What is tagua?
Our Tagua Rainforest Treasures are made from seeds found within the pods (cabezas) of the Ivory Nut Palm (Phytelephas aequatorialis), a native species of the Colombian rainforest. Tagua is known as the "ivory of the rainforest", or "vegetable ivory" due to its exceptional carvability and since it serves as a viable alternative to elephant ivory, thus protecting those animals.
The tagua are harvested after they have fallen to the ground, so no harm is done to the rainforest during the production process. The collection of this natural product helps provide incentive to local forest inhabitants to protect the trees and keep the rainforest intact.
How is it transformed?
The tagua seeds are removed from the seed pod and transported to an artisan family or group for creating into the final product. The seeds are stripped of their outer shell and the raw seeds are then polished to achieve the desired result. If the hull is completely removed it will create a brilliant white nut that can be colored, or if the hull is partially left on it will create a "zebra" finish with stripes.
The tagua can then be colored and carved into different shapes if desired, creating a beautiful finished product that is both Fair Trade and eco-friendly.