Susana H. Case

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These images are from a tannery at Fes, Morocco.
Pigeon feces, limestone and salt are in the white vats—hides are put there first.  It softens the leather and takes off the wool. Then the hides are washed and put in a dye vat.

Red is poppy.
Blue is indigo.
Orange is henna.
Black is kohl.
Brown is tamarind date.
Green is wild mint.
Yellow (the most expensive) is saffron, pomegranate peel and olive oil.

Children leave school to begin working in the dye vats at 10 or 12 years of age.  Often, they work there until age 45, at which point they are old men and become managers/trainers of new workers.

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Susana H. Case
 is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology. Also a photographer, her photos have appeared in Blue Hour Magazine, pacificREVIEW and San Pedro River Review, among others. Author of several chapbooks, her Slapering Hol Press chapbook, The Scottish Café, was published in a dual-language version, Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Poland’s Opole University Press. She is the author of four full-length collections, including Elvis Presley’s Hips & Mick Jagger’s Lips (Anaphora Literary Press), and, most recently, 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press). Please visit her online at: