Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Find Lesson Plans on! GettyGames

Re: Symbolism of color


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 06:28:53 PST

JDecker wrote:
> Thank you to whomever it was who asked about color symbolism...This is a
> topic I have been meaning to research and "never got around to it". Please
> add more info/sites that you come across. I am particularly interested in
> meaning of colors in various cultures (i.e.: African cultures---can't seem
> to find specific sites now--othr than the one I have for Zulu).
> Native American color symbols--Cherokee
> The Four Directions
> Colors were associated with the four directions.
> Blue represented North which meant cold, defeat and trouble.
> White was South representing warmth, peace and happiness.
> Red was East, the color of the Sacred Fire, blood,and success.
> West was black the color meaning problems and death.


I finally remembered to look up the four sacred colors of the White
Mountain Apaches in east central AZ (where I live). They contrast
interestingly with the Cherokee colors:
White represents the north, source of snow
Yellow is east, where the sun comes up
Green is south
Black is west, home of the sun's setting
These colors are used in a variety of settings, from the tribal gov't
seal to the ribbons on the cane of Changing Woman (the girls' puberty

The San Carlos Apaches just south of here use blue instead of green. I
asked our head custodian, who's from there, if he knew why. He just
laughed and said he doesn't "keep up with that stuff." He is a devout
Christian who rejects traditional beliefs and ceremonies, and I think
that's why he said that.