Behind the Ananse Ntontan

I’m assuming you saw my previous post, about Siwatu Jewelry, their logo has an Ananse Ntontan over the “j” and that inspired my post signoff. It is my favourite Adinkra symbol. Ananse Ntontan means “spider’s web” the symbol stands for wisdom, creativity and the complexities of life. Ananse, the spider, is a well-known character in African folktales. (I found this so amusing because I’m scared of spiders.)

Adinkra Poster

Adinkra symbols are cultural symbols of the Asante people, they are printed onto cloth. Adinkra also means ‘goodbye’ or ‘farewell’ in Twi the language of the Akan ethnic group of which Asante is a part. It has therefore been the tradition of the Akan especially the Asante to wear cloths decorated with Adinkra symbols on important occasions especially at funerals of family relations and friends. This is to signify their sorrow and to bid farewell to the deceased. Today, the Adinkra cloth is not exclusively worn by the Asante people. It is worn by other ethnic groups in Ghana on a variety of social gatherings and festive occasions.

My other faves are:

Dwennimmen “ram’s horns” Symbol of humility together with strength.


Gye Nyame “except for God” Symbol of the supremacy of God.


Adinkrahene “Chief of the adinkra symbols” Symbol of greatness, charisma and leadership.

adin_lgThis is also on my room wall 🙂 IMG_9051

Adinkra index here
“Adinkra-Cultural Symbols of the Asante People” complied by Valentina E. Tetteh here.



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