Indian Names/Red Clay

X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Sun Apr 22 02:04:19 UTC 2001

 [David White]  In any event, there is certainly a lot of non-red soil
around, and I find it difficult to imagine that the proposition "The soil of
Texas is (generally or universally) red" is true.

In a message dated 4/19/2001 9:11:29 PM, mclasutt at writes:
<< But that red clay.  You remember it.  Forever.  It doesn't take a lot of
it. >>

Yes, I think what you are saying sounds true.  When the US military trains
you in orientation, the first thing you learn to look for is distinctive
landmarks.  I suspect if you were exploring Texas in the 1500-1600's, you
were not looking to sum up your locations in some grand manner.  That would
be done afterwards, back home, at the promotional meetings.  What you would
worry about is practical ways of figuring out where you have been and being
able to remember and recognize it so you can find your way back out.  In a
territory without distinctive landmarks, it's pretty easy to go round in
circles, especially on cloudy days.  The red clay you describe would have a
real milepost.

I would not bring up the old point that we should not expect precise color
names, even at these dates.  There's reason to believe that color conventions
were not anywhere as standardized as we now know them.  Red could be brown
and vice-versa, depending on who was talking.

Steve Long

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