Adinkra Cloth Symbols - Asante Wisdom


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  ADINKRACLOTHSYMBOLS Published by ©Aaron Mobley Hartford,  All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy,recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, withoutpermission in writing from the publisher. ● THE HISTORY OF ADINKRA CLOTH ● ADINKRA PICTURE GALLERY ●  110 BOLD GRAPHIC ADINKRA SYMBOLS ● PRONUNCIATIONS & MEANINGS ASANTE WISDOM  TABLE OF CONTENTS The History Of Adinkra ClothThe History Of Adinkra Cloth (Continued) Adinkra Picture Gallery 1 Adinkra Picture Gallery 2 Adinkra Picture Gallery 3 Aban - Great Fortress Abode Santann - All Seeing Eye Abusua Pa - Good Family Adinkrahene - King Of Adinkra Symbols Adwo - Peace or Serenity Agyin Dawuru - Agyin’s Gong Akoben - War Horn Akofena - State Swords Akoko Nan - Hen’s Feet Akoma - Heart Akoma Ntoaso - Joined Hearts Akwaaba - Welcome Ananse Ntontan - Spider’s Web Ani Bre A Enso Gya - Red Eyes Can’t Spark Flames Anyi Me Aye A - If You Will Not Praise Me Asaawa - Sweet Berry Asaase Ye Duro - The Earth Has Weight Asetena Pa - Good Living Awurade Baatanfo - God The Mother Aya - FernBese Saka - Bunch Of Cola NutsBoafo Ye Na - Willing HelperDame Dame - Board GameDonno - Bell DrumDonno Ntoaso - Talking DrumDuafe - Wooden CombDwennimmen - Ram’s HornsEban - FenceEpa - HandcuffsEse Ne Tekremah - Teeth And TongueEsono Anantam - Elephant’s FootprintFafanto - ButterflyFihankra - Compound HouseFofoo Aba - Fofoo Plant SeedFuntummireku Denkyemmireku - Two-Headed CrocodileGyawu Atiko - War Hero’s Hair StyleGye Nyame - Except GodGye W’Ani - Enjoy YourselfHwehwemudua - Measuring RodHye Wo Nhye - UnburnableKokuromotie - ThumbKramo Bone - Bad MohammedanKuntunkantan - Inflated PrideKuronti Ne Akwamu - Power And BalanceKyemfere - PotsherdsMako Nyinaa - All PeppersMate Masie - I Understand YouMekyia Wo - I Salute YouMframadan - House Built to Withstand Strong WindMmara Krado - Seal Of Law Mo No Yo - CongratulationsMpatapo - Reconciliation KnotMpuankron - Nine Tufts Of HairMpuannum - Five Tufts Of HairMrammuo - Crossing PathsMusuyidee - Good FortuneNante Yie - GoodbyeNea Onnim - Quest For KnowledgeNkonsonkonson - Chain Link Nkotimsefo Mpua - Court Attendants Hair Style Nkrabea - DestinyNkuruma Kesee - Big OkraNkyimu - Crossing PathsNkyinkyin - Twistings Nnampo Pa Baanu - Two Good Friends Nokore - TruthNsaa - Hand Woven Fabric Nsa Ko, Na Nsa Aba - Hand Go, Hand Come   Nserewa - Cowry ShellsNsoroma - StarNya Gyidie - Have Faith Nyame Biribi Wo Soro - God Is With Me Nyame Dua - God’s AlterNyame Nti - By God’s Grace Nyame Nwu Na Mawu - God Help Me Reach It Nyame Ye Ohene - God Is KingNyansapo - Wisdom Knot Obaatan Awaamu - Warm Embrace Of Mother Obi Nka Bi - Bite Not Each OtherObohemmaa - DiamondOdenkyem - Crocodile Odo Nyera Fie Kwan - Love Guides You Home Ohene Adwa - King’s StoolOhene Aniwa - King’s Eyes Ohene Kra Konmunde - Royal Soul Pendant Ohene Kye - King’s CrownOhene Kyiniie - King’s UmbrellaOhene Papa - Good KingOkodee Mmowere - Eagal’s TalonOsiadan Nyame - God The BuilderOsram Ne Nsoroma - Moon And Star Otumfuo Wuo Ye Ya - The King Is Gone Owia A Repue - Rising Sun Owo Foro Adobe - Snake Climbing Palm Owuo Atwedee - Ladder Of DeathPagya - Strikes FirePempamsie - Prepared For ActionSankofa - Learn From The PastSepo - Executioner’s KnifeSesa Woruban - I Transform My LifeSom Onyankopon - Worship GodSunsum - SoulTabono - OarsTamfo Bebre - Jealous Enemy Ti Koro Nko Agyina - One Head Is Not A Council Tumi Te Se Kusua - Power Is Like An Egg Tuo Ne Akofena - Gun And State Sword  Wawa Aba - Wawa Tree Seed  Wo Nsa Da Mu A - If Your Hands Are In The Dish  Yebehyia Bio - We Shall Meet Again References / About The Author  THE HISTORYOF ADINKRA CLOTH A dinkra (ah-deen-krah) cloth has been produced for hundreds of years by the Asante(ah-shan-tay) people