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Nyansapo, pronounced: knee-in-say-bow, is a West African symbol that was created by the Akan people of Ghana. Also called the ‘wisdom knot’, it’s one of the most revered and sacred Adinkra symbols that represents the following:
- Broad knowledge
- The abilities to apply one’s knowledge and experience to practical situations
- The idea that a wise person has the capacity to choose the ideal path towards achieving a goal.
- Wisdom and intelligence
- Patience and humility
The Nyansapo symbol is commonly used in various jewelry and clothing designs which are popular around the world. It can also be seen embroidered or printed on tote bags as well as on pottery items.
The wisdom knot is also a favorite among many tattoo artists and enthusiasts. Some people choose to have Nyansapo tattoos as a way of expressing their personalities or as a sign of the experiences they have gone through in life.
Nyansapo is the Akan word for ‘wisdom knot’ which is represented by the symbol.
This symbol is primarily associated with education. However, it mostly represents ingenuity, intelligence, and patience, which are all qualities of a wise person.
Nyansapo is one of the most respected and well-known Adinkra symbols of intelligence along with the Dame-Dame symbol.
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.