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Calabash (''Lagenaria siceraria''), also known as bottle gourd, white-flowered gourd, long melon, New Guinea bean and Tasmania bean, is a
vine A vine (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...

vine
grown for its fruit. It can be either harvested young to be consumed as a
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers A flower, som ...

vegetable
, or harvested mature to be dried and used as a utensil. When it is fresh, the fruit has a light green smooth skin and white flesh. Calabash fruits have a variety of shapes: they can be huge and rounded, small and bottle-shaped, or slim and serpentine, and they can grow to be over a metre long. Rounder varieties are typically called calabash gourds. The gourd was one of the world's first cultivated plants grown not primarily for food, but for use as containers. The bottle gourd may have been carried from Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas in the course of
human migration Human migration involves the movement of people from one place to another with intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily, at a new location (geographic region). The movement often occurs over long distances and from one country ...

human migration
, or by seeds floating across the oceans inside the gourd. It has been proven to have existed in the New World prior to the arrival of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
. Because bottle gourds are also called "calabashes", they are sometimes confused with the hard, hollow fruits of the unrelated calabash tree (''
Crescentia cujete ''Crescentia cujete'', commonly known as the calabash tree, is a species of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Gre ...

Crescentia cujete
''), whose fruits are also used to make utensils, containers, and musical instruments.


History

The bottle gourd has been recovered from archaeological contexts in China and Japan dating to ca. 8,000–9,000 B.P

whereas in Africa, despite decades of high-quality archaeobotanical research, the earliest record of its occurrence remains the 1884 report of a bottle gourd being recovered from a 12th Dynasty tomb at Thebes dating to ca. 4,000 B.P

When considered together, the genetic and archaeological information points toward L. siceraria being independently brought under domestication first in Asia, and more than 4,000 years later, in Africa

The bottle gourd is a commonly Horticulture, cultivated plant in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, and was eventually domesticated in southern Africa. Stands of ''L. siceraria'', which may be source plants and not merely domesticated stands, were reported in Zimbabwe in 2004. This apparent wild plant produces thinner-walled fruit that, when dried, would not endure the rigors of use on long journeys as a water container. Today's gourd may owe its tough, waterproof wall to
selection Selection may refer to: In science: * Selection (biology) Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is ill ...
pressures over its long history of
domestication Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that sec ...
. Gourds were cultivated in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas for thousands of years before Columbus' arrival to the Americas. In Europe,
Walahfrid Strabo Walafrid, alternatively spelt Walahfrid, surnamed Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called " Pompeius Str ...
(808–849), abbot and poet from Reichenau and advisor to the
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
kings, discussed the gourd in his ''Hortulus'' as one of the 23 plants of an ideal garden. The mystery of the bottle gourd – namely that this African or Eurasian species was being grown in the Americas over 8,000 years ago – comes from the difficulty in understanding how it arrived in the Americas. The bottle gourd is usually thought to have drifted across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America, but in 2005 a group of researchers suggested that it may have been domesticated earlier than food crops and livestock and, like dogs, was brought into the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: " 6c:_from__...
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at the end of the ice age by the native hunter-gatherer Paleo-Indians, which they based on a study of the genetics of archaeological samples. This study purportedly showed that gourds in American archaeological finds were more closely related to Asian variants than to African ones. In 2014 this theory was repudiated based on a more thorough genetic study. Researchers more completely examined the plastid genomes of a broad sample of bottle gourds, and concluded that North and South American specimens were most closely related to wild African variants and could have drifted over the ocean several or many times, as long as 10,000 years ago.


