Bombona also known as Pambil, comes from the Iriartea palms in South and Central America. A cousin to Tagua, Pambil seeds also come from palm trees in the rain-forests of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. In fact, native tribes of the Amazon basin manufacture lances, bows and even blowpipes from pambil.
You can also eat the palm heart of this species. The palm heart is the soft section at the bottom of a new leaf. The fruit of this species feeds many animal species which contributes to spread the seeds. Furthermore, Bombona harvesting is a source of industry for the many of the indigenous people of South America, providing a source of income for many families.
Like Tagua nuts but smaller, Bombona resemble brains, with color and texture variations that add visual interest and depth, especially when dyed. Additionally, Bombona or Pambil are super light weight, despite how dense they appear.
One of the most interesting features of this seed bead is it’s unique texture and shape. In fact, no two beads are exactly alike, as each seed displays subtle variations in size, texture, and color, creating pieces as unique as the wearer.
These beads are great for statement necklaces that show your beauty and “brains.” Not to mention the ecological savvy that comes from knowing where your jewelry comes from and how it’s made. So, be bold, be different, ‘bead’ you!