Humanities Information

Better Red than Dead!

Red, perhaps the first color our eyes perceive.

It is said that people suffering from temporary color-blindness for whatever reason start to perceive red before they can discern any other color.

Red simply screams at us, demanding our attention. It may be the force of our collective human history, culture or genetics; we are dangerously attracted to this paradoxical, double-edged color which evokes an avalanche of emotions; Infra-red radiation produces a warm and pleasant healing effect; while the color red triggers aggression and violence. Red is the color of emotional outbursts, shyness, shame and anger all color our faces deep crimson. Red is blood, bravery, valor and courage. Ancient warriors painted their axes and spear-catapults red to endow their weapons with magic powers, a custom still followed by some Australian aborigines of today. Neolithic hunters and Germanic warriors even painted their bodies in the blood of slain animals, while Roman gladiators drank blood of their dying adversaries to take over their strength.

Red painted amulets or red gems, such as rubies or garnets, were used as charms against the evil eye and to bring about invincibility. Red bed-clothes were customary in Germany up to the Middle Ages as protection against "red illnesses", such as fever, rashes or even miscarriages

Yet red is also the symbol of love and fidelity. Greek mythology tells us that red roses, dedicated to the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, were born from Adonis' blood when he was killed by a wild boar on a hunt. Red garlands and red scarves were part of wedding ceremonies in many cultures. Roman brides were wrapped in a fiery red veil, called the flammeum (Latin for flame-colored), supposedly warranting love and fertility. Greek, Albanian and Armenian brides wear red veils even today, and the Russian word for red (krassnyj) and beautiful (krassivyj) are curiously similar.

Red is also the color of lust, arguably the other face of love. Red is stimulating, appetizing and evokes erotic feelings. It is fire and passion; the sign of "fallen" women and the satisfaction of sexual yearnings which can be found in red light districts.

Red; drawing amazing images in our head. Danger, love, fidelity, lust, courage, ecstasy, protection and much more I'm sure. Images which seem contradictory yet are all somehow connected.

A magical color, sometimes red spells danger and sometimes red announces the mating season - perhaps not only in the animal kingdom (has anyone read The Naked Ape, by Desmond Morris?)

Fadwa Qasem
Designer Jewelry

My specialty is chokers. My concept: painting with beads. With semiprecious stones, Venetian style, lamp, & faceted crystals/beads, I create limited edition pieces. After spending much time studying beads & bead history, I discovered that glass beads have an auspicious background just like diamonds, pearls, & semiprecious stones. Inspired by this & by many pleasures in life, I design individual chokers that each have a name, a character, a story.


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