__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1


ADINKRA CLOTH SYMBOLS ASANTE WISDOM

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

● THE HISTORY OF ADINKRA CLOTH ● ADINKRA PICTURE GALLERY ● 110 BOLD GRAPHIC ADINKRA SYMBOLS ● PRONUNCIATIONS & MEANINGS Published by

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avmobley ©Aaron Mobley Hartford, Connecticut heartofafrika@ymail.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58.

The History Of Adinkra Cloth The History Of Adinkra Cloth (Continued) Adinkra Picture Gallery 1 Adinkra Picture Gallery 2 Adinkra Picture Gallery 3 Aban - Great Fortress Abode Santann - All Seeing Eye Abusua Pa - Good Family Adinkrahene - King Of Adinkra Symbols Adwo - Peace or Serenity Agyin Dawuru - Agyin’s Gong Akoben - War Horn Akofena - State Swords Akoko Nan - Hen’s Feet Akoma - Heart Akoma Ntoaso - Joined Hearts Akwaaba - Welcome Ananse Ntontan - Spider’s Web Ani Bre A Enso Gya - Red Eyes Can’t Spark Flames Anyi Me Aye A - If You Will Not Praise Me Asaawa - Sweet Berry Asaase Ye Duro - The Earth Has Weight Asetena Pa - Good Living Awurade Baatanfo - God The Mother Aya - Fern Bese Saka - Bunch Of Cola Nuts Boafo Ye Na - Willing Helper Dame Dame - Board Game Donno - Bell Drum Donno Ntoaso - Talking Drum Duafe - Wooden Comb Dwennimmen - Ram’s Horns Eban - Fence Epa - Handcuffs Ese Ne Tekremah - Teeth And Tongue Esono Anantam - Elephant’s Footprint Fafanto - Butterfly Fihankra - Compound House Fofoo Aba - Fofoo Plant Seed Funtummireku Denkyemmireku - Two-Headed Crocodile Gyawu Atiko - War Hero’s Hair Style Gye Nyame - Except God Gye W’Ani - Enjoy Yourself Hwehwemudua - Measuring Rod Hye Wo Nhye - Unburnable Kokuromotie - Thumb Kramo Bone - Bad Mohammedan Kuntunkantan - Inflated Pride Kuronti Ne Akwamu - Power And Balance Kyemfere - Potsherds Mako Nyinaa - All Peppers Mate Masie - I Understand You Mekyia Wo - I Salute You Mframadan - House Built to Withstand Strong Wind Mmara Krado - Seal Of Law Mo No Yo - Congratulations Mpatapo - Reconciliation Knot Mpuankron - Nine Tufts Of Hair

59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116.

Mpuannum - Five Tufts Of Hair Mrammuo - Crossing Paths Musuyidee - Good Fortune Nante Yie - Goodbye Nea Onnim - Quest For Knowledge Nkonsonkonson - Chain Link Nkotimsefo Mpua - Court Attendants Hair Style Nkrabea - Destiny Nkuruma Kesee - Big Okra Nkyimu - Crossing Paths Nkyinkyin - Twistings Nnampo Pa Baanu - Two Good Friends Nokore - Truth Nsaa - Hand Woven Fabric Nsa Ko, Na Nsa Aba - Hand Go, Hand Come Nserewa - Cowry Shells Nsoroma - Star Nya Gyidie - Have Faith Nyame Biribi Wo Soro - God Is With Me Nyame Dua - God’s Alter Nyame Nti - By God’s Grace Nyame Nwu Na Mawu - God Help Me Reach It Nyame Ye Ohene - God Is King Nyansapo - Wisdom Knot Obaatan Awaamu - Warm Embrace Of Mother Obi Nka Bi - Bite Not Each Other Obohemmaa - Diamond Odenkyem - Crocodile Odo Nyera Fie Kwan - Love Guides You Home Ohene Adwa - King’s Stool Ohene Aniwa - King’s Eyes Ohene Kra Konmunde - Royal Soul Pendant Ohene Kye - King’s Crown Ohene Kyiniie - King’s Umbrella Ohene Papa - Good King Okodee Mmowere - Eagal’s Talon Osiadan Nyame - God The Builder Osram Ne Nsoroma - Moon And Star Otumfuo Wuo Ye Ya - The King Is Gone Owia A Repue - Rising Sun Owo Foro Adobe - Snake Climbing Palm Owuo Atwedee - Ladder Of Death Pagya - Strikes Fire Pempamsie - Prepared For Action Sankofa - Learn From The Past Sepo - Executioner’s Knife Sesa Woruban - I Transform My Life Som Onyankopon - Worship God Sunsum - Soul Tabono - Oars Tamfo Bebre - Jealous Enemy Ti Koro Nko Agyina - One Head Is Not A Council Tumi Te Se Kusua - Power Is Like An Egg Tuo Ne Akofena - Gun And State Sword Wawa Aba - Wawa Tree Seed Wo Nsa Da Mu A - If Your Hands Are In The Dish Yebehyia Bio - We Shall Meet Again References / About The Author


