Friday, September 12, 2008

Black Around The World

The last color in our series about Color Around The World is Black.

The series comes courtesy of Ann Hurley, Woman of Wear-Dated and Ultron carpet fiber color expert, who lives and breathes color and product trends.

Ann says...

Interestingly, black has had very similar meanings throughout history and across different cultural boundaries.

Black is actually the absence of light or the absence of the transmission of light. Black is the color of night – Death and mourning have long been associated with black in multiple cultures and in most, it’s associated with the mysterious and the unknown.

Black has been a classic fashion color since the 1500s, associated with sophisticated and classic attire, as well as the attire worn by those with positions of authority! Judges, priests, designers and the formally dressed (robes and tuxedos) have worn black for centuries.

Black ink originated around 2500BC in both China and Egypt. It was made from the carbon residue of burnt twigs mixed with water and a gum like substance extracted from trees similar to our pine trees.

In Japanese culture, kuro (black) is a symbol of nobility, age, and experience, in contrast to shiro (white), which symbolizes serfdom, youth, and innocence. The highest rank of many martial arts is the Black Belt – symbolic of true achievement, understanding and wisdom - a blending of oneself, and the universe.

M 1 KAB originally uploaded by kcm76.
In the United Kingdom, “black cabs” are recognizable the world over. Today they are more colorful with brand advertising, but are still considered a British tradition.

The traditional Venetian rowing boat, gondola, was for centuries the chief means of transportation within Venice and still have a role today, serving as tragh├Ętti [pronounced like spaghetti] or ferries.

A moral law of Venice required that gondolas be painted black to eliminate class differences - they are customarily still painted black today.

The symbol (Yin-Yang) represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how the forces of nature work together. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of both energies.

Good Luck originally uploaded by xrrr.
Jet Black jewelry fashioned from fossilized wood was popular during Victorian times and worn during a time of mourning.

A black cat crossing your path is considered bad luck in many cultures. In what country is it considered good luck to spot a black cat?


For previous posts in this series, see:
+ Green Around The World
+ Red Around The World
+ White Around The World
+ Blue Around The World
+ Yellow Around The World

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