Jackfruit

(Artocarpus heterophyllus) A near relative of Breadfruit, but the fruits are much larger, and, astonishingly, may weigh as much as 26 pounds or more (Tosco). The tree is now grown in all tropical countries, but it is economically important only in tropical Asia. The enormous size of these fruits convinced the Negritos of Malaysia that this was the original, or archetypal, fruit, from which all others are descended (Endicott).

Southern Indian symbolism equates the Jackfruit tree with the life-span of the family and its ancestral house, so it is a sacred tree there (Rival). One will be planted at the south-west corner of a house, to be associated, not with the ghost of an original family member, but with all the ancestors of the house and the past and present family group that it shelters. The tree therefore is a "metaphor" for the "longevity of the house-family group" (Uchimayada). But it is feared in Jamaica, where no driver will agree to carry them -"they think it attracts duppies, and will cause an accident" (Newall. 1981).

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