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Description of Tumi Te Se Kusua
“Power is like an egg” is the literal translation of the Adinkra symbol “Tumi Te Se Kusua“. The delicate nature of political power and the precariousness of democracy are both represented by the. It demonstrates the importance of exercising caution when dealing with power so as to avoid either squandering it or abusing it. In addition to this, it highlights the importance of exercising moderation, as an excessive use of power can lead to abuse and corruption. The symbol serves as a constant reminder that power should be wielded in a responsible manner and with consideration for the greater good.
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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.