Who are the Malagasy?

Malagasy are the people of Madagascar.

Some anthropologists believe Madagascar was first settled 2000 years ago by Indonesians, not black Africans, and that mainland Africans did not arrive in Madagascar until a later date. Others suggest that the people of Madagascar descended from Indonesians and Africans who mixed prior to their arrival on the isolated island. Regardless, most experts agree that Madagascar's inhabitants arrived relatively recently (there is no evidence of a stone age in Madagascar and the island was settled around the time Polynesians reached the planet's most isolated place -- Easter Island) and that subsequent migrations have brought other groups (like Arabs and Indians) into the mix.

Today there are some 18 recognized ethnic groups / tribes in Madagascar though these are becoming less distinct as people become more mobile.