Cultivation

Bottle gourds are grown by direct sowing of seeds or transplanting 15- to 20-day-old seedlings. The plant prefers well-drained, moist, organic rich soil. It requires plenty of moisture in the growing season and a warm, sunny position, sheltered from the wind. It can be cultivated in small places such as in a pot, and allowed to spread on a trellis or roof. In rural areas, many houses with thatched roofs are covered with the gourd vines. Bottle gourds grow very rapidly and their stems can reach a length of 9 m in the summer, so they need a solid support along the stem if they are to climb a pole or trellis. If planted under a tall tree, the vine may grow up to the top of the tree. To obtain more fruit, farmers sometimes cut off the tip of the vine when it has grown to 6–8 feet in length. This forces the plant to produce side branches that will bear flowers and yield more fruit. The plant produces night blooming white flowers. The male flowers have long peduncles and the females have short ones with an ovary in the shape of the fruit. Sometimes the female flowers drop off without growing into a gourd due to the failure of pollination if there is no night pollinator (probably a kind of moth) in the garden. Hand pollination can be used to solve the problem. Pollen size is ~60 microns. First crop is ready for harvest within two months; first flowers open in about 45 days from sowing. Each plant can yield 1 fruit per day for the next 45 days if enough nutrients are available. Yield ranges from 35–40 tons/ha, per season of 3 months cycle. File:Calabash (Lagenaria siceraria) in Seoul.jpg, Pear-shaped bottle gourd in
Seoul Seoul (, like ''soul''; ko, 서울 ; ), officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppe ...

Seoul
, Korea File:JfPasongBangkal8236SanRafaelfvf 23.JPG, Slim, elongated upo squash, in
San Rafael, Bulacan , officially the ( tgl, Bayan ng ), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...
, Philippines File:Lagenaria siceraria "geese".jpg, Crook-necked "geese" cultivar in
Granville Island Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. The peninsula was once an industrial manufac ...

Granville Island
Public Market, Canada File:Edible immature Lagenaria siceraria fruits, longissima snake gourds.jpg, Serpentine snake gourds in
Media, Pennsylvania Media is a borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...
, United States File:Calabash flower.jpg, Calabash flower File:Bottle gourd seeds.jpg, Calabash seeds File:2007.10-310-270 Bottle gourd,bowl,spoon(frm Sikasso) Bamako,ML mon29oct2007-1315h.jpg, Collection of bowls and spoons made of bottle gourd from
Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية م ...

Mali
, 2007 File:2015-03-20 Wuhua District, Yunnan, Kunming 光華街(雲南省昆明市五華区, 中国) DSCF3570.jpg, Wuhua District,
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
,
Kunming Kunming (; ), also known as Yunnan-Fu, is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximate ...

Kunming
,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China


Toxicity

Like other members of the family
Cucurbitaceae The Cucurbitaceae, also called cucurbits or the gourd family, are a plant family (biology), family consisting of about 965 species in around 95 genera, of which the most important to humans are: *''Cucurbita'' – Squash (plant), squash, pumpkin, ...

Cucurbitaceae
, gourds contain
cucurbitacin Cucurbitacin is any of a class of biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ' ...
s that are known to be
cytotoxic Cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxicity, toxic to cell (biology), cells. Examples of toxic agents are an immune cell or some types of venom, e.g. from the Bitis arietans, puff adder (''Bitis arietans'') or brown recluse spider (''Loxosceles r ...
at a high concentration. The
tetracyclic Tetracyclics are chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chem ...
triterpenoid Triterpenes are a class of chemical compounds composed of three terpene Terpenes () are a class of natural product A natural product is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules ( ...
cucurbitacins present in fruits and vegetables of the cucumber family are responsible for the bitter taste, and could cause stomach ulcers. In extreme cases, people have died from drinking the juice of gourds. The toxic cases are usually due to the gourd being used to make juice, which the drinkers described as being unusually bitter. In three of the lethal cases, the victims were diabetics in their 50s and 60s.Indian Council of Medical Research Task Force, 2011
Gastrointestinal toxicity due to bitter bottle gourd
/ref> In 2018, a healthy woman in her 40s was hospitalized for severe reactions after consuming the juice and died three days later from complications. The plant is not normally toxic when eaten. The excessively bitter (and toxic) gourds are due to improper storage (temperature swings or high temperature) and over-ripening.


