A colourful note: the colour indigo was named after the indigo dye derived from the Indigofera tinctoria plant. India is believed to be the oldest centre of indigo dyeing in the Old World: the association of India with indigo is reflected in the Greek word for the dye, which was indikon. From 1778, Guatemala was considered one of the world’s foremost providers of indigo, and El Salvador has lately been named the biggest producer.
The first known use of indigo as a colour term in English was in 1289 and it became a crayola colour in 1999 – quite late for a rainbow colour!
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 16 February 2016
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