The Intrigue of the Color Turquoise in our Textiles
Mayamam Weavers are known for our bright colors. Turquoise is a color in particular that stands out in popularity with our customers from our Turquoise Jewels scarves to our Ocean and Lake Celebration Table Linens. So we began wondering, why turquoise? What makes turquoise so pleasing to so many people?
Turquoise is a blue green mineral that has been valued for years for its beautiful color. Turquoise quite literally is a mineral that is hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium. Typically found in arid regions, the desert provides the necessary climate to form the turquoise from its underlying minerals. The arid environment provides a sandy beige neutral background, and the bright turquoise provides a strong contrast. Very few minerals have a color that is so well known, so characteristic, and so impressive that the name of the mineral has become this common. Only gold, silver and copper are minerals descriptive of their color that are more commonly used than turquoise.
Turquoise the stone has ancient roots in Turkey, Egypt, Iran and China. The name comes from the term “pierre tourques” which means “Turkish stone,” most likely because the stone first arrived in Europe from Turkey. It has been treasured by people for thousands of years. Turquoise was prized in the Near East and the pre-Columbian Americas (southwest of today’s United States and the Aztecs of today’s Mexico). In ancient Persia, there was a traditional saying “Turquoise helps a person feel intuitively the difference between good and evil.” Egyptians thought it was the color of faith and truth. The Aztecs associated turquoise with the Goddess of Water and felt it was the color of solace and serenity. Beliefs varied from tribe to tribe, but all Native Americans value turquoise as a sign of life with healing properties and see it as a great protector. The Navajo and the Zuni people have become well known for their beautiful turquoise and silver jewelry. Both tribes associate turquoise with earthly elements such as sky, water and the earth itself. And everywhere it was prized for the color’s effect on the heart.
Turquoise combines the attributes of blue and the attributes of green. Blue for humans relates to the ocean, to calmness and serenity (perhaps why our blue colorways are perennially popular). And green with its shot of yellow relates to growth and energy. Turquoise is associated with clarity of mind, creativity, and serenity. Turquoise is very versatile and one of the few colors that is flattering with almost every skin tone and hair color. It’s a cool color for blondes, yet it can emanate warmth for brunettes or those with dark black hair. In nature, turquoise can be found in peacock feathers, robin’s eggs and even butterfly wings, all stunning displays of this color.