Monday, June 10, 2013


We woke up to rain today. For almost all of our visit to Ecuador the weather has been great. In the morning we had class and we talked about crop association. We walked through the garden and saw all of the associated plants. There is a viney plant for ground cover, this helps keep moisture in and weeds out. at the farm they used peanut plants as ground coverage and  okra was planted in-between. Later in the afternoon we decided to do a cultural activity due to all of the rain. We would be making Tagua pendants. Tagua is a also referred to as vegetable ivory. The material is a palm nut. it is quite hard and has an ivory look to it. The nuts are harvested from the cattle yard after they have been passes through the cows system.  The nuts can be sliced into thick slabs which vary from 2 to 4 inches. We sanded the outer shell off to reveal the white inner part. once sanded until smooth we drilled a hole for attachment and finally polished them. I enjoyed this activity, it was nice to see how a raw material can be changed into something that many of the locals sell to tourists.  I was also surprised to learn that the plan that produces tagua also produces the thatching for all of the roofs, and in WWI they made buttons out of tagua.

No comments:

Post a Comment