Color Chronicles: the Revered Maya Blue

Maya blue is a pigment that comes from indigo dyes combined with organic and inorganic composites, and it's mostly found in Central America. This unique pigment's been used by the Mayans and Aztecs.

Credits: hodachrome, ilcontrariodime, marcomaestro & richardhall

Maya blue is a very ancient color first used around A.D. 300, associated with rain deities such as Chaak. The people would paint the human sacrifices' bodies in this color so that the rain god to send rain. The New York Times wrote:

“When the skies looked too much like Maya blue — cloudless and dry — the Maya sometimes selected an unlucky victim to be painted this color and sacrificed to Chaak in hopes that the rains would follow.”

Amazingly, Maya blue is a known for its longevity and age, able to stand weathering conditions. Many ancient items colored with this pigment have not faded, even when exposed to chemical solvents and acids. A very steadfast and resistant color that can only be destroyed by extreme acid treatment under reflux. The color appears as well at the very center of a lit flame as it holds the most heat. The color was also used in Convents of Colonial Mexico, especially in the paintings of Indian Juan Gerson, Tecamachalco. The paintings are distinguished as it combines Indian and European painting techniques called Arte Indocristiano.

To capture this color with a camera, we highly recommend using a blue filter. Capturing under sunny morning skies will give you outdoor photographs that are painted with the color of the sea.

Credits: solariswhiteball, vici, sushi_9009 & ilcontrariodime

2018-08-08 #culture #color-chronicles #maya-blue

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