Until the kava was completely ready to serve, a rolled rope with embedded cowrie snails rested in front of the yangona bowl.
In some crops, roots have been used to alleviate stresses, anxieties, tensions, insomnia and menopausal disorders. The Yangona can enhance the effect of alcoholic drinks and certain medications used to help reduce fear and depressures. Yangona can cause serious hepatitis.
It is also known as heady black pepper, cava cava, black pepper and tongas.
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It is a usual ritual and convivial practice in Fiji to do so. It has a great importance in Fiji culture, but today it is regarded as both a fringe beverage and a celebration. It is customary in Fiji towns to see groups of men gather around the river and exchange tales while the half shell of coconuts, the billo, is handed around.
Fiji is still dominated by ancient traditions, in fact the refusal of an order to purchase a cup of Yagona is regarded as an insult in Fiji culture. This is a large wood shell made of one block of Vesi (hardwood). The yaqona is made from the roots of a peppermintree.
The Yaqona was made long ago by the young women of a small town, who chew the roots into a smooth, mushy mixture before the waters were added. Nowadays, the roots are cut in pistil and mortars or by machines. Once the granular parts are sieved through a bunch of plant fibres, usually the crushed rind of the Vau-three.
It will take place in the company of the special guests, the special guests sitting cross-legged in front of the river Tano, from which a thick cord of coir fibres with whit cowrie snails sticks out. The latter is known as Tui ni Buli and is directed at the special guests.
In the name of the special guests, the ceremonial director leads the waters to the roots. She is tense and when the serving is finished, the porter presents the first shell to the honoured guests with much ceremonial dignity and awe. If he emptied the shell in a stroke, there is a cry of "maca" (pronounced maatha), which means "it is emptied", along with the clap of his hand.
There is the ceremonial leader next to the beverage, followed by the score in the ranking. In Fiji, this celebration is very important. Admittedly, eating socially minded qaqona is very casual. Anyone can try it as a convivial beverage.