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"At the Macapá fair, in the Brazilian state of Amapá, a small, elderly woman carefully appraises a variety of seed necklaces for sale. She shows most interest in one in particular. The craftsperson, Delomarque Fernandes, comments that the large, central bead is uxi. Delighted, the woman places her weathered hand firmly over the uxi pit and proclaims, “Then this necklace is mine, as uxi has a special power!”. When the endocarp of an uxi (Endopleura uchi [Huber Cuatrec]) is cut through the middle, various star shapes are revealed. By cutting the seed into thin discs these can be used as beads to make attractive necklaces, earrings and belts. In Belém, Delomarque makes beautiful jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings) using parts from various regional trees. The palm trees she uses are tucumã, inajá, babaçu, dendê, murumuru, mucajá, jupati, mumbaca, açaí branco, regional açaí, bacaba and coconut. In addition to palm, Delomarque likes to use uxi , uxirana, tento, cedro and Brazil nut. She says: “The jupati is our discovery, no-one worked with jupati or uxi before. It’s a marvellous discovery that makes unique pieces”. Some small Amazonian seeds, such as açaí, are being purchased in bulk at low prices and shipped to São Paulo to be industrially processed into jewellery. But jewellery from hard-to-work, unique fruits such as uxi and jupati are still hand crafted in Belém. (Source: FAO, 2011. Fruit trees and useful plants in Amazonian life.)".

From Non Wood News n° 24 May 2012 p.17

 

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