Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nani 'a'a pulu niu

I was washed up onto an island a month ago and there were coconut palms everywhere.

Did I hear the roar of the ocean or the palm fronds rattling in the wind?

A walk along the beach yielded different parts of the plant, specifically the nuts at young and old stages, as well as fronds that fell from the tall trunks that swayed in the warm breeze.

The fibrous husks are fascinating.

These are the fibers in a young immature coconut.

These are the fibers in a large older husk that surrounds a coconut.

Layers of fibers that cross each other form a fabric that anchors the base of the palm frond to the trunk.

Hawaiians use coconut fiber. The fiber is spun and plied into cord. Thin cord is tied and knotted into nets used for fishing and nets used to carry items. Thicker cord is used to lash bamboo framework together for shelter. I need to learn more about this.

I'd love to see how this plant grows, especially how the fibers and the crossing layers develop. Slo-mo, please!

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