There are 12 basic colors and six additional in Kala, as seen in the chart above. The terms akai, elila, and aoya do not fit with the traditional CVCV pattern of headwords and are therefore not as common as their slightly variant alternatives ketla, nyeli, and nila, however, they remain distinct. In Kala, the suffix –kai can be used to describe something that is usually red, i.e. hyotakai (red juice) is analogous with pantohyo (tomato juice). It can also be used to form names, such as tlihyakai (Redbeard).

In order to distinguish shades of color, the augmentative and diminutive suffixes are used.

ketlaha – dark red (red.AUG)
nilahi – light blue (blue.DIM)

Several color words also refer to nouns.

kuya – foliage; grassy area, etc
kono – stone; rock; boulder
nyahi – snow (rarely ice)


ketla – red
kinya – silver [coins]
kitsa – darkness; lack of light
kono – gray; stone [ash]
kuya – green [foliage]
malo – brown
mono – blonde; fair
nila – blue
nyahi – white [snow]
nyeli – pink; rose
nyome – beige
sahi – color; hue; shade
tsalo – clear; transparent
tsenka – orange [fruit; tree; color]
tlila – purple
akai – red
aoya – deep blue
elila – pink; rose
ola – gold
oya – black
yana – yellow