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"haint Blue"


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#1 OffDutyCop

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

Hey guys and gals!

Living and working in the always quirky, often mysterious city of Savannah, Georgia, for the past three years, I've been exposed to many of the local traditions and superstitions. One of my favorites, is the superstition involving a unique color, known as "Haint Blue".

According to the tradition, handed down by the coastal Gullah, the unmistakeable "Haint Blue" possesses magical powers which holds evil spirits and demons at bay. While the color and attached superstition may have been African in origin, it was quickly passed to, and utilized by, the caucasion citizens of cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina. It was thought that if this color appeared on the exterior of your house, it would prevent ghosts and spirits with not-so-nice intentions from entering. To this day, the color still appears on doorways and shutters of victorian homes throughout Savannah.

Of course, for the "well-to-do" citizens and high society of Savannah, who didn't wish to advertise their superstitious beliefs for fear of public ridicule, the answer was simple. A family could simply paint the overhang of their front porch using the color, and it wouldn't be visible to the casual observer from the street!

For those who may be unfamiliar, the picture below is of "The Pirate's House" Inn. In it's day, the Inn was said to be a popular stopping point for ne'er-do-wells visiting the pirate-friendly city of Savannah, and may have been the location where many raids were planned on her sister city of Charleston! The Inn was also made famous in the book "Treasure Island", as it's supposedly the setting in which the character "Captain Flint" went on to his final reward....or punishment.

Take notice of the color of the shutters and doors, and you'll see a prime example of "Haint Blue".


"In each of us, there are two sides at war....the good and the evil. The fight rages between them all of our lives, but one of them must conquer. In our own hands lies the power to choose. What we want most to be, we are. " ---Dr. Henry Jekyll

#2 PumpkinWraithGStudy

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 05:25 PM

I think truth be told ODC,  You want to be a pirate! pirate.gif   If your'e not talking about em'  your'e dressing as one.... laugh.gif

That is a bizzare tradition.  Its interesting that something as simple as a colour can be such a serious issue for some people.

I'm going to paint my door Haint Blue......(*Goes to DIY store,  Comes out with Navy Blue*).... Haint Blue?....They never heard of it! Picture 562.gif

Edited by PumpkinWraith-UK, 29 September 2009 - 05:25 PM.

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#3 OffDutyCop

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE(PumpkinWraith-UK @ Sep 29 2009, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think truth be told ODC,  You want to be a pirate! pirate.gif   If your'e not talking about em'  your'e dressing as one.... laugh.gif

That is a bizzare tradition.  Its interesting that something as simple as a colour can be such a serious issue for some people.

I'm going to paint my door Haint Blue......(*Goes to DIY store,  Comes out with Navy Blue*).... Haint Blue?....They never heard of it! Picture 562.gif


Who doesn't want to be a pirate?  pirate.gif

"In each of us, there are two sides at war....the good and the evil. The fight rages between them all of our lives, but one of them must conquer. In our own hands lies the power to choose. What we want most to be, we are. " ---Dr. Henry Jekyll

#4 PumpkinWraithGStudy

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE(OffDutyCopGStudy @ Sep 30 2009, 02:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who doesn't want to be a pirate?  pirate.gif


Oh Dear!  rolleyes.gif

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#5 xjadedx

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 06:19 PM

Neat story!

xjadedx

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#6 JessWest

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE(OffDutyCopGStudy @ Sep 29 2009, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who doesn't want to be a pirate?  pirate.gif



pirate.gif I want to be a pirate- too bad women on board is bad luck- I'll paint my ship haint blue!

The symbology of color is very interesting.

I wonder if they somehow got the blue from judaism and christianity, they have a sacred blus color, too. Tekhelet
Tekhelet blue

Blue has always been a color related to heaven, or the sky. Sapphires used on religious icons and royal regalia often means annointed by god, or ordained by god, having the power of heaven on your side. A massive sapphire is on the one of the hapsburg dynasty's crowns to symbilize thier "unique" relationship with god- being placed on the thrown by god. Rudolf II's crown with raw sapphire...



Blue is such a hard color to come by that it has been made a color that has some significance to religion, that it is the same color as the ocean (if you were early chrisitan or jewish even muslim) that gave you food and it is the same color as the sy which gives you the warm sun and rain for crops, no wonder it was given such a color that is associated with good/protection. Mainly it is just a color used to show the connection of people with heaven and god. Like white it is a pure color, that is has a strong link with the color of the blue sky aka the heavens. That is why the virgin mary is in blue in a lot of religious art. Young jesus is clothed in blue frequently (when not in white).

