Olivewood is a local material found throughout Palestine, and the wood carving can be traced back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Travelers' accounts and historical documents describe the beauty of olive wood rosaries and crucifixes and their popularity among pilgrims.
Wood carvings are made from the branches of olive trees which are pruned at the completion of the olive picking season. It takes a six-step-process and 45 days for a piece of wood to turn into a beautiful piece of art. It is a skilled trade that requires 6-7 years of training for one to become a professional craftsperson. In addition to the handmade quality of the item, the grain of the wood gives each piece a special character.