About Dear Katiopae
By wearing our delicate and elegant afrominimalist jewellery, you become an ambassador of heritage and know-how back hundreds of years of multiple African cultures such as those of the Ashanti, Akan, Ewe, Bamiléké, which you are helping to preserve.
Almost all of our jewellery is handmade either entirely or partially by our artisans in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Kenya, either by the founder Aïcha in her apartment in London.
Originally from West Africa, they were created by the Ashanti of Ghana, the Akan and the Baoulé of Côte d'Ivoire who migrated from Ghana. There are roughly 400 of them, 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 during the 19th century. So much later after the premises of the symbols. The word adinkra means: Say goodbye. 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 jewelry by personalizing it with the symbol or symbols of your choice.
We have twelve in our collection:
Duafe - Beauty, Femininity
Aya - Endurance, resource
Nkyinkyin - Adaptability, versatility
Nyame Dua - Protection of a superior being (God)
Dwennimmen - Strength and humility
Hye Wo Nhye - Imperishable
Adwo - Peace and serenity
Odenkyem - Adaptability
Sankofa - Back to the roots
Epa - Justice, law
Traditional glass beads from Ghana are often referred to as Krobo beads because the main area of production is the region of the Krobo Mountains and people.
These moulded beads are made from recycled glass. Especially bottles but also other glass objects are first washed and sorted by colour. The glass is then broken into small fragments to make translucent glass paste beads, or pounded in a metal mortar and sieved until a very fine powder is obtained, to make the opaque glass paste beads. Glass powders of different colours are obtained by adding ceramic dye.
The pearls are baked in traditional wood ovens which are made with clay recovered from the termite mounds. The translucent pearls are baked 30-45 minutes at a temperature of 850-1000 degrees. Opaque pearls are baked 20-30 minutes at a temperature of 700-800 degrees. The painted beads are decorated with a paste made from a mixture of coloured glass powder and water. This coloured glass paste is applied using a thin rod.
The painted beads are baked a second time to fix the colours. The pearl artisan uses a sting to pierce the translucent pearls as soon as they come out of the oven. The sting is also used to rotate the bead in the mould to form a rounded shape as it hardens at room temperature. After an hour of cooling, the beads are removed from the moulds. The last step is to clean the beads and polish them by rubbing them vigorously with water and sand on a smooth stone.
At Dear Katiopae, we pay particular attention to three elements:
- Ethnic. We also thrive to perpetuate ancestral traditions and techniques through our jewellery.
- Ethics. We collaborate in a Fairtrade with blacksmiths and other pearl manufacturers. They gain just as much as we do.
- Ecological. The glass beads we use are made from recycled glass and also recycled brass which is a real asset for the environment