Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. According to Ashanti mythology, the first chief priest of the Ashanti called down from the heavens a golden stool, on top of this stool was a cloth adorned with Adinkra symbols and that was how these became a part of their culture.
Adinkra are an important part of Ashanti culture and it is usually used to represent concepts or aphorisms. These symbols are used on fabric, pottery, buildings and other architectural features. They have also been carved on stools meant for domestic and ritual use.There are over fifty symbols and each have distinct meanings,often linked with proverbs.
With the advent of tourism, the use of the symbols have evolved as they are now been used in creative design, advertising and jewelry.
In this post we’ll highlight 5 of these Adinkra symbols that have been incorporated into African jewelry, accessories and decor.
- The Eban – The Eban symbol is in the shape of a fence and it represents love,security and safety. It has been found in many pieces of jewelry, decor and even brand logos.
2. The Akoma – This symbol is in the shape of a heart. It represents patience, goodwill, faithfulness, endurance and tolerance
3. The Mate masie – In the Akan language this translates as “What I hear,I keep”. It is the symbol of wisdom, knowledge & prudence.
4. The Nsoroma – This symbol is in the shape of a star and it means “child of the heavens”. It symbolizes faith and belief in the patronage and dependency on a Supreme Being.
5. The Duafe – This symbol is in the shape of a wooden comb and it represents beauty and cleanliness.
We are awed by how rich and diverse the Ashanti culture is and we hope you share the same sentiments.
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