Buying Ecuadorian Tagua Jewelry

 

Tagua Jewelry

Tagua Jewelry

On one of our trips into Portoviejo we stopped at Sosote to buy some tagua jewelry. Sosote is between Crucita and Portoviejo.There are many shops there that make and sell the jewelry. It is very popular here because it is locally made and cheap. Earrings sell for $1.00, bracelets for $1.25-2.00, and necklaces for $3.00. I have heard that Neiman Marcus sells the stuff for $25.00 plus in the States. It is pretty costume jewelry.  I basically had no jewelry, because I was warned not to bring it here because it would get ripped off. The only thing I did keep were two Pandora bracelets and my wedding ring. I gave the rest to family. I feel basically safe everywhere, but then again I am not wearing expensive jewelry to make me a mark.

I took pictures of a seed pod in one store and then the guy took us back to the back to see how the whole process of making the jewelry worked. It was interesting. Very simple operation, no fancy equipment except the polishers. In the actual jewelry store they have people sitting behind the counter making jewelry pieces with the products from the back room. There are several jewelry places in this town where they make it and sell it. Below is a video showing how it is made.

Below is a more slick version of making the jewelry. I was in the same store where the one below was made and I did not see all that fancy equipment. The man they show near the end in a baseball cap is the owner we met and talked with in the store.

In that town are several places where you can buy traditional cookware. They look like big clay bowls. The guy we talked to said I could put them on top of a stove or in the over. I may buy one to try it out.

This is a traditional stove. They build a fire below the holes. The holes hold the traditional bowls/pots.

This is a traditional stove. They build a fire below the holes. The holes hold the traditional bowls/pots.

The traditional bowls.

The traditional bowls.

More traditional bowls. They come in many sizes.

More traditional bowls. They come in many sizes.

While we were there, we were waiting for the bus, we talked with a guy in the store. He explained how the the stove and pots worked. Leo bought a coconut that had been in the refrigerator and he drank the cocowater with a straw in it. I had an ice cream bar. Finally the bus came and we headed for Crucita to meet Audrey, Bill, Jill and Sy for lunch on the Malecon. Busy morning.

One Comment
  1. It looks very much like “bakelite” (not sure of the spelling) jewelry that women wore in the 40s. Very pretty!!

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