Caipora products are created respecting different natural resources sustainability, communities’ knowledge & tradition, the environment and the final consumers’ needs, balancing luxurious fashion brand and style with ethical work.
The materials are collected during periods of harvest depending on the species of each plant, ensuring quality and sustainability. The recycled materials are predominantly offcut elements from other industries, – wood, horn, leather, textiles, and fibres, gold and silver.
Caipora uses beautiful natural materials, surplus to nature’s requirements, thereby not harming the local ecosystem. The following information has been collected as a reference only. It is available online to help you to understand more about natural resources and the general materials used by Caipora and their designers. If you need further information, please contact us.
The acácia is a vegetable with approximately 400 distinct types, grown throughout most of the world, well known in North America, Asia, India, Egypt, North Africa, China, Australia and Brazil, especially in the state of ‘Rio Grande do Sul’ where the black acácia is very common. All of the species produce perfumed yellow and white flowers, often used as house or garden plants, and the flowers are commonly used in bouquets and arrangements. The seeds are thin, flat and have orange-brown colour.
The açaizeiro is one of the most important trees in the north of Brazil. The riverside communities of the Amazon use this plant more than any other, for shelter, fruit, palmito, leaves, roots and logs. The greatest attraction of this plant is its fruit; there are two varieties – the plain and the purple açaí. And, both of them can be blended to produce a traditional juice, which can be mixed with manioc flour, tapioca or cereal and it is appreciated for its flavour and as a very healthy drink throughout Brazil and abroad.
Did you know? – The Açaí contains an extensive range of vitamins, being absolutely rich in vitamin A, B and E. Also, it contains high levels of minerals, calcium, potassium and Iron. Açaí is rich in lipoids and fibres with a high protein index, organic carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen in composition, the primary components to sustain life. Traditionally made, açaí juice is so much part of North of Brazil’s culture, that in the state of Para alone, 400,000 litres are consumed daily, whilst compared to the 200,000 litres of milk. Medical and nutritional research confirms that this fruit contains high levels of healthy fats, natural sugars and is a pure natural store of potassium.
It provides everything humans need to survive. Because of this, the açaí is considered a medicinal plant and an alternative source of energy.
Traditionally made, açaí juice is so much part of North of Brazil’s culture, that in the state of Para alone, 400,000 litres are consumed daily, whilst compared to the 200,000 litres of milk. Medical and nutritional
research confirms that this fruit contains high levels of healthy fats, natural sugars and is a pure natural store of potassium.
It provides everything humans need to survive. Because of this, the açaí is considered a medicinal plant and an alternative source of energy.
The babaçu is a very different species of palm due to its peculiar beauty. It can easily grow to between 10 and 20 meters of height. Its leaves grow straight up, towards the heavens. The primary materials extracted from the babaçu are the seeds contained within its fruit. The seeds are extracted by communities through a traditional method, using a system called “quebradeira”. The extraction of the seeds provides work and therefore a means of survival for the local Amazonian population, where the trees grow naturally in abundance. It is essential to the local population therefore that this plant is protected, as it ensures the survival of their communities and allows local subsistence, especially in the central and south of Amazon.
Throughout the world there are around 1100 species of bamboo in existence, divided into around 90 types. Found at altitudes from 0 to 4800 meters, varying dramatically in colour such as – black, red, blue, violet, green and yellow which is the most common.
Resisting temperatures below zero to up tropical levels, Bamboo can grow as small bushes or up to extremes, of around 40 meters in height.
The “Guadua Angustifólia” species is a vast throughout Amazonia and often used as an excellent construction material with a peculiar characteristic of being white.
Can be found with seashells of mother-of-pearl in Amazon Rivers. Unlike salt water seashells, whose surface has purple or black, the freshwater river oysters from the Amazon are naturally white or pink.Mother-of-pearl – is a translation of the name from Spanish, and comes from the nature of the seashell and produces pearls from grains of sand.
