Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa, that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics and pottery. They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. A
The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that
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".
Looking at one or two:
The concept of SANKOFA is derived from the Akan people of West Africa. The term comes from the words "san" (return), "ko" (go), and "fa" (look, seek, and take).
Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward.
Visually and symbolically Sankofa is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth.
symbol of democracy and unity
The Siamese crocodiles share one stomach, yet they fight over food. This popular symbol is a remind that infighting and tribalism is harmful to all who engage in it.