The Akan people of West Africa originally created Adinkra symbols hundreds of years ago, which changed over time and were developed by the Asante people of Ghana. These symbols were used as a way to communicate and in a pre-literate society; they were the equivalent of words and significant texts that shared complex beliefs and meanings. Some of the meanings come from traditional stories and sayings; others are more of a statement, like a badge, with the person wearing the symbol showing everyone something about their character, for example I am ‘brave’ or ‘humble’.
Even today, the adinkra symbols are carved, woven and printed on traditional craft and fabrics in Ghana. They were originally used by village chiefs for important celebrations and events like weddings and funerals, but now they have become part of everyday items such as t-shirts and jewelry…and Fairtrade Divine chocolate bars!
Decorate your own Adinkra Ornaments. Download them here.