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Ode to the CoconutAugust 2, 2016

  • George gets coconut opening lessons from Heirami
  • Polynesian sunrise
  • Vetea shares some spongy, sweet sprouted coconut
  • Coconut toast to welcome us ashore
  • The next generation
  • Coconut water in a traditional marriage ceremony
  • Coconuts, however, are not good for sleeping on
  • George and the stubborn coconut

Coconuts are central to Polynesian culture. They are part of daily food and lifetime ceremonies. They typify Polynesian scenery. Leaves and trunks of the coconut palm are useful for building, roofing, making baskets and hats and decorations. The water and flesh of the fruit is eaten and drunk in its various stages of development, and coconut milk can be made from it. In WW2, wounded soldiers were even given transfusions of coconut water when blood products were in short supply.

Participants on the Heart of Polynesia Trip (June 2016) experienced the coconut. We drank them, we ate them, we watched a traditional marriage ceremony where a split coconut pours water over the hands of the bride and groom together. Some of us attempted and were humbled by the challenge of opening a coconut…



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