Africans have used indigo for centuries as symbol of wealth and fertility. The Tuaregs, "Blue Men" of the Sahara, are famous for their indigo robes, turbans, and veils that rub blue pigment into their skin. Yoruba dyers of Nigeria produce indigo cloth called "adire alesso" using both tie-and-dye and resist dye techniques, while honoring Iya Mapo, as the patron god of their exacting craft. Dyers of the Kanuri (Cameroon and Nigeria) and Fulani (modern Niger and Burkina-Faso) ethnic groups popularized indigo near Lake Chad and through portions of West Africa.

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