With our upcoming Tagua Animal pendants soon to be released we thought it would be a good idea to do a little blog post about the nut that they are made from, so here we go :
“Tagua (”tah-gwa”) nut, also called ‘ivory nut’, ‘vegetable ivory’ or ‘Corozo’ is the dried seedpod of the Tagua Palm tree (Phytelephas Macrocarpa) which grows in the tropical rainforests of South America.” (via)
Chemically Tagua nuts are made of pure cellulose. Before nuts mature they contain a milky liquid in the centre which is completely edible. Seemingly in one episode of Man vs. Wild (Discovery Channel, 2008), the great Bear Grylls demonstrated how to eat tagua when surviving in rainforests… Let me know if any of you find a clip, it would be really interesting to watch!
Due to it’s ivory look and feel, Tagua is often used in the production of beads, buttons, jewellery and little trinkets.. and more recently has been used to make bagpipes! (via)
Tagua nuts are gathered from the rainforest floor after they have fallen naturally (or with a little help from some friendly local animals) from the tree – no harm is done to the tree whatsoever. Not only is using Tagua friendly to the rainforest, but it helps the fight against ivory poaching, saving elephants, walruses, and other ivory bearing animals.
In one year, one tagua palm can produce as much ivory as an average African elephant in her lifetime (via) – Each year, a typical tree bears approximately 15-20 kilograms of nuts.
The Amazonian Indians believes that the Tagua nut brings prosperity, happiness, love and abundance… and Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, and natives of South and Central America used Tagua for emotional and spiritual health and well-being. To them, Tagua is sacred. (via)
So all in all, an amazing nut!