10 Adinkra Symbols That Represent Life In Africa

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Written by Keren Mikva

Adinkra are visual symbols originally created by the Akan of West Africa — Ashanti people of Ghana and the Gyaman people of Côte d’Ivoire. Drawing inspiration from nature, the human form, and modern inventions, adinkra designs represent concepts. They’re commonly used on walls, woodcut signs, fabrics, pottery, advertising and logos. They serve as decoration but also as sources of wisdom and profound messages. They also show up on T-shirts and jewelry, proof they have a value for tourist-related enterprises in Africa. British-born Ghanaian philosopher, novelist and cultural theorist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, described adinkra as “one of the means in a pre-literate society for ‘supporting the transmission of a complex and nuanced body of practice and belief.'”

Here are 10 adinkra symbols that represent life in Africa.

Sources: StLawu.edu, Adinkra.org, AfricanHistory.About.com, SiliconAfrica.com