are an ethnic group located in north central Madagascar
, numbering around one million (approx. 989,000 or 1.200.000) in population. They are part of the Malagasy
peoples of Madagascar descended from Polynesian
immigrants. The name Tsimihety means "those who do not cut their hair". Tsimihety society and economy, as in much of Madagascar, is agricultural in focus. The Malagasy language is related to Indonesian, and the Tsimihety's particular dialect has Arabic
elements as well.
According to anthropologist David Graeber, the Tsimihety exist almost entirely independently of the contemporary Madagascaran nation-state, maintaining their own extremely egalitarian, non-hierarchical society. Their history of autonomy extends all the way back to the Maroansetra dynasty in the sixteenth century, up through French colonial rule and today.