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Yoruba colours

Top 3 Yorùbá Colours – (Yoruba Colour naming Challenge)

A thorough discussion on the Yorùbá color scheme requires a very detailed study of notjust chromatics, but also philosophy, religion and culture as well. It is well beyond theintention of this module to fully explain the basis of the traditional Yorùbá color scheme,however, the Yorùbá words for the most basic colors are presented below.It should be noted that the traditional Yorùbá color scheme involves only three colors –black, red and white. Rather than viewing them as finite colors the Yorùbá viewed theseas spectrums on a single continuum that, while distinct, would blend into one another.

Within these three basic “colors” all colors could be classified. For example, a dark bluewould be classified in the “black” category, while orange may be classified in the “red”category.The Yorùbá have since developed names for individual colors, both by borrowing wordsfrom other cultures and using comparison to descript the quality of the color itself.

Some examples may be found below. ² Learning Yorùbá Colors Color

Yorùbá Word

  1. Black – Dúdú
  2. Red – Pupa
  3. White – Funfun
  4. Blue – Búlù (borrowed from English)
  5. Yellow – Yélò (borrowed from English)
  6. Grey – Ó rí bí eérú (comparison to ash)
  7. Green – Dúdú bí ewé (“Black like leaves”)

Note: Sometimes the word “aró” is used for blue, but this actually refers to a blue dye and not the color itself.


Challenge: Kindly think of a New Yoruba word (Not borrowd word) or commonly used word to describe the following list of colours and send it to omooduarere@gmail.com. Chosen colours will be published on Ooduarere.com


Brown –

Yellow – 

Gold  –

Hazel –

Silver -Pink –

Orange –

Turquoise – 

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