Stories From Kiribati
|Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 28, 2012 at 6:25 AM|
“Hey, that’s the toddy knife, leave it!” This phrase is commonly heard at homes. It’s indeed what toddy cutters usually say (warn) when they see anybody taking their toddy knife for other uses.
A toddy knife, by its name, is a knife used mainly for cutting toddy. Yet this knife should have been thoroughly sharpened so it cuts the tip of the spathe smoothly. Blunt is the worst enemy of this particular knife. Toddy cutters won’t cut toddy with a blunt knife as it tears the tip of the spathe therefore burning the flowers to dry. Since toddy cutters always aim to bring down plenty of toddy (juice), their knives must remain sharp at all time.
The sharpening stone (whetstone), on the other hand, is another important tool that will retain the sharpness of the toddy knife. A cutter should have one for his toddy knife. Sharpening stones can be obtained from the stores thus many people still use the natural light stone washed up onto the beach which IKiribati call it the uan. Stoning a toddy knife is normally done before the cutter goes to cut his toddy. When he returns, he places his knife in a particular location to avoid others from using it.
Many cutters have agreed that a toddy knife made from the saw blade is far better, stronger and more sharp than ordinary knives sold in stores. Local workshops including individuals are making and selling these kinds of knives. So for this, more and more cutters tend to use them.
Categories: Culture & Custom