Adinkra Symbols And Their Meanings; All You Need To Know


Adinkra Symbols are unique cultural symbols that represent values, expressions and thoughts. Adinkra is an Ashanti word which translates into “farewell”.

According to Ashanti oral tradition, the origin of Adinkra is attributed to Gyaaman, which is now referred to as the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.

It is believed that Adinkra symbols have been in existence since 1817 the year when an Englishman Thomas Bowdich obtained a cotton cloth from Kumasi in Ghana, and had Adinkra patterns printed in this cloth.

This cloth is believed to be the oldest Adinkra cloth and had printed on it fifteen symbols, including nsroma (stars), dono ntoasuo (double Dono drums), and diamonds. It is now in the British Museum.

Adinkra symbols are decorative and are mostly seen on wood carvings, fabrics, jewellery, among others. Historically, Adinkra symbols have been known to convey messages of traditional wisdom, human behaviour, events, nature, among others.

Adinkra Symbols And Their Meanings:

Symbol         Name & Literal Meaning                             Significance

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