“Colors, present in everyday life through an infinite harmony of brightness and nuances, influence the mood of human beings, and are the best vehicle for expressing their feelings. Since ancient times, each color gained a specific symbolism present in the social, religious and artistic uses. This symbolism has survived until our days”. That combination of colour-schemes, emblems and cultural characteristics, shape the personality of each nation, and Morocco is a country in which this link and the presence of characteristic colours is specially obvious and attractive.
Colors have always had an eminent position in history; their symbolism can dramatically vary between cultures. Furthermore, colors have a deep psychological dimension as their choice can vividly reflect one’s psyche and personality. Moroccan decorative art is characterized by the prominent use of six colors: White, Black, Blue, Green, Red And Yellow. The symbolism of colors in the Moroccan culture is greatly derived from Islam.
Because Islam does not use images of people or animals in its decoration, colors and symbols and script set the mood. There are colors for all the emotions.
White is the color of Sunni Muslims, which is the principal sect in Morocco. It is the predominant color inside Mosques. White also symbolizes peace, and purity, and is used by Jewish families to paint their houses.
Is associated with wisdom, honor, dignity, and creative thinking; Moroccans wear white clothes in their joyful and sorrowful ceremonies, and in so doing, apply the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed who addresses Muslims saying: “Wear white clothes, ask the living to wear white and shroud the dead in them; they are the best clothes.”.
Black is the color of Shiite Islam. It is the night sky over the desert, and is said to have been a color used by Mohammed.
Tuaregs from the Sahara paint their houses a dark charcoal color. If a family intermarries between tribes, then the house ispainted the two representative colors.
On the other hand, Black is sometimes related to unclean and satanic things; in fact, there are still some Moroccan families that refuse to wear black clothing or use it in furniture and decorating.
Green is associated with nature and fertility. It also symbolizes prosperity, which explains the Moroccan tradition of sewing a green cover for the shrines of saints to seek their blessings. The colors green and gold are the colors of Islam, alluding to the green lushness of Paradise and gold representing spiritual wealth. The glazed tile roofs of Mosques are a rich shade of green.
yellow ( Saffron is a source of yellow) ,symbolizes the wilting of objects as their near end. The color ochre, or brown is the color of walls on the outside of Mosques and Kasbahs, and represents the Earth and dust, from which we physically return. Arabs paint their houses ochre. Saffron is a source of yellow.
Red is associated with exorcising evil spirits . Red, or Rose is the color of Marrakesh, an Imperial city tinted with the natural color of Tabla, a red clay from the Haouz Plains west of the city. This is mixed with water and then spread on buildings. It dries to a salmon pink shade that also glows in the evening. This color suits Marrakesh’s location on a plain with the Atlas Mountains rising dramatically on the horizon. Berbers paint their houses red. It is also the color of the Royal family of Morocco. Poppy petals are used as a natural pigment in dying things red.
Blue, the color of water and the sky, is also the color of the Imperial city of Fes, which is the center for artisanship in Morocco.
Blue is associated with the absolute and the infinite and it also embodies tranquility and peace of mind . Fassi painters are the most sought after in Morocco for finely ornamented ceilings, doors and furniture. 15% of the population of the city is in an artisan trade. Fine fabrics are embroidered, soft leather is tanned and dyed a myriad of colors, and wood is inlaid and painted.