La Purisima Lavanderia (2009)

The lavanderia at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California. The Franciscans built this pool for their Chumash Indian “neophytes” to wash clothing for the padres and for Spanish troops. But the Chumash enjoyed bathing, and regularly used it for that purpose. That barbaric behavior must have horrified the Spaniards, who like most 18th century Europeans avoided bathing because they believed it would let toxins into their pores.

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