Acknowledgements

Without the most appreciated continued support of Bob Martin during all phases and at all levels, realization of the field study would have been impossible. Gustl Anzenberger, Ian Tattersall, and Barbara König are thanked as co-referees for different project phases. I am very indebted to Michele Rasmussen, Don Reid, Alphonse Zaramody, and the late Nasolo Rakotoarison for all their help and support in Madagascar during fieldwork. I thank Marie-Claude and Karon Chan-Ming, for their hospitality and helpfulness during my stay in Madagascar, and also Dominique and Patrice Kerloc'h. For field assistance I thank César Rabeny, Arsène Velo, M. Randriamahita, and M. Lava. I am very grateful to Gustl Anzenberger, Loni, and the late Heini Thalmann for taking care of tedious administrative matters during my absence in the field. Alexandra Müller supported me in every respect during fieldwork. I thank her especially for being at my side for many years, and for her indispensible support. The research was conducted under an "Accord de Coopération" between the Universities of Zurich (Switzerland) and Mahajanga (Madagascar), and the governmental institutions of Madagascar gave research permissions. Work was financially supported by anonymous contributions, the A.H. Schultz Foundation, the Family Vontobel Foundation, the G. and A. Claraz Donation, Shell Exploration and Development Madagascar, the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 823A-042920), and the University of Zurich).

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