Photograph - Photography
Coconut Palm - The Staff of Life
"Niu, as the palm was called in the Polynesian language, probably originated in prehistoric times in the Indo-Malaysia-Melanesia triangle. The coconut was brought to the Hawaiian islands during the first migrations. Even as the coconut tree is a basic food source and is planted extensively, the precontact Hawaiians never used the tree in that role. For them, the food-value in the coconut tree added merely a welcome variety to a staple diet of taro and breadfruit.
"Far more important were its many other uses. From trunk, husks and shells, leaves and fronds, the Hawaiians created food containers, hula drums, fans, children's toys, rods and other tools. And the canoes, which brought the precious protein in the form of fish, were lashed together with invaluable sennit, the indestructible, coarse rope yarn spun out of the fibers of the coconut husk. No other rope could withstand the pressure of water, weight, and wind as well the coconut. In Hawaiian legend it is said that the god "Maui" snared the sun's rays with coconut sennit.
Yet there is so much more to the tree. A sacred function, and a vital meaning, and the coconut tree stretching into the sky, flexible and strong, symbolizes and serves as a powerful reminder of Polynesian ancestral roots. It represents a pathway to another world, and serves as the bridge between humans and gods, earth and heaven, child and ancestors. This beautiful tree is a path to the sacred land and therefore the Staff of Life." - information source quoted from Veronica S. Schweitzer
The Coconut Palm is a long lived tree often living as much as 100 years or more.
May 4th, 2010
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