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Owuo Kum Nyame Adinkra

Owuo Kum Nyame

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Description of Owuo Kum Nyame

Owuo Kum Nyame is an Adinkra symbol that represents the cycle of life and death. Its literal meaning is “Death killed God.” It is a representation of the belief that there is life after death as well as the immortality of the soul. People are encouraged to live their lives with meaning and to make plans for how they will end their lives by looking at the symbol. Additionally, it stresses the significance of keeping a healthy relationship with God throughout one’s entire life, given that death is not the end of the story.

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Adinkra main 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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