Achira (Canna indica) – seed plant for Amazon handicrafts

Achira (Canna indica) is a lily family plant that many artisans in the Peruvian Amazon grow in their backyard gardens. When the green pods dry, the artisans use the black seeds to adorn jewelry like bracelets, necklaces, and earrings and put inside maracas and ornaments to make them rattle. These photos show the plants and seeds used by native and campesino artisan partners of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology.

Achira (Canna indica) plant flower. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Achira (Canna indica) plant flower. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Campesino artisan with achira plant. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Campesino artisan with achira plant. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Achira (Canna indica) seed pod. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Achira (Canna indica) seed pod. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Holding achira seed (Canna indiaca) pods. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Holding achira seed (Canna indiaca) pods. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Artisan holding achira (Canna indica) pods and seed bracelet. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Artisan holding achira (Canna indica) pods and seed bracelet. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Achira (Canna indica) plant, pods, and seeds. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Achira (Canna indica) plant, pods, and seeds. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Pouring achira (Canna indica) seeds into calabash ornament.  Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Pouring achira (Canna indica) seeds into calabash ornament. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

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