THE COCONUT TREE – By Dmitri Allicock


By Dmitri Allicock

The coconut tree is the very most versatile tree in the world. The people of Guyana would not be found without numerous coconut trees around their homes.
The coconut tree and nut have endless usage. The nut of the coconut is used in numerous Guyanese cuisine and treats, and represent a tradition with most families.
The wood is lumber and can be used in construction, but more so, by the people of the Caribbean Islands.
The fronds provide thatching material for roofs, matting for the floor or walls, and for sun shades or blinds.
The dried fiber of the nut or husk is shredded as stuffing for pillow or mattress. 

The center vein of the frond pinnae can be bundled together to make a good broom or used individually as tooth picks.
Many children of Guyana use the veins or pointer to frame small kites at the Easter holiday.
The heart of the young coconut tree tastes as good as any heart of  palm that you can eat. The dried husk of the coconut makes the best cooking fire for BBQ or just plain camp fire.
The dried shell of the coconut is crafted into jewellery and other fine adornments. Bowls, cups, and other storage containers are fashioned from the shell also.

Coconut water can be very tasty and refreshing. It provides the added assurance of being free of contaminants. Coconut water is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins.
One on the major uses of the meat or nut of the coconut is in coconut oil manufacturing that is used for cooking. It can be rendered into a very fine oil to provide lighting at night and as a skin lotion also.
The smoke of the burning coconut husk is a natural mosquito repellant. The white milk of the dried coconut has endless application as a food additive.
Cook up rice or metemgee would not be complete with out this milk. The use of  coconut as a food is endless.

On  my last trip home, I was weeding our family grave site at Old England up the Demerara River while watching a relative slide up a coconut tree like a Yawarri.  Soon, we were gulping down sweet, refreshing coconut water while listening to the almost deafening early morning happy chorus of birds.

As I tasted this special Demerara River coconut water, the benefits of the water did cross my mind such as being able to improve circulation, slow the aging process, fight viruses, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke plus the oil, people say, can kill the fungus/yeast infections that cause Candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, diaper rash, and more. All that they say, but the “overwhelming good feeling and burst of energy” I felt overshadowed everything else.

The very soul of my Demerara’s cultural heritage appeared embodied in this drink. Watching the fronds or leaves dancing in the Demerara sunlight above gave me the nostalgic and welcoming feelings of finally being home.

                   “The tree seems to express its wish
                      In the tossing of its head:
                      its fronds heave and swish –
                      It thinks, maybe my leaves are feathers,
                      and nothing stops me now
                      from rising on their flutter…”

My wife, sons and I later planted over fifty young coconut trees at Lucky Spot, Upper Demerara, which will continue to bear fruit and will be there when we are able to make another trip.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Hubert Williams  On May 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Very interesting, Mr. Dmitri Allicock, for yours forced me to share mine which had been kept on file for so long…And to think that you used the same headline…without mine ever having been published…

    • guyaneseonline  On May 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      it was just an oversight
      I would publish yours as well
      I will also take a look at the other documents you sent earlier..

  • DE OLIVEIRA, DELPH  On May 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm


  • Cyril Balkaran  On May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

    The coconut plant is considered a sacred plant to have in your premesis and so many plants are placed at strategic locations around the land that people occupy. The benefits to the human population are numerous and so indeed are the developing fruit at all its different stages. The young fruit is used to correct dehydration in children and adults. due to the potassium and sodium containg electrolytes. The medium sized fruit is a good source of carbs and proteins. The fully ripened nut is good for the Copra and coconut oil industry. The time is approaching when challenges will face the expanding world population of 9billion people everywhere and food security will become the number one issue to face the global family. It behoves us as a rational people to start planting one nut per day where ever you may be at the present time and contribute to the world impending Food Security Crisis. India and China alone possess 3billion souls and the natural elements that prevail today as water and land may be devastated as the world climate changes everywhere. Guyana also has 83,000 sq.miles of arable land and I urge every returning resident to plant a few coconut trees as a landmark of your visit home. We can make a difference in the world food crisis through the resurrection of the Coconut Industry at home. Have a pleasant day folks!

  • terrytrekker  On July 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Remember the song: “coconut water, good for your daughter'” this is a staple in Guyana. Unfortunately I buy the boxed water in New York. Made in Brazil.

  • steven hardcastle  On January 20, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Can you tell me where I can buy coconut fronds from guyanna or can you introduce me to someone who would get them and ship them, please email me at thanks

    Steven Hardcastle

  • demerwater  On January 21, 2016 at 7:06 am

    One of a very few text books that I wish I had kept was “The Coconut Palm, a Monograph by Menon & Pandalai”. It was sweet studying; and even sweeter casual reading. It was a mixture of science and poetry that I have been yearning achieve.

  • Rosie Matthews  On October 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Dimitri. I was surfing, and I saw your article, it is wonderful. Can you tell me who is the author of “Coconut water good for your daughter?”

  • Rosie Matthews  On October 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I love this website and its arrangement. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: