The Colorful Old West

wagon-blogThat usually means colorful characters who still fascinate, but in this case, it means color. Really. Color. How did Plains Indians create their yellow body paint? A mixture of bullberries, clay, moss, roots and buffalo gallstones. If they wanted blue paint, they’d mix blue mud, boiled rotted wood and duck droppings. Obviously some strange animal part was a must if you wanted great color. Doubt if that were the same recipe used for the standard paint on a Conestoga wagon—the Pennsylvania Dutch craftsmen painted the wooden boxes blue, with red running gear and a white canvas canopy—a very patriotic sight as thousands of these wagons took settlers west.

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