The Adinkra Cloth

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Adinkra cloth
Adinkra cloth

The Adinkra is the traditional ceremonial attire of the Asante people of Ghana. It was initially worn for members of the royal family only as was the custom, but it is now worn by the general population.

The patterns and symbols on the Adinkra cloth are of great significance. While older symbols are linked to proverbs, folktales and the like, the newer symbols are simpler depicting common objects as well as flora and fauna.

The men wear it Toga style with the cloth draped over one shoulder while the other shoulder is left exposed and the women wear it as a two-piece.

Some of the symbols include the Crocodile (Odenkynem), communicating their ability to spend most of their time underwater but not be able to breathe underwater. The Moon and Star (Osare Ne Nsoroma), symbolising faithfulness and lastly the Ram’s Head (Dwennimmen), symbolising strength, wisdom, humility, excellence and learning.

The Adinkra is powerful, popular and successful for its verbal component. it as almost as successful as the Kente cloth, and it even found in similar applications such as bags, clothing, motifs and graphic design to name a few.


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