Back to Adinkra Origins

Adinkra Symbols

Below is a table containing all of the Adinkra symbols, along with their Twi name and with their meanings. For a pdf of this list, click here to download it.

Image

Twi Name

Literal Translation

Symbolic Meaning

ADINKRAHENE

“Chief of adinkra symbols”

Greatness, charisma, leadership

AKOKO NAN

“The leg of a hen”

Mercy, nurturing

AKOMA

“The heart”

Patience & tolerance

ANANSE NTONTAN

“Spider's web”

Wisdom, creativity

ASASE YE DURU

“The earth has weight”

Divinity of mother earth

AYA

“fern”

Endurance, resourcefulness

DWENNIMMEN

“Ram's horns”

Humility and strength

EPA

“handcuffs”

Law, justice, slavery

FUNTUNFUNEFU DENKYEMFUNEFU

“Siamese crocodiles”

Democracy, unity in diversity

GYE NYAME

“Except for God”

Supremacy of God

MMERE DANE

“Time changes”

Change, life's dynamics

MPATAPO

“Knot of reconciliation”

Peacemaking, reconciliation

MPUANNUM

“Five tufts” (of hair)

Priestly office, loyalty, adroitness

ODO NNYEW FIE KWAN

“Love never loses its way home”

Power of love

SANKOFA

“Return and get it”

Learn from the past

SEPOW

“Executioner's knife”

Justice

AKOFENA

“Sword of war”

Courage, valor

AKOMA NTOSO

“Linked hearts”

Understanding, agreement

BESE SAKA

“Sack of cola nuts”

Affluence, abundance, unity

BI NKA BI

“No one should bite the other”

Peace, harmony

BOA ME NA ME MMOA WO

“Help me and let me help you”

Cooperation, interdependence

DAME-DAME

“Name of a board game”

Intelligence, ingenuity

DENKYEM

“Crocodile”

Adaptability

DUAFE

“Wooden comb”

Beauty, hygiene, feminine qualities

EBAN

“Fence”

Love, safety, security

ESE NE TEKREMA

“The teeth and the tongue”

Friendship, interdependence

FAWOHODIE

“Independence”

Independence, freedom, emancipation

FIHANKRA

“House, compound”

Security and safety

FOFO

“Yellow Flowered plant”

Jealousy and envy

HWE MU DUA

“Measuring stick”

Examination and quality control

HYE WON HYE

“That which does not burn”

Imperishability and endurance

KETE PA

“Good bed”

Good marriage

KINTINKANTAN

“Puffed up extravagance”

Arrogance

KWATAKYE ATIKO

“Hair style of an Asante war captain”

Bravery and valor

MATE MASIE

“What I hear, I keep”

Wisdom, knowledge, and prudence.

ME WARE WO

“I shall marry you”

Commitment and perseverance

MFRAMADAN

“Wind-resistant house”

Fortitude and readiness to face life's vicissitudes

MMUSUYIDEE

“That which removes bad luck”

Good fortune and sanctity.

NEA ONNIM NO SUA A, OHU

“He who does not know can know from learning”

Knowledge, life-long education, and a continued quest for knowledge.

NEA OPE SE OBEDI HENE

“He who wants to be king”

Service and leadership

NKONSONKONS ON

“Chain Link”

Unity and human relations

NYAME DUA

“Tree of god” (altar)

God's presence and protection

NKYIMU

“The crossed divisions made on adinkra cloth before stamping”

Skillfulness and precision

NKYINKYIM

“Twisting”

Initiative, dynamism, and versatility

NSAA

“Type of hand-woven fabric”

Excellence, genuineness, and authenticity

NSOROMMA

“Child of the heavens [stars]”

Guardianship

NYAME BIRIBI WO SORO

“God is in the heavens”

Hope

NYAME NNWU NA MAWU

“God never dies, therefore I cannot die”

God's omnipresence and the perpetual existence of man's spirit.

NYAME NTI

“By God's grace”

Faith and trust in God

NYAME YE OHENE

“God is King”

Majesty and supremacy of God

NYANSAPO

“Wisdom Knot”

Wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence, and patience.

OKODEE MMOWERE

“The talons of the eagle”

Strength, bravery, and power.

ONYANKOPON ADOM NTI BIRIBIARA BEYE YIE

“By God's grace, all will be well”

Hope, providence, and faith.

OSRAM NE NSOROMMA

“The Moon and the Star”

Love, faithfulness, and harmony.

OWO FORO ADOBE

“Snake climbing the raffia tree”

Steadfastness, prudence, and diligence.

OWUO ATWEDEE

“The ladder of death”

Mortality

PEMPAMSIE

“Sew in readiness”

Readiness, steadfastness, and hardiness.

SESA WO SUBAN

“Change or transform your character”

Life transformation

TAMFO BEBRE

“The enemy will stew in his own juice”

Jealousy and envy

WAWA ABA

“Seed of the wawa tree”

Hardiness, toughness, and perseverance.

WOFORO DUA PA A

“When you climb a good tree”

Support, cooperation, and encouragement.

WI BSA DA MU A

“If your hands are in the dish”

Participatory government, democracy, and pluralism.