Royalty and chieftainship in Madagascar had many peculiar customs. It had a semi-sacred character; the chief was, in heathen tribes, while living, the high priest for his people, and after death, was worshipped as a god; in its modern development among the Hova sovereigns it gathered round it much state and ceremony.
She accordingly agreed to recognize his claims to the chieftainship, thus throwing over Brian O'Neill, son of the murdered Matthew, The ceremony of "inauguration" among the ancient Irish clans was an elaborate and important one.
Its importance, however, dates from the time of Rao Surjan, who succeeded to the chieftainship in 1554 and by throwing in his lot with the Mahommedan emperors of Delhi (1569) received a considerable accession of territory.
A dispute concerning the chieftainship of the Batawana in the Ngami district threatened trouble in 1906, but was brought to a peaceful issue.
It is probable that the first of these forms is the primary one and the second in most cases a development from it due to (i.) the influence of other individual cults, (ii.) anthropomorphic tendencies, (iii.) the influence of chieftainship, hereditary and otherwise, (iv.) annual sacrifice of the sacred animal and mystical ideas connected therewith, (v.) syncretism, due either to unity of function or to a philosophic unification, (vi.) the desire to do honour to the species in the person of one of its members, and possibly other less easily traceable causes.