Before Eating : Kava Cup
Kava is a drink made from the root of a pepper plant, which has a relaxing and calming effect. Kava is almost always drunk in groups, and therefore drinking signals good fellowship and camaraderie. Specially designated times and places of the kava ceremony emphasize its significance; kava drinking typically takes place around dusk before the evening meal. This ceremony can take place at various socio-political occasions and gatherings. Kava is a valuable exchange item as well as an object of sacrifice, and through drinking kava, some people claim to achieve contact with ancestors and the supernatural realm. Half coconut shell cups like this one, sometimes called bilo, are used for drinking kava in many traditional Pacific Island cultures. Kava is prepared for immediate consumption and is not meant to be sipped, so this entire coconut shell cup is drunk at once.