The Special Meaning behind Colours in African Culture

African fabrics are known for their bright and intricate patterns. Perhaps you have found yourself enjoying their design but were unaware of the meaning behind these colours. This article will explain the true meanings of these colours, as well as what each colour represents so that you can fully understand why these brightly coloured fabrics are so important to African culture.

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Women's african print jumper worn by afro model

The Special Meaning behind Colours in African Culture

1 - Colours of the Flag

The colours of the Pan-African flag are black, green, yellow, and red. These four colours represent the unity of Africa, as well as the different strengths of the continent. The black colour represents the dark past that African people have faced, as well as the strength of the people. The green colour represents the rich and vast land that runs through Africa. The yellow colour represents the bright future that is awaiting Africa and its people. The red colour represents the struggles that Africans face as they fight to end racism and oppression in their countries.

2 - Traditional African Costumes

The meaning behind the colours of the traditional African costumes is linked to the traditional practices of the various tribes.

3 - West African Clothing

In West African clothing, bright colours are used for rituals and traditional events. The red, white, blue, and black colours in the traditional garb of the Yoruba people represent the four rivers of the Earth. The white represents the River Niger, the blue represents the River Senegal, the red represents the River Volta, and the black represents the River Sine-Nell.

4 - Mwangi Clothing

The colours used in Mwangi clothing have many meanings. If a girl is ready to be married, then she will wear a bright red robe. However, if she is ready to be married on a permanent basis, the robe is bright green. A bride will wear a bright brown robe with a small patch of red near the shoulders. This red patch represents the child that she could soon become pregnant with.

5 - Casual Designs

The casual designs of an African fabric tend to have a very bright and vibrant appearance. This is because the bright colours are associated with happiness, as well as riches. However, bright colours are also used to show status and importance through the use of a specific colour. For example, the traditional African cloths that were worn by chiefs were made in a bright yellow colour.

6 - Traditional Spirituality

The traditional spirituality of many African tribes has very specific meanings behind the colours. For instance, in the Xhosa tribe, red represents the blood of the ancestors. Black represents the dark past and the hope for the future. White represents the hope for a new beginning. Bright colours are very popular in Africa, and it is difficult to find dull and boring colours in Africa. This is because these bright colours are associated with the brighter future that awaits Africans.

Add a Splash of Colour to Your Wardrobe

The colours in African fabrics have a very important meaning behind them. Each colour in traditional African fabrics has specific meanings that are linked to a specific tribe. If you are interested in buying African fabric, then you must know that these fabrics are used for more than decoration. Instead, these fabrics are symbols of pride, heritage, and hope.

unsiex african print jacket

If you are looking for an African clothing designer in the UK, shop at Nkiti African Clothing. We are a UK-based clothing designer that specialises in designing casual African wear. Our vision is to create modern, high-quality clothing that pays homage to our rich African ancestry. 

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