"All rivers,even the most dazzling,those that catch the sun in their course,all rivers go down to the ocean and drown.And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river".
These are the words of "Simone Schwartz-Bart" which come to mind as I sit down to write these brief treatise on the rivers of the world.A parallel can be easily drawn between the life of a human being and that of a river.In our youth we are young and restless and learning alot along the way.Similarly a river from the time it originates high up in the mountains travels at great speeds collecting sand ,soil and silt from their headwaters to their deltas.Colours have also been associated with rivers similar to the emotional ups and downs that a person face during their lifetime.Read on to know more about the shades and colours that have been linked with a few rivers of the world.
The Red River
Legend says that the Brahmaputra washed off the blood-stained Axe of Parashuram and hence it water acquired a tinge of blood ;that is how its name become "Lauhitya" or "Luit" in the derived form.A more down to earth explanation of the red tinge of water especially in the upper reaches may be due to the carrying of reddish soil by the river.
The Yellow River
The epithet "yellow" describes the perennial colour of the muddy water in the lower course of the Hwang Ho river in China, arising from Loess Plateau being carried downstream.One of its older Mongolian names was the "Black River", as it runs clear prior to its entry into the Loess Plateau, but the current name of the river among inner Mongolians is "Queens River".In Mongolia itself, it is simply called the "Yellow River"
The Green River
The Green River in Utah was known to the Shoshone Indians as the Prairie Hen River.The name, in one version or another was later adopted and widely used by the mountain men.Dominguez and Escalanta named the Green the Rio DE San Buenaventura.But the river was known by later Spaniard and Mexican explorers as the Rio Verde, or Green River.This connection with the Spanish led to the Green being known for a time as the Spanish River.By 1825, the name "Green River" was in common use.Accounts vary as to why the river is called the Green.One has it that it is because of the colour of water ;another that it is named after a member of Ashley's original party of mountain men. John C Fremont thought that the name came from the vegetation along the banks. No one account is authoritative on this subject.
The Black River
The Black river is a 201 km long black water river that empties into the eastern end of Lake Ontario on the shore of Jefferson Country,New York in the United States Of America.The origin of the name is not clear ,but it may stem from the natural tannic acid that darkens the water in places.
The Brown River
The Brown River is a short river of New Zea land.It flows Northwest to meet the Poerua River five kilometres southwest of Lake Burnner.
The Orange River
The Orange River,Gariep River,Groote River or Senqu River is the longest river in South Africa.The earliest pre-colonial inhabitants called the river "Gariep" .The river was named the "Orange River" by Colonel Robert Gordon, commander of the Dutch East India Company garrison at Cape Town, on a trip to the interior in 1779.Gordon named in the honour of William V of Orange.A popular but incorrect belief is that the river was named after the supposedly orange colour of its water,as opposed to the colour of its tributary,the Vaal River("vaal" being Afrikaans for pale or grey).Since the end of apartheid, the name of "Gariep" has had greater favour in official correspondence in South Africa, although the name "Orange" has greater International recognition.In Lesotho,where the river rises ,it is known as the "Senqu River".
The River Of Five Colours
The "Cano Cristales" is called the "River Of Five Colours","the river that ran away from paradise." and the most beautiful river in the world.
Usually Cano Cristales is like any other river.However during the short span between the wet and dry seasons,when the water level is just right a unique species of plant that lines the river floor turns a brilliant red.It is offset by splotches of yellow and green sand, blue water and thousand shades in between which turns the river into a vibrant explosion of colours.This only happens for a brief period in between seasons.