Fair Trade

Phytelephas Nut Nativity Scene Carving from Ecuador

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Nuts from the Ecuadorian genus of Phytelephas palm are harvested and skillfully hand carved into this fair trade nativity grotto. The exterior of the nut provides contrast to the ivory colored nut inside. Measures about 2 inches tall.

Also known as vegetable ivory, tagua is produced by a palm-like tree in South America. The nuts fall to the ground when mature, thus harvesting does not damage the trees. Tagua nut's grain is close and very hard, resembling the finest irory. Artisans carve each nut individually into the desired form. Cultural tradition and forest preservation combine in the use of this renewable resource. As these are all handcarved from sustainable Tagua nuts, there is typically some variance in the size and shape but they are mostly 1.5 inches tall. Fair trade from Ecuador. 

Artisans: In response to the rising costs of living in Ecuador during the 1980s, a group of faith-based communities organized to find a solution. The result was the formation of MCCH, a cooperative marketing organization which was started in 1985. Maquita Cushunchic Comercializando Como Hermanos, whose name is a mix of Quechua and Spanish and means Let's join hands and market as brothers, represents 400 groups from all regions of Ecuador who produce both handcrafts and agricultural products. This Nativity scene was acquired through a Fair Trade organization. Fair Trade pays impoverished artisans a fair price for their work. Fair Trade puts people first, not profits.

See more nativity scenes from Ecuador  or visit our Unique Nativity collection for more amazing nativities from Around the World!

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Additional Information

2 inch (5 cm)
Tagua Nut
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