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The Magical Color of Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Since purple is a fairly rare color in nature, an almost magical aura has been associated to it throughout human history.  The first historical record of a purple dye, called Tyrian purple, indicates that it began to be manufactured in the Phoenician city of Tyre in the eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BCE.  The dye was extracted from the glands of several types of shellfish, but especially the Murex brandaris.  The process to extract the dye took about three days.  Thousands of putrefied, crushed shellfish were left to bake in the sun.  Salt was then added and the mash of glands were boiled down.  (Can you imagine the overwhelming stench of the process!!!).  It took about 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye, barely enough to dye a single garment the size of a Roman toga.  In 301 A.D. during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian, one pound of purple dye cost 150,000 denarii or around three pounds of gold. This is the main reason the purple color was reserved for emperors or individuals with titles of royal authority.

Easter Egg Colors - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade - March 23, 2016

 

Easter Sunday is almost on us, coming fairly early this year.  In celebration of Easter, I decided to base this Wonderful Handmade Wednesday post on the glorious colors of Easter eggs, since there will be millions dyed, hunted and rolled come Sunday.  There is an old Latin proverb:  "Omne vivum ex ovo," which means "all life comes from an egg."  Many ancient cultures the world over believed the whole universe was created from an egg, the egg an important symbol of life.  Before Christianity, eggs were revered by pagans as a symbols of fertility and resurrection and played important roles in their return-of-spring celebrations.  Christians used Easter eggs (which started to be painted around the 13th century) to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and his resurrection.  However, many scholars point out that ancient Persians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the Spring Equinox, a tradition that continues to this day and was picked up by cultures and religions around the world. 

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