Scraper for coconut.
Chettinad, Tamil Nadu, South India.
Early 20th century.
60 cm long.It has two main aspects. A wooden seating arrangement with one side ending with a bowl scooped out of the same wood. The wooden seating arrangement looks like a raised platform resembling a long and slightly raised stool.The pedestal for the raised platform is also carved out of the same single wood. This device is called peetha in Sanskrit or peeta locally in India. To this peeta, an iron rod in the shape of a serpent with raised hood is attached. The hood part is the actual scraper and is positioned in such a way that the coconut scrapings fall in the wooden bowl located directly underneath.The scraper is in the shape of a circular disk with serrated edges. The robust wooden plank is full of carvings and resembles a wooden sculpture.Chettinadu is the land of Nattukottai Chettiars a prosperous business community. They are known as Nattukottai chettiars because of their huge houses resembling palaces (natu-native, kottai-palace in Tamil language). Chettinadu is a region in Tamil Nadu state, India. They invariably have high ceiling with elaborate carvings. The main attraction in a Chettinad house is the front door which is always carved elaborately depicting Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Another striking feature of a Chettinad house is the pillared corridors surrounding the courtyards and these corridors lead to the rooms inside. The courtyards are open to the sky and provide plenty of light and air. The flooring is made with Italian marble or the locally available Athangudi tiles but invariably with brightly colored and intricate patterns. Chettinadu food is so famous and most of the good restaurants include Chettinadu chicken in their menu card.
The coconut scraper from Cettinadu brings before us a bygone era of gracious living and represents a slice of chettiars’ rich cultural heritage, remarkable taste for good food , regal lifestyle, art and architecture