The Sra Elat is a leaf of a plant. This leaf can not be found here in Pohnpei but it can be found in Kosrae and I dont know if it is in Chuuk and Yap. This plant in Kosrae is known for its leaf because the leaf is itchy when you touches it or when your body touches it.
My mother told me a story about this plant that made me think of this plant as a culturally significant one. During the Japanese time in Kosrae, back in the early 1920s my grandfather (my moms dad) fooled one Japanese with this leaf. They went up to the mountains one day and at one point the Japanese wanted to take a poo in the bushes. When he was done he asked my grandfather which kind of leaf he can use to clean up his ass with. My grandfather pointed at the Sra Elat for the Japanese to use. The poor Japanese guy didnt know anything about the leaf and yet he used the Sra Elat leaf to wipe up his ass.
With in 3 minutes or so, the Japanese started scratching his ass and he totally removed all his clothings to scratch his whole body. The Japanese couldnt help it no more so he started crying and asking why my grandfather didnt tell him about the leaf in which he used. They didnt do what they were supposed to go and do on that day because the Japanese guy retreated back to where he live crying.
This may not sound like a good story that can describe this plant and its significance but I think it means something to the people. The plant can help you fool or trick people that may not know anything about them and that is good. This is what happened to my grandfather and I will never forget about the story.
He might had not feeling good and not ready to work on that day thats why he fooled his supervisor with the leaf. It worked, they headed back home that day and I dont know what happened afterward.
Botany home page
Lee Ling home
COM-FSM home page