Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beach Mystery

While I was on Tiritiri Matangi I spent some time picking up rubbish on the beach. The island is only 4 kms from Auckland's Whangaparoa Peninsular and catches a lot of the city's litter that washes across the harbour. Mostly I collected up bits of plastic which had originated with junk food and junk drink but I also found a single stylish shoe, a well-rinsed condom and this:

In situ, on a pile of seaweed and more tightly wrapped, it looked a bit like an old fashioned cartoon bomb, the kind with a sizzling fuse that will leave the hapless cartoon character covered in soot and frizzled hair, with little stars winking in and out over their head, at least until the next scene when they are miraculously restored to full health. So it was with some trepidation that I unwrapped the bright red cloth and found this:

It's a mystery to me. Does anyone out there know why a whole fresh coconut tied up with red string and then wrapped in red cloth would have fallen in or been cast upon the waters of the Hauraki Gulf? Regulars on Tiritiri Matangi said that, next to the dead whale, it was the most interesting thing anyone had ever found on the beach there. There was some speculation about possible Pacific Island People's rituals and jokes about fertility and curses. But no one really had a clue. Do you?


E said...

omigod - how FASCINATING!!
Keep us posted!

Jim Henke said...

We live in Ladner, British Columbia, CANADA and walk on our beaches pretty much everyday. We have found two such bundles but without the red string and each bundle had five coconuts in it. The first one we found was in July and the second was the day before yesterday, 08 November 2007. I have no idea what they symbolize if anything but I do know they are fresh and tasty as we opened them and used both the milk and flesh in our recipes. If you find out what they are all about please let us know. Jim