Part 1 considered the widespread 'evil eye' superstition and red veils.
Part 2 considered resistance to red apotropaism in the Christian period.
The Red Ochre Tradition (ROT) is summarized in "The Geologic Model of Religion" by (Andrew Clifford 2012) starting on page 95. While I don't subscribe to all of his hypotheses, it's good starting place for understanding the antiquity and continuity of this practice.
|Gøngehusvej [Mesolithic]...ochre are especially in the head and pelvis areas." (National Museum of Denmark)|
In Egyptian mythology, the extermination of the human race by the 'Eye of Ra' was thwarted by creating a concoction of beer and ochre and pouring the blood-like mixture on the ground to fool the eye. (Remler, 2010. pg 51) The use of ochre as a war paint is attested around the world for similar spiritual concerns.
|Djumbulak kum burial [Iron Age] (National Geographic)|
The attributes of Athena are apotropaisms associated with those for warding off the evil eye. They included the oculos, the gorgoneion, and the aegis, the last of which combines several apotropaic devices in a single garment (being golden tassles, a gorgoneion and a red color). Athena's bright eyes (possibly blue) are also significant in a Mediterranean context. (See also Sulis) This is in contrast to the wild eyes of the Gorgons whose damning stare causes immediate death.
|Presumed wife of Yax K’uk’ Mo, covered with cinnabar. Margarita Tomb [Late Classical Maya] Copan, Hondoras (ASC)|
As hypothesized in Part 2, elder dye may be the source of a fairy tale red cloak.
This has a relevant meaning to pigments because it prevents any one source of red dye from having the exclusive apotropaic power against the damning stare of Gorgons or whatever.
|Mulhouse-Est Grave 2 Linearbandkeramik [Early Neolithic] (Antiquity)|
"Colored Bones, Varied Meanings" Katy Meyers
"Why is Ochre Found in Some Graves" National Museum of Denmark
"Red Lady of El Miron" New Scientist
If at any moment the beliefs and rituals of the Ertebolle people seem two dimensional, a small baby buried in the wing of a swan helps us realize how real the pain of death was even for tough log boatsmen.
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