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tagua palm nut tree.
Jump to Tagua Nut product descriptions below.
In 1990, Conservation International started its first conservation-based enterprise, the Tagua Initiative®, in northwest Ecuador based on providing economic incentives for sustainable harvesting of the tagua palm nut, Phytelephas Equatorialis.

About 1,800 members of the Comuna Rio Santiago-Cayapas now have jobs that depend upon keeping nearby rainforest lands standing. They sustainably harvest tagua nuts from the forest floor when the cabeza containing the nuts ripens and falls.

Each tree contains several cabezas and it may take 3 - 8 years for the cabeza to fully mature. Other employment comes from the hand-crafted creation of figurines and jewelry by local artisans. Training has empowered others to help run the business.
a stand in Ecuador which sells tagua nut cabezas. This Comuna is adjacent to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, a very diverse rainforest hotspot, and is the only protected area where much of the forest land has already been destroyed. Rainforest hotspots cover less than 1% of our planet's land area but may contain 30-40% of our biodiversity! The Comuna's forest is next to the Reserve, so it acts as a buffer zone.
Tagua Uses
Before the introduction of inexpensive plastic buttons, about 20% of buttons manufactured in the United States were made from tagua nuts. In the 1920's tagua exports brought $5 million per year into Ecuador. Conservation International and other ecological groups have been instrumental in increasing the number of major companies who are once again using tagua, a sustainably harvested natural resource, for buttons.
Detailed tagua nut swan with wings raised.
The Tagua Nut, commonly known as "vegetable ivory", earned its name from its ivory-like color and texture. With the near extinction of animal ivory, tagua nuts have become a highly valued commodity by artisans and consumers alike. In Ecuador, tagua is skillfully carved by artisans into figurines, keychains, Christmas ornaments, jewelry and boxes.

One World Projects carries a large selection of tagua carvings, as well as tagua slices. Check out our Rainforest Crafters' Corner for more information about raw tagua slices.

While many social and political factors impact the continued success of ecologically oriented projects, a strong market for the products is very important. Consumers must make choices that encourage good land utilization and forest management through sustainable harvesting. The dollars must go back into the targeted community for further social development, or else the cycle is not complete.

We encourage you to help save rainforests by considering a tagua nut purchase from One World Projects or the many stores which sell our products.

Our Tagua Nut Product Links
tagua nut chess sets. Tagua Nut Chess Sets

From this link you can see all of our chess set selections, including a Tagua Nut Classic Design set and a very popular Birds of the Americas chess set.
tagua nut jewelry. Tagua Nut Jewelry

Come surf to our main Tagua Nut jewelry page and explore our pendants, earrings and pins in many different designs.
Eagle head and Swan hand carved from Tagua Nuts. Tagua Nut Bird Figurines (multiple nut)

You'll just love these Tagua nut eagles, swans, owls, toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, chickadees and many other birds.
Tagua nut sea turtle and orca whale. Tagua Nut Coastal Creatures (multiple nut)

In addition to the tagua nut coastal birds from the page above (pelicans, swans, penguins, etc.) we have coastal creatures such as turtles, whales, dolphins, fish, alligators, seals, sea lions and more.
tagua nut panda bear and elephant. Tagua Nut Safari Animals (multiple nut)

Enjoy the adventure of our tagua nut safari animal figurines, including lions, chimps, llamas, koala bears, monkies, hippopotamuses, gorillas, zebras, giraffes, orangutans and quite a few different elephants.
tagua nut pig with piglets and tagua nut rabbit. Tagua Nut North American Animal Figurines (multiple nut)

On this page you'll see our hand-carved tagua nut rabbits, pigs with piglets, buffalo, raccoons, squirrels, bear and wolf heads, and field mice.
Tagua Nut Kitty Cat and Golden Retriever Puppy Dog. Tagua Nut Domestic Animal Figurines (multiple nut)

On this page you'll see our hand-carved tagua nut kitty cats, a Golden Retriever puppy, and a "Rubber Duckie".
sea turtle and owl carved in relief on tagua nuts. Birds and Animals Carved in Relief on Tagua Nuts

