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New Year's Greetings in Adinkra

December 31, 2016

Adinkra are visual symbols originally created by the Ashanti people. They are often used in decorations of pottery and fabric.  They often employ evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.  I picked my five most favorite ones to create this border.

 

Sankofa - the willingness to pause, look back and learn from the past (the one that looks like a duck looking backwards)

 

Denkyem - the ability to adapt to change (the one that looks like a turtle, but it actually represents a crocodile that lives in the water, yet breathes the air - demonstrating an ability to adapt to changing circumstances)

 

Wawa aba - the strength to persevere through hardship (the symbol directly in the center of the top and bottom borders)

 

Nyansapo  - the wisdom to apply our knowledge and experience to practical ends (the word means "wisdom knot" - it's the one with the thin overlapping lines)

 

Woforo dua pa a - the knowledge that when we do good work, we will find support (a special favorite of mine!  It's the one in all four corners)

 

Learn more about Adinkra Symbols:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adinkra_symbols

http://www.adinkra.org/htmls/adinkra_index.htm

http://www.siliconafrica.com/african-symbols-for-creative-design/

 

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