Culinary uses


Central America

In Central America the seeds of the bottle gourd are toasted and ground with other ingredients (including rice, cinnamon, and allspice) to make one type of the drink ''
horchata Horchata (; ), or (), is a name given to various kinds of plant milk Plant milk (plant-based liquids, alternative milk, nut milk or vegan milk) is a plant juice that resembles the color of milk and refers to manufactured, nondairy beverag ...
''.


East Asia


China

The calabash is frequently used in southern Chinese cuisine in either a stir-fry dish or a soup.


Japan

In Japan, it is commonly sold in the form of dried, marinated strips known as '' kanpyō'' and is used as an ingredient for making ''
makizushi is a traditional Japanese dish of prepared , usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of , such as seafood Seafood is any form of Marine life, sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including Fish as food, fish ...

makizushi
'' (rolled
sushi is a traditional Japanese dish of prepared , usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of , such as seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are Aquatic an ...

sushi
).


Korea

Traditionally in Korea, the inner flesh has been eaten as ''
namul Namul ( ko, 나물) refers to either a variety of edible grass or leaves or seasoned herbal dishes made of them. Wild greens are called ''san-namul'' (, "mountain namul"), and spring vegetables are called ''bom-namul'' (, "spring namul"). On th ...
'' vegetable and the outside cut in half to make bowls. Both fresh and dried flesh of ''bak'' is used in
Korean cuisine Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at ...

Korean cuisine
. Fresh calabash flesh, scraped out, seeded, salted and squeezed to draw out moisture, is called ''baksok''. Scraped and sun-dried calabash flesh, called ''bak-goji'', is usually soaked before being stir-fried. Soaked ''bak-goji'' is often simmered in sauce or stir-fried before being added to ''
japchae ''Japchae'' () is a savory and slightly sweet dish of stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables that is popular in Korean cuisine. ''Japchae'' is typically prepared with ''dangmyeon'' (당면, 唐麵), a type of cellophane noodles made from sweet ...

japchae
'' and
gimbap ''Gimbap'' (), also romanized as kimbap, is a Korean cuisine, Korean dish made from Bap (food), cooked rice and ingredients such as vegetables, fish and meats that are rolled in ''gim (food), gim''—dried sheets of seaweed—and served in bite-s ...

gimbap
. Sometimes uncooked raw ''baksok'' is seasoned to make '' saengchae''. File:Baknamul(seasoned calabash).jpg, ''Bak-
namul Namul ( ko, 나물) refers to either a variety of edible grass or leaves or seasoned herbal dishes made of them. Wild greens are called ''san-namul'' (, "mountain namul"), and spring vegetables are called ''bom-namul'' (, "spring namul"). On th ...
'' (seasoned calabash side dish)


Southeast Asia


Burma

In Burma, it is a popular fruit. The young leaves are also boiled and eaten with a spicy, fermented fish sauce. It can also be cut up, coated in batter and deep fried to make
fritters A fritter is a portion of meat, seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digi ...

fritters
, which are eaten with Burmese
mohinga Mohinga (, ; also spelt mont hin gar) is a rice noodle and fish soup from Myanmar and an essential part of Burmese cuisine, considered by many to be the national dish of Myanmar. Mohinga is readily available in most parts of the country, sold by H ...

mohinga
.


Philippines

In the Philippines, calabash is often cooked with pork and sotanghon noodles and served on top of rice. Upojf.JPG, Upo (bottle gourd or calabash) with sotanghon


Vietnam

In
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...
, it is a very popular vegetable, commonly cooked in soup with shrimp, meatballs, clams, various fish like freshwater catfish or snakehead fish or crab. It is also commonly stir-fried with meat or seafood, or incorporated as an ingredient of a
hotpot Hot pot or hotpot (), also known as soup-food or steamboat, is a cooking method that originated in China, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of Chinese foodstuffs and ingredients. Descriptio ...

hotpot
. It is also used as a medicine. Americans have called calabashes from Vietnam "opo squash". The
shoot In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anci ...

shoot
s,
tendril In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the An ...

tendril
s, and
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
of the plant may also be eaten as
greens Greens may refer to: *Leaf vegetable Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. Althou ...
.


