Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green or brown in color. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium. Because it is composed primarily of talc, it is usually very soft. Its name is derived from its “soapy” feel and softness. The Inuit and the Africans often used soapstone for traditional carvings. Some Native American tribes also used soapstone to make bowls and cooking slabs. In India soapstone is used for making coasters, boxes and sculpture with inlaid designs.