Lebedeva A. A. Different Fates: Turmeric and Pandanus in Micronesian Cultures

Arina Lebedeva
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia
E-mail: Sheremet@kunstkamera.ru


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ABSTRACT. The paper deals with the technologies of processing and specifics of using two plants by Micronesians: turmeric root crop in the West Carolines and pandanus fruit in some areas of East Micronesia. The ways of processing both plants are similar and aim to obtain a product that can be preserved for a long time. The products themselves are also similar and look like pressed fine powder. Turmeric powder was mostly used for dying clothes and painting body for some rituals and rites. Dried pandanus was consumed as food and played an important role in the life support system of the islanders. The differences in functions resulted in the unequal viability of the two products during the period of European presence in the region. Pandanus powder ceased to be produced at the turn of the twentieth century and packages with it can now be only found in museums, while turmeric still remains relevant in the Carolinean culture.


KEYWORDS: Micronesia, Caroline Islands, turmeric, pandanus, powder


УДК 39:641(93/96)
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2020-2(8)-110-117



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