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Adinkra Symbols

ADINKRAHENE

"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.

ASASE YE DURU

"The Earth has weight"

Symbol of providence and the divinity of Mother Earth.

This symbol represents the importance of the Earth in sustaining life.

DWENNIMMEN

"Ram's horns"

Symbol of humility together with strength.

The ram will fight fiercely against an adversary, but it also submits humbly to slaughter, emphasizing that even the strong need to be humble.

EBAN

"Fence"

Symbol of love, safety and security.

The home of the Akan is a special place. A home which has a fence around it is considered to be an ideal residence.The fence symbolically separates and secures the family from the outside. Because of the security and the protection that a fence affords, the symbol is also associated with the security and safety one finds in love.

MMUSUYIDEE

"That which removes bad luck"

Symbol of good fortune and sanctity.

NEA ONNIM NO SUA A, OHU

"He who does not know can know from learning"

Symbol of knowledge, life-long education and continued quest for knowledge.

NSAA

a type of hand-woven fabric

Symbol of excellence, genuineness, authenticity.

According to "The Adinkra Dictionary" by W. Bruce Willis, the nsaa symbols reflect a saying: "nea onnim nsaa oto n'ago", which he translates as "He who does not know authentic Nsaa will buy the fakes."The quality of Nsaa has come to represent the quality of workmanship in general.

NYANSAPO

"Wisdom knot"

Symbol of wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience.

An especially revered symbol of the Akan, this symbol conveys the idea that, "a wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal. Being wise implies broad knowledge, learning and experience, and the ability to apply such faculties to practical ends."

ONYANKOPON ADOM NTI BIRIBIARA BEYE YIE

"By God's grace, all will be well"

Symbol of hope, providence, faith.

 

 

For more information about Adinkra Symbols, please visit Adinkra.org