~ RA's solution ~
         to essays    essays
(Courtesy of fravia's searchlore.org)

Searching an image without knowing its name
The Ochre Riddle
published @ searchlores in June 2003

The task
You will find the complete challenge in the following page:
an ochre colored "image searching" riddle (and challenge)

Basically, the task was to find out what the following images represents:
Petit image

Since Jeff found the solution very quickly...
...after reading in the dictionary the several meanings for 
the word ochre,  i would at first guess that the man is 
crushing 'ore' clay for producing ochre powder 
however the tool seems rather small and light for that 
so i am probably  wrong -- but as i say-- it was my first 
20 seconds of visualization; 
will read some more about manual crushing later to see 
what track i might take in evaluating that image... 

...I feared that the riddle was too simple for our 'community' of capable seekers.
But other seekers went astray, until RA solved it. Here follows his solution:

The Ochre Riddle - Solution

The image is somewhat deceptive here. It looks interesting and 
unique. So I felt that the key to the riddle is in the image. 
Like most others initially I concentrated on it and largely 
ignored the surrounding text. by looking at the image, following 
comes to the mind:
1) some agricultural activity
2) possibly for a crop that needs to be grown indoors/needs 
   controlled sunlight
3) some kind of rare/interesting crop worthy of being put on a 
4) asian fellow, doing hard labour

Most of these point nowhere and nothing similar is found. 
Nevertheless some good learning on diverse topics. 

Seems like I am missing something. 

When I looked at the surrounding text, the phrase "ochre 
colored" appears thrice. 
So it looks like some kind of clue (like Jeff said it jumps 
out of the page. ). 
Actually I had never really heard/used the word "ochre" 
before. From the usage on the riddle page and the color of the 
image, i had concluded earlier that it must be some shade of 
yellow. But then I felt like finding the exact meaning of the 
word. So I tried webster:


Main Entry: ocher 
Variant(s): or ochre  /'O-k&r/
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English oker, from Middle French ocre, from 
Latin ochra, from Greek Ochra, from feminine of Ochros yellow
Date: 14th century
1 : an earthy usually red or yellow and often impure iron ore 
    used as a pigment
2 : the color of ocher; especially : the color of yellow ocher

Since the tool that the person is using looks ancient/old-fashioned/
traditional and the setting and the general feel is also like 
old-times, I decide to concentrate on etymology of the word, 
thinking that if some ancient activity is depicted then it will 
most likely be called by its original name.

English "Oker":
Websearch on Google leads to all sorts of sites "ochre 
records" etc.
Decide to do google image search. Tried all combinations of 
Oker, Ochre, England, UK. Few interesting links but nothing 

France "Ocre": 
Image search for : ocre France : nothing
 Image search for : ochre France
: 2 Interesting Images 
1) http://sasik.sasprg.cz/~stoupa/wallpaper/evropa/francie/Shades%20of%20Ochre,%20France.jpg
2) http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/~workman/pictures/france/tara_and_me.jpg 

On visiting these pages, I find that the first one is like a 
wallpapers page. 
But on the page http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/~workman/pictures/france/france.html 
the text below the 2nd image says "Tara and I at the ochre 
mine in Rousillon"

Now "Mine" seems interesting lead.

So I decide to do a websearch for ochre+france+extraction:
It leads to:

the text on ocre.htm describes the process and at the end mentions 
"A Former Ochre Factory has been Rehabilitated" - 
the description seems worthy of further examination.

baocre.htm gives the address of last ochre factory:

"To know more about the ochre extraction and production techniques, 
visit the last ochre factory in Europe: 
Les Ocres de France 
84400 APT 
Tel. "

last ochre factory (some kind of rarity) : Images from it can be 
put on a postcard!

so I try to look for a website of it - websearch of Ocres de 
france on google

and the 1st link is http://www.ocres-de-france.com/

(search for ocre+france also leads there:

looking at the image on the index page i feel like I have 
got it. I read thru the processing related page 
at the botton there is a link to photo gallery (7 images in all).                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
A look at the 7th image : http://www.ocres-de-france.com/images/usine.jpg 
and there is no doubt.
(similar kind of lighting and a person wearing the same 



The postcard:
it's at Roussillon, Provence
more specifically the postcard depicts The Mathieu Ochre Factory, Conservatory of Ochres and Applied Pigments
OKRA - 84220 Roussillon
Contact : Mathieu BARROIS
Photograph: Jack Burlot

Those readers that will take the time to go trough the pertinent seekers' discussion will gather many valuable angles that could be used, more generally, when searching for images.

Petit image

(c) 1952-2032: [fravia+], all rights reserved, reversed, revealed, reviled, revelled & revoked