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Living on the tropical island of Maui has many advantages, one of them being able to eat Maui Gold pineapples all year long. This sweet, juicy tropical fruit has been a favorite of mine since I was a small child and Maui grows the best. The pineapple has became a familiar symbolic image of welcome, good cheer, warmth and affection between all who dwell inside the home. This painting is done with acrylic on watercolor paper. When looking through my "Sold" art work inventory I noticed I have sold a lot of pineapple paintings and prints. It seems the "Symbol of Hospitality" is quite popular. What is it about this sweet, succulent fruit that attracts people? Is it the shape? The color? Or is it just the meaning that us humans have given it. Should I over annualize these questions, or just go with the flow? In my quest for answers I decided to do a search on the history of how pineapples became the symbol of hospitality. It all started in 1493 when Columbus saw his first pineapple on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. He described the pineapple in his journal by saying "They are like an artichoke plant, but four times as tall, which gives the fruit the shape of a pine cone, twice as big, which fruit is excellent, and it can be cut with a knife like a turnip, and it seems to be very wholesome.". Columbus brought the pineapple back to Europe, which was devoid of sweet foods, including fresh fruit. The popularity and curiosity for the pineapple became a coveted commodity for two centuries after it's arrival in Europe. The pineapple captured the imagination of both the Old and New World. Seafaring captains used them like trophies to signify a triumphant journey home. They would impale the pineapples in front of their homes to symbolize "Visitors Welcome". Architects started working the shape of the pineapple into entrance columns, stair-rail finials, gate posts, weather vanes and door knockers. In the Americas innkeepers added pineapple to their signs and advertisements. Bed posts and headboards with pineapples carved on them became a common sight. Pineapples were being woven on welcome mats and intricate needlework on fine linens. Hostesses would set a pineapple in the center of their dining table when entertaining guests. Hostesses of affluent homes would try to outdo each other by creating memorable displays. Captain Cook introduced the fruit to the Pacific and Hawaii islands in the 1770s. However, commercial cultivation did not begin until the 1880s when steamships made transporting the perishable fruit viable. James Dole started canning pineapples in 1903. By 1921 the Dole Hawaiian Pineapple Company was booming, making pineapple Hawaii's largest crop and industry for 40 years. Well now, there you have it. A short history on how the pineapple became the symbol of hospitality. It's symbolic image of welcome, good cheer and warmth and affection is still used by the hotel and restaurant industries and homes around the world. I no longer wonder why my Pineapple paintings are so popular. I'm just glad they are. "Maui Pineapple 2" is this weeks featured painting. This is an acrylic painting on watercolor paper. The original painting is available. Prints are also available in a variety of sizes, on paper, canvas and metal. This image is also available on throw pillows, tote bags and of course cards! Thank you for taking the time to view my work.