Artisans in Ecuador take a tagua nut, and through judicious carving sculpt very cute animals and birds. Designs include alligators, crabs, cockatoos, dolphins, frogs, hummingbirds, iguanas, manatees, owls, parrots, sea turtles, sharks, and toucans.
cat and elephant etched on a whole tagua nut. Birds and Animals Etched on Whole Tagua Nuts

You get to see lots of the outside of whole tagua nuts with these artworks. Artisans have etched domestic house cats, cheetas, elephants, giraffes, lions, lizards, tigers, rhinos,sea horses, and zebras on one side of whole raw tagua nuts.
Tagua Nut Christmas Ornaments

These styles and many more await you on our Tagua Nut Christmas Ornament page! Religious and secular designs in 3 different styles.
tagua nut boxes handcarved in many designs. Tagua Nut Boxes

These tagua nut boxes are perfect for holding small keep-sakes or just as a work of art. Designs include branches, clam shells, moon, sun, daisy and rose.
small tagua nut figurines that we call tagua pets. Tagua Nut Figurines ("Pets") in Gift Baskets

We call these small tagua figurines our "Tagua Pets" because they're so cute. Apprentices create these figurines when they start the multi-year process of becoming a skilled artisan. Cats, dogs, ducks, mice, owls, rabbits, snails, and turtles.
tagua nut beads. also carry tagua nut slices and button blanks. Tagua Slices and Beads

We carry tagua nut slices and beads of many sizes, shapes and colors, plus tagua nut necklace kits.

ISO 9002 logo. PONTARE
ISO 9002 : 94 certified for :
'Reception, processing and packaging of tagua products'

The Quality Management Systems of our tagua supplier have met ISO 9002 standards, issued by SGS International Certification Services, Inc.

Tagua Quick Links:

Tagua Main Page
   Carved in Relief
   Coastal Creatures
   Domestic Animals
   North American
   Safari Animals

Jewelry Section Quick Links:

Jewelry Main Page
 Tagua Nut Jewelry
   Animal Profile
   Animal Sets
   Contemporary Earrings
   Contemporary Necklaces
   Flowers / Leaves
   Colorful Dyed

Afghan Stone
Caña Flecha
Colombian Coal
Colombian Seed
East African
Glass Bead
Guatemalan Wood
Indian Metal
Orange Peel
Shipibo Seed
West African

Gifts Section Quick Links

   Flour Angels
   Bark Cloth Journals
   Jipijapa Animals
   Junk Yard Critters
   Metal Bowls - India
   Metal Crafts - Haiti
   Photo Frames
   Soapstone - Haiti
   Soapstone - Kenya
   Tagua Nut Carvings
   West African Metal Crafts
   Wire & Cotton Figures
   Wood Animals
   Wood 3D Puzzles

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One World Projects, Inc.
Billing Address 43 Ellicott Ave Batavia, NY 14020
Store/Warehouse 56 Harvester Ave Batavia, NY 14020
Tel: 585.343.4490 Fax: 585.344.3551

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And don't forget to visit our CLEARANCE PAGE frequently!

Fairly Traded Gifts from Around the World

Fair Trade Federation Member.

One World Projects is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Coop America, Social Venture Network, and the Aid to Artisan Trade Network. We're committed to helping economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide in a environmentally beneficial manner.


Retail Shipping/Handling Charge
within the Continental US for most products

We've added expedited shipping (2-day or overnight) options at checkout. NOTE that these options are for continental US orders only - please contact us for personalized service for other delivery locations. Orders for expedited shipping must be received before 2pm EST on weekdays. Please include your phone number!
See expedited shipping rates.

1.We usually ship retail orders within 1-3 business days of order placement.
2. We'll ship our products outside the continental US by doing an individualized shipping calculation for you. Please contact us, saying what you'd like to purchase, and where you'd like it shipped.
3. Oversize / heavy items have a separate shipping fee and don't use this shipping table. See a full explanation.
4. A few items have an additional shipping fee listed in the description.
5. Some items do not have an add-to-cart button by them, but they can be purchased - simply contact us for a personally calculated order.


 Dollar Amount 

 Shipping Cost 


$0 - $25.00


$25.01 - $74.99


$75.01 - 99.99


$100.00 and up

FREE Ground Shipping!
(additional shipping fee on a few
large items still applies)