The most common colors used to depict Gede are black and white. These two colors were used in the Kongo to depict the two horizontal sides of the crossroad, a religious symbol. One side of the crossroad represents humanity and is painted in black. The opposing side represents the Ancestors and is painted in white (Flashes of Spirits. Robert Thompson).
Gede usually dresses in black and white to show that he guards the transition from this world to the life hereafter. The importance of these two colors in representing Gede was made popular in the 1950’s by Lumane Casimir who sang about Gede being an attractive man who resembles a senatè when dressed in black, and a depite when dressed in white. In the 1950's, members of Haiti's Parliament dressed in black and white tuxedos to show their high social status. Since they wore black and white regal attire, their tuxedos became associated with Gede, who also carries the royal title of Baron (Bawon Samdi).
Another color associated with Gede is purple. Purple is an intriguing color because it is not widely available in nature as a dye or as a pigment. Moreover, purple is not a pure color. There is no wavelength of light for purple. Our brain generates the color in response to a mixture of red and blue. There is archeological evidence indicating that using indigo derived from various plants, the Nago people of Nigeria made red and blue stains. The chemical processes for producing red and for producing blue differed from each other. We do not know if the indigo derived from plants from the genus indigofera used by the Nago could be combined to produce the color purple. In North Africa, a purple dye was produced from shellfish and from the murex snail.12,000 murex snails were needed to produce 1.4 grams of the dye. Only the wealthy could afford it. The technique for producing this dye seems to have been imported to northern Africa from the Ancient Greeks who called themselves Phoenicians, meaning purple. So expensive was the color purple that it became associated with royalty. The noble class in Europe used it to distinguish themselves from the populace. Influenced by Portugal, the Kongo adopted the noble titles used in Europe. The Kongo adopted the title Baron for the people who implemented the orders for execution given by the King. This title was also used by King Henri Christophe in Haiti. Baron was one of the titles used by his government officials.
The use of the royal title Baron in the Kongo and in Haiti led to its use for Gede. This royal title is used to emphasize that Gede takes his orders from God like the earthly Barons who took their orders from the King. Gede's main colors are black and white to reflect the living and the Ancestors. And as royalty, he also wears the color purple to reflect his status as Baron.