Unique, Mexican Ironwood Carvings

Our ironwood carvings are a handcraft that began with the Seri Indians, indigenous people from the Sonora Desert. The craft originated as a way to earn money from tourists.  There are only an estimated 500 Seri still in Mexico. The carvings are probably the best known of the Seri crafts and are still produced by hand on a small scale.

The wood comes from Onlneya tesota, a Sonora Desert tree commonly called ironwood. It is a slow growing shade tree found in northwest Mexico and the southwest U.S. and grows in very harsh conditions. As a result, the wood it produces is so dense that it lacks air bubbles and sinks in water. It’s much heavier than oak. Traditionally, it was used for firewood and charcoal with some carving. So, if you put this bear in water, it would most likely sink.

We have ironwood carvings in all of the animals: eagles, buffalo, turtles, bears, wolves, and elk. Owls are also very popular. Images are generally those of animals that are in the Seri world. Styles vary from very simple lines to the inclusion of a great amount of detail.

If you have any questions about our carvings, jewelry, or any items, come over to Southwest Trading Post in person or call us at 610-584-2774