Kava/kawa is an alcoholic drink made from the Piper methysticum plant. The name refers to the plant as well as the drink that is made from it. It is both a pleasure drink and a medicine to relax the muscles. The shrub being toxic, only the root can be used. This one is cut in pieces and pre-chewed. Water and sometimes coconut fiber are added to the dish. The drink must be drunk shortly after being prepared. The kava is a ritual drink requiring a long preparation time, it is reserved for important visitors (rarely for members of the tribe).
This 19th century Kava cup represents an abstract turtle. We note the wear of the wood due to the many uses. There is also a native repair made of braided vegetable fiber, and another European repair at the edge of the dish.
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