Colors

jelo
jelo
kule
kule
laso
laso
loje
loje
pimeja
pimeja
walo
walo

grammar review

The grammar in this lesson is covered in chapter 14 in pu, lesson 13 in Pije, and page 8 in Lentan.

The range of singular colors in toki pona is reduced to red, yellow, blue/green, white/light and black/dark.

Colors work like any other adjective used to modify a noun:

  • mun laso - blue moon
  • kon pimeja - dark cloud
  • ko walo - white powder, snow

They can also be combined with other adjectives, or each other to form other colors or more complicated descriptions:

  • kili jelo loje - orange fruit
  • telo pimeja jaki - filthy dark water
  • len laso loje - purple shirt

kule can also be used effectively with a modifier to describe other colors:

  • kule kasi - grassy green
  • oko pi kule ma - brown eyes

Ask a toki pona speaker how they would say something is two colors, and they will give you some very different solutions depending on when and how they learned toki pona. Here is how I might try to say it in a way that doesn’t offend anyone’s grammar sensitivities:

  • walo en pimeja la, len li kule ni. - lit. black and white, the shirt is these colors.

Having spent the better part of my life studying color, I am tempted to try and write some elaborate color theory lesson here, but I don’t think that would be very pona. Instead I want to point out something that has not been mentioned up until now.

I have tried to design these lessons with simple drawings and clean lines. But this focus on readability comes at the sacrifice of artistic expression. There is a whole world of color and creativity left to explore, and this is something that the sitelen suwi community has pushed way beyond my own personal style. I’m going to give you a couple practice sentences, and then use the rest of this lesson to showcase some of the vibrant sitelen that others have made.

practice sentences

tenpo pimeja la seli suno li weka. mun laso li kama lon. anpa kasi jelo la soweli pimeja li alasa e pipi loje. waso walo li lon kasi suli. oko jelo ona li lukin e waso lili. waso lili li kule ma. oko ona li pini. waso lili o lape pona.

sitelen kule pi jan ante

Most of the following pieces I collected off of the Telegram group, and a few from Discord and Reddit. Artists include: jan Asuta, jan Atuli, Dnq, jan Inkepa, jan Irina, jan Lilia, Morisset, jan Nundrum, Rolivx, Sam, Parcal, jan Saki, Skymandr, and Ysmayel. If I’ve mis-credited you, or didn’t have nimi sina pi toki pona please let me know so I can update this list.