#633 Tagua Nut Nativity, Columbian

Acquired 2013

A tagua nut is known as “vegetable ivory” produced by a palm-like tree in South America. Gathered from the rain forest floor, the nuts fall to the ground when mature, much like our almonds. The encased nut grain is closed by the outer shell and is very hard, resembling ivory. The nut art is a cultural tradition of South Americans, and the trees are preserved by forest protection laws. My unique nativity set of eight pieces, are eight separately carved tagua nuts. Each piece is produced from the individual nut carving and is enhanced by adding additional pieces of nut to create details. The set utilizes the unique attributes of the contrast between the dark outer skin and the milky white interior. My set was handmade in Columbia. Purchased through Yonder Star, August 2013, cost $43.99.