Kone (Pisonia grandis) an ironwood tree which formerly grew abundantly on the less developed islands of the Marshalls. It is very dense (hence the name ironwood) and provides a lot of energy, and hence a hot fire. < Utilomar (Guettardia speciosa) is a shrub and tree, which grows in the ocean-ward broadleaf forest of most islands in the Marshalls. The tree has very large round leaves which allow to cover the food. < Dekarol are volcanic rocks. Since such rocks do not naturally occur on the atolls of the Marshall Islands, they must have been imported, at one stage, from the volcanic islands of Kosrae or Pohnpei. While coral, which has very poor heat retention capabilities, withstands only two or three firings in an earth-oven, volcanic, basaltic rock, which has excellent heat retention capabilities, withstands in excess of fifty firings. Thus, even today dekarol are a prized possession.
Divination, the querying of the opinions of the gods, was said to have been wide spread. One way was to tie a series of knots into coconut leaves and then decide an action according to an interpretation of the numerical combinations of the knots. [back]