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The Nature and Culture of RattanReflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia$
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Stephen F. Siebert

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835361

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835361.001.0001

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Historical and Current Uses of Rattan

Historical and Current Uses of Rattan

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 3 Historical and Current Uses of Rattan
Source:
The Nature and Culture of Rattan
Author(s):

Stephen F. Siebert

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835361.003.0003

This chapter discusses the historical and current uses of rattan. Rattan is one of the world's most important and widely used nontimber forest products (NTFPs). It has probably been utilized for as long as humans have lived in the tropical forests of Asia and Africa. Rattan's unsurpassed social and economic value is evident in the age-old trade of dragon's blood (dyes and medicines extracted from various species of Daemonorops) and in the multibillion-dollar international cane-furniture industry. Some of the more common uses of rattan include binding, basketry, food, bridge construction, resins, dyes, leaflets for cigarette papers, leaves chewed to expel intestinal worms, roots used to treat syphilis, and rachises as fishing poles. The strength, flexibility, resilience, and durability of rattan cane, for example, make it a highly valued material for binding. Changes in domestic and international tastes, market demands, and supplies are affecting the ways rattan products are used and traded.

Keywords:   rattan, nontimber forest products, tropical forests, trade, binding, basketry, food, bridge construction, rattan cane, furniture industry

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