SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany Review of Learning

During a traditional sakau ceremony in Pohnpei...

  1. Was the sakau used the rahmedel or rahmwanger variety?
  2. Match the following:
    _____ 1. RahmedelA. Darker stems, spots on stem, not smooth, short internodes
    _____ 2. RahmwangerB. smooth stems, light color, long internodes
  3. The first cups contain more of a compound that is pschoactive and numbs the lips, what is that compound?
    1. Dihydrokavain (DHK)
    2. Dihydromethysticin (DHM)
    3. Kavain
  4. In descending order of concentration, rahmwanger contains: DHK, Kavain, DHM, Methysticin, Demethoxy-yangonin, yangonin. Which of these compounds make one sleepy?
  5. Can you "hang" your legs over the edge of the nahs during a formal sakau ceremony?
  6. Who sits down by the sakau stone?
  7. What is the peitehl?
  8. Are sakau stones to be used as places to sit or general purpose tables?
  9. Who sits up on the platforms?
  10. What shape are the platforms? Always?
  11. The sakau is prepared by
    1. Boiling the root stock
    2. Chewing the root stock
    3. Pounding the root stock
    4. Uhming the root stock
  12. Are women allowed to pound sakau?
  13. Are women allowed to squeeze (wungwung) sakau?
  14. Once the sakau is pounded (mut), the preparers play a "tune" on the sakau stone in order to:
    1. Call the guests to the ceremony
    2. Call the king (nahnmwarki)
    3. Call the sakau wrap to the stone
    4. No reason, just a happy thing to do
  15. The squeezing is done using
    1. coconut fibers
    2. the inner bark of the hibiscus tree (hibiscus tiliaceus)
    3. the outer bark of the hibiscus tree(hibiscus tiliaceus)
  16. Sakau is used in which of the following ceremonies?
    1. Apology
    2. Asking a father for his daughter
    3. Christening party
    4. Festival (komadipw)
    5. Presentation of first fruits to the king (nahnmwarki)
    6. First year birthday party for a baby
    7. Funeral
  17. At what point can the reason for the gathering be announced?
  18. In Sokehs, how many cups must be served before anyone can speak?
  19. Who gets the first cup?
  20. Who gets the second cup?
  21. Who gets the third cup in Sokeh's?
  22. To whom did the third cup go in our ceremony and, more importantly, why?
  23. Who gets the fourth cup?
  24. Do all of the municipalities use the same number of special "cups"?
  25. After the "special" cups...
    1. Everyone goes home
    2. Everyone goes to eat
    3. Everyone goes to sleep
    4. The purpose of the ceremony is announced
  26. After the special cups, does the cup come to you or do you go to the cup to drink?
  27. On Pohnpei, Piper methysticum is a...
    1. food plant
    2. house plant
    3. mystical plant
    4. power plant
    5. sacred plant
    6. weed plant

Nahnmwarki: King or paramount chief
Nahnken: Second highest title, highest title in Nahnken line
Nahnalik: Wife of Nahnmwarki in Sokehs, Kitti, Uh
Likun: Wife of Nahnmwarki in Madolehnihmw, U
Wasai: Second title in Nahnmarki line


  1. What was your reaction to the sakau ceremony?
  2. Should ethnobotany classes in future terms attend a sakau ceremony?
  3. Why?