The Tagua is a unique plant that comes from the tropical and humid mountains of Ecuador, grows wild in forests called Taguales, is white, hard, heavy, smooth and opaque but shiny when polished; It is odorless and tasteless but not elastic or incorruptible like real ivory.
Similar in its morphology to palm trees, it takes 14 to 15 years from its planting until the first fruits can be harvested and production is not interrupted in its lifetime. These Taguales offer approximately 3 crops per year, in these crops 15 to 16 heads are produced, also known as mococha. In each mococha we can get approximately 20 Tagua seeds to make handmade jewelry.
The use of Tagua beads increases interest in this plant and benefits the tropical rainforest. In addition, due to the non-biodegradable nature of most plastics, we would combat the increasing contamination, since some of these plastics take up to 150 years to degrade. It also allows the inhabitants of rural areas to make the collection of natural ivory an economic source and ecological activity (without cutting down trees since the seed falls on its own), revaluing and promoting its conservation.
Other uses: The benefits obtained from the Tagua plant are multiple, almost all of its parts are used without cutting down the tree:
- The roots are medicinal.
- The dried leaves serve to roof houses.
- The seeds are used for the manufacture of buttons, natural jewelry and other crafts.
- The eyelets are used to make bricks.
- The dust that results from the eyelets when mixed with other components serves as food for cattle.
- The Tagua is currently being investigated for chemical or pharmaceutical fields.
- The seed of Tagua is used to make handmade pipes.
With the constant ecological damage caused by the predation of African elephant ivory, we want to raise awareness among buyers and beaders of the immense humanitarian value of replacing animal ivory with plant ivory, so we could avoid the predation of elephants and rhinos.