About Tagua Nuts - Vegetable Ivory

  Tagua nuts - Legendary Vegetable Ivory


Tagua, also known as "Tagua nut, corozo nut, ivory nut or just vegetable ivory", but its most common name is "Tagua (tah-gwa) Nut".  Tagua is a fruit seed that comes from the Phytelephas Macrocarpa palm tree that grows in the tropical rainforests of the South American. Etymologically, the term Phytelephas Macrocarpa is derived from the Greek phyton: plant and elephas: elephant, making reference to the ivory. The nuts ranges in size from a cherry to a grapefruit and are very similar to the animal ivory in texture, hardness and color, but unlike animal ivory, the collection of the Tagua nuts do not involve killing of the palm tree which means no harm the nature as it is harvest once the Tagua nuts falls in the grown.


 PhotobucketThe Tagua nut processing involves drying, polishing, cutting or slicing and dye. The drying is natural and can done outdoors or indoors (for our artisans, under the house is just fine). The processing is almost 100% handmade and I believe it is the charm of our pieces.
For hundreds of years Tagua nuts have been used for many proposes and was a large commodity in the 19th century. Used by ivory carvers for production of artifacts and games, its big boom was in a clothing button industry with large exportations to Europe. But, as nothing gold stays, the introduction of cheap plastic almost ruined the exportation of Tagua.




Nevertheless, Tagua has resurged and the vegetable ivory has become more popular recently as an ethical and sustainable alternative to the sourcing of mammal ivory, from elephants, whales, walrus and other species and offering an attractive economic alternative for Rainforest conservation and more than that, helping families in South America. Just a fact, in one year, a single Tagua palm can produce the same amount of "Ivory" as the tusks of a female elephant.

 Also, with a high price on market, the animal ivory has now started to be substituted by the vegetable ivory and the wish for a piece of luxury from so many people around the world has given a chance for small companies and also creation of others. It directly generates more labor work and hopefully, decreases the infant work, as the parents have a chance to bring an extra money home. But, we can not forget to mention that the Tagua can also help to curtail the production of cocaine and other drugs in Colombia (personally info from an Anthropologist and more than that, a friend called Javier from Bogota).



From profession and heart, I am totally into the "Social work" and I’ve been searching a lot about the recent Tagua statistics, but have not found the exactly number of families involved in the different sectors of the Tagua industry. The government in Ecuador estimates that more than 30.000 families (plus) are working with Tagua and receive benefits from this business.





Now days, you can find Tagua in its first using as Tagua carvings, umbrella handles, games; but what have taking peoples attention is the using of Tagua pieces on Jewelry. With this big movement that brings the slogan "Make it yourself! "; our pieces are perfect for handmade jewelry. We have so many items in stock and are posting online a new item every day, so if you want to make a piece of Tagua jewelry for your own or want to make an extra money selling your art work, you are in the right place. You are so welcome to take a look in our Tagua slices, Tagua beads, Tagua barrels, Tagua rounds, Tagua donuts, Tagua discs, Tagua button and more catalogs. If you need help, just email or call us and it is a pleasure to talk to you.



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