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Should Black Be The Colour Of Mourning?

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In the countries of the world, people have attached black to bad things even the devil. Images and objects are being painted black to depict how devilish the images or objects are.

Mourning is the expression of sorrow for someone’s death and people used to depict this expression by putting on black clothes, black necklce, black shoes e.t.c.

Should black be the colour of mourning tragedy or expressing sympathy for the dead?

Some residents of Nigeria’s Federal capital of Abuja have expressed divergent opinions on this controversy.

Mr Wilfred Nnah, a civil servant, said that people put on black apparel when they are mourning because it is a dark period in their lives.
“Black represents darkness and mourning, it represents a bad situation, a period of sorrow and grief. That is why such clothes are usually discarded when the mourning period is over.

“Even in architecture, you hardly find a building painted with dark colour, meaning that the colour represents evil,’’ he said.

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Victor Omole, an Engineer, told NAN that black is a dull colour and that is the reason it is commonly associated with mourning.

“People don’t appreciate anything black because it usually signifies tragedy. Even the press usually use the acronym, ‘black day,’ when referring to a very tragic situation.

“Black represents darkness and darkness represents mourning, sorrow and gloom,’’ Omole said.

A religious leader, Pastor Timothy Mba of Believers Anchor Chapel, said that in recent times, due to the negativity attached to the colour, churches now encourage white colour during the period of mourning. Mba also said that wearing white colour during mourning is more of a celebration of life especially when the deceased person was quite old.

“White signifies purity and this is more acceptable in the Christian doctrine than black colour.

“Black represents darkness and hopelessness which is unacceptable and since Christianity is a religion of love, light and hope, death should, therefore, be seen as a celebration of the hope of resurrection,’’ Mba said.

Abdulkadir Ibrahim, a Muslim cleric, also told NAN that there is no such thing as putting on black or white apparel during periods of mourning.

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“When a Muslim dies, the person is buried according to Muslim rites, there is no such thing as wearing black or white apparel. What we do is to visit the bereaved and sympathize with him.

“We gather together to console such a person and then leave after a while,’’ Ibrahim said.

However, a septuagenarian and a painter, Mr Godswill Obosi, debunked the misconception about black being synonymous with mourning, arguing that black is not a funeral colour.

He said that in art, black is neither a primary, secondary or tertiary colour adding that it is not even considered as a colour at all.

“Black is a powerful and timeless colour, which appears when you bring any colour to its darkest value (although not possible with oils).
“Black means different things and almost all of them have negative meanings. This is simply because people naturally fear darkness,’’ he said.

He said the idea of associating black with mourning varies from one culture to another, saying black is not associated with mourning in all cultures.

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“It is not even a culture in some parts of the country to mourn the dead in dark clothes. However, due to the influence of religion, people now prefer white clothes,’’ he said.

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