On Saturday, June 5th, an indigo dye class was held from 9am-2pm at an off-site venue at the Holomua Junction. The class was an introductory class and no previous experience was required of the participants.

Indigo is a natural and ancient dye, known for its deep and rich blue color. It was used by many civilizations such as in Mayan, Egyptian, Japanese and Indian cultures. Natural indigo is obtained from a variety of plants, the most widely used one being indigofera tinctoria. But, did you know that we actually have an indigo plant species called Indigofera suffruticosa that grows in the wild here all over the island?

Needless to say, the nine participants in this class fell in love with this natural dyeing process and the ‘magical’ qualities that are inherent to it. Everyone embraced the ‘what would happen if’ in using their own Shibori techniques in the dye process. Instructor and master dyer and textile artist, Kalae Tongonan did a fabulous job in leading everyone through the process.

This class was a part of the Molokai Arts Center grant award from the Maui County Office of Economic Development and the Atherton Foundation, which allowed the non-profit arts education agency to offer three months of free ceramic and arts classes for children, youth, adults, and seniors. The project, titled Pānaʻi Aloha – Giving Back to Molokai, is the MAC’s way of helping Molokai cope and revitalize during the pandemic and celebrate MAC’s ten year history.

If you’d like to see more images of the beautiful results of the class, visit the Molokai Arts Center Facebook page and look for the photo album titled, “Pānaʻi Aloha: Giving Back”. And, if you would like to be informed about upcoming MAC workshops, sign up for our e-newsletter at molokaiartscenter.org/news/