Legend has it that the Adinkra symbols were named after the king of Gyaman Kwodo Adingra. Asante artists were able to learn the famous Gyaman designs from Appau, the son of King Kwodo Adingra after the fall of Gyaman to Asante.
The marks on traditional cloth of the Asante people are known as Adinkra symbols. These were created by people of Akan ethnicity. The ethnic people which belong to the Gulf of Guinea are known as Akan people. These images usually represent concepts or definitions, and are usually linked to proverbs. There are evocative messages in them that carry traditional wisdom. The beliefs, history, and philosophy of the Asante people is also represented by them.
They also depict historical events, human and animal behavior, attitude of humans, plant life forms, and shapes of objects.
This is the chief Adinkra symbol. It forms the basis of Adinkra printings. It signifies ‘greatness’ and ‘royalty’. The literal meaning of the word ‘Adinkrahene’ is Adinkra king.