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Showing posts from November, 2014

Cultural ceremony with Piper methysticum

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On Thursday 28 November the SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class visited soumas en kousapw Nan Madap, Usepio Hadley.


The drive up onto the ridge line was scenic and all uphill.


At the nahs the wie sak were already in place waiting for the class. Two peitehl were put into action each with four pounders, shirtless as is the tradition, coated in coconut oil.


The second peitehl would later have four pounders in place.


The students arrive


Sakau (Piper methysticum) enters the nahs replete with stems.


The stems are cut.


The class was seated in the place of honor on the high platrom. Sandra You, Kevina Berngun, Katielyne Nianugmwar, Melody Tulenkun in the front row. An oaurir for the wife of the soumas on the left.

Elson Elias, Judy Andon, Dwayne Hadley, Joemar Wasan, and Maylani Clarence

Soumas en kousapw with his oaurir.




Elson takes notes.


Pounding the sakau.


There is a musical quality to the pounding. Note that some pounders stop pounding the sakau and play a something akin to a double time beat on…

Banana patch cleaning and some tentative banana identifications

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On the 18th of November the SC/SS Ethnobotany class cleaned up the banana patch, which continues to be overrun by Clidemia hirta, and I worked with the students on identifying those with fruit or flowers.


This banana at N 6° 54.663' and E 158° 9.329' provoked the most discussion. The location best matches a rhizome planted by Roxann Moya and thought by her to be karat. Clearly this is not karat. The initial determination was kerenis, although another thought it might be uhten wai, which would be a AAA Cavendish. A third student thought it was simply a young uhten ruhk. Utin kerenis, which may be a reference to Kapinga, is an AA; Pisang Raja banana by my sources. Utin Ruhk is an ABB Saba banana.


The same banana at N 6° 54.663' and E 158° 9.329'.


Another view of the banana at N 6° 54.663' and E 158° 9.329'.


The above banana at N 6° 54.670' and E 158° 9.328'well matches the location of an uhten rais planted by Karmi Soar at N 6° 54.670' and E 158° 9.33…