American Jewelry and Artifact Information
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tagua nut (also called vegetable ivory) is from the Tagua palm tree (also called
ivory nut palm) from South America. The scientific name means "Plant Elephant"
which refers to the hard white seeds which resemble elephant ivory. Each fruit
pod is covered in a horned husk that is about the size of a grapefruit. Inside
there are 4 to 9 seeds the size of a hen's egg.
is naturally an ivory color and can be toasted to a rich golden brown or deep
mocha. It is extremely hard, takes on a high polish and absorbs dyes readily.
Nut Buffalo Fetish
by Zuni artist Gale Lucio
the 1920s over 20% of the buttons produced in the US were made of tagua, imported
into the US from South America.
of tagua includes not getting it wet such as in a shower or swimming pool. Every
year or so, buffing with beeswax will enhance is natural shine.
indigenous people of South America use Tagua to represent the feminine because
of its great magnet-like romantic energy. Each member of the tribe was given a
tagua pendant to wear around his or her neck. The natives believed that persons
wearing tagua would live in harmony and always be loved by their family and friends.
Tagua Nuts for carving is ecologically sound. It is a excellent substitute for
illegal elephant ivory so prevents elephants from being killed for the ivory in
their tusks. And its economic viability provides an alternative to cutting down
rainforests for farming. Tagua Palm stands are a valuable sustainable, renewable
resource not only for the tagua ivory but as a source of food and construction
wood. The nuts are harvested from the ground without any harm to the tree.
2010 Cherry Hill ©
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