Did you know? The mother-of-pearl offered by Caipora are extracted from oysters founded in the fresh waters of “Cametá”. The crystalline rivers produce mother-of-pearl shells that are the prettiest from the whole of Amazonia and highly valued. Mother of Pearl possesses qualities, such as delicate colouring and intricate line details, which worked by the professional artisans become beautiful pieces of jewellery, combining rough and smooth surfaces, sensual to the touch. Cametá is a privileged region, where strong communities were founded, recognized throughout Amazonia for their beauty, elegance and strength. This place has also a strong French influence, recorded through its history that has left significant trends in their people’s behaviour and vocabulary. It is common to hear, as example – “Jamevus” (“Je me vour”), or “quesquecé” (“Quçest-ce”) signifying: “- I have already been; and –what is this?
It has always been thought that this plant originated in India, hence its name, but the truth is that it came from the Balkans. It is one of the first trees to flower and bear fruit in the spring. Its fruit is used for its medicinal properties, and also as a flavouring agent. This tree produces fruits that can be used as a natural dietary supplement, due to the active contents; saponosídeos, hidroxicumarinas, flavônicos and derivatives (Liba Frydman).
Castanha-do-Para OR Brazil nut:
The majestic Castanha-do-Para trees are native to the Amazon forest and it is one of the most important trees in the Amazon region. The trees grow in groves known locally as ‘castanhais’ with other native trees. Also broadly known as the Brazil nut tree, this is a hugely important resource for the area. The basic socio-economic structure of the region is reliant on this tree for survival, also playing a dominant role in the regeneration projects throughout the region, planting Brazil nut trees where the land has been heavily degraded.
The shells are hard and spiny. Once mature, they fall from the branches, due to the height they grow at and their weight, they often smash leaking their nutrients back into the ground, improving its quality. The brown fruit, with its white pulp is rich in fats and proteins. It can be consumed fresh as a fruit, roasted or used as an ingredient in many sweet or savoury dishes.
Did you know? It has substantial sustenance value, containing vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, F and PP, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and a high level of proteins and iron.
Eating only three Brazil nuts per day, provides nearly enough energy and other substances necessary for a human beings survival. It is considered the second most complete vegetable, the classification given by the scientist and Italian naturalist Botazzi.
It is also used as base for cosmetic products in many different companies and diverse products, such as body massage oil, moisturizer, shampoo,, etc, reducing frizz and softening the skin, leaving it smooth and silky.
The origin of the coconut palm. This is a tropical palm tree that produces the famous –
‘Beach’ coconut, ‘Indian’ coconut, ‘Bay’ coconut or, simply ‘the coconut’. Whatever you choose to call it, it is the most commonly recognised palm fruit around the world, forgetting any controversy about its name. Some suggest that it originated in India; others affirm that it came from the Pacific islands; Africa, , or that it already existed in pre-Columbian times in Central America. (TASSARO, 1996).
Did you know? The two main species, the giant and dwarf palms are both found in Brazil, the fruit of both having the same use. The difference between the two is that the giant palm has great longevity.
The coconut palm represents one of the most beautiful plants in existence. In Amazonia, the harvesting of coconuts is predominantly for the fibre from the shell of the fruit, which is used to make mattresses, upholstery for cars, etc. The giant palm can reach heights of 35 meters and can reach an age in excess of 150 years.
Dendê and Palm oil:
The Brazilian states of Pará, Amazonia, Amapá and Bahia possess the largest plantations of this palm. The tree trunk appears curled and scarred from the long and old leaves. The fruits grow together in abundant bunches and with time compress into new forms. The ‘fruits’ are small black coconuts that upon maturing turn from a deep yellow to a rusty orange colour.
Did you know? Brazil is one of the top three producers of palm oil in the world. Used in cooking, it is commonly used in traditional dishes particularly from the North and North East of Brazil. Bahia has many delicious fish stews that rely on the palm oil for their distinctive flavour.
