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These are not just shirts. They are shields, visual African diasporic good luck charms, and positive melanin energy emitters.

While digitally crafting these images, I tried to incorporate the guiding wisdom/teachings of traditional West African Adrinka symbols into each design.

What are Adrinka Symbols?

Adinkra symbols are expressions of Asante philosophy, beliefs and history. These proverbial symbols of wisdom, has origins in the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa. Adinkra symbols depict human behavior, important events, animal behavior, shapes and plants.

Design: Flight Of The Sankofa

(Adinkra Symbols)

SANKOFA BIRD("return and get it")-learn from the past.

DWENNIMMEN("ram's horns")-humility and strength.

MATE MASIE("what I hear, I keep")-wisdom, knowledge, prudence.

NYAME DUA("tree of god")-God's protection and presence.

NKONSONKONSON("chain links")-unity, human relations.

HWEMUDUA("measuring stick")-examination, quality control.

SESA WO SUBAN("I change or transform my life")-transformation.

EBAN("fence")-love, safety, security.

MMERE DANE("time changes")-change, life's dynamics.

NEA OPE SE OBEDI HENE("he who wants to be king")-service, leadership.

WOFORO DUA PA A("when you climb a good tree")-support, cooperation.

ONYANKOPON ADOM NTI BIRIBIARA BEYE YIE("By God's grace, all will be well")-hope, providence, faith.

NKYINKYIM("twistings")-initiative, dynamism, versatility.

FIHANKRA("house/compound")-security, safety.

ADINKRAHENE("chief of adinkra symbols")-greatness, charisma, leadership.

ESE NE TEKREMA(“The teeth and the tongue”)- friendship, interdependence, advancement, progress ,strength in unity.

NKURUMA KESEE (“Big Okra”)-superiority, greatness, and supremacy.

OSRAM NE NSOROMMA ("the moon and the star")-love, faithfulness, harmony.

Source: West African Wisdom: “Adinkra Symbols & Meanings”

Adinkra Cloth Symbols – “Asante Wisdom by Aaron Mobley”