THE HISTORY OF ADINKRA CLOTH (Continued)

T

he stamps are carved from apakyiwa (calabash) a dried, gourd-like fruit attached to handles made of bamboo strips. Adinkra artists often carve their own stamps; but they also commission stamps from carvers known for their expertise. Well established Adinkra artists may have hundreds of stamps, which they often lend to less experienced artists. About one hundred stamps - some designs two hundred years old - are still in regular use today. Adinkra clothes, worn for serious occasions and at funerals, are essential to Asante mourning rituals. Adinkra cloth reflects truths shared in life and death. The Asante wear Adinkra clothes of different colors for specific periods during funerals. The mourning process, which can take up to a year, is followed by annual ceremonies that commemorates the departed. These stamped clothes, traditionally worn in red russet, dark brown, or blue-black, express the grief of the bereaved; but such cloths are now used for many different occasions. Clothes for men are six yards long; those for women are four yards.

C

lothes worn by the king and other royalty are much larger than those worn by the general public. The artists that create Adinkra cloth for royalty live and work in Awokwa, a suburb of Kumase. Royal clothes have been created here for centuries. The abanesehene, the man responsible for the selection and care of the king’s clothing, determines the stamp or combination of stamps that are appropriate for a specific occasion. He selects the unstamped cloth as well. In the past, artists used a heavy woven fabric from northern Ghana for Adinkra cloth. Today the traditional cloth colors have been expanded to include blue, lavender, yellow, and turquoise, more likely to be worn for special occasions than for funerals. Adinkra designs serve two purposes: they convey a message when scene on clothing and enhance the beauty of the cloth. There are hundreds of Adinkra designs, many more than are represented here. Today Adinkra cloth is not only used by the Asante alone but all peoples in Ghana. The symbols are not only used in ceremonial cloth; but are also used in architecture, sculpture, ceramics, and other artistic designs.

Obi Nka Bi

Musuyidee

“Bite not each other, avoid conflicts” Symbol of harmony, peace, forgiveness, and unity.

“Good fortune or sanctity” Symbol of good luck and spiritual strength.

(moo-shoo-yee-deh)

(oh-bee en-kah bee)

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Wearing “Obi Nka Bi” and “Musuyidee” Adinkra Symbols.