South Asia


India

A popular north Indian dish is ''lauki channa'', ('' channa dal'' and diced gourd in a semi-dry gravy). In the state of
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
in India, a similar preparation called ''dudhi channa'' is popular. The skin of the vegetable is used in making a dry spicy
chutney A chutney is a spread in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent Cuisine of the Indian subcontinent includes the cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, techniques and dishes, and usually ...
preparation. It is consumed in
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
with fish curries, as boiled vegetable curry and also fried with potato and tomatoes. ''Lauki
kheer Kheer (kheeri, payesh, payox, payasam or phirni) is a sweet dish and a type of wet pudding popular in the Indian subcontinent, usually made by boiling milk, sugar or jaggery, and rice, although rice is sometimes substituted with one of the foll ...

kheer
'' (grated bottle gourd, sugar and milk preparation) is a dessert from
Telangana Telangana (, , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Telangana
, usually prepared for festive occasions. In Andhra Pradesh it is called Anapakaya and is used to make Anapakaya pulusu (with tamarind juice), Anapakaya Palakura(curry with milk and spices) and Anapakaya Pappu (with lentils) ''Lau chingri'', a dish prepared with bottle gourd and
prawn Prawn is a common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes ...

prawn
, is popular in
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
. Although popularly called “Lauki” in Hindi in northern part of the country,It is also called ''kaddu'' in certain parts of country like eastern India. Interestingly Kaddu popularly translates to pumpkin in northern India. It is consumed as a dish with rice or roti for its medicinal benefits.


Bangladesh

In Bangladesh the fruit is served with rice as a common dish.


Nepal

In Nepal, in the Madheshi southern plains, preparations other than as a normal vegetable include ''halwa'' and ''khichdi''.


Pakistan

In Pakistan, the calabash is cultivated on a large scale as its fruit are a popular vegetable.


Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, it is used in combination with rice to make a variety of milk rice, which is a popular dish in Sri Lanka.


Cultural uses


Africa

Hollowed-out and dried calabashes are a very typical utensil in households across West Africa. They are used to clean rice, carry water, and as food containers. Smaller sizes are used as bowls to drink
palm wine Palm wine, known by several local names, is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap SAP SE () is a German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ) is a States of Germany, ...

palm wine
. Calabashes are used in making the West African instruments like the , a Yoruba instrument similar to a maracca, ''
kora Kora may refer to Places India * Kora, Bardhaman, West Bengal * Kora, Bharuch, Gujarat * Kora, Katihar, Bihar * Kora, Kendrapara, Odisha * Kora, Wardha, Maharastra * Kora, Tumakuru, Karnataka * Toyaguda, Adilabad, Telangana, formerly called Kora ...
'' (a harp-lute), ''
xalam Xalam (in Serer, or khalam in Wolof) is a traditional stringed musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical ins ...
''/''ngoni'' (a lute) and the ''
goje The goje (the Hausa Hausa may refer to: * Hausa people, an ethnic group of West Africa * Hausa language, spoken in West Africa * Hausa Kingdoms, a historical collection of Hausa city-states * Hausa (horse) or Dongola horse, an African breed of ri ...

goje
'' (a traditional fiddle). They also serve as resonators underneath the ''
balafon The balafon (, ) is a gourd-resonated xylophone, a type of struck idiophone. It is closely associated with the neighbouring Mandé peoples, Mandé, Senufo people, Senoufo and Gur languages, Gur peoples of West Africa, particularly the Guinean br ...

balafon
'' (West African
marimba The marimba () is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with yarn wrapped or rubber mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators or pipes are suspended underneath the bars to amplify the sound of the wooden bars. Th ...

