Posted: Sep 20, 2012 9:27 am
by DavidMcC
I found some more detailed information about the Himba's colour vocabulary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba#Color_perception

Color perception
Several researchers studied the Himba color perception.[21] The Himba use four color names: Zuzu stands for dark shades of blue, red, green and purple; Vapa is white and some shades of yellow; Buru is some shades of green and blue; and Dambu is some other shades of green, red and brown. It is thought that this may increase the time it takes for the Himba to distinguish between two colours that fall under the same Herero colour category compared to people whose language separates the colours into two different colour categories. However, this time difference is only noticeable when measured in milliseconds and remains unproven.[22]

"Vapa" is interesting, because the confusion between yellow and white is exactly what you would expect of a tritanope, whose monochromatic neutral corresponds to the trichromat's yellow. Unfortunately, ref 21 also omits to consider actual eye biology.