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Africa intro and adinkra

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by

Heather Butler

on 6 December 2015

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Transcript of Africa intro and adinkra

Culture, pattern
and print The Ashanti People of Ghana make a cloth called Adinkra cloth.

It is printed using pieces of dried gourd which is carved and dipped in dye. The patterns are made up of Adinkra symbols. Most of these symbols have a special meaning. Many of the symbols relate to proverbs or stories of the Ashanti people. dewnnimmen
Ram's Horn Meaning: Strength Ananse
spider's web meaning: wisdom and creativity Adinkra cloths were traditionally made for royalty to wear at religious ceremonies. Through the years, people have also decorated the cloths to tell a story or to express their thoughts or feelings. Most of the designs are symmetrical and are printed in a repeat pattern. GHANA New symbols are added to the Adinkra lexicon just as new words are added to our language. Adinkra is no longer used only for traditional purposes and can be found on a variety of items. "I'm an artist who paints for humankind, and who just happens to come from Africa." -Kwesi Owusu-Ankomah Kwesi Owusu-ankomah is an artist from ghana who creates artwork that uses adinkra symbols, and places them in a different context Adinkra symbols represent spiritual, moral and familial beliefs. Adinkra symbols first appeared in the 1800's Africa: The world's second most populous continent
More than 1 billion people
Fifty three countries
about 3,315 different ethnic groups
Two thousand languages In different parts of the continent, people have used plant fibers, the wool of sheep and camels and the bark of trees, to weave beautiful clothes, bedding, tents and cloth for carrying goods and babies.
They have invented many looms for weaving, and used many techniques for adding patterns to the cloth. Today, many African use these traditional methods, while others use machine-made cloth. To make adinkra duro medium (colorant), the outer bark of the Badie tree is cut away, then the inner bark is broken into pieces and soaked for 24 hours. It is then pounded for about 3 hours in a wooden mortar, boiled for several hours, strained through a plastic window screen, then boiled for 4 more hours. The inside of a dry, thick-skinned calabash is covered with shea butter for a year to slightly soften it. Then someone cuts off a piece with a knife, draws the pattern onto the outer skin with a pencil, then carves away the negative space with a gouge. An Akan scholar thinks that adinkra means ’to leave one another‘ or ’to be separated‘ and this links to the use of the cloth for mourning.

Akan refers to a related group of peoples in Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire that includes the Asante.
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