They're baaaack!  Ecuadorian Hands have returned with a new giveaway for fabulous natural beads made from tagua nuts.  These are wonderful for making all sorts of jewelry as you can see from the pictures of a selection of my tagua bead designs from past posts using samples I received.  They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors.  My favorites are the nut beads like this one used in a wire work design shown below.  They look like gemstones but are much lighter!

The nuts come from the ivory palm which grow in the rain forests of Central and South America. In Ecuador, tagua nuts come from the Phytelephas aequatorialis species. This botanical alternative to ivory is far preferable to slaughtering African elephants for their tusks. Their natural color is much like ivory and can be easily carved.  You can see some beautiful carved designs here.

The tagua nuts are usually harvested only after the "mucochas" or ripe fruit drops from the palms.  Families collect them and take them to traders who buy them.  Ecuadorian Hands shares the process of how they dry, peel, cut, slice, color and polish these lovely beads.

Tagua beads do not just provide people there with a livelihood. There is the added incentive of preserving the rain forest rather than cutting it down.

Tagua and Button Leather Necklace

If you'd like to win this giveaway for $20 worth of tagua beads, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, February 5 , 2018. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

The photos above were taken some years ago. I used natural light, a mannequin, my then iPhone 5 with the camera+ app and the Modahaus TS400 tabletop studio for final product photography. Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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