Adinkra cloths were traditionally only worn by royalty and spiritual leaders for funerals and other very special occasions. They are now worn by anyone, stylishly wrapped around women or men on any special occasion. Adinkra symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.
The symbols are also carved on stools for domestic and ritual use. Tourism has led to new departures in the use of the symbols in such items as T-shirts and jewelry.
The Chief of the adinkra symbols” is the Adinkra Hene- symbol of greatness, charisma and leadership
This symbol is said to have played an inspiring role in the designing of other symbols. it signifies the importance of playing a leadership role.
The adinkra symbols were originally created by the Akan tribe in Ghana. There are many different symbols with distinct meaning linking to an African Proverb.
The stamps used for these designs are carved out of the bottom os a alabash piece. They measure between five and eight centimetres square. They have a handle on the back, and the stamp itself is slightly curved, so that the dye can be put on with a rocking motion.
So, the next time you going to buy an African cloth make sure you ask of the one with your favorite symbol on it.