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Tamfo Bebre – Symbolism and Importance

Tamfo Bebre is an Adinkra symbol of evil, ill will, or jealousy. It’s a popular symbol that’s commonly seen in fashion and jewelry in Africa.

What is Tamfo Bebre?

In Akan, the phrase ‘Tanfo Bebre’ means ‘the enemy will stew in his own juice’ or ‘the enemy will suffer’.

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The Tamfo Bebre symbol represents jealousy, ill will, evil, or futility. It’s said that the symbol draws inspiration from a bowl or a calabash that cannot be submerged. As it’s pushed down, the pressure increases, resulting in an increase in resistance as well.

For some Akans, this symbolizes the futile struggle that their enemies must go through in order to destroy them.


What is Tamfo Bebre?

Tamfo Bebre is an Akan phrase meaning ‘the enemy will stew in his own juice’.

What does the Tamfo Bebre symbol stand for?

This symbol represents envy, ill will, and evil. It’s also regarded as a symbol of futility.

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What is a calabash?

A calabash is a container made from the wood of the calabash, an evergreen that grows in the tropics of America.

tamfo bebre 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.