2


ADINKRA PICTURE GALLERY 1

Creating Nkyimu Pattern

Asantehene Wearing Adinkra Cloth

Stamping Dwennimmen Pattern

Man Wearing Adinkra Cloth

Adinkra Print Textile

Stamps and Nsensan Dua

Adinkra Embroidery Pattern

Creating Mframadan Pattern

Owuo Atwedee Stamp

Ohene Wearing Adinkra Print

3


ADINKRA PICTURE GALLERY 2

Sankofa Stamp

Funtummireku-Denkyemmireku Stamp

Gye Nyame Stamp

Ani Bere A Enso Gya Stamp

Ese Ne Tekrema Stamp

Fofoo Aba Stamp

Hye Wo Nhye Stamp

Nkotimsefo Stamp

Musuyidee Stamp

Dwennimmen Stamp

Sunsum Stamp

Dame Dame Stamp

4


ADINKRA PICTURE GALLERY 3

Adinkra Clothes of Various Colors

5


Aban (ah-bahn)

“Great Fortress” Symbol of the seat of political power, state authority, and prosperity. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 6


Abode Santann (ah-boh-deh sahn-tahn)

“The all seeing eye of the Divine Creator” Symbol of the totality of the universe. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 7


Abusua Pa “Good Family” Symbol of family unity, kinship ties, clan loyalty, and family support. (ah-boo-shoo-ah pah)

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 8


Adinkrahene (ah-deen-krah-hay-nay)

“King of the Adinkra Symbols” Symbol of authority, greatness, prudence, firmness, and magnanimity. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 9


Adwo “Peace or Serenity” Symbol of peace, serenity, continuity, and spiritual coolness. (ah-dwoh)

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 10


Agyin Dawuru (ah-jeen dah-woo-roo)

“Agyin’s Gong” Symbol of alertness, faithfulness, dutifulness, and loyal service.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 11


Akoben (ah-koh-bin)

“War Horn” Symbol of a call to collective action, military readiness, and valor.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 12


Akofena (ah-koh-fay-nah)

“State Ceremonial Swords” Symbol of State authority, legitimacy, legality, and heroic deeds. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 13


Akoko Nan (ah-koh-koh nahn)

“Hen’s Feet” Symbol of parental protection and discipline tempered with love.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 14


Akoma (ah-koh-mah)

“The Heart” Symbol of love, patience, tolerance, and goodwill. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 15


Akoma Ntoaso (ah-koh-mah en-toh-ah-soh)

“Joined Hearts” Symbol of agreement, togetherness, and unity in thought and in deed. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 16


Akwaaba (ah-kwah-ah-bah)

“Welcome” Symbol of hospitality, greeting, and reception.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 17


Ananse Ntontan (ah-nahn-say en-tohn-tahn)

“The Spider’s Web” Symbol of wisdom, craftiness, creativity, and the complexities of life. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 18


Ani Bre A Enso Gya (ah-nee breh ah en-soh jah)

“Red eyes can’t spark flames” Symbol of patience, self-control, and discipline.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 19


Anyi Me Aya A (ahn-yee may ah-yah ah)

“If you will not praise me” Symbol of warning against ingratitude and devaluation of one’s name.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 20


Asaawa (ah-sah-ah-wah)

“Sweet Berry” Symbol of sweetness, sweet taste, pleasure, and hedonism. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 21


Asaase Ye Duro (ah-sah-ah-say yeh doo-roh)

“The Earth has Weight” Symbol of the divinity and providence of Mother Earth. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 22


Asetena Pa (ah-say-tay-nah pah)

“Good living” Makes one forget their humble beginnings. Symbol of prosperity, wealth, conspicuous spending, and upper social class. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 23


Awurade Baatanfo (ah-woo-rah-day bah-ah-tahn-foh)

“God the Mother” Symbol of the nurturing spirit and female attributes of the Devine Creator. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 24


Aya (ah-yah)

“Fern” I am not afraid of you, I am independent of you. Symbol of defiance. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 25


Bese Saka (bay-say sah-kah)

“Bunch of Kola Nuts” Symbol of affluence, power, abundance, togetherness, and unity. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 26


Boafo Ye Na (boh-ah-foh yeh nah)

“The rarity of a willing helper” Symbol of patronage, cooperation, and teamwork. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 27


Dame Dame (dah-may dah-may)

“Board Game” Symbol of strategy, intelligence, and craftiness. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 28


Donno (Dohn-noh)