marimba
). The calabash is also used in making the ''shegureh'' (a Sierra Leonean women's rattle) and ''balangi'' (a Sierra Leonean type of'' balafon'') musical instruments. Sometimes large calabashes are simply hollowed, dried and used as percussion instruments, especially by
Fulani The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people ( ff, Fulɓe, ; french: Peul, links=no; ha, Fulani or Hilani; pt, Fula, links=no; wo, Pël; bm, Fulaw) are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel The Sahel (; ar, ساحل ' , "coast, shore") i ...
, Songhai, -speaking and
Hausa Hausa may refer to: * Hausa people, an ethnic group of West Africa * Hausa language, spoken in West Africa * Hausa Kingdoms, a historical collection of Hausa city-states * Hausa (horse) or Dongola horse, an African breed of riding horse See also
Hausa
peoples. In
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
the calabash has been used to attempt circumventing a law requiring the wearing of a helmet on a motorcycle. In
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
it is commonly used as a drinking vessel and a vessel for carrying food by communities, such as the
Sepedi Northern Sotho, or as an endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of ...
and
IsiZulu Zulu (), or isiZulu as an endonym, is a Southern Bantu languages, Southern Bantu language of the Nguni languages, Nguni branch spoken in Southern Africa. It is the language of the Zulu people, with about 12 million native speakers, who primaril ...

IsiZulu
. Erbore children of Ethiopia wear hats made from the calabash to protect them from the sun. Recently the Soccer City stadium which hosted the FIFA World Cup has been completed and its shape takes inspiration from the calabash. The calabash is also used in the manufacture of
puppets A puppet is an object, often resembling a human, animal or mythical figure, that is animated or manipulated by a person called a puppeteer. The puppeteer uses movements of their hands, arms, or control devices such as rods or strings to move ...

puppets
. File:Refreshing palm wine.jpg, Calabashes (''nkalu'' in
Kikongo Kongo or Kikongo is one of the Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity ...
) are used to collect and store
palm wine Palm wine, known by several local names, is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap SAP SE () is a German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ) is a States of Germany, ...

palm wine
in
Bandundu Province Bandundu is one of eleven former provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It bordered the provinces of Kinshasa and Bas-Congo to the west, Équateur (former province), Équateur to the north, and Kasai-Occidental to the east. The provin ...
,
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
File:Toumani Diabaté.jpg, The Malian
kora Kora may refer to Places India * Kora, Bardhaman, West Bengal * Kora, Bharuch, Gujarat * Kora, Katihar, Bihar * Kora, Kendrapara, Odisha * Kora, Wardha, Maharastra * Kora, Tumakuru, Karnataka * Toyaguda, Adilabad, Telangana, formerly called Kora ...
player
Toumani Diabaté Toumani Diabaté (born 10 August 1965) is a Malian Kora (instrument), kora player. In addition to performing the traditional music of Mali, he has also been involved in cross-cultural collaborations with flamenco, blues, jazz, and other internat ...

Toumani Diabaté
with his instrument File:Ayumaré.jpg, Calabash
puppet A puppet is an object, often resembling a human, animal or mythical figure, that is animated or manipulated by a person called a puppeteer A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object, called a puppet A puppet is an ...

puppet
(
Marionette A marionette (; french: marionnette, ) is a puppet A puppet is an object, often resembling a human, animal or mythical figure, that is animated or manipulated by a person called a puppeteer A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inan ...

Marionette
) File:Festival du Bout du Monde 2017 - Sona Jobarteh - 001.jpg, The African percussion calabash


China

The ''húlu'' ( 葫芦/ 葫蘆), as the calabash is called in
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more ...
'','' is an ancient symbol for health. Hulu had fabled healing properties due to doctors in former times carrying medicine inside it. The ''hulu'' was believed to absorb negative, earth-based '''' (energy) that would otherwise affect health, and is a
traditional Chinese medicine#REDIRECT Traditional Chinese medicine {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
cure. The bottle gourd is a symbol of the
Eight Immortals The Eight Immortals () are a group of legendary ''xian Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction betwe ...

