• Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrew
words for blood and red have the same
origin: "dm" means red and "dom" means
blood. Blood and fire have both positive and
negative connotations: bloodshed,
aggression, war, and hate are on one side,
and love, warmth and compassion on the
• In ancient Egypt, red was the color of life and
of victory. During celebrations, Egyptians
would paint their bodies with red ochre. The
normal skin tone of Egyptian men was
depicted as red, without any negative
• Ancient Greeks associated the bright,
luminous red with the male principle. Red
was also the color of the Greek gods of war,
Phoebus and Ares. In prehistoric cultures,
however, red was associated with the female
principle. Mother Earth provided the
Neolithic peoples with red ochre, which was
credited with life-giving powers. The
association of the red color with the female
principle in Japan survives to the present day.
• The color black represents opposing
ideas: authority and humility, rebellion
and conformity, and wealth and poverty.
Black also signifies absence, modernity,
power, elegance, professionalism,
mystery, evil, traditionalism, and sorrow.
• Black also implies submission. Priests
wear black to signify submission to God.
• In Western countries, black is the color of
mourning, while in many African
countries white is the color worn during
• In Japanese culture, black means
experience, as opposed to white, which
symbolizes naiveté. Thus the black belt is
a mark of achievement and seniority in
many martial arts, whereas a white belt is
worn by beginners.