Many plants have worked their way into our lives, but few have done so with as much flair as the calabash. For over ten thousand years, people have used the calabash (known also as the bottle gourd and formally as Lagenaria siceraria) in all sorts of ways. They've eaten it as food. They've used it as fishing floats, as pontoons for river rafts, as goblets, as pipe stems. And around the world, people make music with it.
Here's a whirlwind calabash concert tour around the planet:
Ravi Shankar jams on his sitar, the Indian classical guitar carved from a calabash, at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival: