The History Behind Egyptian Colors!

Egyptian pyramids, featuring Egyptian colors

Many things can be representative of a nation or country: colors, foods, traditions, costumes, etc. Egypt is one of the oldest nations in the world. Egyptian colors can help you know more about this country. But why colors?! Because colors carry history and meanings. And, those meanings and history can reveal many secrets about one nation.

If you like colors and like to learn more about them, then stay tuned…

Colors are a big part of any culture. They can transfer messages and symbolize meanings. People use colors to present their culture and traditions. All colors exist in all cultures around the world, but some are bolder. Now, since the topic is Egyptian colors, let’s see what colors are/were more common in this area.

Colors In Cultures 

Cultures use colors as their representative. colors can introduce a culture to other people. So, the roles that colors play are clear to everyone. The focus of Egyptian colors is chiefly on hues like blue, red, yellow/golden, green, white, and black. 

What does each color mean in Egyptian culture? 

Egyptian Colors: Blue 

Egyptian colors, blue. ancient Egyptian soldiers painting

Blue is a popular color in this nation. You may have heard about Egyptian blue. But, do you know what it symbolizes?

In Egypt, blue stands for fertility, life, birth, and rebirth. Blue is used in depictions of heaven and water. Ancient Egyptians generally used blue dye as a pigment in paintings. They also used to apply it in the tomb’s decoration, mummies’ coffins, and ceramic painting.  

The color symbolizes protection because people used in infertility amulet to protect women during childbirth. 

Blue color psychology

Now that we know what blue means in Egyptian culture, we can connect it with its color psychology. 

In color psychology

Blue calls to mind feelings of serenity, calmness, and peace. It also stands for security and tranquility. Maybe that’s the reason for blue as a symbol of protection!!

Egyptian Colors: Red

Egyptian colors, red. red color in ancient Egyptian painting.

Again, the red color symbolizes life. It stands for both good and bad things. Red connoted energy and vitality, and also evil, bad spirits, and destruction. It was the color of life and protection (because it was the color of blood). However, blood was a sign of life; there was fire (a life-supporting power). 

Regarding death, red was the opposite of green and black. Egyptians painted themselves in red because they associated it with life, health, and victory. They would do it during special celebrations using red ochre.

Red color psychology

Red symbolizes danger, energy, and excitement. Its meanings cover a wide range such as life, war, vigor, courage, and even love. That’s why a red heart is maybe the most significant sign of love. Last but not least, it has a connection to passion. 

Egyptian Colors: Yellow 

Egyptian colors, yellow (golden). golden color Egyptian pharaohs

Yellow is the color of the sun. As a result, it represents the sun itself and eternity. Egyptian people painted their gods in gold. It represented strength and balance. Yellow was the color of women’s skin; the same as people who lived in the Mediterranean region. It’s the color of gold and shows perfection. Consequently, it was the color for their gods. They painted the body of the Gods and idols in yellow/golden to show their perfection.

Yellow color psychology

The yellow color is usually associated with wisdom, intelligence, and logic. It also links with cheerfulness, happiness, optimism, and positivity. The yellow color shows hope, desire for knowledge, and enthusiasm. 

Egyptian Colors: Green

Egyptian colors, green. green color in ancient Egyptian painting

In this culture, green is the color of the dying and reviving god Osiris. It’s also the color of the Eye of Horus. It’s one of the most sacred myths in Egyptian mythology. Ancient Egyptians believed that The Eye of Horus had healing and protective powers. Consequently, green was the color of healing too. The color also symbolized well-being. 

In Egyptian art, green represented new life and vegetation. Green also stood for rebirth. An Osiris was portrayed in green. 

Green color psychology 

Green is the color of nature. It represents growth, life, and rebirth. The color brings a sense of renewal and refreshment. Many people associate it with peace and security.

Egyptian Colors: White 

Egyptian colors, white. white color in ancient Egyptian painting

In Egyptian cultures, the white color connoted purity, sacredness, cleanliness, and simplicity. For the same reason, sacred objects, priests’ clothes, and sandals were white. The people illustrated animals in white color to show sacredness. 

Jewelry forms a big part of Egyptian culture. People from different social classes wore heavy pieces of jewelry. They did it to add to their beauty. Many Egyptians dressed in white linen fabrics. 

The myths say that Osiris was the god of death, and he wore the white linen wrapping from a mummy. His crown was white and had long feathers on it. Although he was the god of death, he was shown in white. 

Egyptian Colors: Black 

For the people, the black symbolized fertility, new life, and resurrection. The term for black in the Ancient Egyptian language is Kem. Black is also one of the colors that ancient artists used for tomb paintings. They covered limestone walls of tombs with a plaster layer and then painted scenes on them. 

Ancient Egyptian Makeup

It was also a customary color for their makeup. Galena (kohl)and malachite powder 9green color mineral) were the most common pigments for eye makeup. They used galena (black paint) to shield their eyes from the sun. In addition, the malachite made their eyes look much larger.

Egyptians, the first cosmetic creators!

Egyptian makeup. sample of ancient Egypt makeup.

The ancient Egyptians were mostly famous for their cosmetic creations. The pictographs show Egyptian people (women and men) wearing lipstick and cheek rouge. To create rouge, they mixed fat and red ochre to make a red color paste material; and used it for the makeup. 

If you’re interested in colors, and would like to read more about history of colors in other cultures, here you can find it:

Conclusion 

colors are representatives of many cultures. They signify many things about the people of that culture. Colors also have different usage, and humans use them in many fields. Knowing what each color means and the background of it help to make a connection between the color and the reason it is used. Last but not least, knowing about colors is both fun and educational. 

Make your knowledge colorful. 

Enjoy

Posted by
Negar

Im Negar, and I enjoy communicating in other languages, I also like colors. So I write in colors' language. Let's see how it looks like!

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