Adinkra symbols Page #6

This page lists all the various symbols in the Adinkra symbols category.

Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa, that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising. They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. Adinkra symbols appear on some traditional akan gold weights. The symbols are also carved on stools for domestic and ritual use. Tourism has led to new departures in the use of the symbols in such items as T shirts and jewelry.

The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. There are many different symbols with distinct meanings, often linked with proverbs. In the words of Anthony Appiah, they were one of the means in a pre-literate society for "supporting the transmission of a complex and nuanced body of practice and belief".

Symbols in this category:


Wisdom knot

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Odo Nyera Fie Kwan

Love never loses its way home.

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Ohene Tuo

The King's Gun

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Okodee Mmowere

The talons of the eagle.

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Okuafo Pa

Good Farmer

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Onyakopon Ne Yen Ntena

May God be with us.

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Onyankopon Adom Nti Biribiara Beye Yie

By God's grace, all will be well.

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Osram Ne Nsoromma

The Moon and the Star

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Owia Kokroko

Greatness of the sun

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Owo Foro Adobe

Snake climbing the raffia tree.

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Owuo Atwedee

The ladder of death

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Owuo Kum Nyame

Death Killed God

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Pa Gya

Striking of Fire

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Sew in readiness.

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