Net Fishing has been a part of many cultures around the world. We see evidence of this in cave paintings and pottery, it is also alluded to in many tribes oral histories. Evidence also suggests that ancient man also used nets for fishing and hunting. The oldest evidence suggests that nets were used in Asia as the main fishing tool. The most versatile material for the construction of these nets was bamboo. However, not all cultures had access to bamboo material. Cultures who did not have access to these materials used vines and sticks from various plants and trees. The draw back had to do with the materials longevity. Compared to bamboo, all other materials lacked in strength, buoyancy and amount of saturation. As word spread around the Ancient world about bamboo and its versatility, bamboo began to be exported as both cut materials and also live plants.
Although the shoots (new culms that come out of the ground) of Bamboo contain a toxin taxiphyllin (a cyanogenic glycoside) that produces cyanide in the gut, proper processing renders them edible. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms, in both fresh and canned versions. The golden bamboo lemur ingests many times the quantity of the taxiphyllin-containing bamboo that would kill a human.
The bamboo shoot in its fermented state forms an important ingredient in cuisines across the Himalayas. In Assam, India, for example, it is calledkhorisa. In Nepal, a delicacy popular across ethnic boundaries consists of bamboo shoots fermented with turmeric and oil, and cooked with potatoes into a dish that usually accompanies rice (alu tama in Nepali).
In Indonesia, they are sliced thin and then boiled with santan (thick coconut milk) and spices to make a dish called gulai rebung. Other recipes using bamboo shoots are sayur lodeh(mixed vegetables in coconut milk) and lun pia (sometimes written lumpia: fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables). The shoots of some species contain toxins that need to be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely.
Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots.
The sap of young stalks tapped during the rainy season may be fermented to make ulanzi (a sweet wine) or simply made into a soft drink. Bamboo leaves are also used as wrappers for steamed dumplings which usually contains glutinous rice and other ingredients.
Pickled bamboo shoots (Nepali: tama) are cooked with black-eyed beans as a delicacy food in Nepal. Many Nepalese restaurant around the world serve this dish as aloo bodi tama. Fresh bamboo shoots are sliced and pickled with mustard seeds and turmeric and kept in glass jar in direct sunlight for the best taste. It is used alongside many dried beans in cooking during winter months. Baby shoots (Nepali: tusa) of a very different variety of bamboo (Nepali: Nigalo) native to Nepal is cooked as a curry in Hilly regions.
In Sambalpur, India, the tender shoots are grated into juliennes andfermented to prepare kardi. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word for bamboo shoot, karira. This fermented bamboo shoot is used in various culinary preparations, notably amil, a sour vegetable soup. It is also made into pancakes using rice flour as a binding agent. The shoots that have turned a little fibrous are fermented, dried, and ground to sand-sized particles to prepare a garnish known as hendua. It is also cooked with tender pumpkin leaves to make sag green leaves.
The empty hollow in the stalks of larger bamboo is often used to cook food in many Asian cultures. Soups are boiled and rice is cooked in the hollows of fresh stalks of bamboo directly over a flame. Similarly, steamed tea is sometimes rammed into bamboo hollows to produce compressed forms ofPu-erh tea. Cooking food in bamboo is said to give the food a subtle but distinctive taste.
In addition, bamboo is frequently used for cooking utensils within many cultures, and is used in the manufacture of chopsticks. In modern times, some see bamboo tools as an ecofriendly alternative to other manufactured utensils.
Bamboo is used in Chinese medicine for treating infections and healing.
In Ayurveda, the Indian system of traditional medicine, the silicious concretion found in the culms of the bamboo stem is called banslochan. It is known as tabashir or tawashir in unani-tibb the Indo-Persian system of medicine. In English, it is called “bamboo manna”. This concretion is said to be a tonic for the respiratory diseases.It was earlier obtained from Melocanna bambusoides and is very hard to get. In most Indian literature, Bambusa arundinacea is described as the source of bamboo manna.
The secret medicine in bamboo helps to resolve many health issues. They have been made into traditional formulas and are being used today. The leaf of the bamboo holds a very essential part which is used to treat chronic ailments, including diabetes. One of the formulas used is Zhuye Shi Gao Tang (Bamboo Leaf and Gypsum combination). The bamboo shavings formulas are used to help the stomach. They are used for stomach heat syndromes commonly causing nausea and loss of appetite, as well as hiccups and vomiting. Zupi Zhuru Tang (Aurantium and Bamboo combination) is used to treat these symptoms. Wen Dang Tang (Bamboo and Hoelen combination) is a formula used to help treat irritability and insomnia. Bamboo Shavings And Tabasheer Formulas used to treat epilepsy, convulsive disorders and mental illness (including those in children). Ditan Tang (Phlegm-Scouring Decoction) and Zhuru Wen Dan Tang (Bamboo and Ginseng Combinations) are non-toxic formulations with bamboo shavings.
Bamboo, like true wood, is a natural composite material with high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures.
In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America, and by extension in the aesthetic of Tiki culture. In China and India, bamboo was used to hold up simple suspension bridges, either by making cables of split bamboo or twisting whole culms of sufficiently pliable bamboo together. One such bridge in the area of Qian-Xian is referenced in writings dating back 960 AD, and may have stood since as far back as the third century BC, due largely to continuous maintenance.
