idea

idea
The word lagenaria is derived from the Greek lagenos, meaning "flask".
Cucurbita Lagenaria is an annual climbing plant, with a hairy, hollow
herbaceous stem that can grow up to 10 m long. It is a creeping plant that
spreads over the ground and on walls, has peduncles with which to support
itself and can grow on cane frames.
The palmate leaves are very large and covered with a fine fuzz.
This gourd is a monoicous plant, containing both female and male flowers,
which are large and white. The flowers open at dusk ready to be pollinated
by insects, especially by the interesting hummingbird hawk-moth, which,
with its long proboscis, seems to be made especially for the long flowers
of C. Lagenaria.
The plant produces firm, robust fruit in a range of shapes, ranging from
light green to dark green in color, and containing numerous hardy and
durable seeds.
Unlike other gourds, Cucurbita Lagenaria isn't very nutritious but has the
unique feature of drying out and becoming hard and woody; this feature
means that it has been used as a container since ancient times, becoming
a permanent fixture in human history.

Cucurbita Lagenaria was supposedly one of the first plants to be grown by humans. It is
difficult to establish its place of origin with any certainty and how it came to be found practically
all over the world. Numerous research studies have been conducted over the years to shed
light on how it might have been disseminated. Several wild specimens of C. Lagenaria have
been found in Zimbabwe, which suggests that the plant found its ideal habitat in those lands
and that therefore it might actually originate from south-eastern Africa.
Archaeological finds dating back 11,500 years in the spirit cave, in northern Thailand,
suggest that the plant was domesticated on the Asian continent. But traces of C. Lagenaria
aren't found only on the continents of Asia and Africa: remains have also been found in
the Ocampo caves in Mexico, dating back 9,000 years, raising many questions about how
C. Lagenaria could have reached the Americas from Asia or Africa, probably having been
carried there by migrating humans.
The hypothesis put forward up to now is that C. Lagenaria floated on the Pacific Ocean and
was carried by sea currents; the gourd could have survived this journey thanks to its tough,
woody skin, which protected the seeds and shoots inside from contact with water. In the
1950s, an American paleobotanist conducted a strange experiment: he left a C. Lagenaria
specimen in a tank filled with lightly salinated water for a whole year; afterwards he extracted
the seeds and kept them for another 6 years. After this time, he observed that some of the
seeds had retained their ability to germinate and this confirmed that C. Lagenaria could survive
long journeys by sea and spontaneously colonize different parts of the planet.

The fruit of Cucurbita Lagenaria are of interest of humans,
not just as a source of food, but also because of their specific
characteristics.
When fully ripe, the inside is hollow, contains only seeds and no
pulp, while the skin becomes very tough and woody. People
realized that the gourds could be turned into very useful
containers for carrying or storing various liquids or solids:
not only can the lagenaria gourd be used as a container, it
also floats.
Zucca da vino [wine gourd], zucca del pellegrino [pilgrim's
gourd] and zucca del pescatore [fisherman's gourd] are the
most commonly used names in Italy that this particular gourd
is known by. The names reflect the gourd's various uses: until
fairly recently some people preferred to use gourds as wine
containers, as they also keep the wine cool inside, they were
used by fishermen to hold the fish they'd caught and as net
floats, while some people even learned to swim using gourds

The round shapes of a large gourd are reminiscent of the
signs of fertility, abundance and rebirth.
In Laos, for example, people trace their distant origins back
to enormous gourds, hanging from the world (the great Liana,
as it's known there), from which the ancestors of mankind
were born.
The Taoists had the same idea with the so-called heavenly
gourds, which were extremely large and existed before the
world; for millennia they contained humans of all kinds, all
the countless varieties of rice found on Earth and arcane
science manuals.
The ancestor of the Chinese was known as P'an Ku, who
one day was able to survive a great flood. P'an Ku sought
refuge in a giant gourd. From that day, gourds also grew on
the islands of the immortals: by seeking passage through
them, it is possible to approach the kingdom of the blessed
from Earth and to reach the heavens.
These gourds are also used by medicine men in Africa and
the Americas as containers for medicinal herbs.

C. Lagenaria is a musical gourd: once dried, it just needs to
be hollowed out and it can be played. If it is opened up and
the seeds are removed so it can be used as a flask, tapping
on the bottom produces a pleasant low note and it becomes
an ideal percussion instrument. A good example of this kind
of instrument is the Hawaiian ipu heke.
It is also a superb resonator that is widely used in African and
South American marimbas, as well as in simpler stringed
instruments, such as the Brazilian berimbao.
Various lutes, like the Indian sitar, also use the C. Lagenaria
gourd as a resonance chamber, while even the rounded lines
of the guitar and violin are reminiscent of the gourd's shape.
It can also be used as a horn and is used to make wind
instruments. Whistles and musical spinning tops are also
made from this amazing fruit.

The round shapes of a large gourd are reminiscent of the
signs of fertility, abundance and rebirth.
In Laos, for example, people trace their distant origins back
to enormous gourds, hanging from the world (the great Liana,
as it's known there), from which the ancestors of mankind
were born.
The Taoists had the same idea with the so-called heavenly
gourds, which were extremely large and existed before the
world; for millennia they contained humans of all kinds, all
the countless varieties of rice found on Earth and arcane
science manuals.
The ancestor of the Chinese was known as P'an Ku, who
one day was able to survive a great flood. P'an Ku sought
refuge in a giant gourd. From that day, gourds also grew on
the islands of the immortals: by seeking passage through
them, it is possible to approach the kingdom of the blessed
from Earth and to reach the heavens.
These gourds are also used by medicine men in Africa and
the Americas as containers for medicinal herbs