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Also known as "vegetable ivory" tagua is produced by a palm-like tree that grows in tropical regions of South America. The nuts fall to the ground when they are mature, and thus harvesting does not damage the trees. After harvesting and drying the nuts are ready for carving. The grain is close and very hard, resembling the finest ivory. Artisans have been carving tagua nuts for more than 200 years.
HANDCRAFTED IN COLOMBIA
Sapia, formerly Piel Acida, was originally conceived in 1995 by Ana Piedrahita, an entrepreneur in Colombia‘s capital city of Bogota. Piedrahita had seen a box from Uruguay that was produced from dried orange peel, and recognized the potential for producing a wide array of unique and intriguing items from this material. She decided to pursue a business specializing in the design and production of the products. The organization was formally registered in 2000.Sapia has incorporated fair trade principles in its operation, as it seeks to develop the artisan-based handicraft sector in Colombia. While Colombia has recently achieved a relatively good macroeconomic climate, people in the lower income brackets continue to face serious challenges. They have used their sales growth as an opportunity to reach out to other artisan groups in rural areas of the country.