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the Water Gourd

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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 08:49 PM
this thread is established to, of course, enlighten everyone on the uses of gourds throughout history to the present as water bottles or containers, but..

though gourd plants do not thrive everywhere and the chances of a survival situation demanding one are slim, it can be 'inspirational' just to have this knowledge.. the gourd is such a suitable tool for a water bottle and/or container but, as many survivalist will tell you, nature has something for every little thing you need. perhaps just knowing about this information could generate ideas and creativity for other uses or just generally stimulate the idea that everything you could possibly imagine you would need to live comfortably has already been created by nature and human ingeniuty is all it takes to obtain..

wikipedia, gourd plants

A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae, or a name given to the hollow, dried shell of a fruit in the Cucurbitaceae family of plants of the genus Lagenaria. It is in the same family as the pumpkin.[1][2]

Most commonly, gourds are the product of the species Lagenaria siceraria (the calabash or African bottle gourd), native to Africa, and at a very early date spread throughout the world by human migrations. This species may be the oldest plant domesticated by humans.[citation needed]

Gourds can be used as a number of things, including bowls or bottles. Gourds are also used as resonating chambers on certain musical instruments including the berimbau and many other stringed instruments and drums.


it can be said that gourds originated in africa, well so did humans according to most scientists investigating human origins, i know alot of people here on ats beleive in 'other' human origin records, but for the main point of this thread, it can be understood that gourds spread throughout the world quite easily due to human consumption and cultivation for it's containing potential

Gourds were the earliest plant species domesticated by humans and were originally used by people as containers or vessels before clay or stone pottery, and is sometimes referred to as "nature's pottery". The original and evolutional shape of clay pottery is thought to have been modeled on the shape of certain gourd varieties.

Recent DNA analyses of bottle gourds found at several sites throughout the Americas has resolved a long-standing mystery, as well as adding evidence establishing the early date of domestication of the bottle gourd plant. As the bottle gourd is native to Africa and not the Americas, archeologists previous to the analyses could only speculate that it had probably floated across the Atlantic. But upon examining the DNA, they found that the American samples most closely matched the varieties of the African bottle gourd found in Asia, not Africa. It was thus concluded that the bottle gourd had been deliberately brought by early migrants from Asia to the Americas, at a time pre-dating the domestication of plants for food anywhere on Earth.

to make a gourd that can hold water or anything else that might fit inside is a simple process...

how to make a water gourd

1. allow the plant to grow healthily through summer the first frost, when the plant dies harvest the gourd while still healthy

2. allow gourd to dry for 6 months to 2 years

3. cut a SMALL hole in the smaller end of the gourd and use bent sticks to clean the inside walls delicately, then drop a few rocks or small objects inside and shake the gourd enough to further clean the inside walls

4. melt bees wax and pour into the gourd, mix around and coat thoroughly.. this keeps the gourd skin from soaking up or 'flavoring' the water as well as slightly strengthening

like i stated earlier, the chances of a real life of death situation requiring your knowledge on gourds as tools for containing small items like seeds or herbs, or gourds for water is unlikely but i would like to point out

they are extremely handy though, any survival situation WILL demand that if you wander away from a known water source towards a destination with unknown water supply, bringing water with you is the only smart choice

the convenient shape of most gourds allows for easy rope or leather work for shoulder and back straps, this is ideal for conserving energy and the most logically developed standard for carrying items in 100% nature made devices..

like i said earlier, nature has a way of developing everything we need, it's all there you just have to know where and how to use or make it.. the gourd, as an edible item, isn't something you want to waste all of your energy on, as far as 'crop' for eating, you'd have better yeild and more nutritional value with other plants, but knowledge is power, and if you had the chance to set aside or keep some gourd plants alive near a 'home base' or survival location, after a summer you could have multiple gourds grown that could be easily used to store seeds, herbs, juices or water

some other interesting gourd information...

japanese suito, water gourd

vietnam, gourd myth and use

posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 09:02 PM

well i know it seems like a strange idea, making gourds or using them in survival situations

normally when we imagine a survival situation we plan on 'being rescued' or 'finding our way back' before a long time has elapsed, or just generally do not consider staying in a place long enough to even complete the task of making tools that require such time and effort as gourd containers

throughout history, and still to this day in cultures that still live off the land more than 80%, people used and still use gourds as great tools of survival, it is an item that the person from a city or more developed culture will take for granted, but any person living so close to nature understands it's vital use

even if your location is right next to a stream, you have to store water somehow, you have to 'contain' items and food to store, why not just let a plant do all the work for you by making the gourds? seems logical to me!

[edit on 4/8/2010 by indigothefish]

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 09:19 PM
It's a great thing to know, provided you have the room, seeds, and knowhow to grow them. Seems like it would make a neat canteen. Most people probably just laugh at this kind of thing, as it is easy and cheap to just buy a canteen. I enjoy seeing stuff like this though.
edit on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 21:19:41 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by indigothefish

2. allow gourd to dry for 6 months to 2 years

gourds are a solution for long term lo-tech communities , not survival

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by ignorant_ape

What's wrong with planning for a long term situation. Having the knowledge now can't hurt. Nice post OP.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 10:40 AM
Excellent historical info, but I'd imagine in a SHTF scenario, simply having (or looting) water containers, canteens, etc. would be more practical. Still though...good to know.

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