Namkhas (or dö) are functional woven ornaments based the symbology of the 5 elements that constitute life. I make different kinds of namkha according to two ways the five elements are classified:
One classification (the Jyungtsi system) represents the following 5 elements signified by the colours
yellow – Earth, red – Fire, green – Wood, blue – Water, white – Metal.
This system comes from the explanation of Manjushri, from ancient systems of both Tibet and China, and is used in the practice of creating a Harmonizing Namkha by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche based on Tibetan Astrology calculations, though in the authentication ritual practice the two systems are brought together.
Another classification (the Kartsi system) comes from ancient Buddhist scriptures like the Kalachakra Tantra and others, and it also exists in the Bön tradition (though Bönpos do use the other classification, too). Here, the element Space is the basic condition for the arising of the 4 elements, while being considered an element in itself. (The word Namkha itself means “space”) It replaces the Metal from the other classification, which here is considered a rough, unyielding quality of the Earth element. The colours relating to the elements are:
yellow – Earth, red – Fire, green – Wind, white – Water, blue – Space.
Note: The name “Namkhai Norbu” means the Jewel of the Space)
Source: Namhka book by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and a Facebook link
Learn more> What is Namkha?