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Description of Fafanto
The butterfly is an important symbol in Fafanto culture; it is said to represent metamorphosis, change, tenderness, gentleness, honesty, and fragility. The Fafanto symbol depicts a butterfly. It is said that the butterfly must go through a significant amount of struggle in order to emerge from its cocoon before it is able to fly because of its delicate wings. The Akan people use the symbol of the butterfly to represent the idea that change is an inevitable component of life and that individuals are capable of achieving growth and positive change through the process of transformation. The butterfly is also associated with sincerity and vulnerability, which serves as a reminder to treat both ourselves and others with kindness and delicacy during periods of metamorphosis and transition.
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Adinkra main description
Adinkra SymbolsThe Adinkra symbols come from West Africa, specifically a region that is modern-day Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The symbols belonged to the Asante (or Ashanti) peoples, who would print them on cloth, as well as pottery and metalwork. The Asante people resisted British colonial rule when it arrived in West Africa. It may be for this reason that much cultural tradition and symbolism survives to this day. The word ‘adinkra’ means ‘farewell’ or ‘goodbye’ in the Twi language, spoken by the Asante people. For this reason, Adinkra cloth was worn often on special occasions, particularly funerals. The Adinkra symbols are closely tied to the history, beliefs and traditions of the Asante people. Each symbol represents a small number of simple concepts, meaning that Adinkra cloth would traditionally be printed using bespoke patterns, telling a story about the wearer that could be read by those knowledgeable enough to understand the underlying symbolism. The Adinkra symbols, and their meanings, have survived to the present day. Cloth displaying Adinkra symbols is now mass-produced in bright colors, using modern techniques and is very popular both in Africa and the wider world. This is not to say that the traditional weaving and printing methods have died out. It is still possible to find Adinkra cloth that has been made by hand, printed using natural inks and traditional techniques.