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Le coco de mer, premier migrant de l’océan Indien

Abstract : The sea coconut is the oldest migrant of the Indian Ocean, the first that had the people on the shores where it landed assume that there were fabulous, faraway lands that they knew nothing about. Weighting between fifteen and twentyfive kilos, it is the biggest and heaviest fruit in the world : how could it not fuel legends ? Coming from the Seychelles, but collected on the beaches of the Maldives, of the Malabar coastline, and of Eastern Africa among others, guided by random winds and currents, the sea coconut has explored an indianoceania it was the only one to glimpse. Like a proto-geographer, it sketched the doted outlines of a possible world beyond the horizon, suggesting unknown maritime routes that it was the only one to have followed. Or was it coming from seaforest growing in the depths of the sea ? Might it also have precious magical and therapeutic virtues ? Its suggestive feminine shape also had it stand for the wonder of a strange « life seed ».
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Arlette Giraut-Fruet. Le coco de mer, premier migrant de l’océan Indien. Carnets de Recherches de l'océan Indien, Université de La Réunion, 2019, Réalités et imaginaires maritimes. ⟨hal-02474935⟩

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