Tumulus Ruchama Noorda

Blue Monday

Sept - Dec '20

The Tumulus lot is alive with weeds and herbs seeded by the wind or deliberately planted. The woad (lsatis tinctoria) which was planted in 2019 has been partially harvested and used to make woad dye and root-leaf-and-seed medications. On Autumnal Equinox/Blue Monday 2020, Noorda performs a ceremony using extracts from the planted woad.

Click here for information about the Blue Monday performance.


Blue Monday performance with Ornamental Hermitess - Tumulus Hermitage Biotoop Picture by Victoria Ushkanova Ruchama Noorda

Woad Dye

In ancient times, woad was an important source of blue dye and was cultivated throughout Europe for that purpose. It was eventually replaced by the more colourfast Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) until the early 20th century when synthetic blue dyes were developed that replaced both woad and Indigofera tinctoria. Woad leaves react to rubbing and crushing by producing a bitter-tasting liquid that serves as a natural defence. This liquid fermented in stale urine for several weeks turns into blue woad pigment that floats on the service of the urine vat. Textile soaked in this substance turns blue once it is exposed to oxygen and sunlight.