– Henry David Thoreau
Archive for January 8th, 2010
I recently received an e-mail from one of the readers of Lingua Franca. His name is Richard Staigg and lives in Florida. During his visit to Panama, he purchased a couple of tagua carvings which I find very attractive. He wanted to share with us a couple of pictures he had of these souvenirs.
This is what he said:
“I love the artisinal market and have visited it several times. I especially like the tagua carvings. I think they are an exceptional native art form.
Unfortunately you can’t send photos to your comment section but I wanted to show you a couple that I brought back to the States from my last trip.
The scorpion fish and the turtles are quite fragile but fortunately I was able to get them back in one piece. You’re free to add them to a post if you want.
Below are three gorgeous pictures of Richard’s Panama tagua carvings. Here we go.
I would like to explain that tagua is a vegetable ivory obtained from a special variety of palm—Phytelephas—found in southern Panama along the Andes to Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. They are commonly known as ivory palms, ivory-nut pals or tagua palms. Their scientific name means “plant elephant”. This and the first two of the common names refer to the very hard white endosperm of their seeds (tagua nuts), which resembles elephant ivory.
Given trade restrictions in elephant ivory as well as animal welfare concerns, ivory palm endosperm is often used as a substitute for elephant ivory today, and traded as vegetable ivory, palm ivory, corozo or tagua. When dried out, it can be carved just like elephant ivory. It is often used for beads, buttons, figurines and jewelry, and can be dyed.
I wish to thank Richard for his valuable contribution to Lingua Franca. Good Day.
Source: Phytelephas – Wikipedia Encyclopedia