“Bell Drum” Symbol of adoration, cajolery, praise, and rhythm. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 29


Donno Ntoaso (dohn-noh en-toh-ah-soh)

“Talking Drum” Symbol of poetic eloquence, praise, goodwill, and wisdom.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 30


Duafe (doo-ah-feh)

“Wooden Comb” Symbol of good feminine qualities, patience, prudence, love, and care.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 31


Dwennimmen (djwin-neem-mahn)

“Ram’s Horns” The ram may bully, not with its horns; but with its heart. Symbol of strength and humility.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 32


Eban (eh-bahn)

“Fence” Symbol of safety, security, protection, and love. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 33


Epa (eh-pah)

“Handcuffs” Symbol of bondage, state power, law and order, and a reminder of the ills of slavery.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 34


Ese Ne Tekrema (eh-seh nay teh-kreh-mah)

“Teeth and Tongue” Symbol of interdependence, cooperation, unity, growth, development, and improvement. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 35


Esono Anantam (eh-soh-noh ah-nahn-tahm)

“Elephant’s Footprint” Symbol of leadership, protection, power, and security. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 36


Fafanto (Fah-fahn-toh)

“Butterfly” Symbol of tenderness, gentleness, fragility, and honesty. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 37


Fihankra (fee-haun-krah)

“Compound House” Symbol of safety, security, solidarity, and brotherhood. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 38


Fofoo Aba (foh-foo ah-bah)

“Fofoo Plant Seed” Symbol of warning against jealousy and covetousness. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 39


Funtummireku-Denkyemmireku (foon-toom-mee-reh-koo din-chim-mee-reh-koo)

“Two-Headed Crocodile” Sharing a common stomach. Symbol of unity, cultural diversity, democracy, and the oneness of the human family. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 40


Gyawu Atiko (jah-woo ah-tee-koh)

“Hair Style of Gyawu” Symbol of the war hero, bravery, fearlessness, and valor. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 41


Gye Nyame (jeh nyah-may)

“Except God, I fear none” Symbol of the omnipotence of God.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 42


Gye W’Ani (jeh wah ah-nee)

“Enjoy Yourself” Symbol of the joy of living, rejoicing, happiness, and merriment.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 43


Hwehwemudua (scheweb-scheweb-moo-doo-ah)

“Measuring Rod” Symbol of excellence, perfection, refinement, and superior quality.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 44


Hye Wo Nhye (shee woh en-shee)

“Unburnable” Symbol of permanence, toughness, imperishability, and endurance.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 45


Kokuromotie (koh-koo-roh-moh-tee-uh)

“Thumb” Symbol of cooperation, participation, teamwork, indispensability, and harmony. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 46


Kramo Bone (krah-moh boh-neh)

“Bad Mohammedan” Makes it difficult for a good one to be recognized. Symbol of a warning against deception and hypocrisy. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 47


Kuntunkantan (koon-toon-kahn-tahn)

“Inflated Pride” Do not boast or brag. Symbol of warning against pride and arrogance.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 48


Kuronti Ne Akwamu (koo-rohn-tee nay ah-kwah-moo)

“The two complementary branches of the State” Symbol of democracy and balance of power. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 49


Kyemfere ” (chim-fay-reh)

“Potsherds” Symbol depicts the belief that experience and wisdom come with age.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 50


Mako Nyinaa ” (mah-koh en-yee-nah-ah)

“All Peppers” Do not ripen at the same time. Symbol of unequal opportunity and uneven developement.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 51


Mate Masie (mah-teh mah-see-yeh)

“I have heard what you have said” Symbol of wisdom, knowledge, prudence, and thoughtfulness.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 52


Mekyia Wo (meh-chee-ah woh)

“I Salute You” Symbol of greeting, recognition, and respect. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 53


Mframadan (em-frahm-ah-dahn)

“A house built to withstand strong wind” Symbol of fortitude, security, family unity, and spiritual protection. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 54


