Ironwood Buffalo Smoking Pipe Carving. Ironwood carving is a unique art that originated by the Seri indigenous tribe. Seri tribe members have lived in extreme habitats in the great Sonora Desert of Arizona and Northern Mexico.
There are records of Seri existence going back as far as 1536 although no one knows exactly when they originated. It was not until 1961 that Seri started carving ironwood sculptures as an art. Over time, Seri tribe members have perfected their skills and handcraft sculptures of sea life, birds, animals, reptiles, and humans. Seri members who become masters in the art of carving spend hours and even days sanding, polishing, and detailing sculptures to perfection.
Ironwood is a common name for a large number of woods that have a reputation for hardness. This species of ironwood is Olneya tesota and it is the only species of its kind found in the Pacific southwest. It grows to 2,500 feet above sea level in the deserts of southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, Baja California, and Sonora.
Olneya tesota is one of the longest living trees in the Sonoran Desert, and can live as long as 1,500 years, although it is very rare. Green Ironwood trees are not harvested for carving. This species of trees is protected by the government and can only be used for artisan purposes. Only naturally fallen trees or trees that have been struck by lightning are used for these carvings.Dry ironwood must be exposed to extreme climate conditions of the Sonoran Desert for a minimum of 5 years to be suitable for carving. Artisans spend numerous hours finding a tree that is appropriate for a sculpture. The item "Ironwood Buffalo Pipe Sculpture Hand-Carved by Sonoran Artisan (New Carving)" is in sale since Thursday, March 8, 2018. This item is in the category "Art\Art Sculptures". The seller is "sonoranironwood" and is located in Goodyear, Arizona.
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