The Meaning of Colors

Meaning of Colors - Iowa Warrior

Meaning of Colors - Iowa Warrior

Discover facts and information about the Meaning of Colors and the culture of the North American Native Indians.

  • The Meaning of Colors and the beliefs and culture of Native American Indian tribes
  • Meaning of Colors chart
  • The Names and Meaning of Colors in North America
  • Interesting facts and information about the Meaning of Colors and the culture and beliefs of Native American Indians
Native American Culture
Native Indian Tribes Index

The Indigenous People of the United States

Discover interesting facts and information about the history and culture of Native American Indians and their tribes

Meaning of Colors

The meaning of colors was important to Native American Indians as each color held a special sacred symbolism. The meaning of colors changed according to the purpose they were put to. The meaning of colors used for face paint held a different symbolism than those colors used for War Paint. The Northwest tribes constructed totem poles that have unique features and colors depending upon the clan or tribe. The meaning of colors, ornamentation, and painted decorations used to adorn sacred Prayer sticks and Talking Sticks also had special meanings and were chosen for the attributes of the colors and how these might influence the outcome of an important event. The Circle of Life, as depicted in the Medicine Wheel also contained different color meanings and symbolism. The Navajo sand paintings have a specific meaning and each color used represents a physical direction. This article provides details of the meaning of colors according to their purpose and the beliefs of the tribes.

Meaning of Colors on Sand Paintings
Sand painting designs are based on five sacred colors. The Navajo believe that the colors yellow, blue, white, and black were of great significance and meaning as they represent four sacred mountains and the four cardinal directions. The color red was also used to represent the sunshine and the Spiritual life

  • Blue meaning: The blue mountains brought the dawn and represented the South
  • Yellow meaning: The yellow mountains represented twilight and the West
  • Black meaning: The black mountains brought the night and represented the North
  • White meaning: When the white mountains rose it was day and represented the East

Meaning of Colors Chart - Meanings of Face and War Paint Colors
Every picture of a Native American Indian has a mysterious and secret meaning. The above picture of the Iowa Warrior is a point in case. The paint and symbols on his face had meaning and so did his choice of colors. What was the significance and meaning of colors used by Native Americans? There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common Meaning of Colors of the paint they used. The following Meaning of colors chart provides generalized details of each paint color, its significance and its symbolism.

Meaning of Colors Chart -  Meanings of Face and War Paint Colors

ColorMeaning of Colors
of Face Paint
Meaning of Colors
of War Paint
BlackVictory and SuccessPower, Aggression & Strength
RedFaith, Beauty and HappinessWar, Blood, Violence & Energy
WhiteSharing, Peace, Purity and LightMourning
Yellow / OrangeIntellect and DeterminationWilling to fight to the Death
GreenNature, Harmony and HealingEndurance and Vision
BlueWisdom and IntuitionConfidence
PurpleA sacred color and symbolised power, mystery and magic
ColorMeaning of Colors
of Face Paint
Meaning of Colors
of War Paint

Color Meanings Chart

Meaning of Colors on Sacred Sticks
The meaning of colors, ornamentation, and painted decorations used to adorn sacred Prayer sticks and Talking Sticks also had special meanings and were chosen for the attributes of the colors and how these might influence the outcome of an important event.

  • Blue symbolized: Intuition, Prayer, Wisdom
  • Black meaning : Clarity, focus, success and victory
  • Red symbolized : Life, Faith and Happiness
  • White meaning : Sharing, Purity, Spirit and Light
  • Yellow symbolized : Knowledge and courage
  • Orange symbolized : Kinship, Intellect and Determination
  • Green meaning : Nature, Harmony and Healing
  • Purple symbolized : Power, mystery and magic
  

Meaning of Colors on Totem Poles
Totem Poles are sculptures carved into large tress by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The making of Totem Poles encompassed wood carving and painting. The meaning of colors on Totem Poles are detailed on the following chart.

Meaning of Colors on Totem Poles

ColorMeaning of Colors
of Face Paint
BlackPower and Strength
RedBlood, war & bravery
WhitePurity, peace, and death
YellowSymbol of the sun symbolizing light and happiness
GreenRepresents Nature - the hills, Colors and mountains
BlueRivers, oceans, lakes & sky - Symbolizes sincerity and happiness
PurpleSymbolizes reverence, and distant mountains
ColorMeaning of Colors
of Face Paint

Meaning of Colors on Totem Poles

Totem Pole

 

 

Meaning of Colors - The Medicine Wheel
The Circle of Life, is often depicted in the Medicine Wheel which contains color meanings and symbolism. The circle and the four equal parts and colors of the medicine wheel represent the lifespan of man and its colors and meanings are as follows:

  • Birth is represented by the color red
  • Growth is represented by the color yellow
  • Maturity is represented by the color black
  • Death is represented by the color white

The colors and symbolism of the Medicine Wheel also represent the four qualities of a balanced life:

  • The Spiritual life is represented by the color red

  • Emotional life is represented by yellow

  • The Physical life is represented by black

  • The Intellect is represented by white

 

Meaning of Colors

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Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
The Meaning of Colors. Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to the History of Native Americans and illustrate many symbols used by American Indians. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes that can be used as a really useful educational history resource for kids and children of all ages. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic of this section - the Meaning of Colors. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with information and many historical facts. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Native Indian Tribes Index - a great educational resource for kids.

 

Meaning of Colors - Meanings and Symbolism of Colors - Teachers - Kids - Meaning of Colors - Native American Symbols - Indian Symbols - Symbolism - Symbolize - Interpretation - American Symbols and Signs - Indian - Meaning - Symbolism - Symbolize - Interpretation - Meanings - Info - Meanings and Symbolism - Information - Kids - Meanings and Symbolism of Colors - Traditions - American Symbols - Meanings and Symbolism - Reference - Tribes - Meanings and Symbolism of Colors - Tribe - Guide - History - Ancient - Meanings of Colors - Written By Linda Alchin