Eight Immortals
, and particularly
Li Tieguai Li Tieguai (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compos ...
, who is associated with medicine. Li Tieguai's gourd was said to carry medicine that could cure any illness and never emptied, which he dispensed to the poor and needy. Some folk myths say the "gourd had spirals of smoke ascend from it, denoting his power of setting his spirit free from his body," and that it "served as a bedroom for the night..." Dried calabash were also used as containers for liquids, often liquors or medicines. Calabash gourds were also grown in earthen molds to form different shapes with imprinted floral or arabesque designs. Molded gourds were also dried to house pet crickets. The texture of the gourd lends itself nicely to the sound of the insect, much like a musical instrument. The musical instrument, ''hulusi'', is a kind of flute made from the gourd. File:Gourd katydid cage with pressed flower design.JPG, A
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
cricket cage File:FSbottlegourd.jpg, A bottle gourd File:Wang Li playing an hulusi (calabash flute) - 2012 Richmond Folk Festival.jpg, A ''
hulusi The ''hulusi'' (traditional: wiktionary:葫蘆絲, 葫蘆絲; simplified: wiktionary:葫, 葫wiktionary:芦, 芦wiktionary:丝, 丝; pinyin: húlúsī), also known as the cucurbit flute and the gourd flute is a Free reed aerophone, free reed w ...

hulusi
'', the calabash gourd flute or bottle gourd flute


Hawaii

In
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
the word "calabash" refers to a large serving bowl, usually made from hardwood rather than from the calabash gourd, which is used on a buffet table or in the middle of the dining table. The use of the calabash in Hawaii has led to terms like "calabash family" or "calabash cousins", indicating an extended family grown up around shared meals and close friendships. This gourd is often dried when ripe and used as a percussion instrument called an ''ipu heke'' in contemporary and ancient hula.


India/Bangladesh

The calabash is used as a resonator in many string instruments in India. Instruments that look like guitars are made of wood, but can have a calabash resonator at the end of the strings table, called ''toomba''. The ''
sitar The sitar ( or ; ) is a plucked stringed instrument Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device cr ...

sitar
'', the ''
surbahar ''Surbahar'' (pronunciation: ) (literally: ''"Springtime of Notes"''), sometimes known as bass sitar, is a plucked string instrument Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instruments that are played by plucking the string (m ...
'', the ''
tanpura The tanpura (तानपूरा; or tambura, tanpuri) is a long-necked plucked string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapte ...
'' (north of India, ''tambura'' south of India), may have a ''toomba''. In some cases, the ''toomba'' may not be functional, but if the instrument is large, it is retained because of its balance function, which is the case of the ''
Saraswati veena The Sarasvati vīṇa (also spelled Saraswati vina) (Devanagari: सरस्वती वीण (vīṇa), bn, সরস্বতী বীণা, te, సరస్వతి వీణ, kan, ಸರಸ್ವತಿ ವೀಣೆ, ta, சரஸ ...
''. Other instruments like ''
rudra veena ''Rudra veena'' (also spelled ''Rudra vina'', and also called ''Bīn'' in North India), is a stick zither, a large plucked string instrument originating from the Indian subcontinent and used in Hindustani classical music. It is one of the major ty ...

rudra veena
'' and ''
vichitra veena The ''vichitra veena'' ( sa, विचित्र वीणा is a stick zither Bar zither is class of musical instruments (subset of zither) within the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system for a type of simple chordophone (stringed instrume ...
'' have two large calabash resonators at both ends of the strings table. The Baul singers of Bengal have musical instruments made out of calabash. The practice is also common among
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
and
Jain Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religion ...

Jain
sages. These ''toombas'' are made of dried calabash gourds, using special cultivars that were originally imported from Africa and Madagascar. They are mostly grown in
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
and near
Miraj Miraj (Pronunciation: iɾəd͡z ) is a city in Sangli District, southern Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine ...

Miraj
,
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
. These gourds are valuable items and they are carefully tended; for example, they are sometimes given injections to stop worms and insects from making holes in them while they are drying. File:Deutsches Museum (121283169).jpg, ''
Sitar The sitar ( or ; ) is a plucked stringed instrument Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device cr ...

