Crossing Signs in Madagascar

Antananarivo, IX.1998

Antananarivo, IX.1998
Madagascar is known for its enormous biodiversity. The island carries numbers of animals and plants of which 75% are endemics. The same is probably true for roadsigns. And just like the endemic wildlife, roadsigns are under pressure of invasive species.

Though the situation is not as ominous as with the Asian toad, one has to be prescient and I therefore show finds influenced by modern foreign designs first. Commit them to memory and take appropriate action when they cross your path.

The girl with the ponytail comes straight from Germany and was reported only once. Let's hope we can keep it that way.

The next find is the most common sign in France. The design has spread into the local gene pool, but there is still hope because its offspring often features some local touch. The girl of Ile Ste Marie carries a bookbag and on the sign from Antsirabe it is the boy. Notice also the signs' shape which is round instead of triangular like most.

The signs discussed up until now all belong to the same group: where the tallest person shows the way.

Children's Crossing Signs where the tallest person shows the way.

IX.1993
Beriboka, IX.1998
Ile Ste Marie, 06.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly

Antsirabe, IX.1998
Toamasina, 07.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly
We recognize three divisions.
The tallest, and leading, person
○ is a boy (the most common case exactly like in the other groups), or
○ is female: girl or, considering the hair, an older women, or
○ shows no gender features

Notice:
○ The variability with the bags: none pre­sent, on the tall person, on the small one; on both.
○ The bookbags on the Toamasina find are at the outside. Normally one is drawn between both persons. Also, if she is an adult, why is she carrying a bookbag?
○ The sizes of the creatures on the trian­gular Ile Ste Marie sign are really out of proportion. We have a similar find from Nepal.

Antsirabe, 30.VIII.2015; pict. M.Tailly
Ranohira, IX.1998
Ile Ste Marie, 05.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly

Children's Crossing Signs where the tallest person guides from behind.

Tallest person is male

Ambositra, IX.1993
IX.1993
Ambositra, IX.1993

Antimonoro, 18.X.2012; pict. H. De Meyer
The most frequently found signs in Madagascar are inspired by older signs in France: a nice drawing — often with fine details — of a boy supporting his sister. Both carry a bookbag.

Peculiar to Madagascar — and France — is that roadsigns are sometimes donated by a company or an association: a gift from the BNI (Banque Nationale d'Inves­tissement), the Rotary Club, a township and even a brand of milk concentrate Socolait promising power and strength.

Notice that apart from concrete or a metal occasionally road­signs painted on wood are found. The triangular canvas is carefully constructed from separate planks. We have several on this page, but it happens also with Men at Work signs.

Moramonga, IX.1997;
pict. T. Vandendriessche
IX.1993
Toamasina, 07.IX.2015;
pict. M. Tailly

Ranohira, 17.X.2012;
pict. H. De Meyer
Ambalavao, 26.VIII.2015;
pict. M. Tailly
IX.1993

Toalanaro - Fort Dauphin, IX.1993
Sakaraha, 22.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly
Ihosy, IX.1998

Tallest person is female

Antsirabe, 30.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly
Antsirabe, 30.VIII.2015;
pict. M. Tailly
Up until now all samples of the current group — signs where the tallest per­son guides from behind, that is — show the tall person as a male who sup­ports a female.

Sometimes however, the tall person is a female. Almost as frequently reported are signs where both persons are girls. This never happens with boys; probably because two boys together, and not supervised, cannot be trusted.

We have one sample where nothing hints towards the gender of the children. Their posture is different: it's like they are ready for a sprint.

Ambohimanasoa, 20.X.2012;
pict. H. De Meyer
Antsirabe, 30.VIII.2015;
pict. M. Tailly
Ambatolampy, 30.VIII.2015;
pict. M. Tailly

Antananarivo, IX.1998
Ihosy, 24.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly
Zazafotsy, 24.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly

Andasibe, 30.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly
Andasibe, 08.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly
Toamasina, 07.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly

Children's Crossing Signs where it is not clear who takes the lead.

Fort Dauphin, IX.1998
There is a small group of Crossing Signs were it is not clear who is in command. Both people have the same size and no one is pushing or pulling. Or we don't see them en profil and it is not clear who's tailing who.

I'm not sure of some signs but I publish them nevertheless. One sign shows adults. But they both carry something like a bookbag and I therefore think the sample qualifies as a children's crossing sign. Another find features a person carrying a basket and a second woman a kind of a bag. The sign must warn for a marketplace, but because of the bag, which I see as a satchel, the story is that a mother brings her overgrown daugther to school first and will then go shopping, hence the basket.

IX.1993
IX.1993
Antananarivo, 30.VIII.2015; pict. M. Tailly

IX.1993
Antananarivo, IX.1993
Ile Ste Marie, 05.IX.2015; pict. M. Tailly


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More roadsigns from Madagascar: Men at work - Falling Rock Signs