powers would never be developed through the medium of the

time:2023-12-02 04:39:04 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:data

Every Cingalese throughout the Kandian district is provided with a section of one of these leaves, which forms a kind of fan about six feet in length. This is carried in the hand, and is only spread in case of rain, when it forms an impervious roofing of about three feet in width at the broad extremity. Four or five of these sections will form a circular roof for a small hut, which resembles a large umbrella or brobdignag mushroom.

powers would never be developed through the medium of the

There is a great peculiarity in the talipot palm. Is blossoms only once in a long period of years, and after this it dies. No flower can equal the elegance and extraordinary dimensions of this blossom; its size is proportionate to its leaves, and it usurps the place of the faded crest of green, forming a magnificent crown or plume of snow-white ostrich feathers, which stand upon the summit of the tall stem as though they were the natural head of the palm.

powers would never be developed through the medium of the

There is an interesting phenomenon at the period of flowering. The great plume already described, prior to its appearing in bloom, is packed in a large case or bud, about four feet long. In this case the blossom comes to maturity, at which time the tightened cuticle of the bard can no longer sustain the pressure of the expanding flower. It suddenly bursts with a loud report, and the beautiful plume, freed from its imprisonment, ascends at this signal and rapidly unfolds its feathers, towering above the drooping leaves which are hastening to decay.

powers would never be developed through the medium of the

The areca is a palm of great elegance; it rises to a height of about eighty feet, and a rich feathery crest adorns the summit. This is the most delicate stem of all the palm tribe; that of a tree of eighty feet in length would not exceed five inches in diameter. Nevertheless, I have never seen an areca palm overturned by a storm; they bow gracefully to the wind, and the extreme elasticity of the wood secures them from destruction.

This tree produces the commonly-called "betel-nut," but more properly the areca-nut. They grow in clusters beneath the crest of the palm, in a similar manner to the cocoa-nut; but the tree is more prolific, as it produces about two hundred nuts per annum. The latter are very similar to large nutmegs both in size and appearance, and, like the cocoa-nut, they are enclosed in an outer husk of a fibrous texture.

The consumption of these nuts may be imagined when it is explained that every native is perpetually chewing a mixture of this nut and betel leaf. Every man carries a betel bag, which contains the following list of treasures: a quantity of areca-nuts, a parcel of betel leaves, a roll of tobacco, a few pieces of ginger, an instrument similar to pruning scissors and a brass or silver case (according to the wealth of the individual) full of chunam paste - viz., a fine lime produced from burnt coral, slacked. This case very much resembles an old-fashioned warming-pan breed of watch and chateleine, as numerous little spoons for scooping out the chunam are attached to it by chains.

The betel is a species of pepper, the leaf of which very much resembles that of the black pepper, but is highly aromatic and pungent. It is cultivated to a very large extent by the natives, and may be seen climbing round poles and trees in every garden.

It has been said by some authors that the betel has powerful narcotic properties, but, on the contrary, its stimulating qualities have a directly opposite effect. Those who have attributed this supposed property to the betel leaf must have indulged in a regular native "chew" as an experiment, and have nevertheless been ignorant of the mixture.


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