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Owuo Atwedee Adinkra symbol

Owuo Atwedee

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Description of Owuo Atwedee

The Owuo Atwedee symbol is a ladder, and the name of the symbol in its native language translates to “the ladder of death.” People frequently use it to bring up the topic of their own mortality as well as the fleeting nature of life. This encourages people to live their lives with a sense of purpose and humility, as they will all have to face death at some point in their existence, as symbolized by the symbol. Those who have suffered the loss of loved ones are offered consolation with the Owuo Atwedee symbol.

General Adinkra description

Adinkra Symbols 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.

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