These unique Christmas tree ornaments and rattles are made from calabash tree pods (gourds) by native artisans from the Ampiyacu River region of the Peruvian Amazon. This rattle features an image of a caiman - a relative of the alligator which inhabit rivers, lakes and swamps in Central and South America. There are six caiman species which tend to be 6 to 8 feet long with the Black Caiman being the largest. They eat a great quantity and variety of fish as well as insects, birds, mammals and smaller reptiles. The caiman's only natural predator is the jaguar. Local people also hunt them for their meat and their hides but these are not considered as valuable as the skins from alligators and crocodiles. Caiman skulls, however, are often used to decorate Amazon restaurants and tourist shops.
This rattle has a chambira palm fiber chord allows it to be hung from a Christmas tree. The beads inside also make it a great rattle that fits in the palm of your hand.
Please remember that the artisan carves these rattles one at a time so the exact design of the animal and shape of the calabash pod may vary from the photo shown of this model.
Also see: Caiman Balsa Wood Ornament