Cultivation of Indigo, French West Indies, late 18th cent.

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Image Reference

José Mariano da Conceicao Velloso, O fazendeiro do Brazil, cultivador. (Lisbon, 1806), vol. 2, plate 1, foldout following p. 341. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

The plate, titled “Trabalho do terreno para se plantar hum [um] indigoal, e para o colher” ("Preparing the soil to cultivate an indigo field and then harvest it") shows various phases of the planting and harvesting of the Indigo plant: fig. 1 (top), depicts preparation of the soil for planting, using a rake; fig. 2 (center) shows the use of hoes to make the holes into which the indigo seed is planted; fig. 3, depicts harvesting of the plant, gathering it into bundles, and carrying it to the tanks or cisterns for further processing. The bottom panel shows a variety of tools and implements used in indigo. The plate and its contents are identified in detail on pp. 332-333.