Principal Characteristics: – it has on average from 150 to 200 millimetres of length and stands out for its application in clothing and general decoration. It is clear and brilliant. The fibre does not shrink, stretch, or fade with the time. It can absorb water and increases his resistance in around 25 % when wetted. Some of the most exceptional qualities textiles of the ramie are completed by his aspect light and fresh.
The leaves are cut each 6 months during its life period, which should be around 6/7 years. Sisal can be gathered during the whole year.
Wine palms can be found near water such as marshes, springs and brooks and are eventually transported and dispersed by the waters throughout the region.
Golden grass is a grass with natural golden colour which only exists in a small city in Brazil. Local authorities have set strict rules for its annual harvest and forbidding its commercialisation as raw material.
Horns are recycled from other industries, each piece is unique in size, colour and texture.
The native Indians and people from surrounding communities use everything that the inajá palm tree offers. “Its leaves are used as roofing material, its fruit are utilized in various crafts, oil
is extracted from the seeds, and the larva of a beetle, which commonly grows in the seed, is used as bait for fishing” (information taken from ISA website).
Jarina OR Vegetable Ivory:
Jarina is a sort of nut from the fruit of the ivory palm tree, known as Vegetable Ivory. The palm tree can grow up to approximately five meters in height, and has a long thin sweeping trunk. Its fruits are surrounded by thick fibres that generally weigh between 10 and 12 kgs. Each fruit has nine separated cavities within it, which holds a refreshing liquid similar to that of the standard coconut water. The liquid allowed to mature, transforms into edible and sweet gelatine and, finally, is a strong natural dye which varies from whitish to brilliant ochre.
Did you know? When polished it looks very similar to the elephant ivory and it is widely recognised as its only sustainable alternative. Nowadays Vegetable Ivory is in the process of being considered the most precious natural material with the same status as a gem.
A tall Brazilian feather palm with a terminal crown of very large leathery pinnatisect leaves rising from long strong stems used for structural purposes. The fruit of this palm tree supplies oil popularly used as a medicine. Also the coarse fibre of the foliage is used in the production of straw like hats and matting. The wood is commonly used to make primitive splints.
Jutaí-miri, Jutaí-mirim or Jatobá
These are the most common names for this tree that can grow up to 20 metres in height. Native to the Amazon region and Piauí, this tree has as interesting characteristic, the diameter of its trunk that can grow up to a meter. The Jutaí-mirim is easily seeded and grows quickly, which is why it is often used to re-forest areas, and in parks or gardens. The fruit is highly nutritious and very tasty, consumed by the local communities as much as variety wild animals.
Did you know? The Jatobá often appears in the myths of the native Indian tribes, revered for its beauty throughout the forest. The tribesmen say that where the Jatobá grows all of the other plants surrounding it keep their distance, respecting the space of this plant, bowing and admiring its beauty and value.
Lágrima de Nossa Senhora:
Locals consider it a “slender plant”. The seed is carefully pre-prepared by the nature, naturally perforated, with a shape of a tear, a classic tear drop with graduated silvery grey and pearly white colours.
Did you know? “Tear of Virgin Mary”, as its translation, has a religious explanation, referring to events of the Old Testament, related to the suffering of Mary when her son was crucified. Its meaning and significance varies from place to place. In the state of Bahia, for example, the seed is used in religious rituals and has an adornment to some musicals instruments, specific to the region. In the states of Recife and in the rural parts of São Paulo, the seeds are used in rosaries, whilst around Asia it can decorate animals. In Amazonia, “Lagrima de Nossa Senhora”, is used by communities as an adornment in clothing and jewellery, in its natural colour pearl-white or dyed red, blue, green or yellow.
All of the leather used by Caipora is taken from off-cuts from other industries, little pieces that were left over from big projects that we then use for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. We do not support the leather industry in any other way or have animals harmed for the making of our jewellery!
