The Adinkra symbol known as Tuo Ne Akofena depicts a gun and a state sword, both of which are considered to be the most potent representations of protection. The symbol conveys the idea that its bearer is ready to defend both themselves and their community in the event of an attack. This serves as a reminder that there are times when one must use force in order to defend themselves and the people they care about. In addition, it serves as a timely reminder of the destructive potential of weaponry, which necessitates treating it with the utmost reverence and caution at all times.
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.