Maqui tree




Main ingredients

Maqui tree

LABVA's native biomaterial palette

We recognize the potential of our territory associating ethnobotanical ancestral knowledge to biofabrication processes.
The Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui) tree is native to this region and it is also extremely abundant because it's a pioneer species, this means that it's the first to colonize degraded soils, setting the perfect conditions for other native plants to grow. It is also a food source for birds that depend on this tree to survive their migratory routes. The Maqui also plays a key role in the Mapuche tradition and cosmovision; it is used as food, medicine and for natural dyes. Creating a material 100% derived from this tree microbiota is both a discovery and also valorization of all the scales involved in its creation. This native biomaterial materializes the collaboration in its ecosystem by colonizing and feeding others beings, the collaboration between communities through openly sharing their ancestral knowledge of its conscious and sustainable collection, and the collaboration of its simbiotic microbiota, since its the bacteria and yeast present in its leaves and fruits that do this microscopic weaving. Each scale works in tight collaboration setting an example of how materials should promote values in order to change our material culture.
Our part? is ensuring that it grows, feeding this culture and creating the perfect environment for it to thrive. This results in a biomaterial that is deeply rooted to its territory; a biomaterial that is conceived, makes sense and can only be grown in the south of Chile.

At LABVA we seek to create heterogeneus, diverse and local biomaterial palette to promote sovereignity and territorial autonomy. Promoting values through the creation of emotionally binding materials in order to change our throwaway culture. A new material culture.

Additional information

Wild Fermentation of leaves and fruits of Aristotelia chilensis tree. Process can take up to 3 months to create the first culture.

Text submitted by the maker

Ingredient list

Aristotelia chilensis leaves and fruits, sugar, water.


Claudia Manquepillan and Jaime Rodriguez for sharing their ancestral knowledge.

Photo credits

Denis Prévôt , LABVA, Ramón Vasquéz, Fernan Federici