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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.
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.
Akoma means ‘the heart’ in Akan.
While the heart is a universal symbol of love, akoma is an Adinkra symbol of unity, agreement, understanding, and fondness.
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.