top of page

Ananse Ntontan and Adinkra Symbols

Adinkra symbols are thought to have originated with the Akan people of Western Ghana and Eastern Ivory Coast. According to legend, Adinkra was the name of a king of the Gyaman (Nana kofi Adinkra). Adinkra was defeated and captured in a battle by the Asantes for having copied the “Golden Stool”, which represents for them absolute power and tribal cohesion. He was finally killed and his territory annexed to the kingdom of Asante. Tradition says that Nana Adinkra wore patterned cloth, which was interpreted as a way of expressing his sorrow on being taken to Kumasi the capital of Asante. Around the 19th century, the Asante people began painting the traditional symbols of Gyamans onto cloth.

The symbols represent various themes that relate to history, beliefs and philosophy of the Asante. Adinkra cloth is stamped or printed with the symbols, and today the cloth is used for a wide range of social activities such as festivals, marriage, and naming ceremonies.

Ananse Ntontan represents wisdom and creatvity, which for us represents the education and income generation - the two focuses of our mission.

bottom of page