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

CARIBBEAN STORYTELLING: Anansi ~ An African / Jamaican folktale | Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington narrates a hillarious story about “Anansi da spider big man in da bush. Him teeny-teeny, but animals dem give him big big respect, ’cause him own all da stories in da world.”

An animated Jamaican cartoon told by Denzel Washington, accompanied by the music of reggae band UB40. It is a celebration of African /Jamaican cultural traditions. Illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia. Written by Brian Gleeson.
1991… released 1992


2005 -2006 An urban arts iniciative

Aisha Robinson, Hector Peralta, Federico Peixoto, Qiw, Queen Nzinga Maxwell, Dub Coalition, Producciones del Gafeto

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]

–Courtesy of