Coconut Myths

Topics: Coconut, Coconut water, Fruit Pages: 6 (2291 words) Published: February 21, 2013
The coconut plant is found vastly across the tropic area and in time, it has proven its title as the “Tree of Life”. It is known for its great versatility as seen in the many domestic, commercial, and industrial uses of its different parts. The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and non-culinary uses. Its versatility is even noted in its naming. In Sanskrit it is kalpa vriksha which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life". In the Malay language, it is named pokok seribu guna meaning "the tree of a thousand uses" while in the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "Tree of Life". Nearly all parts of the plant are useful and can be utilized by humans for culinary, commercial, industrial, household use, culture, religion, medicinal, tool and shelter for animals and even as food and fragrance. If ever one gets deserted on an island, all he or she needs is a coconut tree to survive, thus, dubbed as the “Tree of Life”. In the Philippines, it is considered as one of the major dollar earner industry that provides livelihood to most of the country’s population. It sustains the Filipinos’ lives through its vast usefulness from roots to leaves which ultimately becomes the source of living of many people.

The coconut plant as the “Tree of Life” has been shown through history and even in legends and in folk tales. This plant has been recognized as a source of every thing a man may need. Several stories have depicted the origin and the uses of the plant and several motifs were also shown. This paper aims to discuss a brief summary of some of these stories, how the plant came to be, how some of its utilities are presented and how different themes and motifs are implied and discussed.

There are actually a lot of histories about the coconut. The coconut has been a staple source of food shelter and water for the people within the tropics, shores, and islands. There are great stories about the coconut. There are actually two versions to the story of the tale of the coconut in the Philippine version. The first talks about the friendship of the gods and their rivalry, and the second talks about the love story of a couple that became tragic. The first story is entitled “The First Coconut Tree and The Creation of Man” from the Tagalogs that tells the story of three lonely gods: Bathala (god of creation), Ulingkalulua (a large snake an god o the skies) and Galangkalulua, (the god with a winged head). When Bathala met Ulingkalulua, they engaged in a duel and Ulingkalulua was defeated and his body was burned. When Galangkalulua visited the temple of Bathala, he was welcomed and soon, they were friends. Until Galangkalulua became ill and was buried next to the burned body of Ulingkalulua. A few months passed by, Bathala noticed a coconut tree grew from where both the two dead gods was buried. The tree had the features of the head of the snake god with similar facial features, round eyes, flat nose, and a round mouth. The leaves of the tree have the shape of the wings of Galangkalulua and the trunk of this enemy, Ulingkalulua. Later in the creation of the first man, the coconut tree served to be the tree for the soul and provided the people with food, drink, and shelter until now.

This story not only showed how coconut came to be but it was shown how it became part of the origin of man and how it was believed to sustain the first generation of people with all the necessities in life. Coming from the Tagalogs, this myth truly proves that the coconut tree is the tree for the soul. The everlasting essence of friendship and respect was depicted in the story and the Tree of Life served as a tool for the continuity and preservation of life.

On the other hand, coconut plant proved to be a product of love, sacrifice and hope—the essence of life itself. This myth tells the tale of a young beautiful woman, whose father denied all of the suitors from visiting her....
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