Mexican Red: The Perfect Color that Changed the World - HMSC Free Virtual Public Lecture


Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 6:00pm to 7:00pm



Mexican Red: The Perfect Color that Changed the World - Free Virtual Public Lecture

Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico, Harvard University

Advance Registration Required.

Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a small insect that produces a brilliant red pigment. Found in textiles, paintings, cosmetics, and many other objects that span the globe, cochineal is an integral part of world history. Cochineal pigment was used by Mesoamerican peoples long before the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. After being introduced to Europe, it quickly became a precious commodity and control over its global trade was a source of conflict and competition for over three centuries. In this lecture, Gabriela Soto Laveaga will trace the fascinating history of cochineal production and the many efforts to control its trade.

Presented in English with live Spanish interpretation by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture in collaboration with the Mexico Program of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
Visit the related bilingual online exhibit launching April 20: Cochineal: How Mexico Made the World See Red   

To join the program, you will need to download the free Zoom app in advance. If you already have Zoom, you do not need to download it again. For details on how to improve your Zoom experience, visit the How to Attend an HMSC Program webpage.