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Akoben – Symbolism and Importance

The Akoben is a West African symbol of vigilance, awareness, loyalty to one’s nation, readiness, and hope. It was also a symbol of war, representing the war horn that was used to sound the battle cry.

What is Akoben?

Akoben, meaning ‘war horn’, is an Adinkra symbol created by the Bono, an Akan people of Ghana. This symbol depicts a war horn used in the medieval times to sound a battle cry.

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Its sound warned others of danger so that they could prepare for an impending attack and protect their territory from their enemy. It was also blown to summon soldiers to the battlefield.

Symbolism of the Akoben

To the West Africans, the Akoben served as a reminder to always be vigilant, alert, and cautious. It signifies loyalty to the nation and the preparation to serve a good cause. Seeing the symbol gave the Akans hope and encouraged them to always be ready to serve their nation. Due to this reason, the symbol is closely associated with loyalty.


What does the Akoben symbol mean?

Akoben is an Akan word for ‘war horn’.

What does Akoben represent?

This symbol signifies a medieval war horn that was used in battle. It also represents vigilance, loyalty, cautiousness, and being alert.

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What does the Akoben symbol look like?

The Akoben symbol features three oblong shapes placed horizontally on each other. At the top of the symbol is a half-spiral shape which looks similar to a comma, resting on the ovals.

Akoben symbol meaning

What Are Adinkra Symbols?

Adinkra are a collection of West African symbols that are known for their symbolism, meaning and decorative features. They have decorative functions, but their primary use is to represent concepts related to traditional wisdom, aspects of life, or the environment.

Adinkra symbols are named after their original creator King Nana Kwadwo Agyemang Adinkra, from the Bono people of Gyaman, now Ghana. There are several types of Adinkra symbols with at least 121 known images, including additional symbols that have been adopted on top of the original ones.

Adinkra symbols are highly popular and used in contexts to represent African culture, such as artwork, decorative items, fashion, jewelry, and media.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.