Posted by: Dr. Y. | August 9, 2019

Adinkra Symbols and the Rich Akan Culture

Sankofa symbol

The Sankofa symbol

This is another all-time favorite… The second-most popular post on Afrolegends.com: the history of Adinkra symbols and the Rich Akan culture of the Akan people of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Enjoy!
As we revisit this favorite, please let us know if there are other things you would like to learn on the topic, and we will try to add more.

African Heritage

Adinkra in 1817 Adinkra in 1817

Today, we will talk about Adinkra symbols of the Akan people of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The Adinkra symbols are believed to originate in Gyaman, a former kingdom in modern day Côte d’Ivoire.  According to an Ashanti (Asante) legend, Adinkra was the name of a king of the Gyaman kingdom, Nana Kofi Adinkra.  King Adinkra was defeated and captured in a battle.  According to the legend, Nana Adinkra wore patterned cloth, which was interpreted as a way of expressing his sorrow on being taken to Kumasi, the capital of Asante.  He was finally killed and his territory was annexed to the kingdom of Asante.  The Asante people, around the 19th century, took to painting of traditional symbols of the Gyamans onto cloth, a tradition which has remained to this day.

Adinkra work, 1825 Adinkra work, 1825

The arrival of the…

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