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Adinkra Symbols in Modern Days

The Adinkra are unique symbols whose origins  can be traced to the Ashanti and Akan peoples of Ghana. Each of these Adinkra symbols carries with it a message or code which exemplifies the cultural, traditional, philosophical and moral ethics of both the Ashanti and the Akan.

Adinkra-Symbols

However, these beautiful symbols have become famously appropriated into virtually every aspect of the society irrespective of region,  and ethnicity. While these symbols were originally meant for cultural and ritual purposes in the past, modernity and globalisation have seen to it that some of these fascinating symbols are engraved on buildings, clothing, machinery etc. for aesthetic reasons.

Dwannini Mmen (Ram’s Horns)

While there are many Adinkra symbols in the world, some of them are quite popular as they are frequently used more than others. Some of these symbols are Nsoromma (Child or Star of the Heavens), Denkyem (Crocodile) – a symbol of adaptability or cleverness, Dwannini Mmen (Ram’s Horns) – a symbol of Strength and humility, Nkonsonkonson (Chain) – a symbol of unity, and, of course, Adinkrahene (King/Chief of the Adinkra Symbols) – a symbol of leadership etc.

Denkyem (Crocodile)

In the days of old, only people of royal blood or lineages and spiritual leaders/priest had a right to wear clothing with Adinkra symbols on them but that is not the case today as tourism, industrialisation and development has seen to it that these symbols can be worn by just about anyone who fancies it. Nevertheless, the significance of these beautiful symbols  has not diminished with their popularity; au contraire, their popularity had made them become more appreciated than ever.

Denkyem (Crocodile)

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