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Akoma – Symbolism and Importance

The heart shape is a universally recognized symbol of love. As an Adinkra symbol, it represents tolerance, patience, goodwill, faithfulness, fondness, and endurance.

What is Akoma?

Akoma is an Akan word meaning ‘the heart’, and is represented by the heart-shaped symbol. It comes from the Asante of modern-day Ghana and is highly significant in many cultures, often seen at weddings throughout Ghana.   

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Symbolism of Akoma

The Akoma symbol signifies tolerance, endurance, understanding, and the need for patience. According to the Igbo people of Ghana, a person who is extremely tolerant is said to ‘have a heart inside his stomach’.

This is because the heart is what brings about emotions that make us more human and connected to one another.

In Akan, the phrase ‘Nya akoma’ literally means ‘Get a heart’, meaning to take heart and be patient. It’s said that those who are impatient do not have hearts.


What does akoma mean?

Akoma means ‘the heart’ in Akan.

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What’s the difference between the typical heart symbol and akoma?

While the heart is a universal symbol of love, akoma is an Adinkra symbol of unity, agreement, understanding, and fondness.

Akoma 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.