Tagua Nuts - The Vegetable Ivory

Tagua Jewellery

From the heart of the Amazon grows a special tree called the Tagua, otherwise known as the Ivory Palm. This tree produces an extraordinary fruit which is called the Tagua nut. This nut has been used to create buttons, jewellery and various carved objects for centuries.

The purchase of the nut supports the employment of nearly 35'000 indigenous people from the Panama along the Andes to Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, northwestern Brazil, and Peru. The income received from the Tagua crops is a very strong incentive to look after and maintain the trees. Vegetable ivory stimulates local economies in South America, it provides an alternative to cutting down rainforests for farming, and prevents elephants from being killed for the ivory in their tusks.

The nut is harvested and left to dry for 3 years. Once it has been cut into manageable pieces it can be shaped and polished and coloured with natural dyes.

At Melbury Gallery we are delighted to be enhancing our approach to ethical trading in supporting this vitial industry by offering a selection of necklaces made from Tagua Nuts.