Adinkra: An Epitome of Asante Philosophy and History

Dickson Adom, Eric Appau Asante, Steve Kquofi


This paper investigated into the philosophical and historical representations of the celebrated Adinkra cloth production using the case study approach at Ntonso in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Data were solicited through personal and telephone interview as well as participant observation from respondents who were purposively sampled.  The study revealed that the Badie dye was locally obtained and prepared using the barks from the Badie tree. There are no additives mixed with the prepared dye as purported by several writers. It was also realized that the entire Adinkra cloth process from the acquisition of the tools and materials, production processes and the symbols usually printed in the cloth was firmly rooted in an interesting and thought provoking philosophical and historical foundation which portrays the African as a wise, creative artist. The study more importantly voiced out that though Asantes and Africans in general usually do not have written documentaries of their histories and philosophy that in anyway does not imply that these literally are absent. The rich artistic productions of residents in Africa are in fact a visual representation of their unadulterated histories and philosophies. The Adinkra cloth is but one example of such inspiring assets of the Asantes that are repositories of their rich philosophy and history.


Keywords: Adinkra Cloth; History; Philosophy; Badie dye

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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