A Visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra

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Adinkra is the name given to the colorful, hand painted and hand embroidered cloth traditionally used for mourning by the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast (Cote d”Ivoire).

Stylistic symbols called Adinkra symbols are printed on these cloths. Traditionally the cloths and symbols expressed the wearer’s feelings and sentiments about the deceased.  Today they are used worldwide in popular culture.

Adinkra symbols are figurative and stylized geometric images that embody poetic messages, proverbs of aphorisms.  Adinkra symbols have been in use for about two hundred (200) years. There are about seventy to eighty core symbols that reflect the philosophy, spiritual beliefs, social values and political history of the Akan people.

Several short books and pamphlets have been written on Adinkra, but this ADINKRA DICTIONARY provides a comprehensive perspective on the Adinkra tradition and its past and present social and historical context.

This book is a treasure trove of information and insight.  A delightful book to read, for enjoyment and/or research and to give as a gift!

314 Pages                                      Pyramid Press                       Multiple Glosseries and Appendices



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