The Ecuadorian tagua, an attractive material for the world

The Ecuadorian tagua, an attractive material for the world

The tagua or vegetal ivory is a seed of a palm that grows in the humid tropical forests of the Pacific region, especially in Panama, Colombia and Ecuador.

In Ecuador, the species from which the tagua is extracted is a palm named Phitelephas aequatorialis, which develops in the subtropics between the Andes Mountain Range and the Coast. It occurs very well in Esmeraldas, but mostly in Manabí up to altitudes of 1,500 masl; and it occurs wildly. In the past the tagua was better known and used than in our days. When ivory became scarce and before the era of plastic, tagua was an important raw material for luxury goods, processed on three continents on the globe.

For more than two hundred years the tagua has served as material for netsukes (Japanese miniatures), dice, dominoes and pieces of chess. Also for handles of canes, umbrellas, pipes, pieces of mah jong, boxes of needles etc., religious figures and toys.

At present the tagua or vegetal ivory has great internal and international demand, in the form of crafts and in the form of jewelry; therefore it gives a lot of labor opportunity for inhabitants of the sectors where it is extracted.

Next I will leave you some fun facts about the raw material of tagua accounts

  • Tagua has been used for manufacturing buttons from the second half of the nineteenth century, ie 1850.

  • For over 50 years was marketed in Europe and around the world exclusively by the famous “Tagua German House,” which had local ports on the coast of Ecuador: Manglaralto, Puerto López, Puerto Cayo, Manta, Bahia de Caraquez Cojimíes, Muisneand Bourbon.

  • We have to wait about fifteen years for the tagua palm to deliver its first fruits.

  • The tagua was used 200 years earlier for  developing religious figures, pipes,chess sets.

  • The tagua replaces couture items such as buttons, handles, sticks, etc.. Used by leading persones  from the entertainment world.

  • The tagua beads have become one of the most urgent needs of the designers of jewelry in Europe.

  • The tagua beads designs are claimed by celebrities.

  • The majority of companies working with tagua are Family owned companies.

  • Ecuador is the first country in the world exporting tagua with 90%. 10% it is Brazil.

  • The main companies of Tagua of Ecuador are located in the province of Manabi. Same province where EcuadorianHands Tagua Beads shop is at.

  • Tagua saves elephants and protect the rain forest. Link to us if you want to saves elephants and protect the rain forest.

Share your knowledge of this note.

Posted on 10/18/2018 by Jean Chávez Fashion, Jewelry 1 4399

1 Comment


    GERMANIA ROMERO GUERRA 03/16/2019 Reply

    Buenas tardes:
    Necesito más información para comprar bisutería para exportación
    Comunicarse al correo indicado
    Germania Romero

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