Healer Colors

In Skies of Pern, Anne McCaffrey has the Healers in green, but green was seen as unlucky on Pern. The Dragon Lover's Guide to Pern says the craft color is purple, and there's mention in other books of the Healers in purple. Master Oldive's picture in The People of Pern is even purple, and each of those pictures were approved by Anne. So which is right for the club?

Actually, either purple or green are okay. It's possible Anne meant for both to be colors the Healers wear. Think of it like this. Your doctor, for example, most likely has a white lab coat s/he wears around the office, but if s/he was going into surgery, s/he would be wearing "scrubs" which are often green. White is really an unpractical color for a doctor since blood would stain and be hard to get out. When the colonist came to Pern, perhaps they were using another color -- purple -- where we use white but still using green for surgery.

Tradition's a hard thing to change -- as green gradually became seen as unlucky because of Thread, it was already established in minds of the Pernese as part of what the Healers wore. Now, add in the loss of technology. What the Healers could do became limited. A person would go to the (possibly) purple-wearing Healer for less severe injury, but the green (scrub wearing) Healer would be dealing with injuries that probably didn't have a good outcome. More proof, to them, that it's unlucky. Or perhaps it was purple before the evil abomination *cough* reintroduced the green color for Healers. Then again... Anne lives in Ireland, and perhaps the Emerald Isle worked a bit of magic on her, wanting a better reputation in her Pern books. *wink*

Last updated 11-Aug-01.

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