Continent: Africa
Countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana
Ethnicity: Akan, Asante, Akuapem, Akyem, Agona, Kwahu, Wassa, Fante, Brong
Languages: Potou-Tano Kwa, Twi-Fante, Bia





Adinkra symbols are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan (ethnic group of which Asante is part), that represent concepts of aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics, pottery, incorporated into walls and carved on stools for domestic use.

The Adinkra symbols express various themes, that relate to the history, beliefs and philosophy of the Asante people.
They mostly have rich proverbial meanings since proverbs play an important role in the Asante culture. The use of proverbs is considered as a mark of wisdom.
Other Adinkra symbols depict historical events, human behaviour and attitudes, animal behaviour, plant life forms and shapes of objects.

Adinkra means "goodbye" or "farewell" in Twi language of the Akan ethnic group. It has been a tradition to wear clothes decorated with Adrinka symbols on important occasions, especially funerals of family relations and friends. This is to signify their sorrow and to bid farewell to the deceased.

The Akan oral tradition dates the arrival of Adinkra among the Akan to the end of the 1818 Asante-Gyaman war. (Gyaman = former kingdom of today's Ivory Coast).

Sources: Wikipedia / Pinterest / Pdf file compiled by Valentine A. Tetteh-NCC

Adinkra Illustration

Adinkra Illustration

ADINKRA - Short Description