sort of a parable on banana leafs
10/06/2011 § Leave a comment
francisco manuel blanco, musa acuminata, c 1880
there’s sort of a parable i’d like to. . . in india. . . i guess it’s a parable: in india, sort of the lowest, the poorest, the, those, those without and the lowest in caste, eat very often – particularly in southern india – they eat off of a banana leaf. and those a little bit up the scale, eat off of a sort of a un. . . a low-fired ceramic dish. and a little bit higher, why, they have a glaze on – a thing they call a “tali” – they use a banana leaf and then the ceramic as a tali upon which they put all the food. and there get to be some fairly elegant glazed talis, but it graduates to – if you’re up the scale a little bit more – why, a brass tali, and a bell-bronze tali is absolutely marvelous, it has a sort of a ring to it. and then things get to be a little questionable. there are things like silver-plated talis and there are solid silver talis and i suppose some nut has had a gold tali that he’s eaten off of, but i’ve never seen one. but you can go beyond that and the guys that have not only means, but a certain amount of knowledge and understanding, go the next step and they eat off of a banana leaf.
charles eames, 1971 at charles eliot norton lecture in harvard
a young hare