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Heritage Month: Focus On Adinkra Symbols And Their Meaning

The month of March dubbed ‘Heritage month’ has been dedicated to Ghanaians to return to their roots to acknowledge the indigenous ways of doing things.

A key element of the Heritage month is a ‘marathon safari journey’ through major heritage sites across the country and the paying of homage to traditional leaders along the route, participating in local entertainment, enjoying customary food, and networking.

As Ghana celebrates the cultural heritage as the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of society, Gh.Articles focuses on the Adinkra symbols which is one of the ancient philosophical marvels of creation by the indigenous Ghanaians.

Adinkra cultural symbols of Ghanaians have rich philosophies that can be tailored to promote and sensitize the general public on the relevance of environmental sustainability.

The symbols are usually printed on cotton fabric to produce Adinkra cloths, which may be worn on such celebrative occasions as child naming, community durbars, and funerary rituals.

Here are some of the symbols and their meaning:

It means except God. A symbol expressing the omnipotence of God. Probably the most popular Adinkra symbol.


Sanfofa means go back and get it. A symbol of the wisdom of learning from the past to build for the future. From the Akan proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenkyiri,” meaning, “It is not taboo to go back for what you forgot.


It is also a symbol for qualities associated with kings. Adinkrahene is reportedly the inspiration for the design of the other symbols.


Nkyinkyim means Twisting. A symbol representing the tortuous nature of life’s journey.


A symbol of faithfulness, alertness, and dutifulness. Designed to commemorate the faithfulness of one Agyin who was a dutiful servant and gong-beater of the Asantehene.


Akoma in English means heart. A symbol of love, goodwill, patience, faithfulness, fondness, endurance, and consistency.


This is the symbol of a crocodile. It is a symbol of adaptability and cleverness.





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Source: GhArticles.com

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