The Adinkra Symbols – Sesa Wo Suban “Transform your character”


Symbol of life transformation  This symbol combines two separate adinkra symbols, the “Morning Star” which can mean a new start to the day, placed inside the wheel, representing rotation or independent movement

The Adinkra Symbols – Nyame Ye Ohene “God is King”

Symbol of the majesty and supremacy of God


The Adinkra Symbols – Akoma


The Akoma Adinkra symbol looks exactly like a heart, but it represents more. The akoma “heart” symbol represents patience, goodwill, faithfulness, endurance and tolerance. According to the Agbo people group, when a person is said to “have a heart in his stomach,” that person is very tolerant.

The Akoma symbol is very popular in weddings throughout Ghana, and it’s not hard to see why.

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The Adinkra Symbols – Funtunfunefu Denkyemfunefu (siamese crocodiles)

Funtunfunefu Denkyemfunefu (siamese crocodiles), 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.


This is a symbol of  democracy and unity in a diverse environment.  These reptiles share a common belly, yet they fight over food. There is urgency in implementing this ideology: the union of people from different cultural backgrounds must achieve commonly shared objectives despite their divergent views and opinions about the way of life. The symbol stresses the importance of democracy in all aspects of life. It also encourages inclusiveness, and naturally discourages discrimination.

The Adinkra Symbols – DUAFE

DUAFE: The wooden combDuafe symbol

Symbol of beauty and cleanliness; symbols of desirable feminine qualities

The meaning of this symbol is characterized slightly differently in “The Adinkra Dictionary” and “The Values of Adinkra Symbols”; the former emphasizes more abstract qualities of feminine goodness, love and care, while the latter has a more literal interpretation, looking one’s best and good hygiene. In any case, the duafe was a prized possession of the Akan woman, used to comb and plait her hair

The Adinkra Symbols – GYAWU ATIKO

GYAWU ATIKO:  A symbol for valor and bravery. 

GYAWU ATIKO- “Gyawu” is the name of a person, and “Atiko” is the back of the head. It is said to be a hair design of Kwatakye, a war hero, who was a chief of Bantama, a suburb of Kumasi.



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The Adinkra Symbols – ADINKRAHENE

Adinkrahene:  The King of the Adinkras 


“I am the King, and everything comes from me, everything shall return to me. I link you with everything. Your actions affect others, no matter wherever you are. Your thoughts influence others, therefore watch over your mind. Think positively, constructively and scientifically.”

Chief of the Adinkra Symbols Symbol of greatness, charisma and leadership. This symbol is said to have played an inspiring role in the designing of other symbols. it signifies the importance of playing a leadership role.

This is a symbol of the waves of thought impulses. You are in the middle of The One Life, the Life that permeates the whole Universe. This is a wonderful opportunity offered you to positively identify yourself with Universal Mind, with the Ultimate Source of Life.



The Adinkra Symbols

Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Afrika that represent concepts or original thoughts. Adinkra are used on fabric, walls, in pottery, woodcarvings and logos. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. They also can be used to communicate evocative messages that represent parts of their life or those around them.


One version of Adinkra history starts it in the early nineteenth century. There was a war between two kings. Adinkera, king of Gyaman (now La cote d’Ivoire), attempted to copy the designs of the sacred Golden Stool. The Golden Stool was the unifying force of the Asante Nation. This sacrilegious attempt angered the Asantehene, the Ashanti king Nana Osei Bonsu-Panyin. In the war, Adinkera was defeated and killed. The cloth that King Adinkera wore in battle was taken by the Asante as a trophy. With the cloth, the Asante brought with them the art of stamping cloth.

In Afrika a great deal of philosophical material is embedded in the proverbs, myth, and folk-tales, folksongs, rituals, beliefs, customs, and traditions of the people.

Adinkra means goodbye. Originally, the cloth was worn only by the royalty and spiritual leaders for mourning during funeral services. It can now be worn by anyone for any occasion. The symbols and their meanings are still used to convey a message.

Adinkera aduru (Adinkera medicine) is the stuff used in the stamping process. It is prepared by boiling the bark of Badie together with iron slag. Originally the printing was done on a cotton piece lying on the ground. Today, raised platforms with sack coverings act as the printing table. The designs, cut on pieces of calabash with pieces of wood attached for handling, are dipped into the Adinkera aduru, then stamped onto the cloth. Adinkera cloth is not meant to be washed. [1]

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