Ohene Kyinie is an Adinkra symbol that is meant to represent the umbrella that is carried by the King. The umbrella is a representation of safety and shelter, and it is used to protect the king from the elements, including the rain and the sun. As the king is the only person who is permitted to carry the umbrella, it also serves as a symbol of the king’s authority. The king’s wealth and status are reflected in the intricate patterns and vibrant hues that are used in the umbrella’s design, which is both exquisite and ornate.
Bold – Light – Outlined – Colorable
Each variation is included in the file package.
Adinkra main description
The 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.