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Monday, 13 August 2012

The Pineapple Part 2


The following information was collected from a variety of sources including Fran Beauman on BBC Radio’s ‘Museum of Curiosity’, her book ‘The Pineapple: The King of Fruits’ and websites such as http://www.mindspring.com/~sixcatpack/pineappl.htm
In the Caribbean pineapples symbolize hospitality. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to Colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation. They also appeared on brass door knockers, stair rails and mailbox posts. Families would set a fresh pineapple in the centre of the table as a colourful centrepiece of festive meals, especially when visitors joined them in celebration to symbolise welcome and hospitality and the fruit would be served as a special dessert after the meal. Often when the visitor spent the night, he was given the bedroom which had the pineapples carved on the bedposts or headboard, even if the bedroom belonged to the head of the household.

David McNamara has given us permission to use this great photograph of a magnificent pineapple fountain in Charleston, South Carolina.

A small, peaceful hamlet in rural Alabama boasts symbols of the pineapple everywhere your eyes may look. Pine Apple, settled by "Easterners" from the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia around 1820 was originally named "Friendship". But there was already another Friendship, Alabama, so the settlers named their town in honour of the pine and apple trees that gave the land its beauty and the town its wealth. These days the town's name is as often written "Pineapple" and it is Pine Apple. Signs of this universal symbol of hospitality are seen painted on the front doors of homes and the town's welcome sign, in fanciful finials and Christmas decorations, carved serving trays and wooden bowls, atop gateposts and rooftops, carved into bedposts and headboards, and found in a variety of table centrepieces.

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