Why the name "Blue Amber?"
For Centuries amber has been revered and admired by civilizations from the four corners of the Earth. Formed from tree resin as it oozed from the cracks in bark, fossilizing and capturing bits of organic matter and insects along the way, a single amber droplet can hold a tiny snapshot of mother nature in her various phases.
Sometime between 54 and 60C.E., Roman Emperor Nero sent an officer to search for the source of this precious substance. Travelling northward, the officer achieved a successful expedition when he reached the Baltic Coast; from which he returned with hundreds of pounds of amber.
Amber became valued in Rome for its beauty and its believed ability to protect its bearer from harm. It was used as an ingredient in therapeutic medicines and ointments, and Roman historian Pliny reported that it was so popular that a carved amber figurine rang in at a higher value than that of a healthy slave!
Early civilizations of northern Europe sometimes referred to amber as the "gold of the north," and used it to barter for iron, copper, and other goods. During the Middle Ages, European manufacturing and trade of amber was strictly controlled by the Teutonic Knights, who had recently returned from the Crusades. Unauthorized collecting of amber was punishable by death.
Meanwhile, on the Caribbean island of Quisqueya, now the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Taino Indians also discovered amber. When Columbus first visited Quisqueya in 1492, he presented a young island chief with a strand of shiny amber beads. It is said that Columbus was surprised when in return he received from the Dominican natives footwear decorated with amber beads!
While the golden yellow, red, orange, and even green hues of amber have been treasured throughout time, blue amber has only recently, (over the past 60-70 years), been revered as valuable in the "New World." What’s even more magical is that the blue variation glows under UV (black) lights!
How fitting is it to choose the name Blue Amber to honor and represent a dance that has evolved and been shared and enjoyed by our ancestors across the world, reaching back over thousands of years, oozing, refining, and solidifying over time; resulting in this beautiful and magical dance form that we know as ATS®?