"If night hides many secrets, indigo hides just as many." Ousmane Gamané
T W E N T Y - F I V E years ago, when we opened our first gallery of international folk art, we sought a name that could symbolize the diverse world from which we collected our treasures. We wanted a name that would evoke the colors, feelings, sights and sounds of far-off lands. We chose the name Indigo.
Indigo, a vibrant purplish blue hue, is derived from a plant family called Indigofera. The dye process requires boiling the leaves of the Indigo plants and then a fermentation of the brew. Once the fabric is dipped into the brew and lifted into the air it magically becomes blue.
The ancient Egyptians associated Indigo blue with power, magic and divinity.
The true color of the sun, as god of life in India, is Indigo.
The ancient nobility of Guatemala denoted their position by wearing Indigo.
By the 17th century, Indigo had become a prized and expensive dye.
Ships called "East Indiamen" crossed the seas laden with silks, spices and Indigo.
Indigo was cultivated and grown in India, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, and Africa. Each country has their own history and traditions of dyeing with Indigo. Many of the unique textiles of these countries - adire and ashoké from Nigeria, ikat from Indonesia, batik from Thailand and ahaori from Japan - have found their way here to Indigo
We hope you enjoy our ever-changing collections! May beauty surround you everywhere!
In July 2003 Tony and Jane went to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. The festival featured the leading artists, performers and musicians from Mali. Among many other memorable experiences we had the privilege of watching a demonstration by Dogon indigo master Ousmane Ganamé from the Bandiagara region of Mali.
Indigo at Indigo: Indigo-dyed Textiles from Africa is the March 2012 exhibit at Indigo Arts Gallery. Indigo Arts hosts Yoruba indigo artist Gasali Adeyemo, from Nigeria by way of Santa Fe, NM, for an indigo dyeing demonstration and workshop.