Mmara Krado (em-mah-rah krah-doh)

“Seal of Law” Symbol of authority, legality, and power of the court.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 55


Mo No Yo (moh noh yoh)

“Congratulations” Symbol of praise, reward, honor, and reception. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 56


Mpatapo (em-pah-tah-poh)

“Reconciliation Knot” Symbol of reconciliation, pacification, peace, and harmony.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 57


Mpuankron (em-poo-ahn-krohn)

“Nine Tufts of Hair” From the Council of Elders. Symbol of participatory democracy, warning against dictatorial rule, and plurality of ideas.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 58


Mpuannum (em-poo-ahn-noom)

“Five Tufts of Hair” From the King’s Attendants. Symbol of spiritual loyalty, priestly office, and adroitness.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 59


Mrammuo (em-rahm-moo-oh)

“Crossing Paths” Symbol of the realities of life; its challenges and its balances.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 60


Musuyidee “Good Fortune or Sanctity” Symbol of good luck and spiritual strength. (moo-shoo-yee-deh)

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 61


Nante Yie (nahn-tay yee-uh)

“Goodbye” Symbol of farewell, or parting greeting, godspeed, and safe journey.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 62


Nea Onnim (nay-ah ohn-neem)

“One person cannot know all things” Symbol of the quest for knowledge and the pursuit of life-long learning.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 63


Nkonsonkonson (corn-song-corn-song)

“Chain Link” People are linked in life and death. Symbol of unity and brotherhood.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 64


Nkotimsefo Mpua (en-koh-teem-seh-foh em-poo-ah)

“Hair style of court attendants” Symbol of service and loyalty.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 65


Nkrabea (en-krah-beh-ah)

“Destiny” Symbol of fate, and preordained lot or condition in life.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 66


Nkuruma Kesee (en-koo-roo-mah keh-seh)

“Big Okra” Symbol of superiority, greatness, and supremacy. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 67


Nkyimu (en-chee-moo)

“Crossed Divisions” Made on cloth before its printing. Symbol of precision and adroitness.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 68


Nkyinkyin (en-cheen-cheen)

“Twistings” Symbol of toughness and the ability to withstand hardship.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 69


Nnampo Pa Baanu (en-nahm-poh pah bah-ah-noo)

“Two Good Friends” Symbol of friendship, fellowship, and comradeship.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 70


Nokore (noh-koh-reh)

“Truth” Does not hide. Symbol of veracity, authenticity, and validity. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 71


Nsaa (en-sah-ah)

“A type of hand-woven fabric” Symbol of excellence, genuineness, and authenticity.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 72


Nsa Ko, Na Nsa Aba (en-sah koh, nah en-sah ah-bah)

“Hand Go, Hand Come” Symbol of cooperative action and concerted action. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 73


Nserewa (en-seh-reh-wah)

“Cowry Shells” Symbol of wealth, affluence, currency, power, and spirituality.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 74


Nsoroma (en-soh-roh-mah)

“Star” A child of the heavens. Symbol of patronage and loyalty to the supreme being.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 75


Nya Gyidie (en-yah jee-dee-uh)

“Have Faith” Symbol of faith, assurance, and belief. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 76


Nyame Biribi Wo Soro (en-yah-may bee-ree-bee woh soh-roh)

“God, there is something in the heavens, let me reach it” Symbol of faith hope and aspirations. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 77


Nyame Dua (en-yah-may doo-ah)

“God’s Alter” Symbol of the presence of God and God’s protection.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 78


Nyame Nti (en-yah-may en-tee)

“By God’s Grace” Symbol of the trust and blessing of God the Creator.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 79


Nyame Nwu Na Mawu (en-yah-may en-woo nah mah-woo)

“I live not when God is not” Symbol of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, and the perpetual guiding spirit of our ancestors.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 80


Nyame Ye Ohene (en-yah-may yeh oh-hay-nay)

“God is King” Symbol of the majesty, supremacy, and preeminence of God the Creator. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 81


