Huanyu Lu Sumarni binti Ismail Khirul Aidil Azlin bin Abd. Rahman


China is steeped in a long history and splendid culture, where minority cultures add brilliance to traditional Chinese culture like bright pearls. For example, the culture of the Yi people showcases the richness of Chinese minority cultures, and at the same time, it is of special significance to traditional culture. From the perspective of the three-color culture (referring to black, red, and yellow) peculiar to the Yi people, this paper will analyze the features of the three-color culture and the colors, and study the unique aesthetic ideas of the three-color culture in the long history to demonstrate the Yi people’s color-favored customs and connotations of traditional culture.
This paper consists of two important parts. First, it describes the traditional color culture of the Yi people and the features of these colors. The Yi people have a long history of the reverence for colors and a deep cultural heritage, which is a product of cultural accumulation. The Yi people have their unique understanding of colors, which comes from their life and nature. The reverence for and the worship of black, red, and yellow also has a long history and reasons. The features of these three colors unique to the Yi people reflect the culture of the Yi people and their emotions, embodying the unique color culture of the Yi people. Second, it studies the aesthetic ideas of the color culture of the Yi people, which is the focus of this paper. It analyzes and studies the aesthetic principles, styles, and ideas of the color culture of the Yi people deeply through centering on their costumes, lacquerware, and unique dance poems. With unique styles, the costumes of the Yi people are varied in colors, mainly using black, red, and yellow. Such use of colors creates a stark contrast, highlighting the characteristics of the Yi ethnic group’s costumes and its ethnic features. The lacquerware of the Yi people is an expression of their unique aesthetic understanding of the use of three colors and the area of colors used. The color rhythms demonstrated with the help of a symmetric and harmonious application of colors is an important feature of the Yi ethnic group’s lacquerware. The dance poem is a unique way to display the three-color culture of the Yi ethnic group. The black, red, and yellow are interpreted through three chapters by using the simplest colors to match the dance, creating a stark contrast that not only demonstrates the unique color culture of the Yi people, but also highlights the characteristics of the Yi people and their aesthetic ideas. Therefore, the research on the Yi ethnic group’s color culture starts from three colors including black, red, and yellow, and explores the history of the culture as well as the characteristics of the Yi people, aiming to help people deepen their understanding of the color culture and the color-favored psychology of the Yi nationality, and the unique aesthetic ideas of this group. And this can further help us identify the special value of the Yi ethnic group’s color culture and promote the spreading of the color culture of ethnic minorities.
In the context of the times, the colors used by ethnic minorities all demonstrate their own ethnic characteristics, and it relates to people’s life and emotions, and nature. Therefore, it can be said that the choice of colors not only reflects one’s aesthetic appreciation but also embodies the desire for life and a recognized culture.


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How to Cite

A Study on the Expression of Three Colors - Black, Red, and Yellow and Related Aesthetic Ideas of the Yi People. (2023). Journal of Namibian Studies : History Politics Culture, 33, 688–703. https://doi.org/10.59670/jns.v33i.532

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