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Cochineal Grinding | by akseabird
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Cochineal Grinding

The Vasquezes use this mono and metate to grind cochineal. Cochineal is a parasitic insect that lives in cactus leaves for their 3 month life cycle. Though the insect looks rather dark blue when they are living, once dried and ground they make a very vibrant red

 

Crops of nopal (prickly pear) cactus are grown specifically for the purpose of harvesting the Cochineal to use for dye.

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Taken on December 25, 2008