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Indigo Technology, African Influences on

Enslaved Africans heavily influenced the production and cultivation of indigo in North America. Without their knowledge and skill, indigo would not have surpassed both cotton and sugar to become one of the most prosperous and sought-after crops in the 18th century.

This entry describes African influences on indigo cultivation, examining its cultural uses and the role of the crop in the American colonial slave economy.

Types of Indigo

Indigo is one of the oldest vegetable dyes known to humankind. It has been used in Egypt and India since as early as 1600 BCE, and was well known to the peoples of the Americas prior to the Spanish conquest. During the 18th century, European colonial powers began to encourage the production of indigo in ...

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