Nyansapo (en-yahn-sah-poh)

“Wisdom Knot” Only the wise leaders know how to unravel it. Symbol of wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence, and patience.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 82


Obaatan Awaamu (oh-bah-ah-tahn ah-wah-ah-moo)

“The warm embrace of a mother” Symbol of maternal love and motherhood.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 83


Obi Nka Bi (oh-bee en-kah bee)

“Bite not each other, avoid conflicts” Symbol of harmony, peace, forgiveness, and unity.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 84


Obohemmaa (oh-bow-hem-mah-ah)

“Diamond” Symbol of preciousness, gem, and treasure.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 85


Odenkyem ” (oh-din-chim)

“Crocodile” Symbol of adaptability, propriety, prudence, and practical wisdom. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 86


Odo Nyera Fie Kwan (oh-doh en-yeh-rah feh-kwahn)

“Love never loses its way home” Symbol of love, devotion, and faithfulness.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 87


Ohene Adwa (oh-hay-nay ah-dwah)

“King’s Stool” Symbol of the State, royal authority, and political power.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 88


Ohene Aniwa (oh-hay-nay ah-nee-wah)

“King’s Eye” The King has lots of eyes and nothing is hidden from him. Symbol of royal vigilance.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 89


Ohene Kra Konmunde (oh-hay-nay krah kohn-moon-deh)

“Royal Soul Pendant” Symbol of God, ancestral spirit, royal leadership, and the people.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 90


Ohene Kye (oh-hay-nay chi)

“King’s Crown” Symbol of royal authority, state power, and supremacy.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 91


Ohene Kyiniie (oh-hay-nay chee-nee-uh)

“King’s Umbrella” Symbol of power, protection, and security.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 92


Ohene Papa (oh-hay-nay pah-pah)

“Good King” Symbol of exemplary leadership and a peaceful reign.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 93


Okodee Mmowere (oh-koh-dee em-moh-way-reh)

“Eagle’s Talon” Symbol of strength, bravery, and power.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 94


Osiadan Nyame (oh-see-ah-dahn en-yah-may)

“God the Builder” Symbol of God the Builder and Creator of the World.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 95


Osram Ne Nsoroma (oh-srahm nay en-soh-roh-mah)

“Moon and Star” Symbol of love, faithfulness, loyalty, harmony, benevolence, and femininity.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 96


Otumfuo Wuo Ye Ya (oh-toom-foo-oh woo-oh yeh yah)

“The Most Powerful is Gone” Symbol carved to commemorate the passing away of King Otumfuo Opoku Ware ll.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 97


Owia A Repue (oh-wee-ah ah ray-poo-yeh)

“Rising Sun” Symbol of progress, renewal, developement, warmth, vitality, and energy. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 98


Owo Foro Adobe (oh-woh foh-roh ah-doh-beh)

“Snake climbing the raffia palm” Symbol of ingenuity, cleverness, and persistence. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 99


Owuo Atwedee ” “Ladder of Death” Will be climbed by all. Symbol of mortality and the inevitable consequence of life. (oh-woo-oh ah-tweh-deh)

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 100


Pagya (pah-jah)

“Strikes Fire” To strike with flint or make fire. Symbol of bravery, defence, gunners, and power. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 101


Pempamsie (pehm-pahm-see-yeh)

“Prepared for Action” Symbol of readiness, steadfastness, valor, and fearlessness.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 102


Sankofa (sang-koh-fah)

“Go back to fetch it” Symbol of the wisdom of learning from the past to build for the future. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 103


Sepo (say-poh)

“Executioner’s Knife” Symbol of justice, the law, punisment, and immunity of the office of justice.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 104


Sesa Woruban (say-sah woh-roo-bahn)

“I change or transform my life” Symbol of life transformation, renewal, and rebirth. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 105


Som Onyankopon (sohm oh-en-yahn-koh-pohn)

