The culture of Madagascar reflects its diverse origins, it’s reflected through the difference of the style of the traditional dresses from each ethnics sub-group. However there is one piece in common which is the “lamba”, the textile highly emblematic of Malagasy culture.
A lamba is the traditional garment worn by both men and women in Madagascar.
Besides its daily use as basic clothing, the lamba is also used for tying children to mothers' backs or as a cushion when carrying a heavy object on top of the head.
The lamba is also used ritually to wrap the remains of the dead before placing them in the family tomb. Which after the ceremony are then placed on the dead for an order of respect to their souls.
Many of the ways in which the cloth may be wrapped around the wearer are specified by a wide variety of terms that vary from region to region. Among mature Merina and Betsileo women for example wearing a narrower version of the traditionally white lamba around the shoulders is a mark of 'elegance, dignity, femininity and respect for tradition.'