In the beginning there was water and rock, but as plant life evolved, the globe became more colorful. Cool greens gradually enveloped the earth as successive waves of mosses, ferns, conifers and angiosperms conquered the land. In addition new pigments evolved providing artistic man with new mood-creating dyes with which to color his existence. Primitive man utilized dyes to color his skin to frighten his enemies and increase his prestige. Greek ladies, dissatisfied with the color of their hair, used buckthorn, Rhamnus, to stain their hair yellow and add to their charms. European aristocrats of the Middle Ages, traveling incognito, camouflaged their faces with walnut stains. As a result of searching for new plants or cultivating them in fields, man learned their properties and habits and became proficient in extracting those pigments he desired to stimulate his senses.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1974 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Haman, A. C.
"To Dye or Not to Dye,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 11
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol11/iss3/3