The Adinkra Dictionary: A Visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra by W. Bruce Willis

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PREFACE
ORGANIZATION OF THE DICTIONARY
INTRODUCTION

Part I: History

Section 1. A SHORT HISTORY OF GHANA
Ghana 5 Topography 6 Demography 7 Ethnic groups of Ghana 8 Religions of Ghana 8 Languages 8 Akan and the trans-Saharan trade 9 Empire of Ghana 10 Mali, Songhai and Kanem-Bomu: Medieval kingdoms of the Sahara 11 Akan migration Patterns 12 Bono people 12 Guan people 12 Fante people 12 Denkyira people 13 Twifo people 13 Akwamu and Akuapem people 13 Adanse people 14 Akyem people 14 Nzema and Ahanta people 14 Wassa and Aowim people 14 Ga and Adangbe people (non-Akan) 14 Ewe people (non-Akan) 14 Northern Region (non-Akan) 14 Asante 15 European contact 17 British colonization 19 German Togoland 19 Independence 20 Kwame Nkrumah 21 The coup of the NLC 21 The coup of the NRC 22 The Coup of June 4th 1979 22 The Third Republic 22 Ft. Lt. Jerry John (J. J.) Rawlings 22

Section 2. UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE OF ADINKRA AND ADINKRA SYMBOLS
Overview 25 Funerary arts 25 Akan funeral 25 Funeral cloths (ayitorna) 26 Adinkra cloth 27 Adinkra symbols 28 Adinkra process 28 Meaning of the word adinkra 29 Origin of adinkra symbols 29 Questioning the origin of adinkra: The Bowdich Theory 29 Bowdich theory 30 Quarcoo theory 30 Another traditional theory 31 Summary of the theories on the origin of adinkra 31 Islamic connection or adaption 31 Adinkra dye (adinkra aduro) 31 Newer adinkra cloths 34 Stamping process 34 Adinkra stamp tool (adwennade) 39 Adinkra printing 41 Adinkra centers 41 The craft people 42 Factory-made cloths 42 Social changes 42 Contemporary adinkra industry 43 Commentary 43

Section 3. THE AKAN (TWI) LANGUAGE - A SHORT HISTORY
Language 45 Akan (Twi) language 45 Pronouncing the word Twi 45 African language classification systems 45 Niger-Kordofanian languages 48 Kwa group : a group of languages in the Western-Sudanic sub-division of the Niger-Congo family of languages 49 A brief history (of the documentation) of the Twi language 50 Dialects of the Twi language 51 Other names of the Twi languages 52 Conclusion 52

Section 4. A BRIEF GUIDE TO AKAN PRONUNCIATION
Overview 55 Vowels 55 Sounds of syllables and words 55 Nasal sounds 56 Spelling variations 56 Speaking Akan 56 Tone 56

Part II: The Symbols

Section 5. ADINKRA SYMBOLS
The “Core” Symbols 60 (excerpts)

Part III: Adinkra Glossaries

Section 6. ADINKRA DESIGN GLOSSARY 200
Section 7. ADINKRA DEFINITION GLOSSARY 203
Section 8. ADINKRA LITERAL TRANSLATION GLOSSARY 207
Section 9. ADINKRA ALPHABETICAL DEFINITION GLOSSARY 211
Section 10. ADINKRA PHONETIC GLOSSARY 221

Part IV. Appendix

Section 11. APPENDIX
Postscript 230 Past adinkra cataloging 232 Adinkra symbols commonly confused 234 Proverbs relating to adinkra symbols 237 Ghana - Significant facts and important events 241 Adinkra stamp construction 247 The Glossary 253 List of illustrations 282 Community references 288 Sources cited 291 Adinkra bibliography 297 Index 299 Order form