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[Aroid-l] Aroid art.

Dear Fellow Aroidophiles,

Check this issue (Sept. 2007) of "Smithsonian" magazine, as there is a photo 
of a painting on pg. 79 which depicts some aroids!
Some of you may recall a note I posted some time ago (or I may have sent it 
only to those of "us" who are collectors of or interested in art depicting 
aroids), anyway it was about a reproduction of a painting in a book I own 
("The Body", by Edward Lucie-Smith), the painting is by the Dutchman Albert 
Van Der Eeckhout (Active 1637-1664), and it depicts a native woman in Brazil 
holding a human forarm, and she carries a basket held by a 'tump line', it 
contains the lower leg and foot of a human.   This picture is shown in this 
issue of Smithsonian!!!
The fingers of the hand of the severed arm she holds seem to 'point', and 
draws our attention to a clump of plants of the giant swamp aroid 
Montrichardia linifera ('wild tannia' in Trinidad), on which several 
developing and a mature infructesence are depicted.   I believe the artist 
was depicting or trying to bring the viewers attention to some of the 
Brazilian native plants which were and still are used as food by  indigenous 
peoples.  Over her head are also depicted the tree Inga sp.  in fruit, these 
long pods contain seeds covered in a thick white pulp, sweet and VERY 
thirst- quenching.   We have a smaller version of this same fruit which 
grows wild in the jungle of my homeland Trinidad, W.I.   We call it by the 
old patois name, our own 'pois doux' (sweet peas). Some of us who have been 
privilidged to visit the  Amazon region surely have sampled this wonderful 
treat.   Near to her feet are broken pods of some tree, maybe a Cassia sp. 
(sweet tasting, pulp-covered seeds when sucked), or perhaps some type of 
edible tubers ("chubas'' to those who have heard my accented speech).  To 
get back to the Montrichardia fruit, I have been informed that when roasted, 
these have a  wonderfully 'nutty' taste, with a creamy texture!    No less a 
person than our own aroid expert Pete Boyce, who sampled them on a trip to 
the Brazilian interior, passed   this information on to me!
Another aroid is depicted in the lower right corner, the leaves tell us it 
may be a species of Philodendron or a Monstera sp., and to the left of the 
tree trunk are leaves of what could be a Syngonium sp.
I just thought that some of us may be interested in seeing this depiction of 
some of 'our' aroids in art.
    Aha!    A NEW recipe comes to mind!---
           ''Soup/calaloo of immature Xanthosoma leaves, cooked together 
with neighbor`s arm and fingers, and boiled with 'chubas' of Xanthosoma,  
with roasted and peeled Montrichardia 'nuts' floated on the side".
Desert --- a calabash-bowl of ripened and "river-chilled" Monstera deliciosa 
fruit,  mixed with sun-ripened 'pois doux',  a-la-cart." !!!
NEXT year`s I.A.S. banquet in Miami can`t come around fast enough!!  "Bon 
appitite" to all!

Good Growing,


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