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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover

Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Medium)




Entries in Ceiba pentandra (2)


The Ceiba Tree

There is a large, beautiful ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.) growing in a park on the northern coast of Vieques near the airport. It is reported to be over 300 years old. I was unable to find out anything about the origin or local significance of this tree, although everyone said we should go see it. What I do know is that Ceiba pentandra is a unique species that occurs in all three tropical regions of the world, i.e. neotropics, tropical Asia, tropical Africa, is culturally important to many ethnic groups, e.g. the Maya, and produces fluffy seed fibers ("kapok") that are used to stuff pillows and wrap around blowgun darts - among other things. 



A sack of kapok fibers (Ceiba pentandra) waiting to be stuffed into pillows at Banglapadigai, Tamil Nadu. The blue machine in the background is used to remove the seeds from the fluff, i.e. it is a kapok gin.  [NOTE: I have a zafu filled with kapok and have developed a very close relationship with this plant fiber. Nice to see it in the raw].