The Baobab Tree of Zimbabwe
To the glory of God and nature
The baobab tree of Zimbabwe is surely a gift from God to nature. I will proceed to tell you a bit about it and some of the African folklore surrounding it.
This happens to be my favourite tree. To many people this is a very ugly tree, but to me it is beautiful.
Having lived in a coastal setting for the last few years, I now find that I am missing some of the trees that I used to see back when I was living in Zimbabwe.
The Baobab was not a part of my daily living as where I lived, the conditions were too rich for its characteristics. However when I used to travel to more arid parts of the country, I always used to look forward to my first sight of this unusual tree and the enormous pleasure it always gave me. A truly splendid example of nature at its best. I will do my best to try to explain this in this lens.
It's Upside Down
The reasoning is from this myth
In Africa amongst many of the tribal people who live within the proximity of this magnificent tree, there is a common myth about it's origins.
It is as old as time and there is no way of substantiating it as it has been handed down as folklore and there is no written record. So either you believe it or you don't.
Personally, I find it quaint and can imagine it told as a story to quell children's fears when they heard the terrible sound of the Hyena's cackle.
Legend has it that God gave the Hyena the job of planting the baobab. However the Hyena is a coward, lazy and not to bright, consequently it planted it back to front. Or roots in the air.
I have heard this story told often and following it's telling, is always accompanied by great mirth.
The Silly Hyena
Baobab Items - The amazing Baobab tree
Elephants love it
Elephants love the fruit and are often seen looking for it, if you get so lucky as to be in an area where they still roam freely.
The indigenous people also use it as a vegetable to spice up their main staple diet. In Zimbabwe if you are driving towards Beit Bridge you will often come across children trying to sell the fruit to augment their living.
I often used to stop and buy it, not that I enjoyed the taste. It was too dry for me but principally because I wanted the seed to try and plant in my own garden at home. Sadly no matter how many times I did it they never took. Most likely because it had too much moisture in the soil.
They really are splendid trees and can be very large depending on their age. They are not really tall but mostly squat which makes people think of them as ugly. Furthermore, in almost all them they have a hollow in the base. Believe it or not the entrance to this is surprisingly similar to the door of a house and in days of yore you could sleep your family in them no problem.
Moreover, at the top of the tree ( where the branches begin to root out), there is another hollow and you can often find rainwater stored in there. So not only could you have a place for your family to sleep but you could provide them with water as well, in very arid areas and depending on the season even some fruit to eat.
What are your thoughts
Well there you have it. I'm left wondering what your thoughts are on this most unusual tree?.
I wonder how many times it brought people refuge and perhaps saved their lives eons ago?. I wonder if any of you have ever seen the tree?. I wonder if it still provides refuge to lost souls?. I wonder if it will survive climate change?.
Please feel free to join in the duel and also any comments you might wish to leave.
Thanking you in anticipation.
In all it's splendour
Well what is your opinion
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