Natural colors are preferred because of the traditional relationship with mother earth. Colors such as browns, tans, reds, buffs to yellow are very common with today's building facades, because they are a general interpretation of the earth's hues coming onto vertical planes. A very good example is the picture on the left, which is from the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park. The retaining wall introduces two of these characteristics, the natural palette and textures. To achieved the essence of site integration, the designers choose a stone palette that seemed to be in concert with the existing surrounding enclosure, as though a natural extension of the stone cliffs.
The textures are a product of the material. Concrete block, stones, stucco, and wood have natural distinct textures that are thought of as symbolic variations of textures on the surface of the earth. The rivers, canyons, valleys, and mountains are powerful nodes and edges to the Dine'. The immense sizes of these physical elements are thought of as our strengths. So in essence the notion of using a natural material palette to "paint" your building is readily an expression of the connection between the Dine' and mother earth.