Red is a color of importance in Central Africa. Red, Black and Green are the colors of Black Nationalism. Reds are used in flags and other emblems of various countries and territories in Africa and the Americas to represent Pan-Africanist ideology. The red stripe in the flags is said to represent the blood of humanity and symbolizes the respect that Europeans and Africans have for each other. Focusing on Southern Africa - specially the countries of Zambia and Angola, red represents a much more deeper meaning. For the Ndembu Tribes of Zambia and Angola from Southern Africa, the color signifies ‘victory’ and the women deck up in red to celebrate their triumph in a tribe battle. The men of the losing tribe rub red clay and soil on the bodies of the men of the winning tribe as an act of rewarding them. Covered in red soil and wearing red tribal masks, they go on to celebrate their win with tradition dancing and music.
Their culture sees the color as a symbol of life and health, so sick people are also painted with it. Like most Central African cultures, the Ndembu see red as ambivalent, better than black, but not as good as white.
The color red has played an instrumental role in Hindu customs and beliefs, perhaps the most ceremonious one being in the life of amarried woman. A girl’s arrival into her role as the married woman is symbolized by the almost red henna on her hands and is sealed with the pinch of red powder sindoor on her head. Matrimonial bliss and a promise of togetherness are all sealed by the warmth and binding power of the red drape and red accessories. The bride’s first step into her new home is characterized by the ritual of her having to dip her feet in red water and walk bare feet on the floor of the house to symbolize the beginning of her new role.
The colour red symbolizes life-force, preservation, fire, and sacred things or places. Red is associated with the Buddha Amitabha. Throughout Tibetan culture, red is a marker of sacred areas. This colour is also seen on the garments of the monks. It is believed to be a protective colour, like that of shamanistic wards and is used mostly during their prayer rituals.