The youth in Ghana today tend to consult their elders mostly in terms of marriage, advice and leadership. The elder possess some qualities that are linked to the adinkra symbols of Ghana. This art work showcases some adinkra symbols and their direct link to the attributes of a typical Ghanaian linguist and the role they play in the past and present to showcase collective memory.
The three concentric circles (Adinkrahene) at the top of the diagonal stick represents “King of the Adinkra symbols”. It is a symbol for authority, leadership and charisma. It is also a symbol for Kings. It shows how essential leadership is in any community. Most of the great leaders are charismatic, and therefore this symbol denotes the honourable features of a good leader which in the art piece is used as the head of the stuff in the elder’s hand.
The eight arrowed-shapes converging at the circumference of a circle (Ananse ntontan) that represents the head of an elder wearing a fabric is a symbol of creativity, complexities of life and wisdom. Creativity is the creation of something new and different. Wisdom relates to knowledge, experience as well as reasonable judgement in decision making and taking necessary actions in the part of an elder in the family, community and country now and then.
The Kente fabric wrapped around the elder in the art work showcases a Ghanaian authentic textile, made of handwoven cloth strips of silk and cotton. Today, the wearing of kente cloth has become widespread to commemorate special occasions, with highly sought after kente brands led by skilled-weavers. The cloth in the art piece is designed with the patterns of the colours of the Ghana flag (red, gold, green), to show the rich culture of Ghana.
Betty Yaa Addo is a Graphic Design student majoring in Advertising at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana.