Tapioca

A preparation made from CASSAVA tubers, by peeling, expressing the juice, grating and soaking the pulp, then heating it. This causes the starch to form the small lumps characteristic of tapioca (Kingsbury. 1964).

Taraxacum officinale > DANDELION TARO

(Colocasia antiquorum) Important as a food plant, particularly for its turnip-like root. The very large leaves (celebrated with the name Elephant's Ears) are eaten as vegetables, there are some restrictions on their use in Madagascar, where the plant is known as saonjo. For example, local custom there forbids the use while the rice crop is ripening (Ruud). Taro is important enough there to be used in ritual, and also to be subject to taboo. Malagasy bridal couples had to eat taro (and also bananas). Both are symbols of fertility and multiplication. The traditional blessing is "Plant saonjo and bananas" (Ruud). But walking across a field planted with saonjo is taboo for a pregnant woman. Sometimes, the large leaves are torn and ragged along the edges, and this will cause the child to be born with a hare-lip.

A Hawaiian origin myth tells how the plant grew from the embryo child of Papa and Wakea, two of the

Hawaiian pantheon (Beckwith. 1940). Similarly, there is a legend of Hoohuku-a-ke-lami, who had a child by her father, Wakea. It was born not in the form of a human being but of a root, and it was thrown away at the east corner of the house. Not long after, a taro plant grew from the spot, and afterwards, when a real child was born to them, Wakea named it from the stalk (ha) and the length (loa). Another version says that the child of Papa was born deformed, without arms or legs, and was buried at night at the end of the long house. In the morning there appeared the stalk and leaves of a taro plant, which Wakes named Ha-loa (long root-stalk), and Papa's next child was named after that plant (Beckwith. 1940).

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