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A superb Coco de Mer Coconut box from the Seychelles Islands

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Collection No. T-4202
Size Height 25cm without the stand
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
The Art of Compassion The Todd Barlin Collection
Asian & Japan Scholars Art
Abelam New Guinea Art
See more Fine Tribal Folk Art in Tribal and Folk Art Gallery

A superb Coco de Mer Coconut box from the Seychelles Islands

Coco de Mer is a rare species of palm tree native to the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and is the subject of various legends and lore. Coco de Mer is endemic to the Seychelles islands of Praslin and Curieuse. Before the Seychelles were discovered and settled, nuts of this species were sometimes carried by the ocean currents to distant shores, such as those of the Maldives, where the tree was unknown. These floating nuts did not germinate. The exceptional size and suggestive form of the nut, the circumstances of its discovery, and some unusual qualities of the trees have given rise to several legends.

The nut of the Coco de Mer is very large (the largest seed in the plant kingdom) and is oddly shaped, being the shape and size of a woman’s disembodied buttocks on one side, and a woman’s belly and thighs on the other side. Not surprisingly, this nut was viewed by people in other parts of the world as a rare and fascinating object with mythological and even magical properties. The nature and origin of this extraordinary nut were mysterious, and the propagation of the tree was not understood.

The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea & unusual art and Oceanic art


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