Food And Shelter Provided

Wow !  Sounds like an irresistible deal, right?

Decades ago, we lived in a village wooden house, which had a roof made from pieces of attap leaves that had been previously “stitched’ together. These were strapped into place by skilled workers, and they withstood rain and sunshine for at least 5 years between changes.

But we never saw the plant – the Nipah Palm – from which the attap leaves were harvested.  Perhaps we never thought of looking for them.

These palms bear a kind of fruit with a multi-ridged pointed roundish shape.  We used to buy them from petty traders at the marketplace.  Once split open, the inside of the fruit yielded a smooth translucent ellipsoidal kernel which we called  “attap chee” in Hokkien (‘seed of atap’). Yummy !

These days both fruit and and leaves are getting scarce.

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