The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) represents the last survivor of its genus. No one knows exactly where it comes from, but civilized people found it along tropical shore lines for centuries before the old world collapsed.

#Human relationship

Coconut trees provide humans with food, fuel, cosmetics, medicine, building materials, and more. They spread the coconut tree around the world and far deeper inland than it likely would have gotten on its own. They eat the meat, sometimes drying strips of it to eat while on hunting or sailing trips. They also drink the water and milk, sometimes mixing the milk with other beverages such as coffee or cocoa. Like many other palms, people tap coconut trees to make palm wine, a popular beverage. They also ferment coconut water to make coconut wine.

The husks and shells of coconuts provide an excellent source for charcoal, or used for convenient bowls, and, when shredded, comes in handy as gardening mulch. People use the fronds for thatching, weaving, and basket-making. And, of course, the wood itself makes for excellent building material for houses, bridges, and boats. In some parts of the world, people prepare the roots as a treatment for diarrhea, while others use the oils secreted by the shell when heated to treat toothaches.

#Coconut People

Communities that focus on their relationship with the coconut tree often call it the “tree of life” for all of the gifts it offers. A community’s relationship with coconut can shape it in profound ways. Some examples include:

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