Red• Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrewwords for blood and red have the sameorigin: "dm" means red and "dom" meansblood. Blood and fire have both positive andnegative connotations: bloodshed,aggression, war, and hate are on one side,and love, warmth and compassion on theother side.• In ancient Egypt, red was the color of life andof victory. During celebrations, Egyptianswould paint their bodies with red ochre. Thenormal skin tone of Egyptian men wasdepicted as red, without any negativeconnotation.• Ancient Greeks associated the bright,luminous red with the male principle. Redwas also the color of the Greek gods of war,Phoebus and Ares. In prehistoric cultures,however, red was associated with the femaleprinciple. Mother Earth provided theNeolithic peoples with red ochre, which wascredited with life-giving powers. Theassociation of the red color with the femaleprinciple in Japan survives to the present day.
Black• The color black represents opposingideas: authority and humility, rebellionand conformity, and wealth and poverty.Black also signifies absence, modernity,power, elegance, professionalism,mystery, evil, traditionalism, and sorrow.• Black also implies submission. Priestswear black to signify submission to God.• In Western countries, black is the color ofmourning, while in many Africancountries white is the color worn duringfunerals.• In Japanese culture, black meansexperience, as opposed to white, whichsymbolizes naiveté. Thus the black belt isa mark of achievement and seniority inmany martial arts, whereas a white belt isworn by beginners.