Adinkra Symbols & Meanings

 

Originally from West Africa, Adinkra were created by the Ashanti of Ghana, the Akan and the Baoulé of Ivory Coast who migrated from Ghana. There are roughly 400 Adinkra symbols, each with a meaning.

We cannot exactly date the creation of the symbols. But it seems that they appeared around the year 700, following the contact of Arab traders with the Ashanti people.

The name Adinkra comes from the name of King Nana Kofi Adinkra during his reign in the 19th century. Adinkra can be literally translated to "good bye", or "farewell" in Twi language, a language spoken by Ashante people in Ghana. There is the idea that saying goodbye can be difficult but there is hope to see you again soon. So the symbols were printed on traditional outfits during funerals.

Symbols have always existed in all cultures. They are means of communication and knowledge acquisition. They make it possible to transmit messages, concepts of wisdom and precepts useful in everyday life.

You can create your own unique Dear Katiopae  jewelry by personalizing it with the symbols of your choice.

We have twelve Adinkra symbols in our collection:

Aya - Endurance, resource

Duafe - Beauty, Femininity

Nkyinkyin - Adaptability, versatility

Nyame Dua - Protection of a superior being (God)

Funtunfunefu- Denkyemfunefu - Democracy and unity 

Ese Ne Tekrema - friendship and interdependence

Dwennimmen - Strength and humility

Hye Wo Nhye - Imperishable

Sankofa - Back to the roots

Adwo - Peace and serenity 

Odenkyem - Adaptability

Epa - Justice, law