Ivory-Nut Buddha in Lotus Carving
Also known as Tagua nut, ivory-nut comes from a genus of palm trees known as Phytelephas Macrocarpa that are indigenous to the tropical regions of South America. The tagua nuts are harvested as part of a program to protect endangered South American rain forests by promoting the use of renewable resources. In addition it keeps the real ivory where it belongs on living animals. It fell out of favor in the past when plastic, a cheaper counterpart became more popular.
The Amazonian Indians believed that Tagua Nut brings prosperity, happiness, love and abundance. Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, and natives of South and Central America used Tagua for emotional and spiritual health and well-being. To them, Tagua is sacred.