“Worship God” Symbol of worship and devotion to God the Almighty.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 106


Sunsum (soon-soom)

“Soul” Symbol of purity, spirituality, and sanctity of the soul.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 107


Tabono (tah-boh-noh)

“Oars” Symbol of confidence, industriousness, determination, and persistence.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 108


Tamfo Bebre (tahm-foh beh-breh)

“Jealous Enemy” The enemy will stew in his own juice. Symbol of jealousy, envy, and insecurity. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 109


Ti Koro Nko Agyina (tee koh-roh en-koh ah-jee-nah)

“One head does not constitute a council” Symbol of democracy. power sharing, consultation, and discussion.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 110


Tumi Te Se Kosua (too-mee tay say koh-shoo-ah)

“Power is like an egg” Symbol of the fragility of political power, democracy, and the use of restraint. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 111


Tuo Ne Akofena (too-oh nay ah-koh-fay-nah)

“Gun and State Sword” Symbol of power, responsibility, authority, legitimacy, national security, protection, and military prowess. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 112


Wawa Aba (wah-wah ah-bah)

“Wawa Tree Seed” Symbol of perseverance, persistence, endurance, and hardiness. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 113


Wo Nsa Da Mu A (woh en-sah da moo ah)

“If your hands are in the dish” Symbol of participatory government, democracy, and pluralism.

Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 114


Yebehyia Bio (yeh-bay-shee-ah bee-oh)

“We Shall Meet Again” Symbol of farewell or parting greeting expressed towards family, friends, and loved ones. Adinkra Cloth Symbol • Akan People • Ghana and the Ivory Coast • West Africa 115


References

Dr. George F. Kojo Arthur and Robert Rowe Marshall University, Huntington, WV Akan Cultural Symbols Project http://www.cfiks.org/akanart/akanartproject.htm Dr. George F. Kojo Arthur Cloth As Metaphor Legon, Ghana Published by CEFIKS, Inc. 2001 Duncan Clarke and Kemi Clarke Adire African Textiles http://www.adireafricantextiles.com/adinkraintroduction.htm Published by Duncan Clarke 2004 Jean MacDonald West African Wisdom: Adinkra Symbols & Meanings Portland, OR http://www.welltempered.net/adinkra/htmls/adinkra/akon.htm Published by Well-Tempered Web Design 2001-2004 Dr. Kwaku Ofori-Ansa, Howard University, Washington, DC Meanings of Symbols in Adinkra Cloth (Wall Chart) Hyttsville, MD Published by Sankofa Edu-Cultural Publications 1999 Claire Polakoff Into Indigo, African Textiles and Dyeing Techniques Garden City, NY Published by Anchor Books 1980 Christine Price Made in West Africa New York, NY Published by E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. 1975 W. Bruce Willis The Adinkra Dictionary A Visual Primer on The Language of Adinkra Washington, DC Published by The Pyramid Complex 1998 http://www.amazon.com/Adinkra-dictionary-visual-primer-language/dp/0966153200/ref=pd_sim_dbs_m_22

About The Author

Aaron Mobley received his BS Degree in Art Education from Central Connecticut State University. He presently is a visual artist http://www.flickr.com/photos/avmobley who teaches Fine Arts, Computer Graphics, and African Culture at the Artists Collective, Inc., located in Hartford, Connecticut.. http://www.artistscollective.org Adinkra Cloth Symbols Chart: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3035/2927423965_18e4e0bb0b_o.jpg

116

Profile for Aaron Mobley

Adinkra Cloth Symbols - Asante Wisdom  

Adinkra Cloth Symbols - Asante Wisdom 110 Adinkra cloth symbols with a brief history of the Adinkra Cloth and an image gallery of Adinkra cl...

Adinkra Cloth Symbols - Asante Wisdom  

Adinkra Cloth Symbols - Asante Wisdom 110 Adinkra cloth symbols with a brief history of the Adinkra Cloth and an image gallery of Adinkra cl...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded