An awara palm tree (Astrocaryum vulgare; sense 1) with bunches of fruit.
Awara fruit (sense 2) and seeds. The bottle contains oil from the pulp of the fruit.

Borrowed from Guyanese Creole English awara, from Arawak awara.[1]



awara (plural awara or awaras)

  1. (Guyana, chiefly attributively) The palm tree Astrocaryum vulgare which is native to the Amazon Rainforest region.
    • 1841, Robert H[ermann] Schomburgk, “Banded Schizodon. Schizodon fasciatus, Agas.”, in William Jardine, editor, Fishes of Guiana. Part I (The Naturalist’s Library, Ichthyology; III), Edinburgh: W[illiam] H[ome] Lizars, []; London: S. Highley, [], OCLC 1159586204, page 253:
      The food found in its stomach was the seed of the awarra, a species of palm (Aristocaryon spec?)
    • 1857, J. O. Bagdon, “Vegetable Products”, in Guiana: Geographical and Historical. [], R. Short, OCLC 38690623, pages 16–17:
      The Ita palm supplies the drink called Belteerie; of the fruit of the Tooroo palm a drink resembling chocolate is made; the Awara palm also yields a drink; the Guava, Souari, and tamarind.
    • 1871 September 1, “International Exhibition. The French Pictures.”, in The Art-Journal, volume X (New Series; volume XXXIII overall), London: Virtue & Co., OCLC 1514293, page 220, column 1:
      Handsome bracelets and rings are carved out of the nut of the Awara palm (Astrocaryum Awara); it is black, very hard, and bears a high polish.
    • 1876 June, “France. Cayenne. Report by Consul Wooldridge on the Trade and Commerce of French Guiana for the Year 1875.”, in Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls on the Manufactures, Commerce, &c., of Their Consular Districts. Part IV. [] (Accounts and Papers; 34 (Commercial Reports—continued)), volume LXXV, London: Harrison and Sons, [], OCLC 941815750, page 850, column 1:
      Oil of the awara palm. This palm is very common on the coast of French Guiana; the fruit grows to a fine bunch, and ripens and falls between February and April. It is one of the most useful of trees, for every particle of it is utilized.
    • 1885, The Gardeners’ Magazine, volume XXVIII, London: Gardeners’ Magazine Office, OCLC 5337622, page 642:
      The five principal palms of the British Guiana rivers are the trooly, the aeta, the cocorite, the manicole, and the awarra, and all these grow in the greatest profusion on the banks of the Berbice.
    • 1890 June, [J. J. Quelch], “On the Upper Berbice River”, in J. J. Quelch, editor, Timehri: Being the Journal of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society of British Guiana, volume IV (New Series), part I, Demerara: J. Thomson, []; London: E[dward] Stanford, [], OCLC 320094747, page 317:
      Above Ahwiemah, and upwards until the sandy ridges in the neighbourhood of Youacourie creek are met with, the district is almost a continuous swamp, in which the prickly awarra palms (Astrocaryum) luxuriate and in some places completely line the riverside.
    • 1976 June 18, E. McLoughlin; P. J. K. Burton, “Notes on the Hawk-headed Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus”, in J. F. Monk, editor, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, volume 96, number 2, London: British Ornithologists’ Club, ISSN 0007-1595, OCLC 892149971, page 69:
      An Amerindian informant living in the area stated that it fed on fruits of the Awarra Palm Astrocaryum tucumoides and the Cuyuru Palm A. tucuma.
    • 1991, Richard Price; Sally Price, “Introduction: Collective Fabulation”, in Two Evenings in Saramaka, Chicago, Ill.; London: University of Chicago Press, →ISBN, page 18:
      At dawn the beautiful wife asked Bási Kodjó to go off to the forest with her to collect awara palm seeds. [...] Bási Kodjó climbed the awara tree and began picking fruit. Suddenly the woman turned back into her natural form, a Bush Cow, and called out to her relatives. [...] Bási Kodjó had turned himself into a tiny awara palm thorn and hidden by sticking himself into a leaf.
    • 2017, Olivier Claessens; Nyls de Pracontal; Johan Ingels, “The Owls of French Guiana”, in Paula L. Enríquez, editor, Neotropical Owls: Diversity and Conservation, Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-57108-9, →ISBN, page 426:
      This owl nests mostly in cavities in trees. On 23 June 2006, a nest was discovered at Awala-Yalimapo [...]. The nest cavity was situated on top of a dead beheaded awara palm tree Astrocaryum vulgare. The palm tree with a height of c. 5 m and a diameter of c. 15 cm stood in the middle of a small group of bushes, low trees and awara palms next to the parking of the primary school.
  2. (Guyana) The oily edible fruit of this tree, which has a yellowish-orange skin and pulp, and a large black seed. Both the pulp and the seed yield oil.
    • 1796, J[ohn] G[abriel] Stedman, chapter I, in Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the Wild Coast of South America; [], volume I, London: J[oseph] Johnson, [], and J. Edwards, [], OCLC 13966308, page 22:
      The awara, or avoira, which is leſs remarkable for the excellence of its flavour than its beautiful appearance, grows upon a ſpecies of palm-tree, and is of an oval form, about the ſize of an Orlean plumb, and of a rich deep orange colour, nearly approaching to red.
    • 1881, Charles Daniel Dance, Chapters from a Guianese Log-book: Or The Folk-lore and Scenes of Sea-coast and River Life in British Guiana; [], Georgetown, Demarara, British Guiana: Royal Gazette Establishment, OCLC 4782644, page 95:
      With this prepared cutting-pole they succeeded, after a while, in detaching the cluster of palms, which fell heavily to the ground, scattering the awarra nuts in all directions. But with the bunch of awarras came also mother coomby with her brood of seven young ones on her back,—their long prehensile tails firmly entwined around the tail of the old lady.
    • 1963, Edgar Mittelholzer, A Swarthy Boy, London: Putnam, OCLC 906100789, page 50:
      On this plot of land he grow a variety of crops, and periodically a crate—sometimes two crates—would turn up, sent down by Uncle Bishop on the launch from Don Carlos. In it would be no conventional vegetables like sweet-potatoes, cassavas or yams, but really exciting jungle products—a small sackful of cookerits (the fruit of the cookerit palm, sweet and oily), another sack containing awaras (bright orange and meaty, also from a palm), [...]
    • 1994, Bernard Heydorn, Walk Good Guyana Boy, Newmarket, Ont.: Learning Improvement Centre, →ISBN, page 77:
      Jubbing or taws, was played with marbles or awara seeds. The awara fruit was a bright, orange coloured fruit which came from a species of palm tree. The flesh of the awara fruit would be stripped off by teeth, and the seed rubbed against concrete. The result would be a smooth, black, shiny awara seed, called a taw.
    • 2011, Odeen Ishmael, “The War of the Birds”, in Guyana Legends: Folktales of the Indigenous Amerindians, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 92:
      As a punishment, they put him to sit on top of a tall awarra palm. The trunk of the tree was thickly covered with sharp thorns, which prevented him from climbing down. [...] One day, as a group of spiders arrived to eat the ripe yellow awarra on the tree, they were shocked to find Kamoa sitting among the branches.

Alternative formsEdit



  1. ^ Richard Allsopp, editor (2003), “awara”, in Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, →ISBN, page 50, column 2.

Further readingEdit