Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, it is not a tree since there is no bark, no branches, or secondary growth. A coconut takes around 11 to 12 months to reach maturity. Tribu's products come from Patchi and Licuri palms. Licuri palm is also called solitary palm of the Brazilian caatinga, being a characteristic of the north-east of the country. Licuri palms were described by an explorer of the new world, and its coconuts provides 90% of the diet to the Lear's Macaw, as well as it is traditional food for people from this region in Brazil. Coconuts are rich in iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc, manganese, mineral salts, and beta-carotene. The colour of the coconut varies from a yellow-beige through mid and dark browns to almost black, depending on the stage of its development. Tribu use many different types of coconuts, carefully selected from all over the world for our different products. Rings and earrings are made from the puttee, a smaller relative of the coconut (each ring from a different nut) and belts from the larger coconut. However, we also have plugs, bracelets, hooks, and pendants made out of coconut shell.
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We have a vast range of products made up of water buffalo horn, including plugs, split plugs, hooks, split hooks, earrings, cuffs, rings, and pendants. Horn is an organic and biodegradable material that needs special care, such as being stored in a cool, dry place. Usually black but can also be translucent grey with an orange- or greenish tint. It polishes to a very shiny finish and is both strong and durable due to the fibrous structure of the material. Horn is made primarily from keratin fibrous material similar to that found in fingernails, hair and feathers. Our horn is sourced from the domestic water buffaloes, found in Africa and Asia. NOT to be confused with the great American buffalo, which is an endangered species. Water buffaloes are used as ploughs animals, as well as raised for milk and meat in some areas. The horn used to produce ornamental jewellery at Tribu is a by-product of these animals, they are not harmed or killed for the horn. In fact, these animals are treated with all the respect. By using the horn after they are dead is a way of giving importance and meaning to all their remains, rather than leave them to waste.
Horn has been used for centuries across a vast number of cultures as body adornments, as well as was one of the first materials being used for this purpose. As this is a natural product it needs special care and attention, in order to keep a charmed look throughout the times. However, it is good to have in mind that after prolonged wear, horn might lighten its colour. Some of the caring instructions include, cleaning before wearing, with a mild soap and water quickly, drying it immediately after washing, not soaking it. It is also recommended not to shower or swim with horn jewellery. At least twice a month oil it with coconut or jojoba oil, this will help preventing it from cracking. Also, avoid storing it in direct sunlight.
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Bone is a semi-hard, porous organic material made of calcium phosphate and collagen fibre, it is quite light weighted, and can be carved into a variety of shapes. Bone products come in shades of outstanding light of white such as in ivory, to cream colour, with a similar finish to horn. It can be slightly brittle than horn, yet still a strong material. Equally to horn, bone is a by-product of domesticated animals. The bone used to produce Tribu's ornamental jewellery comes from cows, which are raised by the meat, milk, and leather industries. The animals are not harmed at any stage to obtain their bones. We are following a tribal tradition of not wasting any part of the animal, therefore after the death of the animal their bones are reused to produce delicate and unique pieces of body adornments.
To maintain the natural beauty and smoothness of your bone jewellery, there are simple periodic maintenance tips for you to follow. As this is an organic product you should only wash it with mild antibacterial soap, and a small amount of water. In the case of accidentally been soaked, dry it and oily it immediately. It is also advised to leave it away from direct sunlight storage, and extreme temperatures. In order to revive and sustain its flexibility, you can oil it with coconut, jojoba, or virgin olive oil at last every two weeks.
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At Tribu we only use natural material to produce our carefully designed pieces of body adornment, therefore we could not leave wood out of the picture. There are eight different types of wood which are used for this purpose, Palm wood, Black Wood, Indian Rosewood, Sandalwood, Sono wood, Ghana Wood, Pacific Oak wood, and Olive Wood. Body adornments made of wood are light weighted, and of a vast versatility. The hardness of the wood will depend of the type of wood being used. Body adornments made of wood require specific care, such as being periodically lightly oiled with coconut or jojoba oil, to help it maintain their moister content. This will also prevent the product from becoming too dark throughout the times. Avoid soaking it, as wood absorbs water too quickly. A good advice to keep your wood jewellery with a beautiful appearance for a long time, is from time to time polish it with vegan palm wax. As we like to make the best out of every piece of body adornment, we have items that are inlaid with silver, brass, and also with some gemstones like malachite among other ones.
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Brass is an alloy (mix) of copper and zinc, it is nickel-free. Most horn instruments like tuba and saxophone are made of it. It can be produced in a range of colours, from deep red to golden yellow depends on the metal's polish process. It can be formed into any desire shapes and forms while retaining high strength, that makes it into one of the most popular metals used for jewellery. Brass retains water spots so always dry it immediately and thoroughly. If need of a polish, it can easily be cleaned with a cloth and some fresh lemon juice. Some people have a reaction to brass jewellery as brass oxidizes & develops a patina (changes colour) quite nicely, but because of this, it can turn your skin green if worn for long periods of time, or when wet.
Hill Tribe Silver is made by the Karen tribe in Northern Thailand. These handcrafted pieces are 95% to 99% pure silver. The higher silver content (compared to sterling silver, which is 92.5%) makes the pieces softer and easier to shape.
Oxidation, hammer marks, and slight design variances are part of the allure of these distinctive pieces.
Usually, Karen Hill Tribe Silver goes through an oxidation process. This causes the silver items to turn black. The silver is then polished leaving the black colouring only in the grooves of the item, this allows tiny details and patterns to stand out. Please note that many of the pieces will not be stamped as the stamping process is a very costly procedure and many manufacturers cannot afford this.
Gold filled (also known as "rolled gold") is an actual layer of gold-pressure bonded to another metal (such as brass) and it's the perfect economical alternative to all of you gold lovers. Anyone who can wear gold can wear gold filled jewellery without any worries of any allergies. Not to be confused with gold plating as gold filled literally has 100% more gold than gold plating and offers all the same characteristics as solid gold. It's strength, durability and colour resembles 14 Carat gold. Even with daily wear gold filled items lasts five to thirty years, it does not flake off, rub off or turn colours. The best way you can take care of your gold filled items, is to simply keep away from any chemicals, clean regularly with mildly sudsy water, rinse well and pat dry carefully with a non-scratching cloth. Polish with a jewellery polish cloth.
It is the result of the tree having turned completely into stone by the process of per mineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the wood. Tribu our petrified wood originates primarily from India.