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Palo de Sangre Animals
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Hand-Carved in Colombia
F1498 - Wooden Pirarucu, hand-carved of palo de sangre wood
See drop-down menu below for sizes, styles, and prices
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.
The pirarucu, also known as the arapaima (Arapaima gigas) is a member of the catfish family and is one of the largest fresh water fish in the world. It is found primarily in the Amazon River and its tributaries and can grow up to 9 feet long and weigh up to 400 pounds. It is a valuable food fish for South American people and is both netted and speared and then sold in the markets. It has the amazing ability to breathe fresh air and also to burrow in the mud. This helps it survive in periods of great water level fluctuation and drought. Its scales are large and hard and are used as scraping tools and as ornaments. Although not presently endangered, there is concern that overfishing may soon impact the future of this unusual beautiful species.
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