Color Symbolism in the Cultures of the North American Indians

Olga Anatolyevna Derzhavina, Alexander Vladimirovich Smirnov, Ekaterina Yuryevna Ivanova, Galina Ivanovna Gribkova and Natalia Nikolaevna Korshunova

The study analyzes the color symbolism in the cultures of the North American Indians. Different tribes preferred the same colors as universal, and this palette includes only six basic colors (white, black, red, yellow, blue and green). The research methods are statistical, semantic and cultural analysis of the use of certain colors in the life of the American Indians, as well as scientific studies of color symbolism, color names and color perception, the frequency of use of colors in clothing and household items of Indians of different tribes. The study allows the authors to conclude that the color in the culture of the Indians has a deeply sacred sense, and despite the universality of the colors for the majority of North American Indians, for different tribes, these colors carry a different meaning, which is still true for modern society. Indians play a primary role in marking the cardinal directions, which is the basis for all subsequent ritual use of these colors. However, despite the same set of colors (white, black, red, yellow, blue and green), there is difference between associations and values which these colors has in various tribes' cultures. The fact is that color perception is largely due to developed beliefs and traditions. The study hypothesizes that the colors' symbolism and sacred sense are mostly caused by culture: as a rule, the choice of color is determined not so much by universal mechanisms of color perception as by local cultural traditions, which included a system of color symbolism of the North American Indians.

Volume 12 | 05-Special Issue

Pages: 1339-1345

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V12SP5/20201893