Sunday, April 29, 2007

When pounding sakau, you have to be shirtless. There is a special stone which is used and the stone is sitting on an old car tire to make it ring out during the pounding. In the olden days the rock sat on coconuts.
While pounding is going on, water is added to the sakau. After the pounding, the sakau is wrapped in strips of hibiscus bark and the muddy juice is squeezed out.
Here is more squeezing going on. The guy in the center is holding the coconut cup which the guy on the right is going to squeeze sakau into. It was first be offered to the nanmwarki (the chief) and other leaders of the community. Then it is given to special guests, which included me, since I came from a distance.
I pretty much broke every rule when I came up to drink from the cup. I was supposed to sip, and I gulped. I was supposed to kneel while drinking. I was supposed to pass the cup back over my head without looking. Didn't do.

Many people consider sakau to taste terrible, but it just tastes muddy. The aftertasted is actually quite pleasant. And it makes you a little bit numb, sort of like sucking on a Sucret (how do you spell that word?). Very pleasant and relaxing.

For more photos of this ceremony, you can look at
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Blogger Heidi said...

This makes me wonder who ever came up with such an idea - and how. Did someone, one day, centuries or millennia ago dig up some roots and say, "Hmm . . . I think it would be a good idea to clean these and grind them and make a drink of them . . ."

How did this ever come to be?

I wonder that with a lot of the things we eat and drink. Who was the first to try it and what was it that caused him to do so - and with things that take as much preparation as this, who ever got the idea to prepare it that way?

The original inhabitants of California ate acorns, but, if I remember correctly, they cannot be eaten without having some chemical leached out of them. If they couldn't eat them in the first place, who ever got the idea to leach them first?

I am very curiuos about this.

I also wonder how many people died early on as we experimented with what was edible and what was not.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Darwin would probably appreciate your final question...

I wonder that sometimes with the book I got from Dan two Christmas' ago: "How to Eat Dog". Why do we think it is fine to eat sheep and cows and pigs, but not dogs and horses and cats? Do they taste bad?

4:20 PM  

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