“The Licuri is one of the main palm tree species native to the semi-arid region of the northeast of Brazil. In this region of difficult weather conditions, where for most of the year it is very dry and hot, with a short season of many violent storms and heavy rainfall, lives the Licuri palm tree” (TASSARO, 1996). It originated in the hugely reduced ‘Mata Atlântica’ rainforests of coastal Brazil. It can grow up to 12 metres in height.
Did you know? Due to its ability to blossom and bear fruit throughout the year, it is considered one of the most useful plants of the region. Helena Tassaro mentions that when the leaves are shaved, it produces a powder that can be transformed into a wax. This is used in many traditional crafts in the region. The fruit is widely consumed as a snack.
The Marajá palm trees spends most of its life covered by the waters of the swamps in the Amazon region and can easily be confused with the açaizeiros or bacabeiras. Despite having a very long, thin trunk, it is very resistant. It has therefore been used locally by Indians and river borders to make weapons, arrows, spears and in the construction of houses. Also, due to its natural water resistance and flexibility it is used to build fishing cages that have to remain submersed for long periods of time.
The morototó tree is a highly resilient species, which can grow in even in the poorest of the soils. For this reason it is recommended as a plant to grow in deforested areas with degraded soils.
Did you know? Morototó seeds are very small but numerous. When used in jewellery making, often two to three thousand will be used in one necklace or bracelet alone. They are perforated with a needle and due their size and fragility it requires great concentration and skill to handle.
In many forms, the Murici is distinguished by its colour and specific habitat. There are numerous species with descriptive names such as: yellow, white, red, hat, land, bush, capoeiras, country, beach, swamp murici, etc. The majority grow naturally throughout most of the Amazon region. In the fruit season, it is common to see areas of forest painted with the yellow fruits. The meaty pulp is translucent and is used to make juice and a traditional drink called “chibé”, a mixture of the juice and manioc flour. The seed when dried is a pretty brown colour with light spots.
A common palm found throughout the Amazon region, as with many other palms its large leaves are used for roofing. Otherwise an unusual palm, its trunk is covered by large thorns, sometimes growing as large as twelve centimetres in length. The fruit of the murumuru is a reddish coloured coconut also covered in thorns. At the centre of the coconut is an edible oily hard stone, surrounded by an edible yellowish pulp. The coconut stone is processed and used as one of the raw ingredients of margarine.
Did you know? People who have knowledge of local traditions, called “Vendeiros” and “ervateiros” of the “Ver-o-peso”, live in a mystical Amazon culture where they believe and explain that “the stone of the murumuru tree has powers to alleviate negative energies and return to a natural balance and equilibrium”.
Most of our ethical suppliers are small cooperatives, mining companies of rocks and metals. Nowadays the extraction process is for a process of Fair Trade certification and nevertheless most of them are already recognised as “eco friendly” merchants with recognised ethical practices.
Stones, local beliefs and curious attributes:
Found in several colours, locals believe they have great power of cure, reinvigorating the body.
Objectives: energy, courage, longevity, love, cure and protection. Some colours meanings:
*Dark Agate – Protection. Used to encourage and bring success. Energy: projective.
*Blue Agate – Peace and happiness. It relieves ‘stress’ and fights of family. Energy: receptive.
*White and Black Agate – Protection against physical dangers. Energy: receptive.
Greenish Blue colour – locals believe it aligns the electric and mental bodies. It reinvigorates and attracts money and success. Bring joy, it calms the nervous system. It enlarges the thoughts. Energy: receptive.
It is not a stone, but a fossilized resin. It is believed to increase the natural beauty, stimulate the happiness and it brings friends to the lonely ones. Energy: projective.
It is the form of quartz. Enlarge the thought and can be used in the meditation, increasing the alignment between all the energetic bodies. Energy: projective.
