Strong and sturdy, Olive wood comes from the Olive tree, one of the most symbolic trees in history. Olive trees were first cultivated over 7,000 years ago in the Mediterranean, and continue to flourish within the region and all over the world.
The Significance of Olive Trees
With a lifespan of up to 600 years, Olive trees represent strength, longevity, wisdom, luck, and prosperity. Throughout ancient history, olive branches were offered in religious ceremonies as symbols of purity and benediction. Olive trees are also famous emblems of peace and harmony. Pax, the Roman goddess of peace, was often depicted holding an olive branch and so was her Greek counterpart, Eirene. In fact, to this day the phrase “extend an olive branch” refers to a gesture of reconciliation between two warring parties.
The olive tree continues to hold special significance within Mediterranean culture and around the globe. For example, in modern-day Greece, it’s tradition to plant an olive tree whenever a child is born. The child and tree grow up together, and the tree serves as an inspiring reminder of evolution and continuity. Olive trees also remain a vital symbol of peace, as demonstrated by the U.N., which features olive branches on its official flag as a sign of its ongoing commitment to peacekeeping around the world.
Qualities of Olive Wood
Though olive trees are prized for their fruit and the oils they produce, just as valuable is the wood itself. Olive wood is hard, dense, and boasts a unique appearance, replete with rich colors and fine grains. Though susceptible to insects and outside elements, Olive wood’s natural strength makes it a coveted material for indoor furniture and household objects. You can purchase exquisite utensils, dishes and serveware made from olive wood, proving this material is as practical as it is beautiful.
Taking proper care of your olive wood pieces means you can enjoy the elegance of the olive tree for many years to come. If you have any prized Olive wood pieces of your own, you can keep them in pristine condition by occasionally polishing them with mineral oil (which also deepens the wood’s natural hues). Additionally, for kitchen items made from Olive wood, always stick to hand washing and never soak them in water. Curious about olive wood? Shop Cultural Elements’ collection of find olive wood utensils, kitchen tools and decor.