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Adinkra Symbol Charms


Anchient West African Adinkra symbols on wood or acrylic charms.

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This listing is for a series of charms/keychains that are host to a some of what are known as Adinkra Symbols. They are laser cut, laser engraved and hand assembled. Anyone appreciating African cultures (especially West African) will appreciate these pieces. The symbols listed here represent Strength, Energy, Harmony, Peace, and Unity in Diversity. The charms come in wood and acrylic.

Adinkra are symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics and pottery among the Ashantis of Ashanti Kingdom and the baoules who historically migrated to Ivory Coast. They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra ary woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing.[citation needed] Adinkra symbols appear on some traditional Akan goldweights. The symbols are also carved on stools for domestic and ritual use.

Adinkra, according to oral tradition, was originally the name of a mourning cloth worn by the King of Gyaaman. Adinkra cloth was worn by the King of Gyaaman after his people were defeated and captured by the Asantehene. It is said that the guild designers who designed this cloth for the kings were forced to teach the Asantes the craft. King Adinkra Kofi’s first son, Adinkra Apaa, who was said to be well versed in the Adinkra craft, was forced to teach more about Adinkra cloths. Oral accounts have attested to the fact that Adinkra Apaa taught the process to a man named Kwaku Dwaku in a town near Kumasi.

The Englishman Thomas Edward Bowdich collected a piece of adinkra cloth in 1817, which demonstrates that adinkra pieces existed at least since this time. Bowdich obtained this cotton cloth in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Empire. The patterns were printed using carved calabash stamps and a vegetable-based dye. The cloth features fifteen stamped symbols, including nsroma (stars), dono ntoasuo (double Dono drums), and diamonds. It is now in the British Museum.

The next oldest piece of adinkra textile was sent in 1825 from the Elmina Castle to the royal cabinet of curiosities in The Hague, in response to an assignment from Major F. Last, who was appointed temporary Commander of Dutch Gold Coast. He probably had the cloth commissioned for William I of the Netherlands, which would explain why the Coat of arms of the Netherlands is in the centre. The other motifs are typical of the older adinkras. It is now on display in the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.[Wikipedia]

Additional information


Harmony, Energy, Strength, Peace, Unity In Diversity, Other


Wood, Acrylic


Keyring, Clip, None


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