A common weed here on Reunion island, growing in most wet ravines and along creeks, the seeds are sometimes used for 'Kayamb' a local music intrument made of sugar cane flower stalk assembled in a hollow box with seeds inserted inside and rattling when you shake it. Actually seeds of Canna edulis are prefered for the job but Job's tear can do the trick though some locals will state that having Job's tears seeds in one's home may bring bad luck there...
It is so nice to hear form you both, thanks for sharing your comments. Coix lacryma-jobi L. really is a fascinating plant.
Jean-Jacques, I wasn't familiar with where you live and had to look it up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Réunion. Since Job's Tears is a common weed there, I wonder if locals make jewelry from the seeds? Then again, maybe not if they may symbolize bad luck.
It is always interesting and a pleasure to learn of different cultural uses of the foods and plants we grow.
Job's tear although of easy access here is seldom used for ornaments as local crafts are not very developped and for most people it would not be proper jewels, gold is much more sought after...The bad luck thing is rather versatile, many old creole folks will in no way grow a banana tree in the front yard (bad luck and brings evils in!) while back yard is all right but nowadays you see banana trees anywhere there is enough room to allow it...
I never heard of people using the seeds for food here but it is more common on nearby Madagascar where people starve.