Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Haint Blue

This is the ceiling of our front porch, before there was Stuff on the porch and before the leaves fell off the trees this year. The ceiling of our porch is wood colored wood. Therefore, I feel like I should not paint it. I love its naturalness.

But I also love Haint Blue. For those not of the American South or not of eras gonebye, Haint Blue is a traditional color for the ceilings of porches. You know how southerners are about porches. If you think people in the south spend their free time fanning themselves and drinking sweet tea on porches, you are totally right on. And the ceilings of those porches are often a pale blue-green color: Haint blue.

Haint blue is said to keep malevolent spirits away. Or maybe it discourages birds and bugs from nesting in your porch. No one is quite sure nowadays whether the purpose of the color is natural or supernatural. Older folks say supernatural. I’ve heard that “haint” is an old fashioned southern, and perhaps a specifically a Gullah, way of sayin “haunt” as in ghost or spirit. As in not Casper-the-Friendly. As in not-at-all-friendly. I've heard that the situation is that blue-green is like water and malevolent spirits can't follow you across a body of water... so. It's protective.

Maybe so. Maybe not. But I love the color. Haint blue can be a variety of gorgeous, magical blue-greens. Originally the paints were probably made from the indigo plant.

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