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miraa, khat - Catha edulis

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  • Greve Gabi
    ... Catha edulis, commonly called Arabian tea,] khat, qat, gat, or miraa, is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Among
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2012
      > James Bundi writes
      >
      > Dear all,
      > Being here I have been able to see more about ‘Miraa’ and have been working on this and much more.Get to know this about Miraa.
      >
      > Khat commonly known as miraa is a cash crop grown mostly in the Eastern Part of Kenya.What am write is mostly from the direct sources and the information from this area from the locals and it was quite an exiting time to hear them describe what miraa is.
      >
      > The common names used and each having meaning are
      >
      > ‘Muguka’-This a type of khat that is picked as small leaves and they are tender as compared to miraa. This variety is cheap than miraa and is mostly sold in the street of Nairobi. In this variety it is the leaves that are chewed and mostly when they are tender.
      >
      > he plucks
      > the tender leaves—
      > miguka bushes
      >

      >
      > -‘miraa’- For this variety the khat is picked as twigs and the people chew the top leaves and the bark of the twigs. Under miraa there is Kisa and Kangeta as seen in the photos.
      >
      > barber's kiosk--
      > bare twigs of miraa
      > on the floor
      >
      > Allow me to use the word ‘miraa’ for the explanation but I guess everyone now know the difference.
      >
      > ‘Miraa’ is of high quality when it is sunny when the leaves do not have lot of water and at this time the supply in the market is limited. The prices are always high raging from sh.800 to sh.1200 for a handful of the Miraa variety.But at this time miraa must be wrapped using either plastic paper bags or banana leaves to helb retain freshness and the humidity. During the rain season the supply is plenty in the market but the quality is always low. A handful costs between sh.50 and sh.200 at this time. Mostly at this time the quantity is high in the market and the vendors are numerous. Miraa is then mostly sold locally in the market places.
      >
      >
      > displaying miguka
      > on the wooded benches—
      > vendor’s point
      >
      > Nchiru market—
      > he wraps a handful of miraa
      > in a newspaper
      >
      > vendor’s point—
      > fresh miraa leaves
      > covers the mud
      >
      >
      > Miraa is grown from seedlings that develop to big trees that can be climbed as vivid in the photos.For a ‘Miraa’ tree to be fully mature, it takes two years.Miguka can be picked as from two months since it is chewed when the leaves are tender.
      >
      > ‘Miraa’ is transported by use of motorcycles and bicycles in sacs or paper bags to the local market and by use of motor vehicles to, mostly Nairobi for export .The vans are always over speeding and packed to their fullest .The vans must speed to make sure that Miraa do not dry on the road before they reach the market.It is approximated that ‘Miraa’ should stay a maximum of four days from the time of picking and consumption which it starts drying.
      >
      > an overloaded van
      > speeds past our bus--
      > rising sun
      >

      > Miraa is associated with dehydrating the body:
      >
      > miguka chewing—
      > he wipes his dry lips
      > the third time
      >

      >
      > In the plantations ‘Miraa’ can be grown with other crops:
      >
      > beans tendrils
      > wades the thin stem--
      > miraa plantation
      >
      > Due to the tough leaves and also the bitter taste of miraa,people use soft drinks such as soda and water to cub the problem.
      >
      > chewing the twigs--
      > he slowly seeps the soda
      > from a plastic bottle
      >
      > It reached a point and I asked some students questions and my eagerness made them start asking what haiku is all about. One of them said that maybe I had intentions of making Miraa illegal by writing a documentary and its miraa that had made them make it to school. Am yet to write more but for now have that as I also look for a way of gathering more photos of the same.

      Catha edulis,
      commonly called Arabian tea,] khat, qat, gat, or miraa, is a flowering
      plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Among
      communities from these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a
      social custom dating back thousands of years.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khat

      Thanks for the introduction!
      Gabi


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