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Hand-Carved in Colombia
F1497 - Armadillo, hand carved of palo de sangre wood
Palo de sangre is the Spanish name for this rich red wood. The English translation is "bloodwood." It is the heartwood of the trees Brosimum paraense and Brosimum rubescens. The sapwood is yellowish-white. According to Wikipedia, "Palo de sangre has a fine texture and takes a high polish. The wood is very hard and has a tendency to blunt tools. The wood is used in decorative woodworking and woodturning . . . . The Nature Conservancy considers this tree secure within its native range." Other sources give additional names: muirapiranga, satiné rubane, cacique, and cardinalwood (due to its red color). It keeps its color, and does not turn brown with age like some highly colored woods.
Palo de sangre is carved into wonderfully attractive and charming animal figures in Colombia and other regions of tropical America. The bright red color is a natural property of the wood, as is the highly finished shine on the surface (evidenced by the reflected light in the photo). These animals are not varnished, stained, or painted, but come to you in their spectacular natural finish. Fortunately, the artisans who carve them are not restricted by any means or conventions to a particular template, so you get the benefit of each individual's vision and creativity. The wood also varies somewhat from one carving to the next as far as natural color, grain, and markings. The motifs themselves are repeated (crocodiles and manatees are common; tapirs are less common), although availability depends on circumstances. We may be able to get several tapirs this month and none next month, for example. Or we may be able to get small otters one month and only large otters the next. In many cases, only one of each style is available. Please phone (503-325-3179) or e-mail if you are interested in more than one of the styles shown in our drop-down menu. These wooden animal replicas were imported to the US by the Tapir Preservation Fund. Your purchase helps support conservation of tapirs and their habitat.
This wood carving is a lovely replica of the Colombian three-banded armadillo or apar of the genus Tolypeutes. Armadillos form a layer of horn or bony plates to protect themselves from predators. In most species the shoulders and rump are each covered by a single large shield, and the middle of the body is covered by transverse bands that are movable and articulated, so that the animal can contract and curl up to cover its unprotected abdomen. In some species even the tail is protected. This three-banded armadillo often rolls itself into a tight ball when threatened. Despite its short legs, the armadillo can move rather quickly. It is generally nocturnal and feeds primarily on insects and worms. The survival of this special animal is somewhat in doubt due to hunting and habitat destruction.
All tapirs are endangered species
Saving tapirs helps save the rainforest
P.O. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon 97103, USA
Office phone / fax (503) 325-3179 ~ Cell phone (503) 338-8646