Colors & Meanings Among Native Americans

Colors & Meanings Among Native Americans

Native Americans use beautiful and distinctive designs and colors in everything from clothing to face paint. Did you know that those colors have specific meanings? They are used symbolically to tell stories visually and they represent a wide range of things from elements in the natural world to personal characteristics and more.


The color red symbolizes both violence and strength. It was typically used for war paint, but when used for face paint it represents happiness and beauty. When painted as a zigzag symbol on the forehead, the red paint indicates a connection to Thunderbird, a legendary bird figure in Native American mythology who creates thunder.


In addition to representing the color’s natural manifestations like the sky, rivers, and water, blue also symbolizes wisdom, sadness, and females. The Hopi even consider blue their most sacred color and use it to honor their gods.


Green is particularly connected with nature, representing earth, summer, hills, mountains, and more. Symbolically, green is meant to indicate harmony and endurance. Green is even thought by many Native Americans to have healing powers.


Many meanings are associated with the color yellow. While it represents sunshine and dawn, it also represents death. When worn on clothing or as face paint, yellow indicates that the wearer is brave and even willing to fight to the death.

If you’re looking to give a gift or decorate your house with items that tell stories through these symbolic color meanings, Kachina House can fulfill your needs! From handcrafted pottery to beautiful jewelry pieces, we offer unique and stunning Native American arts and crafts.



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2 Responses to Colors & Meanings Among Native Americans

  1. I like to learn different cultures and I figured to learn this one because it sound very interesting to know how they lived and how they battled and other native culture stuff.

    • If you are a reader and want to find out about the Native Americans Richard and Kathleen Gear wrote a wonderful series “People of the …” each one is a story about a group of Native Americans pre-contact with Europeans. Lots of history there. Also, there is a writer Craig Childs, he wrote “House of Rain” another wonderful book about how the Natives moved through this world before we interrupted them.

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