It's the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swam story in many ways. Over 35,000 villagers in South America take the ugly palm tree nut and turn them into beautiful and colorful beads. Tagua is often called vegetable ivory or palm ivory, due to its color and rock-hardness when dried.
See picture of raw nut below. Tagua nuts have been used for decades to make buttons and dominos, as well. Tagua serves nicely as an environmentally sensitive substitute for animal ivory and can be made into beautiful carved figurines and scrimshaw. Click here to watch our Tagua Nut Beads Video Introduction.