yugas and colours

JKirkpatrick jkirk at SPRO.NET
Mon Nov 2 17:09:14 UTC 2009

Allen and all,

Compare the image found here of what we call Bermuda grass 

and the images found here:

The 2d link indicates that there are many types of Cynodon
dactylon, and the Bermuda 
type that we know here is not what the classic texts refer to. 

BTW, my remarks about colors (about which I guess I wasn't being
clear) were
remarks on the basic social color lexicon in Indian culture that
is the varna colors
usually found in many contexts, including the 3 gunas.  So, when
I was referring to the 
conflation of blue, green and black I wasn't referring only to
durva but to the traditional 
usages of color terms (aside from "our" color term lexicon which
is incredibly complex 
and expands regularly).  See Berlin and Kay (cited before) on
this conflation tendency, 
which is fairly widespread across unrelated cultures. They are
still doing research on 
this topic. Another simpler conflation is yellow & green as one
term, as opposed to 
what "we" see as distinct colors. 
See Nicholas J. Allen's article, for ex.: 
1998c	Varnas, colours and functions: expanding Dumézil’s
schema.  Z. für Religionswissenschaft 6: 163-177.


Durva, scientific name Cynodon dactylon, is commonly known in
English-speaking countries as Bermuda grass (although it appears
sometimes other Cynodons are thrown in with it).  It is common
both as a cultivated lawn grass and an escapee and agricultural
weed.  Interestingly, some of the online sources describe it as
"gray-green."  But to judge from the numerous pictures that
appear when one searches "Bermuda grass" on Google Images, the
grayish tinge appears when it is growing in dry circumstances;
the images showing it lush and well watered and fertilized (e.g.
for turf) show it a vigorous and fairly dark green right in the
middle spectrum of what Anglophones would call green, with no
leaning towards the yellow or blue.  I don't see any quite as
dark as in the image Joanna linked to.  But I suspect the Indians
would probably think of its archetypal and typical color as the
one it wears during the monsoon.


>>> JKirkpatrick <jkirk at SPRO.NET> 10/31/2009 9:50:28 PM >>>

Here you can see a photo of durva grass:

It is (by our naming) "green". One of the problems with colors is
that black, blue and green often are conflated in the same term.
Or "dark" might mean green. 
And in some areas green and yellow share the same term.
So here, I'd guess (in terms of the way 'we" perceive color),
dvapara would be green, not "black as durva grass". 

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