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1A narcotic sedative drink made in Polynesia from the crushed roots of a plant of the pepper family.
- ‘All chief ceremonies, however, regardless of village, culminate in the kava ceremony wherein the candidate drinks kava for the first time as the new chief.’
- ‘Also, avoid combining kava with alcohol or sedatives.’
- ‘They create beautiful spears, clubs, ceremonial bowls for kava drinking, and elaborately decorated seagoing canoes.’
- ‘In Polynesia, kava is considered the ‘drink of the gods.’’
- ‘In many cultures, men and occasionally women retire each evening to the nakamal to prepare and drink kava, an infusion of the pepper plant.’
2The Polynesian shrub from which the kava root is obtained.
- ‘If you have mood disorders such as depression, currently take mood-altering medication or have Parkinson's disease, avoid the herb kava.’
- ‘The first version portrays him as parting the sea with a cycas leaf, the second adds soil enclosed in a wild kava leaf and a bamboo flute to the ritual paraphernalia of departure.’
- ‘There are no roads or cars - just tidy grassy areas where people dry the narcotic kava root in the sun.’
- ‘Visitors are invited to partake in a yaqona - a welcoming ceremony with a drink brewed from kava root, served in an ironwood bowl, and sipped from a coconut-shell dish.’
- ‘My neighbor says the herb kava is a natural way to calm nerves.’
- ‘Conversely, Hawaiians were traditionally the biggest gamblers of Polynesia - going so far as to wager their own lives in surfing competitions - and they made fermented drinks of kava roots.’
Late 18th century: from Tongan.
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