Notes on Buah Merah in English by BuahMerah.Biz
Red Pandanus or in Indonesian Language called Buah Merah in Lani Language of Papua is called “Tawy”, and Toi” in Walak and Nggem Languages. Even though Wikipedia.org Indonesia says Oleh masyarakat Wamena, Papua, buah ini disebut kuansu.” (By the people of Wamena Language it is called kuansu), we would like to clarify that the Koteka Tribes in the highlands do not recognise the word “kuansu“.
Portrait of the plant: Pandanus conoideus – the red fruit from the jungle for highly demanding skincare products
The name Pandanus refers to the plant genus of the pandans, better known as screw pine. Screw pine species grow as evergreen, tree or bush-shaped perennials. The genus Pandanus comprises more than 600 species which are native to the warmer countries of the eastern half of the southern hemisphere; most of them are found on the islands of the Indian Ocean.
One of the plant species in this family is called Pandanus conoideus. The Pandanus conoideus trees are native to the highlands and along coastal stretches of New Guinea. In their own languages, the local population calls the plant Buah Merah, Marita or Kuansu – which basically means “red fruit.” It grows as an evergreen, tree-shaped plant and can attain heights of up to 17 metres. It begins to branch out from the height of 5 to 8 metres above ground level. In view of those dimensions it is no surprise that the fruit can be up to 1 meter long. The multiple fruit has an elliptical shape with rounded off, blunt ends. It is surrounded and protected by carpels and has a diameter ranging from 10 to 15 cm. The weight of the pandan fruit ranges from about 2 to 3 kg. When ripe it is shiny and light-to-dark red in colour.
Screw palm Pandanus conoideus with fruit.
Breaking open the multiple fruit reveals a colourless interior composed primarily of light coloured cellulose, in which the red, oily fruit scales take the form of small oil-soaked pins. This component of the fruit is used for the extraction.
Buah Merah in Lani Tribe
Tawy or Toi in the highlands of New Guinea has its own elders that communicate with the Tawy trees and also to the Tawy Oil. The Tawy Elders have central and significant role in organising the planting and consumption of Tawy Fruit. There is a season for