Beyond physicality are other meanings with a powerful history that has evolved throughout time. The origins of the symbolism are more significant than any other color. Even going back to our pre-historic existence, purple is rarely found in nature. The earliest purple dyes date back to 1900 B.C., which took roughly 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye (barely enough to dye a Roman toga). Over time, creating this dye became less complex, but one thing has remained consistent: the symbolic tone of nobility and luxury. With the notion of magnificence and dignity that this color exudes, this was especially important to me considering where I was at the time. A significant part of my ancestry is from different countries within Africa, Nigeria being one of them. Whether people are aware or not, Nigeria has an immense amount of talented fashion designers and trend-setters that influence cultures beyond their country. To be in an underdeveloped country that is a part of my heritage that has been plagued with severe poverty while wearing a local designer’s wardrobe that is so illustrious in the middle of a destitute area… Well, let’s say it was something that made me feel grateful to share a space with such incredible, heartwarming people. Nigeria isn’t just space for poverty. It is loaded with cultural creatives that are more diverse than what is typically taught. The country’s history, religions, and different groups of natives play a considerable role in how their sense of fashion is portrayed. There is influence from the Colonial and Post-Colonial eras which brought more Western attire, then there are the Natives: Edo, Urhoba/Isoko, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani/Kanuri/Hausa, Efik/Ibibio/Annang/Oron/Eket, Ijaw, and Itsekiri. While Western fashion is widely found in schools and government jobs, the dominance still lies with the many styles of the Natives, especially with Ankara fabric and vivid prints.
Ultra Violet is the Color of 2018
— Alice Walker
Food for Thought
Are purple vegetables actually healthier? Some veggies have more health benefits compared to the same foods in other colors (for some nutrients). Purple potatoes have four times as many antioxidants as Russet potatoes. Compared to orange carrots, purple carrots have two times the amount of alpha and beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A being excellent for immunity and good for eye health). Red cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants and is said to have six to eight times more Vitamin C than green cabbage.
Need somewhere to begin your new purple journey? Below are some foods to incorporate into your diet.
- Concord Grapes
- Black Currants