{ font: $(body.font); color: $(body.text.color); background: $(body.background); padding: opx; $(body.background.override) } expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"HAINT" Talkin' 'bout Love

Haint Blue

If you have traveled through the deep south, or, have been fortunate enough to relax on a sleepy, grand columned veranda on a warm Savannah afternoon, to sip a mint julep or a glass of sweet tea, you may have noticed the ceiling of the porch is painted blue.  This blue, called Haint Blue, is mostly prevalent in the American South.

Source: pinterest

Interestingly enough, "haint blue" can be found in a broad array of colors and you can't quite label it "haint" because it "ain't" just one color!  "Haint Blue" is used widely, but it's actual description is murky, as it can be found in a shades of periwinkle to blue violet to sky-blue (to mirror the sky); to sea-foam green (to mirror the sea).  It has been used as ceiling paint for porches, and in some cases, doors, shutters and trim-work.  Here is the best description I could find:

"Haint blue is not a specific tint or shade, but rather refers to any kind of blue paint used for the purposes of warding the house against harm." - wiki

Random Thought:

The band Type O Negative's song Entitled "Black No. 1",  makes a suggestion to "Little Miss Scare All",

Yeah you wanna go out
'cause it's raining and blowing.
You can't go out
'cause your roots are showing.
♫ ♪ Dye 'em black ♪ ♫

Perhaps a similar notion was initially employed in the southern United States, to ward off evil from their homes?  I digress....

Photo: willowbeeinspired.blogspot
Photo: apartment therapy

"Haint" is a Southern colloquialism which means "ghost" or "spirit", and is a variation of the word "haunt"; and, by employing haint blue by means of painting porch ceilings and such, is used in an effort to "confuse" spirits  or to discourage them from crossing into one's home.  In theory, it is a form of magic!

Haint Blue was created by the descendants of African Slaves known as the Geechee.  Historically, the tribe was known as the Gullah.  Speculatively, since they settled in the region near the Ogeechee River near Savannah (Georgia), they were/are often referred to as The Geechee. At one time the Gullah region encompassed a region from Cape Fear, North Carolina to the Jacksonville area of Florida. Today, it is generally South Carolina to Georgia's Low-Country. The Geechee used their tradition of painting sections of their shacks/homes shades of blue, by mixing milk, lime and indigo dyes. Ironically, lime is a natural repellent of insects, which is why - even today - the color is often believed to keep wasps, mosquitoes and other bugs from nesting in corners of porches!

Indigo dye is made from a plant extraction obtained from those in the genus Indigofera, which are native to the tropics. 
Lime (material) photo courtesy of castleheritage.co.uk

The Geechee believed that Haints were evil spirits, those that were not kind, but angry entities who thrived on creating harm, hardship and heartbreak of humans.

These spirits were thought to strongly dislike water, so in an effort to fool the spirits, the Geechee painted any possible crossings (doors, windows, thresholds, and so on) blue or blue green to look like a source of water, thereby confusing the spirits and sending them elsewhere. This tradition won the hearts of their owners who began the practice of painting their respective porch ceilings, shutters and trim work Haint Blue.

"Haints, or haunts, are spirits trapped between the world of the living and the world of the dead. These are not your quiet, floaty, sorrowful ghosts, they are the kind you don’t want to mess with, and the kind you certainly don’t want invading into your humble abode looking for revenge. 

Luckily, the Gullah people remembered an important footnote to the haint legend. These angry spirits have a kryptonite: they cannot cross water. The safest place would be in an underwater bubble, or perhaps to surround your house with a moat. But the Gullah people had a much more elegant solution. They would dig a pit in the ground, fill it with lime, milk, and whatever pigments they could find, stir it all together, and paint the mixture around every opening into their homes. The haints, confused by these watery pigments, are tricked into thinking they can’t enter." -http://historiesofthingstocome.blogspot.com/2011/09/history-of-colour-haint-blue.html

art found on tumblr