The date palm - Oman’s tree of life

The consumption of only fifteen dates satisfies the daily requirements for essential vitamins, minerals and other trace elements for an adult person. 

Following an age-old tradition many Omanis still plant the shoot of a date palm to commemorate the birth of a son. The child’s personal tree grows alongside him, providing many of life’s necessities. The lifespan of a date palm is about that of a man and having a personal tree is a guarantee against starvation. It serves as a form of traditional life insurance.

Stored in clay vessels, dates keep for several years. They constituted the most important part of the diet of those Omanis who were travelling in inhospitable regions, in deserts and on the oceans. Thanks to dates and dried lemons Omani seamen were protected from the scourge of western sailors, scurvy, which was endemic due to vitamin deficiency.

  • Maria PoppMaria Popp
  • Karin NowackKarin Nowack
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