of Ghana in the city of Ntonso, a major center for Adinkra clothproduction. Adinkra is an ancient African writing system created by the Asante, an Akan (ah-kahn) - meaning the first people ethnic group, who live in the central part of Ghana.Ghana is named after the Empire, which once existed in part of the Sahara region of Africa.The Ghana Empire was later defeated by the Mali Empire. The people of the defeated GhanaEmpire moved south to West Africa where the modern country of Ghana, formerly knownas the Gold Coast, is found. It was called the Gold Coast because gold was found there andused in trade.It has been suggested that the art of Adinkra came from Gyaman, Côte d'lvoire (the IvoryCoast). Early in the nineteenth century. King Adinkera of Gyaman, tried to copy the sacredGolden Stool of the Asante. The Golden Stool was the unifying force of the Asante Nation.This sacrilegious attempt angered the Asantehene, the Asante King Nana Osei Bonsu-Panyin. Adinkera was defeated and killed in the war. The cloth that King Adinkera wore in battle wastaken by the Asante as a trophy. With the cloth, the Asante brought with them the art ofstamping cloth. It is also significant that Adinkra means farewell, or saying good-bye to oneanother when parting, hence the use of the special cloth on funeral occasions (eyie). Anotherversion of its srcins by local printers who say that the patterns were created by the firstmen to make the cloth, and that the symbols have been passed down through the generations,some changing, and some staying the same.   A dinkra symbol designs may have been srcinally painted on the cloth at first. Today,designs are stamped onto dyed and embroidered cloth which will be used for bothfunerals and other special occasions. Individuals will commission a cloth from establishedartists who will use various information about the client to determine the appropriate symbolor combination of symbols he will use to produce a beautiful cloth. Adinkra cloth communicates through a language of symbols. The symbols themselves areclosely related to Asante cosmology. Adinkra stamps encompass more than five hundreddifferent motifs. Some design motifs are associated with traditional sayings, proverbs,parables, and anansesem (folk stories), which have special meanings such as unity, patience,and fearlessness. A chief on a mission of peace might wear clothing printed with the symbol- Obi Nka Bi “Bite not each other, avoid conflicts.” It’s a message conveying harmony, peace,forgiveness, and unity. Some designs are inspired by plants or animals. Still others are basedon philosophical concepts inspired by celestial bodies, such as the moon and stars. F irst the cloth is embroidered with colorful stitches called kurkruboo. When the cloth isready to stamp, the artist stretches it on the ground and secures it. With an instrumentresembling a comb, called nsensan dua, he draws the lines that divide the cloth into squarefields, in which he stamps the symbols by dipping the stamps in ink and imprinting them onthe cloth. Adinkera aduro (Adinkera medicine) is the ink used in the stamping process. It isprepared by boiling the bark of the badee tree (bah-dee) together with iron slag. It is placedinto a large makeshift barrel. Water is poured over the bark until it is completely covered. Thebark is allowed to soften for several days. Thereafter, it is sieved and dried. Using mortarand pestle, the remaining bark is ground into a fine powder. The fine granules are placed intokettles of water and boiled for hours, and subsequently sieved to remove undesired particlesand to extract the rich dark liquid. Originally the printing was done on a cotton piece lying onthe ground. Today, raised platforms with sack coverings act as the printing table. 1
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