Cultural association between directions and colors

2018-05-15 23:18:15

Inspired by this question on history.stackexchange about the etymology of "Belarus" = "White Russia"...

@SigueSigueBen writes in a comment:

There is a tradition of giving naming compass directions after colours in Turkic cultures. The best example is from the perspective of Anatolia, you have the Black Sea to the north, the Red Sea to the south, the White (Mediterranean) Sea to the west (the east is blue, by the way).

And the Wikipedia page for White Croatia writes:

The epithet "white" is related to the use of colors for cardinal directions among Eurasian people. It meant "Western Croats/Croatia", in comparison to lands where they lived before.

(The "lands where they lived before" would be Red Croatia, by the way.) That claim is simply a gloss by Wikipedia user Crovata of the equally unsourced claim previously added by an IP user:

[...] 'white' (cardinal direction north) would be somewhere at the upper Vistula/Slovakian Paradise, while 'black' Croatians w