Adinkra art

Proverbs, Symbols and printing from The Akan people of Ghana… Everything you need to support your Adinkra Printing workshop.

Adinkra cloth

Adinkra symbols and cloth began amongst the Akan people of Ghana. Spread by the Ashanti symbol system throughout West Africa and beyond through the diaspora. Symbols and the proverbs are now heavily used by the black diaspora around the world.

Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan people of Ghana and still used today to decorate fabrics, wood craft and pottery. Each symbol has its own meaning, and the processes involved in the making of the dye and Adinkra stamps demonstrates great skill.

Adinkra cloth is made using tree resin to form a thick shiny and lasting dye. Stamp blocks are hand carved from calabash and firmly and carefully applied to the cloth. The cloth is structured to tell and story and symbols are carefully chosen for there individual and collective meanings.

Adinkra workshops for schools

Adinkra resources

This is a fun and creative activity which also engages students with a rich and diverse African culture.

A proverb is a little story of phrase which can have one or many meanings. In Ghana even simple statements like ‘I am happy’ are represented by proverbs. For example “Me Ni A Gi” is translated as ‘my eye has gained something’. This simply means I’m happy!

Adinkra Video

In this video Kwame explains how students can get hands-on and work together to produce a piece of Adinkra fabric. Kwame explains how to print Adinkra cloth and touches on some of the symbols

Adinkra Symbols and their meanings

Here is a helpful worksheet with some Adinkra symbols and the meanings. Adinkra, like the hieroglyphics of the pyramids, uses symbols to convey complex messages, historical events and philosophies. Adinkra is the product of  a proverbial society and language and the symbols reflect this.

Ghanian Proverbs

Here are some Ghanaian proverbs along with some ideas for their use within the classroom. Proverbs can be very simple and straight forward, but they often have an additional deeper meanings. Your class may surprise you with how many they find! This works sheet challenges them to consider creating their own proverbs.

Want to know more about an Adinkra Workshop in your school…

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Online resources

Here is a run down of the materials we have on offer online.

Not seen what you are looking for? Do let us know what you would like to see and we will try and upload it.

Adinkra symbols

Proverb and symbols explained with worksheets and video. Make your own stamps and hold a workshop.

Ghana Power point

An introduction to Ghana in West Africa. 

Recycling

A series of videos explaining how to turn a milk bottle into birds, masks and elephants and how to make beads.

Singing

Video, audio files and notes to help you lead a call and response session in your class.

fair trade

Real life examples of the imapct of Fair Trade in Ghana. Plenty of materials including a power point and wordsearch.

YouTube Channel

Lots of videos and information.