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Guide to Exotic Amazon Jungle Seeds Used in Our Necklaces

Adapted from our press release of January 2015 when we added exotic Amazonian seed jewelry to our product line:

Ecuador Natives Fashion Natural Jewelry With Legendary Amazon Jungle Seeds

Ecuador Craft Wholesale, South American exporter, has added a line of natural jewelry handmade by native peoples from exotic seeds of the Amazon rainforest. These seeds of unusual shape, textures and colors have a tradition of legendary properties. They are now incorporated into colorful necklaces, bracelets and earrings that make a unique fashion statement.

“Plant materials traditionally used for tribal jewelry in Incan, Aztec, Quichua and other tribal cultures are virtually unknown outside South and Central America” said Henry Garman, general manager. “I’ll bet most have never heard of tagua, acacia, achira, bombona, cabalonga, cerebrito, chocho rojo, coco corozo, haboncillo, huayuro, Job’s tears, matirirou, pambil, palmito, or visola. Or know that acai berries are not only for healthy juice drinks, but that the seed is used in natural eco-friendly jewelry.”

Gathered by hand in remote rural areas, each rare seed has its own form, markings, colors and legendary properties. Here are some of their stories.

Tagua is vegetable ivory - ivory that rivals the finest taken from elephant tusks, yet grows on a palm tree. It is a nut that is cut, dyed and polished to make luxurious adornments and carvings. Ecuador Craft Wholesale carries hundreds of tagua items in its catalog.

Acacia beads, rectangular seeds of a thorny pod-bearing shrub were used in many ancient cultures. Acacia wood is prominent in the Bible. Noah’s Ark, the burning bush of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacle and all its wooden furnishings were made from acacia wood. Even the cross of Christ and His crown of thorns are thought to be of acacia. Therefore acacia seed is believed to possess the powers of healing and protection, and is an emblem of immortality and resurrection.

Achira beads were popular with Incans, used for food and decoration. Achira jewelry and rattles have been discovered in 500 year old Incan tombs.

Bombona seed also comes from a palm tree. After dyeing they are polished to make spectacular round spheres with amazing texture. Monkeys in the Amazon rainforest can’t get enough bombona seeds to eat, as they are rich in protein.

Cabalonga seeds are oval shaped with a grey translucent appearance.

“If I only had a brain” said the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. With cerebrito seed jewelry you can have a lot of little brains. For cerebrito is Spanish for “little brain,” named for the irregular black lines on the surface that give it a cerebral appearance. Always a very popular item with intelligent Aztecs.

Chocho Rojo, or red chocho seeds are probably the most intense bright red color in nature. Favored by the Aztecs, necklaces made from these seeds were an essential part of traditional medicines and magical practices in ancient Colombian folklore. Chocho Rojo is said to protect the wearer from negativity.

Coco Corozo beads are seeds from a Coconut palm. Dark brown with lighter brown markings, many shamans wear corozo as they are believed to prove a spiritual connection.

Haboncillo is a black seed known as the soap seed. In Peru it is called chuchu. It is found in Bolivia, Peru, India, and the Caribbean. It is used to make shampoos and soap. Habon is the Spanish word for soap. The seeds contain saponins, essential ingredients in soap making.

Huayuro is a red and black seed known as tiger eye. It is a traditional seed used by Amazonian tribes and common in tribal jewelry. Male seeds have a black mark, while the female are totally red. It’s thought that they bring good fortune, abundance, and ward off negative energy. They also bring blessings and fertility to newly wed couples.

Job’s Tears, also known as St. Peter’s Tears are known globally as the tear seed. The shape is a beautiful teardrop. They are pearly shades of white and grey and brown. Often used to make rosaries, they speak of Job in the Bible who was severely tested but never lost his faith. Many people in South and Central America believe that these seeds will help them recover their faith in difficult times.

Pambil beads are from a tree that walks. Its roots are partially exposed and not very deep. If another tree blocks the sunlight, pambilgrows new roots to pull itself into the light, letting the old roots die. And so the tree slowly moves to where it wants to go.