Indigo: In Search of the Colour That Seduced the World

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A&C Black, Aug 1, 2012 - Africa, West - 256 pages
14 Reviews
For almost five millennia, indigo - a blue pigment obtained from the small green leaf of a parasitic shrub - has been at the centre of turbulent human encounters, prized by slave traders, religious figures and the fashion world. "Indigo" is the story of this precious dye and its ancient heritage: its relationship to slavery as the 'hidden half' of the transatlantic slave trade, its profound influence on fashion, and its spiritual significance. It is a story brimming with electrifying tales of those who shaped the course of colonial history and world economy. But this is also the story of a personal quest: McKinley's ancestors include a clan of Scots who wore indigo tartan, several generations of Jewish 'rag traders' and Massachusetts textile factory owners, and African slaves who were traded along the same Saharan routes. Her journey takes her to nine West African countries and is resplendent with powerful lessons of heritage and history.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

I would have liked a book about Indigo, instead of the author's journey throughout West Africa. Even then, the author's travelogue is peppered with awkward dialogue, and has a stuffy head over their Fulbright scholarship. A disappointment. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - blhooley - LibraryThing

Part travelogue, part history, sociology, anthropology, personal journey, this is the tale of a young woman who while on a Fulbright fellowship searches for her own roots by researching the history of ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter I
2
Chapter
8
An Invitation Ghana
15
A Burning Heart Ghana
50
Widows Blues Ghana
71
PINDERS
103
The Chanel of Africa Ghana I
118
Amazons Wives of the Gods
130
Not Everything You Can Own
150
The Beautiful One Ghana
165
Blue Gold and Concubines Niger
194
Its Never Late New York City
219
Acknowledgments
233
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Catherine 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, where she began her research on indigo. She lives in New York City.

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