Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Color Naming in Nepal


“Namaste” from Kumari, Ambikha, Sharmila and Kopila. Color is connecting us all over the world!

Wendy Moore, an Australian rehab therapist and artist, is working with the non-profit group Summanat Nepal to help women who have experienced domestic violence. Cynthia Tinapple is generously building their website and through PolymerClayDaily we are now linked to this new sisterhood of polymer clay artists in Nepal.

nepalAfter seeing Carol Simmons magnetic board idea and reading about naming colors based on personal responses, Wendy recently sent this email to Cynthia.
“We had a funny day confirming colour recipes and thinking of colour names. Getting the ladies beyond “green”, “red” (and good lord wasn’t that an all-encompassing one!!??) “yellow” etc was tricky but now we have our own version of the Simmons chart with (in Nepali):
green (ocean which none of them have actually seen)
green (parrot)
green (rice paddy)
green (main)
blue (main)
blue (sky)
blue (the colour of the stuff you put into white clothes that is meant to make them white but consistently makes them mauve but continues to be used faithfully by generations of mothers of white uniformed school children-in Nepali “nir”)
red (tikka)
red (brick) etc
Oh it was so fun!”

When I showed this to a good friend she gave me this poem:

Colors  –  My skin is kind of, sort of, brownish, pinkish, yellow-ish, white. My eyes are grayish, blueish-green, but I’m told they look orange at night. My hair is reddish, blondish brown but its silver when its wet. And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.
Thank you to Wendy and Cynthia for sharing this beautiful and inspiring work! They are bringing us all together.


  1. I spent some time in Nepal back in 1985 — what a fascinating country and what I remember most were the warm and friendly people there and all the brilliant colors. Is so good to hear about the work that is being done to help these women.

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