AUD $360.00
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Sufi Mystic's "Coco de Mer" Alms Bowl

A "kashkul" or Alms (Begging) Bowl used by Sufi mystics.

Made from the shell of the mysterious and exotic “Coco de Mer” (lodoicea maldivica) the largest seed in the world, which grows up to 36 kg, only on the Seychelles Islands, in the Indian Ocean.

These nuts would float accross the Ocean (Coconut of the Sea) washing up on distant shores, conjuring all sorts of legends and tales.

The mystery of the origin of these giant nuts wasn’t solved until 1768. Very exotic, erotic and collectible pieces, these were traded further in land and found a use as Alms Bowl for wandering mendicant Sufi Mystics, who begged food, similiar to Buddhist monks in SE Asia. (See also the Sufi Hat, we have, SH001 )

These nuts became status symbols, every sophisticated 17th & 18th Century European Gentleman needed one in his display cabinet.

The “Coco de Mer” looks like a giant coffee bean (with very erotic female overtones,) this example is only half a nut, split down the centre, and then it’s smallish, only an immature half grown one.

The resulting half nut is intact, only having a hole drilled in it to attach an iron ring, using an old coin, as a washer. This allowed a cord to be used as a handle, for attaching to a belt or shoulder.

This old piece has known years of rubbing and wear, that have resulted in a very smoothed mellow feel.

Age: 19th/Early 20 th Century

Size: L 275mm x W 115mm x H 135mm

Weight: 684 grams