Since innumerous generations, the Apurina have been using the Tucuma seed and the fiber of the Carrapicho shrub to make necklaces. In former times the broken pieces of the seeds were worked with sticks and stones and polished with leaves from the rainforest. This procedure is still known by many of the Apurina.
Aiming at extended production that meets the community’s needs, the Apurina work with various types of seeds. For some steps of the production process they use electric motors with polishing wheels and drills. The simple machines at the manufacturing site of the “Apurina of the 45” are constructed by themselves. The electric energy is delivered by a generator, which is supposed to be replaced by a water wheel in the future.
Seeds and fibers from the rainforest
Tucuma Astrocaryum aculeatum
By tradition the Apurina use the black shell of the Tucuma coconut for their craft. It is said to have energizing properties and to act as a spiritual protector.
Jarina Phytelephas microcarpa
The seed of the Ivory Nut Palm, also called Vegetal Ivory or Tagua is, due to its hardness and bright white color a splendid material for jewelry. It has recently become an apreciated substitute for un-ethical Ivory.
Anaja Maximilliana maripa
The seed is used for the light brown inlays.
Acai Euterpe precatoria
A highly nutritious juice, the “Vinho de Açaí” is made from the pulp of this fruit. After the juice is made, the seeds go through a recycling process, where they are dried and polished so they can be used for jewelry crafting.
Carrapicho The inner lines of the necklaces and bracelets are made from the resistant fiber of the bark of the carrapicho shrub.
Preservation of the environment
By minimizing the Apurina’s migration to the cities, the legal protection of the indigenous land (260km2 of rainforest) remains guaranteed.
The income from the commercialization of the Apurina’s products meets the community's basic needs and diminishes the pressure upon the area’s fauna and flora.
Conservative restrictions regulate the harvesting of seeds, allowing the feeding of the fauna and the natural regeneration and perpetuation of the species.
For harvesting the main raw material, the Tucuma seed, the Apurina developed a management plan together with the Brazilian NGO PESACRE. Other species are planned to be included into this management plan in the future.