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African Dream Herb Overview

Context:

A dying traditional game, given a fresh lease of life at the ongoing Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, has fuelled a drive for conserving a creeper known as the African dream herb.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. African Dream Herb Overview
  2. Hambi Kepathu Tradition

African Dream Herb Overview:

  • Perennial climbing vine used by African traditional healers for inducing vivid dreams.
  • Common names: Giant sea bean, African dream herb, snuff box, and Entada rheedii.
  • Indigenous to Africa, Asia, Australia, and Madagascar, growing in tropical lowlands and river banks.
Uses:
  • Paste made from leaves, bark, and roots for wound cleaning, burn treatment, and healing jaundice.
  • Tea from the whole plant to improve blood circulation and address stroke after-effects.
  • Bark used for treating diarrhea, dysentery, and parasitic infections.
  • Dark brown spherical seeds, almost kneecap-sized, used in the traditional Karbi game ‘Hambi Kepathu.’

Hambi Kepathu Tradition:

  • Traditional male-only game associated with the Karbi community.
  • Played on three rectangular courts by teams of three members each.
  • Involves placing a ‘hambi’ (glazed creeper seed) vertically on the midpoint of the boundary line for opponents to hit.
  • Named after a Karbi sister-brother duo, part of traditional Karbi games alongside ‘Pholong,’ ‘Thengtom Langvek,’ and ‘Kengdongdang.’

-Source: The Hindu


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