Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pana(palmyra tree)

Image of the back side of a 'Chethukaran' He had wrapped his Knife on a wooden platform.
The knife used to cut the panangula for extracting 'Panangallu'. In malayalam sap tapping is known as 'Kallu chethuka'. The man who is doing tapping is known as 'Chethukaran'.
A garden palmyra tree from Subhash park, Ernakulam

Pana tree from Coimbatore (Karimbana)

Elephant with 'panmabatta' ( Leaves of pana). A fresh view from Punnathur kotta elephant camp, taken by my father who is an ardent lover of elephants. The above shot is of Guruvayoor Kannan, a young elephant of 'Aanakkotta'. Panambatta is the main fodder of elephants. Elephant eats the tree as a whole. Its a good thing to watch how they separate each item using their legs and trunk.

Pana maram from Kerala

Palm tree(Pana)-Leaves are used to feed elephants. Varieties of pana vishari pana, Enna pana(making palm oil), kallu pana(for making toddy) and kuda pana(for making umbrellas with palm leaves) and the associated stick is with bamboo. Leaves are used to cover the roof of houses. Its stem is used as pillars of the house. These stems and coconut palm stems are used as bridges across rivers, ponds and 'Thodu'. 'Ottathadipalam' is a common sight in kuttanadu. There were a lot of rivers and small canals in Kuttanadu. So these bridges are an inevitable and adventurous part of the journey. Inside part of the stem is used as a fodder for duck. Nila pana is a smaller version of the pana and it is a plant in Dashapushpam. These stems are used to make the handles of 'ulakka', 'thumba' and 'kodali'. These stems will not deteriorate even if it is in water.

Leaves of pana, a closer look

Para, pana, patha .....these are the words that we go through in the first days of malayalam learning. Pana is always stood as mystic thing to me. From the stories I believed that 'Yakshi' is living in Panas. The flower of Pana is the long hair of Yakshi. I was very afraid to even look at the long bunch of hanging flowers(is it flowers? I didn't have a close look at it because of the height).

There may be a pana maram or pala maram in the stories of yakshi.

'Panangallu' toddy made out of the pana, 'Panambatta' Leaves of palmyra trees are used as the main fodder of elephants. Its an 'Ottathadi maram' as we learn from the primary classes, 'ottathadi' means without branches. Other trees falling in this category are Coconut and Arecanut. Panangallu is made from this 'Panankula' its a tedious process. Fresh 'Panangallu' is very sweet and its considered to be an immune booster. After fermentation it become sour taste(from experts). In Kerala cuisine, a very special item using toddy for fermentaion its called 'Kallappam'.

'Pana nongu' is the fruit of another variety pana. I had seen a lorry full of 'Nongu' in Kochi which triggered the memories of our journeys to Kanyakumari. We can see heaps of pana nongu instead of bunches of tender coconut along the road side. Lot of handi craft items using pana nongu can also be seen in Kanyakumari, the one I still remember the head of an appooppan with golden colour beard....

I think Pana chakkara (karippetti), a special type jaggery is made from these type panas. Its also a icon of Tamil nadu. Its leaves are used to make roof of houses. 'Visharis' are also made from its leaves. Tree trunks were used as poles or support for houses. Inside part of the trunk is used as fodder for ducks. Its wood is used to make furnitures. The famous 'Ola padakkam' is wrapped up with these leaves.
Our traditional umbrellas are 'panayola kuda', it was used by our kings. Now its used in temples. These umbrellas are made from the variety 'Kuda pana'.

An interesting article about the traditional umbrella of Kerala.

Another variety of pana is chunda pana.

Tapping of sap(a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant) from the flower of palm -details and pictures from wikipedia.

Its not fair not to mention eentha pana in this category.


Ummer R V said...

Thought palmyra is the Karimpana and leaves of pana which the elephant eats is from the oil palm tree.

AswathiBabu said...

Look at this link about oil palm.


Related Posts with Thumbnails