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The Other Polynesian Gourd

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Title:The Other Polynesian Gourd
Authors:Whistler, W Arthur
Date Issued:Apr 1990
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Whistler WA. 1990. The other Polynesian gourd. Pac Sci 44(2): 115-122.
Abstract:A review of botanical specimens and ethnographic literature
indicates that a small calabash used as a vessel for scented coconut oil in
Polynesia before European contact belongs to Benin casa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn.,
the wax gourd, rather than to Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl., the bottle
gourd. Current literature does not mention any use of the edible wax gourd fruit
as a calabash. It was also determined that there is no verifiable record of the
bottle gourd having been present in western Polynesia before 1965, suggesting
that the known occurrence of this species in eastern Polynesia before European
contact may be attributed to dispersal from South America rather than from the
west as is commonly believed.
Appears in Collections: Whistler, W. Arthur
Pacific Science Volume 44, Number 2, 1990

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