Tagua nuts are obtained from Phytelephas equatorials (elephant palm), an Amazonian palm tree. When they are dry, the hard, white tagua seeds look like ivory. As the character, density and color of the seeds resemble that of ivory, the palm is referred to as elephant palm. In Ecuador, tagua seeds are made use of to skillfully carve designs. These seeds can be polished just as ivory is polished.
Local people collect the pods without causing any damage to the trees. This type of sustainable harvesting may be done on a semi-annual basis for as many as 40 years. Tagua is a cash crop and the person engaged in the collection of tagua seeds earns more per acre than what he or she can earn if the same land is used for other farming purposes. When consumers purchase tagua, they are actually encouraging good utilization of land and forest management.
We obtain the pipes directly from indigenous friends without the involvement of intermediaries. When you use tagua pipes, you get the real taste of what you are smoking.
Our pipes are all hand carved by local Ecuadorian artists. The top of the nut is carved into the shape of a bowl and an inner passage through the nut is provided up to the mouthpiece. The wooden part of the pipe is made from Chonta wood. The Incas used this hard wood for making shields and weapons.