Vegetable Ivory Seed

Mulberry you are the best team in giving back to the community. I can’t thank you enough team. you have really supported me fully. - Mwamba, local artisan

The vegetable ivory seed comes from the indigenous palm tree. It is found in the centre of a coconut-like husk and is rock hard. When you slice the seed open it reveals a creamy white centre. So named as it looks like, and can be carved like, and yet is a beautiful organic seed. Funnily enough, the vegetable ivory is also a favourite food for elephant.

Talented local artisans collect in the vegetable ivory seeds. Cycling many kilometres into the bush and taking 4 to 5 hours to search for the right seeds. Once recycled maize sacks are filled with these they are attached to the back of a bike to make the long journey back home. Here the outer husks are removed with an axe to extract the hard seed which is expertly sawed into even slices which we use as beads.

We buy over 1000 beads annually; our team further cut the slices into smaller pieces and meticulously drill them to form part of our Rhino conservation collection.

Fun story: We once left a full bag of vegetable ivories in our workshop overnight. A passing bull elephant smelt them, and the temptation being too much, bashed our workshop door down and ate the whole bag. The door was left shattered behind him; a passing troop of baboon took advantage of this and broke into our shop. When we arrived for work our kitchen supplies were finished, and our shop was in chaos. Worst of all, none of the offenders left a review on TripAdvisor…!