Morten Jøldal

Baobab - The strangest of trees

Baobab - Verdens rareste tre

In the south-eastern parts of Africa, the astonishing baobab tree figures frequently in myths and folklore. This strange tree, sometimes called ‘monkey bread tree’ or ‘upside-down tree’ also plays an important role in people’s daily life – even in the life of children. Gathering honey from hives hung high in the tree is tough work for young boys. Cutting the treasured bark off the trunk into large soft cloths – suitable to wind a dead king in – is a task not given to anyone.

The baobab tree is useless as firewood or construction material, but the living tree can be used for almost everything – from safekeeping of valuables to storing of water (and mercy on anyone forgetting to put the tap back!). Sometimes it is even used as a shrine or tomb.

Biologist and Africa lover Morten Jødal aims at describing the Baobab in its many roles and aspects – not least it’s meaning in religious and cultural practices. Thus this book is not only about the strangest of trees – it also offers an excellent entrance to knowledge about the African continent and the people who live there.

Vigdis Bitustøyl Jacobsen’s aquarelles captures the atmosphere and shows the baobab in it’s proper environment. Suitable appr. from the age of 10.

Omnipax 2007

Morten Jødal has a university degree in biology and has worked in research institutions as well as with the World Wildlife Foundation and other environmental and idealistic organisations. He has been in Africa several times, both working and on vacations. Baobab is his first book.