Saturday, May 5, 2018

Appendix 1

A long time ago a very elderly woman died of old age. Before she died she asked that she be buried near a busy crossroad. About three months after her funeral, two brightly coloured flowers bloomed with greenish, tubular stems on the grave above her loins. As the petals fell away from the flowers, it exposed an egg shaped seedpod.
When a farmer saw these strange plants, he extracted the sap by slitting the pod vertically in parallel strokes with a special curved knife. As the sap oozed out, it turned darker and thicker, forming a brownish-black gum. The farmer collected the gum with a scraping knife, bundled it into bricks, cakes and balls, wrapped them in leaves and brought it back to the village.

They mixed the gum with lime in boiling water and let the waste sink to the bottom. On the surface a white band formed, which was drawn off, reheated, filtered and boiled again until it was reduced to a brown paste. The villagers
smoked the paste in their pipes and liked the taste more than the tobacco so they planted their fields and began selling it to the other villages.

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