Weaving Adinkra Symbols into Christian Tapestry

Weaving Adinkra Symbols into Christian Tapestry

By Griselda Lartey, Serials and Interlibrary Loan Assistant, John Bulow Campbell Library.

February 14, 2017—Adinkra is a collection of African traditional symbols used by the Akan peoples of Ghana and the Cote d’Ivoire of West Africa. These symbols which are regarded as messages from the elders, are printed on fabrics, originally worn exclusively by royalty and spiritual leaders.

The elders of the Akans used this form of printing as a means of expressing their thoughts, attitudes, world view and beliefs. Each motif, mainly abstract, has a name and meaning derived from a proverb, historical event, and observations of life forms or objects.  Each is meant to be a source of inspiration and a teaching tool.

Today, the use of the symbols extends beyond fabrics.  They are found on pottery, furniture, logos and any material that would lend itself to sharing the messages that they bring.

This visually oriented meditation shows a collection of Adinkra symbols as they speak to an African Christian woman. Each symbol has its name and scripture that captures the meaning of the symbol.  It is presented with the hope that by incorporating symbols from another culture in meditation, we may broaden and deepen our sense of Christian community.

*To begin, you will need a note book and pen/pencil.

*Find a quiet spot and a comfortable chair.

*Sit with a straight back.

*Take a few deep breathes, focusing on the breathes as you inhale and exhale.

*Take a few moments to open your heart to God.

*As you view the symbols and scripture, make note any impressions that they make on you, preferably without any judgments.

*Make note of these impressions.

*At the end of the presentation, spend a moment in prayer regarding the insights you gained

I now invite you to join me in meditation using the video below…

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