Adinkra symbolism is a visual
representation of social thought relating
to the history, philosophy and religious
beliefs of the Akan peoples of Ghana and
History is not exactly sure how Adinkra cloth came to be. One
version starts it in the early nineteenth century. There was a war
between two kings. Adinkera, king of Gyaman (now La cote
d'Ivoire) , attempted to copy the designs of the sacred GOLDEN
STOOL. The Golden Stool was the unifying force of the Asante
Nation. This sacriligious attempt angered the Asantehene, the
Ashanti king Nana Osei Bonsu-Panyin. In the war, Adinkera was
defeated and killed. The cloth that King Adinkera wore in battle
was taken by the Asante as a trophy. With the cloth, the Asante
brought with them the art of stamping cloth.
In Africa a great deal of philosophical material is embedded in the
proverbs, myth, and folk-tales, folksongs, rituals, beliefs, customs,
and traditions of the people.
Adinkra means goodbye. Originally, the cloth was worn only by the
royalty and spiritual leaders for mourning during funeral services.
It can now be worn by anyone for any occasion. The symbols and
their meanings are still used to convey a message.
I happen to love the special look of the Adinkra symbols.
They hold a very special place in my cultural spirit!
Akoma (the heart) Take Heart. Have Patience.
Ohene niwa (in the kings eye) The king has many eyes and nothing
is hidden from him.
Nsorooma (a child of the heavens) I am a child of the Supreme
Being. I do not depend on myself. My illumination is only a
reflection of His.
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Last Updated Dec. 30, 2000 by marie hunter