Crystals of Quartz
They are used like a mighty amplifier. Energy: projective, receptive.
*Transparent – it balances the emotions and is excellent for the meditation.
*Blue – The very rare form of quartz. It promotes peace and tranquillity.
*Green– showing abundance stimulate creativity and it can easy the life. It maintains the feet in the ground.
*Pink – exceptionally mighty, it is used to stimulate the love. It increases the confidence and the false pride is removed.
*Smoke –Excellent for meditation. Protection
*Turmanilizado – contains black tourmaline. It levels masculine and feminine polarity.
Found in many colours, except blue. It reinvigorates the blood system and heart. It stimulates the imagination. Align the spiritual and emotional bodies. Energy: projective.
It increases the physical energy, calm fears and removes rage. It attracts money and prosperity. Energy: projective.
It attracts strength and is associated with the some of the principal virtues – courage, justice, compassion, modesty and wisdom. Energy: receptive.
Eye of Tiger :
It attracts support and can bring good luck.
Objective thought, spiritual inspiration and bigger control on emotions and passions. It relieves apathy and “stress”. It balances the feminine and masculine qualities. Used for protection, self-defence. Energy: projective.
It increases the sensibility, inspiration and compassion, understanding them better. It can levels the relationships and amplifier of thoughts.
Another palm well known by the forest inhabitants, also known as Patoá. The Patauá is the olive tree of the Amazon. The fruit supplies high quality oil similar to olive oil, used in frying and salad dressings. It is rich in amino acids and unsaturated fat that helps to reduce cholesterol levels. The juice of the fruit is popularly known as Patauá wine.
Did you know? – Locals believe Pataua is able to bring lucky and openness to its owner.
This tree can grow up to 20 metres in height and is very common throughout the Amazon region. Its leaves are used for roofing, logs to build homes and agricultural tools, having their flowers being used as a seasoning. The fruit (stewed in water and salt) has a very pleasant flavour and are highly nutritious, used to help break down fat in digestion and high in vitamin A.
Pupunheira is being carefully cultivated to supply palm hearts, popularly called “palmito” and being considered a delicacy throughout the world, but particularly in Brazil. The natural advantage of cutting the Pupunheira tree to harvest the palm heart is that the tree does not die, but produces numerous new plants around the mother plant, similarly to the banana tree, an evolved method of avoiding extinction.
Did you know? – A peculiarity in the harvesting of the Pupunheira fruits is that some collectors, with extreme ability and experience, use acrobatics to collect the best bunches. They climb a neighbouring tree to a height above the required fruits to then jump, cutting and holding the bunch of fruit as they fall. They repeat this process many times, retaining a traditional method of harvest, which does little damage to the plants, unlike alternative modern methods.
Its name, literally translated as soap support, is due the use of its fruits to wash materials. Known as saboneteira or jequitinhaçu, this tree grows throughout Brazil. Also used in medicine and in many urban developments. The fruit contains many internal sections that become yellowish when mature and its seeds are large black hard spheres.
Did you know? – when the Saboneteira is rubbed between the hands, it creates rich foam. Containing a substance called “saponina” that has similar components of soap.
String: Fio Encerado:
Fio encerado is a Brazilian string originally developed for the leatherwork. It’s wonderfully strong and never breaks, being great for small jewellery.
The Tucumã is characterized by its trunk, half covered in long thorns. Its fruit is highly nutritious and highly valued by the Amazon communities. Beyond being consumed in its natural state as a fruit, it is also used to make ice cream, sweets, and puddings (especially tasty when mixed with manioc flour). Tucumã can be also used to produce the Tucumã wine. Another useful purpose of this plant is the strong fibres in the foliage which is utilized in the crafts. It is a tree native to the Amazon and other areas with poor quality soil.
Our fine wood comes from other industries where are FCS certified and we recycle their off-cuts.
Note of Explanation:
The information contained on this materials page is merely informative, with superficial notes.