Monday, June 26, 2006

Why are Blacksmiths called "Black"smiths?

Durring my demonstrations, I answer a lot of questions about blacksmithing and what I do in the shop. Often, if no one has any questions for me, I will ask questions of them. One of my more common questions is "Why are Blacksmiths called 'black'smiths?"

The other morning a young girl (maybe 12 years olld) raised her hadn to answer the question. Her answer: "Because they are black?" I didn't really know what to say, so I asked her what she meant, and she said "Because they are black." and pointed to her skin (she was a light skinned black girl, btw, "black" is the most PC term I will use, but I won't go into that here). Myself, knowing my own past did not include any African any time in the past 2000 years, looked down at my skin, then back up at her, and said "Well, why I do get pretty dirty in this job, that's not it."

I went on from there to talk about how iron is considered a black metal, and so forth.

All in all, it was a pretty interesting day.

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