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Nyame Ye Ohene is a popular West African symbol representing the majesty and supremacy of God. The symbol was inspired by the phrase ‘Nyame Ye Ohene’, which means ‘God is king’ in Akan. The name Nyame means he who knows and sees everything.
To the Akans, Nyame (also called ‘Onyankopon’) was God, the ruler of the entire universe and an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being.
As a symbol, Nyame Ye Ohene represents His supremacy in all aspects of life. The Nyame Ye Ohene incorporates the Gye Nyame symbol, which is set within a multi-pointed star.
The Story of Nyame and Ananse
As the great sky god, Nyame featured in many West African stories. One of the most popular stories was the tale of Ananse and the python.
An Ashanti village, an ethnic subgroup of the Akans in Ghana, was being terrorized by a gigantic python. Terrified, the people prayed to Nyame to save them.
In the meantime, Nyame had been watching a human Kwaku Ananse (the Spider Man) who had been boasting about his intelligence and wit. Nyame was tired of Ananse’s boasting and punished him by tasking him with ridding the village of the snake.
Ananse gave the python a heavy meal and strong wine which the snake consumed until it fell unconscious. Afterward, Ananse, together with the villagers, beat the python and drove it away from the village. As a result, Nyame was pleased with Ananse’s cleverness and blessed him with wisdom and a successful, happy life.
Nyame Ye Ohene is an Akan phrase meaning ‘God is king and supreme’.
This symbol represents the supremacy of God even in the most difficult of situations.
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.