Flora: Lumpy Gourd

Massam Corrumpit

Hard outer casing surrounding a somewhat fleshy substance which seems to be sufficient in satiating appetite. When extracted correctly the remaining shell creates a useful vessel.

This concept art was by Matt Hatton

I have identified this to be a bumpy gourd. It’s interesting that David mentions it’s sufficient to satiate an appetite, could it be Elizabeth that he was testing the food for?

Massam Corrumpit is Latin for Lump

Gourds are possibly the first domesticated plant species with fossilised specimens found at archaeological sites dating from as early as 13,000 BC. They have had numerous uses throughout history, including as tools, musical instruments, objects of art, film, and food.

As well as a food source this could also be a link to creation and flood mythology.

Above: Nuwa and Fuxi Mural, Han DynastyPublic Domain

Long ago, when the world first began, there were two people, Nü Kua and her older brother. They lived on Mount K’un-lun. And there were not yet any ordinary people in the world. They talked about becoming husband and wife, but they felt ashamed. So the brother at once went with his sister up Mount K’un-lun and made this prayer: “Oh Heaven, if Thou wouldst send us two forth as man and wife, then make all the misty vapor gather. If not, then make all the misty vapor disperse.” At this, the misty vapor immediately gathered. When the sister became intimate with her brother, they plaited some grass to make a fan to screen their faces. Even today, when a man takes a wife, they hold a fan, which is a symbol of what happened long ago. – 獨異志; c. 846 – 874 AD

Fuxi and Nüwa, according to the Classic of Mountains and Seas were the original humans who lived on the mythological Kunlun Mountain (Huashan).

One myth says they set up two separated piles of fire, and the fire eventually became one. Under the fire, they decided to become husband and wife. Fuxi and Nüwa used clay to create offsprings, and with the divine power they made the clay figures come to life. These clay figures were the earliest human beings.

This myth has several variations, but the outline describes a great flood which destroyed all the humans all over the world except a pair of brother and sister, or aunt and nephew. Both were forced to be married in order to repopulate the world.

One version stated that their children were ordinary humans, while the others said it was a lump of meat, gourd, melon, or grindstone; after they opened, cut, or destroyed it, humans emerged.

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