What is ochre?

Himba woman covered in red ochre

There seems to be confusion in all the books and articles I’m reading about the word “ochre”. Some say it’s just a specific color, some say it means “earth pigments” or colored clay with many possible colors and some say it means iron oxide. I think the general consensus is that ochre means any natural earthy pigment with iron ore in it. It could be brown, red, orange, or yellow or any shade in between. And “natural earth pigment” means any colored clay with certain natural occurring minerals (including iron oxides) that give it various colors.

Rustrel ochre mine

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