#525 Tagua Nut Nativity, Peru

Acquired 2008

Gathered from the rain forest in Peru, the Tagua Nut is from a palm tree. After harvesting, the nuts are dried in the sun for 4 - 6 months. The dried nuts can then be sliced, drilled, and polished by tumbling with the inside of the nut resembling ivory! In fact, the Tagua Nut is sometimes referred to as “Vegetable Ivory” because it is almost indistinguishable from real ivory. The “ivory” inside of this nut reveals a small Holy Family nativity carved into the nut meat. The outer shell has beautiful markings on it - similar to carvings of wood. I have pictured this nativity Tagua Nut next to a pear to help comprehend the size of this very small item. Made in Peru and marketed by Serv International through the Church of the Brethren here in Modesto, I purchased it November 2008. Purchase price was $15.