Sitar
s and one ''rudra veena'' (down right) File:Sitar3.jpg, Sitar with resonator made from a bottle gourd. ''
Surbahar ''Surbahar'' (pronunciation: ) (literally: ''"Springtime of Notes"''), sometimes known as bass sitar, is a plucked string instrument Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instruments that are played by plucking the string (m ...
'' is similar but larger and with lower sounds (something like a bass ''sitar'') File:Srivani veena.jpg,
Saraswati veena The Sarasvati vīṇa (also spelled Saraswati vina) (Devanagari: सरस्वती वीण (vīṇa), bn, সরস্বতী বীণা, te, సరస్వతి వీణ, kan, ಸರಸ್ವತಿ ವೀಣೆ, ta, சரஸ ...
, the calabash resonator is not always functional but it is kept in place because of the balancing effect. File:Asad Ali Khan.jpg, Rudra veena is a large plucked
string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument ...

string instrument
used in
Hindustani classical music Hindustani classical music is the of northern regions of the . It may also be called North Indian classical music or, in , shastriya sangeet (). Its origins date from the 12th century , when it diverged from , the classical tradition of southe ...
. One of the major types of ''
veena The ''veena'', also spelled ''vina'' (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics i ...

veena
'' played in Indian classical music, it has two calabash gourd resonators. The ''
vichitra veena The ''vichitra veena'' ( sa, विचित्र वीणा is a stick zither Bar zither is class of musical instruments (subset of zither) within the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system for a type of simple chordophone (stringed instrume ...
'', also with two large resonators, is a similar instrument. File:Ektara player 2.jpg,
Ektara Ektara ( hi, एकतारा, ur, اِک تارا, bn, একতারা, ne, एकतारे, pa, ਇਕ ਤਾਰਾ, ta, எக்டரா; literally 'one-string', also called actara, iktar, ektar, yaktaro, gopichand, gopichant, g ...

Ektara
(one string) resonator made from a calabash gourd File:Shubha Mudgal in playing the Tanpura (2527339532).jpg, The ''tambura'' or ''
tanpura The tanpura (तानपूरा; or tambura, tanpuri) is a long-necked plucked string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapte ...
'' may have a ''toomba'' (although not in this picture), a resonator made of calabash at the end of the strings table.
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
ascetics (''
sadhu ''Sadhu'' (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientif ...

sadhu
'') traditionally use a dried gourd vessel called the ''
kamandalu Kamandalu (: कमण्डलु, ) or kamandal or kamandalam is an oblong water pot, originating from the , made of a dry () or shell, metal, wood of the Kamandalataru tree, or from clay, usually with a handle and sometimes with a spout. asc ...

kamandalu
''. The juice of a bottle gourd is considered to have medicinal properties and be very healthy (see juice toxicity above). In parts of India a dried, unpunctured gourd is used as a float (called ''surai-kuduvai'' in Tamil) to help people learn to swim in rural areas.


Philippines

In the Philippines dried calabash gourds are one of the materials from which the traditional headgear known as the ''
salakot Salakót is a traditional lightweight headgear Headgear, headwear, or headdress is the name given to any element of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and att ...

salakot
'' is commonly made. In 2012 Teofilo Garcia of Abra in
Luzon Luzon (; ) is the largest and most populous List of islands in the Philippines, island in the Philippines. It is ranked List of islands by area, 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern portion of the archipelago, it is the ...
, an expert artisan of a special kind of ''salakot'' made of calabash was awarded by the
National Commission for Culture and the Arts The National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines ( fil, Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining, ceb, Nasodnong Komisyon alang sa Budaya ug mga Arte) is the official government agency for culture in the Philippines. ...
with the ''"Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan"'' (National Living Treasures Award) for his dedication to the traditional craft of making gourd salakot, affirming the ''salakot'' (the object of his art) as one of the
intangible cultural heritage An intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies ...
of the Philippines under the traditional craftsmanship category. File:Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Money Museum salakot display.jpg, ''
Salakot Salakót is a traditional lightweight headgear Headgear, headwear, or headdress is the name given to any element of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and att ...

