Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bloodwood Turtles from Colombia

Come see our new line of hand-carved Palo de Sangre turtles!

Our Bloodwood Animals

Palo de sangre is the Spanish name for this rich, red wood which is popular for making cultural handcrafts and art in South America. 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. See our full selection of bloodwood ("palo de sangre") hand-carved animals from Colombia.

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. Although the individual item is different from all others, the motifs are repeated. For example, crocodiles and manatees are more common; and tapirs are less common. 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. We decided to show you each and every animal we have available, and you can order by the number. You will receive the exact item you see on the web site. The only order option for quantity is one per item, as no two are alike. These carved wood animals are imported to the US by the Tapir Preservation Fund. Your purchase helps support conservation of tapirs and their habitat.

Turtles of Colombia

Colombia is a South American country rich in ecological diversity. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively unstable country, both geographically and politically. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Colombia is home to 15 active volcanoes and numerous fault lines that contribute to numerous eruptions and earthquakes, many resulting in substantial damage and loss of human life. The political upheaval between the current government and political dissidents creates an environment of violence and pollution that is difficult to overcome. Even with all these factors, however, numerous conservation and scientific missions are currently at work in Colombia seeking to preserve the environment and species of this amazing country.

Colombia is listed fourth in the world for its levels of fresh water, supplied by both rainfall and enormous river systems. Amongst other animals that benefit from its huge freshwater environments, Colombia is home to numerous turtle species, including the Colombian wood turtle (Rhinoclemmys melanostema), Dunn's mud turtle (Kinosternon dunni), the Colombian slider (Trachemys callirostris), and the Rio Magdalena river turtle (Podocnemis lewyana).

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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