Since the african's that were brought here made thier almost hybrid between the catholic faith and traditional african religion, that significance of blue could have been transfered. But the other worldy connections with the color blue is a very common thing umong every culture so I assume that the africans had a similar meaning to it.

Painting it above doors is similar to the story of exodus when the blood of a lamb was smeared on the doorways of moses' followers- telling the plague of killing the first born to "pass over" them for they are god's people not the people offending god. That might have been a transferrence to the more pleasant color blue instead of red. kind of like posting a crusifix above the door and above the bed- but with a color. The painting of doorways/other openings to the house might have come from a sort of belief using the same principle as the one in exodus, not only protecting them from a plague from god (punishment for sins, Hey I am on your side! sort ot thing) and allong with that protection from other sources of evil. The chinese had a belief in doorways being a gateway for evil spirits or people with a bad intention comming into their house- they placed a sort of screen blocking the entrance to the main house to confuse any angry spirits from entering (Wait a minute theres just a wall here?!)

Edited by JessWest, 29 September 2009 - 07:54 PM.


#7 HelenaHandBaskettGStudy

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:19 AM

Thanks for sharing this ODC! Does "haint blue" appear anywhere on your house? wink.gif

Here's more on haint blue:

http://www.squidoo.com/haintblue


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Dr. Egon Spengler: I'm worried, Ray. All my readings point to something big on the horizon.
Winston Zeddemore: What do you mean, big?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Winston Zeddemore: That's a big Twinkie.


#8 lissybird

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:25 AM

QUOTE(HelenaHandBaskettGStudy @ Sep 30 2009, 11:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Helena, this link takes me to Georgek's profile page. smile.gif

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#9 HelenaHandBaskettGStudy

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:29 AM

Lol!! It's fixed now! wink.gif

Posted Image



Dr. Egon Spengler: I'm worried, Ray. All my readings point to something big on the horizon.
Winston Zeddemore: What do you mean, big?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Winston Zeddemore: That's a big Twinkie.


#10 lissybird

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:35 AM

Thanks!  innocent0005.gif

I have never lived in a house with haint blue - yet I just realized that was the color of my last car. smile.gif
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#11 trin

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:44 AM

I remember this from when I lived in N.Carolina! so it's really travelled!
(In Wisconsin this would get you funny looks if you mentioned it at the paint dept at Lowes.)

It's also fairly common in parts of the Middle East and South Asia, but ranges from Sapphire blue to turquoise blue.

#12 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:28 AM

That's a lovely shade of blue! Of course I like blue in all shades.  th_sarcastic_blum.gif I'll have to figure out how to incorporate it into my life more. *wanders off to have a think and gets run over by a 14' truck*

#13 curious

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:39 AM

Hey, thats the same blue my parents apinted all the trim and doors of my house when I was growning up. They went to Savannah every year for a weekend, I wonder if thats where they got the idea!! i'll have to ask Mom!
Neat thought Jess,
Now I'm gonna have to look more into the history of the color!
I'll start with the liknks provided, thanks for posting them HHB.

#14 Sly-Spectre

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:45 PM

What's a Haint?
"Something weird is going on Jess." Simon whispered as they waited to be served. "I overheard Sara and Hector say something about 'getting back at you' in the library this morning."
Jessie thought for a moment, his face expressionless as usual.
"That's just crazy." he said. "I didn't think you even knew where the library was."

-Excerpt from my short story "Stabbed in the Front."

#15 OffDutyCop

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE(Sly-Spectre @ Oct 1 2009, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's a Haint?


A Haunt, or ghost.

"In each of us, there are two sides at war....the good and the evil. The fight rages between them all of our lives, but one of them must conquer. In our own hands lies the power to choose. What we want most to be, we are. " ---Dr. Henry Jekyll

#16 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:11 PM

Considering the region of the US this story focuses on, the word 'haint' is part of the Gullah dialect.

#17 Cole Younger

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 04:21 PM

I live right beside the Ozark Mountains.  The term used to be pretty common there.

#18 spineofsnake

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:05 AM

Oh hey, I recognize haint blue! I picked up an old dollhouse in North Carolina and the shutters and door frames are all painted that color. It's actually a beautiful, striking aqua/powder blue tone IRL. Wonder why somebody would want to paint a dollhouse that way though...?  th_sarcastic_blum.gif




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