As Mother's Day approaches, it's important to take a moment to reflect on the incredible impact that mothers have on our lives. From their unwavering love and support to their guidance and wisdom, mothers truly are the backbone of our families and communities. To celebrate and honor mothers this Mother’s day, we are sharing 5 beautiful Adinkra symbols of West Africa that encompass some of the wonderful characteristics of a mother. Based on these Adinkra symbols, we included 5 meaningful ideas on how you can show appreciation to your mom on her special day:
- Sankofa - This symbol represents the importance of looking back in order to move forward. It reminds us to appreciate the lessons and wisdom of the past, and to use them as a guide for the future. Mothers are often the keepers of family history and traditions, passing down stories and knowledge from one generation to the next. What’s one family story you remember your mother sharing with you? Take this moment to remind her of it and share how it has impacted your life.
- Dwennimmen - The ram's horns of this symbol represent humility and strength. Mothers are known for their unwavering strength and resilience, but also for their humility and selflessness in putting their family's needs before their own. Reflect on a time when your mother showed resilience and strength for her family. Acknowledge this act and thank her for it. If you can, return the favor in the near future. We are sure she would appreciate it.
- Gye Nyame - This symbol represents the power and supremacy of God. Mothers often serve as spiritual leaders in their families, teaching their children about faith and the importance of a strong moral compass. Do you remember a time when your moral compass may have wavered as a child but your mother was there to guide you? How has that influenced your life now? Share this story with her.
- Adinkrahene - This symbol represents greatness and leadership. Mothers are often the glue that holds families together, providing guidance and support during challenging times and leading by example through their actions. Write a note for your mom and include some memories you have of when she displayed great leadership. Be sure to include little anecdotes to make her laugh and gift it to her on Mother’s Day.
- Akoben - The war horn of this symbol represents vigilance and readiness for action. Mothers are always on the lookout for their children's well-being, ready to spring into action at a moment's notice to protect and care for them. If you can, reenact (be sure to dress like her and everything) a time you recall your mother springing into action to defend and protect you growing up. The more the merrier so see how many family members you can get involved. But, be sure to drive home how much you valued her constant protection of you over the years.
As we celebrate Mother's Day this year, let us take a moment to honor the mothers in our lives and the important role they play. Whether it's through the wisdom of the Sankofa symbol, the strength of Dwennimmen, the spiritual leadership of Gye Nyame, the greatness of Adinkrahene, or the vigilance of Akoben, let us remind them of the powerful impact they have on our lives, our families and our communities. Happy Mother's Day!Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Gyaman (Ashanti) people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The symbols hold a great deal of meaning and not only present the rich Akan culture, but serve to communicate deep truths, wisdom and knowledge using imagery.
If you're curious to learn more about Adinkra symbols, you can find more about them here.