Bamboo has also long been used as scaffolding; the practice has been banned in China for buildings over six storeys, but is still in continuous use for skyscrapers in Hong Kong.In the Philippines, the nipa hut is a fairly typical example of the most basic sort of housing where bamboo is used; the walls are split and woven bamboo, and bamboo slats and poles may be used as its support. In Japanese architecture, bamboo is used primarily as a supplemental and/or decorative element in buildings such as fencing, fountains, grates and gutters, largely due to the ready abundance of quality timber.
Various structural shapes may be made by training the bamboo to assume them as it grows. Squared sections of bamboo are created by compressing the growing stalk within a square form.Arches may similarly be created by forcing the bamboo’s growth with the desired form, and costs much less than it would to assume the same shape in regular wood timber. More traditional forming methods, such as the application of heat and pressure, may also be used to curve or flatten the cut stalks.
Bamboo can be cut and laminated into sheets and planks. This process involves cutting stalks into thin strips, planing them flat, boiling and drying the strips; they are then glued, pressed and finished. Generally long used in China and Japan, entrepreneurs started developing and selling laminatedbamboo flooring in the West during the mid-1990s; products made from bamboo laminate, including flooring, cabinetry, furniture and even decorations, are currently surging in popularity, transitioning from the boutique market to mainstream providers, such as Home Depot. The bamboo goods industry (which also includes small goods, fabric, etc.) is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2012.The quality of bamboo laminate varies between manufacturers and the maturity of the plant from which it was harvested (six years being considered the optimum); the sturdiest products fulfil their claims of being up to three times harder than oak hardwood, but others may be softer than standard hardwood.
Bamboo intended for use in construction should be treated to resist insects and rot. The most common solution for this purpose is a mixture of boraxand boric acid.Another process involves boiling cut bamboo to remove the starches that attract insects.
Bamboo has been used as reinforcement for concrete in those areas where it is plentiful, though dispute exists over its effectiveness in the various studies done on the subject. Bamboo does have the necessary strength to fulfil this function, but untreated bamboo will swell from the absorption of water from the concrete, causing it to crack. Several procedures must be followed to overcome this shortcoming.
Several institutes, businesses, and universities are researching the use of bamboo as an ecological construction material. In the United States and France, it is possible to get houses made entirely of bamboo, which are earthquake and cyclone-resistant and internationally certified. In Bali, Indonesia, an international k-12 school, the Green School, is constructed entirely of bamboo, for its beauty and advantages as a sustainable resource. There are three ISO standards for bamboo as a construction material.
In parts of India, bamboo is used for drying clothes indoors, both as a rod high up near the ceiling to hang clothes on, and as a stick wielded with acquired expert skill to hoist, spread, and to take down the clothes when dry. It is also commonly used to make ladders, which apart from their normal function, are also used for carrying bodies in funerals. In Maharashtra, the bamboo groves and forests are called Veluvana, the name velu for bamboo is most likely from Sanskrit, while vana means forest.
Furthermore, bamboo is also used to create flagpoles for saffron-coloured,Hindu religious flags, which can be seen fluttering across India, especiallyBihar and Uttar Pradesh, as well as in Guyana and Suriname.
Bamboo is used for the structural members of the India pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The pavilion is the world’s largest bamboo dome, about 34 m in diameter, with bamboo beams/members overlaid with a ferro-concrete slab, water-proofing, copper plate, solar PV panels, a small windmill and live plants. A total of 30 km of bamboo was used. The dome is supported on 18-m-long steel piles and a series of steel ring beams. The bamboo was treated with borax and boric acid as a fire retardant and insecticide and bent in the required shape. The bamboo sections are joined with reinforcement bars and concrete mortar to achieve necessary lengths.
Since the fibers of bamboo are very short (less than 3 mm), they are impossible to transform into yarn in a natural process.The usual process by which textiles labeled as being made of bamboo are produced uses onlyrayon made from the fibers with heavy employment of chemicals. To accomplish this, the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets; the chemicals include lye, carbon disulfideand strong acids.Retailers have sold both end products as “bamboo fabric” to cash in on bamboo’s current ecofriendly cachet; however, the Canadian Competition Bureauand the US Federal Trade Commission,as of mid-2009, are cracking down on the practice of labeling bamboo rayon as natural bamboo fabric. Under the guidelines of both agencies, these products must be labeled as rayon with the optional qualifier “from bamboo.”
Bamboo fiber has been used to make paper in China since early times. A high-quality, handmade paper is still produced in small quantities. Coarse bamboo paper is still used to make spirit money in many Chinese communities.
Bamboo pulps are mainly produced in China, Myanmar, Thailand and India, and are used in printing and writing papers.The most common bamboo species used for paper are Dendrocalamus asper and Bamboo bluemanea. It is also possible to make dissolving pulp from bamboo. The average fiber length is similar to hardwoods, but the properties of bamboo pulp are closer to softwood pulps due to it having a very broad fiber length distribution. With the help of molecular tools, it is now possible to distinguish the superior fiber-yielding species/varieties even at juvenile stages of their growth, which can help in unadulterated merchandise production.
Bamboo and its unique attributes make it one of the most utilized natural resources throughout the world. Ancient man discovered this many thousands of years ago and its use will continue for thousands of years in the future.