This giant tree can be visited on the way to the Jatiluwih rice terraces and the Leke-Leke waterfall. According to local rumors, it is 500-700 years old, and its height is about 80 meters.
The giant from the Balinese banyan tree, Bayan - the kapok tree or Ceiba pentandra. In Spanish-speaking countries, it is more often called ceiba. It is also known as "Javanese cotton" (Java cotton).
Originally, this tree was characteristic of America and Africa, but it was imported to Asia for fiber production.
Bats are attracted to the scent of the kapok tree's flowers, and they flock to the fragrance, inadvertently pollinating the kapok in the process.
The term "kapok" is used for both the tree itself and the cotton-like fluff that falls from its seed pods.
Ceiba is cultivated specifically for this fiber. It is light, buoyant, elastic, water-resistant, but highly flammable.
During fiber collection, the pods of the tree are either cut or collected from the ground. Seeds and fibers from the pods are manually separated in baskets, with the seeds falling to the bottom, leaving behind the valuable fibers.
The seeds can be used to extract oil for soap making, and the residue is used as fertilizer and livestock feed. Ceiba oil is yellow with a pleasant, mild scent and taste reminiscent of cottonseed oil.
The fibers are short, non-elastic, brittle, and poorly suited for spinning threads.
Kapok was widely used in the past as a filling for pillows, mattresses, and upholstery, as insulation material, a substitute for absorbent cotton in surgery, and as filling for life jackets and other water rescue devices.
However, it easily catches fire, and its usage declined with the development of foam, plastics, and synthetic fibers.
The wood of the ceiba tree does not hold screws or nails well, but it is still used for various wooden products and even for paper production. In ancient times, people used ceiba logs to craft canoes.
Decoctions of ceiba bark were historically used as a diuretic, aphrodisiac, and for treating headaches and type II diabetes.
The ceiba tree was the most sacred tree for the ancient Maya. According to Maya mythology, the ceiba symbolized the universe.
This tree served as a symbol of communication between the three levels of the earth. The Maya believed that its roots extended into the underworld, the trunk represented the middle world where humans live, and the branches' crowns, reaching high into the sky, symbolized the upper world and the thirteen levels into which the Maya sky was divided.
It was believed that the souls of the deceased ascended to the top of the ceiba trees to reach the heavens. Consequently, ceiba trees are often found planted near cemeteries and in places where religious ceremonies are held.
Among the ancient Maya, there was a legend that the creator gods planted their respective ceiba trees in the four cosmic regions: in the east - the red ceiba; in the west - the black ceiba; in the south - the yellow ceiba; and in the north - the white ceiba.
Finally, they planted a fifth ceiba in the center of the four directions, and in its roots, they discovered Xibalba or Mitnal, the dwelling of the dead; at the base of the tree, they placed Kab, or the earth, where we, humans, reside; and in the trunk and branches of the tree, they established the abode of the gods.
The ceiba has become the national emblem of Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea. In Equatorial Guinea, the ceiba appears on the coat of arms and the flag.