Tagua is the local Ecuadorian word for the fruit of a palm tree. Its translation from ancient Greek is “elephant tree”, because its fruits are white and compact like elephant ivory. These nuts are one of Ecuador’s biggest economical and renewable resources, and many families and local artisan cooperatives are involved in their manufacturing, creating costume jewellery, statues, and buttons for export. In many European countries the tagua buttons are used by jewellery and fashion designers. The photos below were taken in Manta, Ecuador.
Machi di Pace is an Italian photographer. She received a degree in Lettere Classiche with a specialization in Archaeology at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. In 2010 she moved to Rome for a master’s course in Photography at the European Institute of Design, and she has an Institutional Italian Press Card (Ordine Nazionale dei Giornalisti). She is a freelance photographer, publishing her work in national magazines; her photos are also distributed by an American agency for commercial and editorial use. She is a founder of Pantesia Project, a creative space and an art gallery in Naples, Italy, where she lives. To see more of Machi di Pace’s work, you can visit her website, www.machidipace.com.