The Rainforest Body Art Fruit

What Is Jagua?
Jagua is a tropical fruit that is used for traditional body art. The unripe jagua fruit juice is painted on the skin making elaborate and striking jagua body art. It's a really great type of body paint because it can last for a few weeks, just like henna body art. So technically jagua is actually a stain and not a paint.

Where does Jagua Come From?
Jagua grows on really tall trees in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Central and South America. It can be found in fruit all year round in some places. The fruits are born of really pretty yellow or cream coloured flowers and are kind of the same shape as a kiwi fruit. They range in size from the size of a regular kiwi fruit right up to the size of a small melon. They are also really hard when they are unripe, and squeezing jagua juice out of an unripe fruit is akin to getting blood from a stone!

How Long Has Jagua Been Around?
Its hard to say exactly how long jagua has been around, and just as hard to know exactly how long it has been used for traditional body art. All we can honestly say at this point is that it's been used for as long as people can remember in the regions of the Rainforests where it is still used in the same traditional way today. People have been in South America for some 12 Thousand years, so it's entirely possible that jagua tattoos have been traditionally painted for some twelve thousand years!

If It's Been Around So Long, Why Have I never Heard Of It Before Now?
I guess there are still a lot of secrets in the South American Rainforests. The recent explosion in the popularity of Jagua body art just goes to show that there are many possibilities still out there that the outside world has not even noticed. More importantly it goes to show that local traditional knowledge is incredibly important to the whole world, not just the local people of the Rainforest. So every effort should be made to help preserve it.

Does Jagua Go By Any Other Names?
It sure does! Genipa Americana, is the Latin name, hence the scientific name. Jagua is a local name; one of the most common local names infact.
Other common local names include: Jenipapo, Caruto and Huito. There are possibly over 50 different local names and variations of the common ones listed above.

Where Can I Get Hold Of Some Jagua Then?
Well you could take a trip out to the rainforests and search it out yourself. But if your going to paint from an unripe fruit, you only have a short time to do it, before the stain stops working. But recently Jagua Body Art products like Jagua Paint and Jagua Gel have been made readily available to you so you can create your own jagua tattoos whenever you like.