Salakot
'' in the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (; commonly abbreviated as BSP in both Filipino and English) is the central bank A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the and of a or formal monetary union, ...
Money Museum, the bottom one is made from calabash File:Salakots and women's hats (1900).jpg, ''
Salakot Salakót is a traditional lightweight headgear Headgear, headwear, or headdress is the name given to any element of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and att ...

Salakot
'' from the Philippines (c.1900), the top one is made from calabash File:LM DIEGO SILANG.jpg, Bust of
Diego Silang Diego Silang y Andaya (; December 16, 1730 – May 28, 1763) was a Filipino revolutionary leader who allied with British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the cit ...
, an 18th-century Filipino revolutionary leader, shown wearing a ''
salakot Salakót is a traditional lightweight headgear Headgear, headwear, or headdress is the name given to any element of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and att ...

salakot
'' made from bottle gourd


South America

In Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay calabash gourds are dried and carved into ''mates'' (from the
Quichua Kichwa (''Kichwa shimi,'' ''Runashimi,'' also Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Can ...
word ''mathi'', adopted into the Spanish language), the traditional container for
mate Mate may refer to: Science * Mate, one of a pair of animals involved in: ** Mate choice, intersexual selection ** Mating * Multi-antimicrobial extrusion protein, or MATE, an efflux transporter family of proteins Person or title * Mate (colloqu ...
, the caffeinated, tea-like drink brewed from the
yerba mate Yerba mate or yerba-maté (''Ilex paraguariensis''; from Spanish ; pt, erva-mate, or ; gn, ka'a, ) is a plant species of the holly genus ''Ilex'' native to South America. It was named by the French botanist Augustin Saint-Hilaire. The indi ...

yerba mate
plant. In the region it is called ''mate'' as is also the calabash from which the drinking vessels are made, and in Peru it is used in a popular practice for the making of mate burilado; "''burilado''" is the technique adopted for decorating the ''mate'' calabashes. File:Lagenaria siceraria mate fruits from accesion.jpg, ''L. siceraria'' "''mate''" type. File:Tipos de mate (recipiente).jpg, ''Mate'' carved and decorated as a drinking container (also called ''mate'', and the infusion also called ''mate''). File:Lagenaria siceraria - Mates Burilados Carved Gourds - Cusco, Perú detail.jpg, ''Mate burilado'' in Peru In Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador calabash gourds are used for medicinal purposes. The Inca culture applied symbols from folklore to gourds, this practice is still familiar and valued.


Other uses


Tobacco smoking pipe

The gourd can be dried and used to smoke pipe tobacco. According to American consular reports from the early 20th century calabash pipes were commonly used in South Africa. Calabash was said to bestow a "special softness" of flavor that could not be duplicated by other materials. The lining was made of meerschaum, though tin was used for low-grade models. A typical design yielded by this squash is recognized (theatrically) as the pipe of Sherlock Holmes, but the inventor of this character, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, never mentioned Holmes using a calabash pipe. It was the preferred pipe for stage actors portraying Holmes, because they could balance this pipe better than other styles while delivering their lines.


Enema equipment

The gourd is used traditionally to administer enemas. Along the upper Congo River an enema apparatus is made by making a hole in one end of the gourd for filling it, and using a resin to attach a hollow cane to the gourd's neck.


References


External links


How Bottle Gourds were brought to America by Native Americans


* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/05/africa_fishing_festival/html/1.stm Calabashes used for flotation and to store fish during huge Nigerian fish festival]
Brief discussion of the species, uses, ecology, and etymology of generic and specific names
{{Authority control Fruits originating in Africa Bottles Burmese cuisine Chinese cuisine Crops originating from Asia Cucurbitoideae Flora of Western Asia Fruit vegetables Hawaiian cuisine Italian cuisine Korean vegetables Mexican culture Namul Native American culture Philippine cuisine Pipe smoking Decorative fruits and seeds Japanese cuisine lt:Kalabasa