Mangagarit Tukil for Collecting Coconut Sap from the Philippines

Item CT12   

This Item was Sold on 22 August 2013 for $40

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Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

This item is a bamboo cylindrical container called the Tukil. It comes from the Philippines and it is used to collect the sap from coconut tree flowers. The sap is used to make an alcoholic beverage called Lambanog in the Quezon Province of the Philippines. The Tukil has a long handle that the mangagarit uses to hold the Tukil on his shoulder when he is climbing the coconut tree. The Tukil also includes a long bamboo brush with one end crushed so that the natural wood fibres takes on the form of a brush. The brush is used to process the flowers. There is also a small bamboo segment on a loop. The function of this segment is unknown to me. Length = 76 cm ; Diameter = 7.5 cm ; Weight = 870 gm

The lambanog making process has been a tradition passed down through generations of coconut plantation farmers in this region. The process begins with the coconut tree. Lambanog making trees never produce fruit, because the sap from the coconut flower is the crucial ingredient for this unique coconut wine. Plantation workers called mangagarit climb the coconut trees every afternoon to prune the flowers so that their sap drips into bamboo receptacles called tukil (analogous to rubber tree tapping). The next morning, the mangagarit returns to collect the sap from these receptacles. The sap is then put through a cooking or fermentation process, which produces a popular coconut toddy called tuba. The tuba is then taken and distilled to produce lambanog. Until recently, lambanog was primarily an local drink, much like home-made apple cider or backwoods moonshine. Lambanog is widely enjoyed by the locals of the Quezon province, and festive occasions are incomplete without the traditional "tagayan" or wine-drinking. In Quezon, drinking lambanog is usually a communal thing &endash; men sit around in a circle and take turns drinking shots from a cup placed in the middle of the group. Usually, there is also someone singing and playing the guitar to add to the festivities; he takes his turn at drinking too, so the music gets more interesting as the drinking goes on.

This artifact is from the estate of Dain Torguson. The family will use the proceeds from the sale of this artifact to display a sculpture crafted by Dain in a public library in Rapid City, North Dakota.

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