Tuesday, April 22, 2014


In communal Amana times, money was scarce and paint expensive, so a whitewash tinted with blue dye from the Amana Woolen Mill, was used for a touch of decoration on the plaster walls of homes and churches. Whitewashing, commissioned by the Elders and done by a taglohner or day worker paid in food,wine,or little money, was a spring housecleaning ritual. It brought in new color and a fresh scent. Whitewashing, like a limewash, was a low cost type of paint made from slaked lime and chalk. Various other additives for color were used. It took several days to dry and harden. Historically, it was used in rural diaries and kitchens for its antibacterial quality, also as an imitation of real paint. These seasonal coats of "Amana Blue" whitewash kept the interiors fresh, beautiful, and clean. ( See top center of picture in Amana church wedding for plaster whitewash wall.)

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