Cochineal bugs, tiny insects living on prickly pear cactus, were harvested by the millions to create a red dye used in the fabric woven at the mission. At top right, closeup of cactus pad with telltale white webs of the cochineal bug; second, the crushed cochineal “bleeds” red; third, spun thread which has been colored with cochineal dye; bottom, woven fabric incorporating naturally dyed yarns. Photos by Susan Dial.

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