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Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World

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Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For almost five millennia, in every culture and every major religion, indigo-a blue pigment obtained from the small green leaf of a parasitic shrub through a complex process that even scientists still regard as mysterious-has been one of the world's most valued dyes.

Indigo is the story of this precious dye and its ancient heritage: its relationship to slavery as the "hidden half" of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, its profound spiritual (African, Islamic, Christian, Amish) and sartorial significance that is little recognized but no less alive today (blue jeans, anyone?). It is an untold story, existing in footnotes and brief mentions in popular and scholarly records, brimming with rich, electrifying tales of those who shaped the course of 20th century colonial history and a world economy, fascinating people long forgotten who here are brought thrillingly alive. But Indigo is also the story of a personal quest: McKinley is the descendant of a clan of Scots who wore indigo tartan as their virile armor; the kin of several generations of Jewish "rag traders"; her maternal grandfather owned a textile factory in Lynn, Massachusetts; and she's a paternal granddaughter of African slaves-her ancestors were traded along the same Saharan routes as indigo, where a length of blue cotton could purchase human life. McKinley's journey in search of beauty and her own history began with a Fulbright fellowship to research indigo, and ultimately leads her to a new and satisfying path, to finally "taste life."

Synopsis:

Brimming with rich, electrifying tales of the precious dye and its ancient heritage, Indigo is also the story of a personal quest: Catherine McKinley is the descendant of a clan of Scots who wore indigo tartan; Jewish "rag traders"; a Massachusetts textile factory owner; and African slaves—her ancestors were traded along the same Saharan routes as indigo, where a length of blue cotton could purchase human life. McKinleys journey in search of beauty and her own history leads her to the West African women who dye, trade, and wear indigo—women who unwittingly teach her that buried deep in the folds of their cloths is all of destiny and the human story.

About the Author

Catherine E. McKinley is the author of The Book of Sarahs. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she has taught creative nonfiction, and a former Fulbright Scholar in Ghana, West Africa. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608195886
Author:
Mckinley, Catherine E.
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
McKinley, Catherine E.
Subject:
General
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16p 4/c insert
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.8 x 0.75 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Dyeing and Surface Design
Travel » Africa » West

Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608195886 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Brimming with rich, electrifying tales of the precious dye and its ancient heritage, Indigo is also the story of a personal quest: Catherine McKinley is the descendant of a clan of Scots who wore indigo tartan; Jewish "rag traders"; a Massachusetts textile factory owner; and African slaves—her ancestors were traded along the same Saharan routes as indigo, where a length of blue cotton could purchase human life. McKinleys journey in search of beauty and her own history leads her to the West African women who dye, trade, and wear indigo—women who unwittingly teach her that buried deep in the folds of their cloths is all of destiny and the human story.

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