African (Adinkra) Symbol of the Month: Aya & Emancipation Day - Bôhten Eyewear

African (Adinkra) Symbol of the Month: Aya & Emancipation Day

Bôhten eyewear strives to improve sustainable living in Africa. To shed light on our African roots, we are introducing meaningful symbols from Ghana that focus on the importance of Ethics in the social environment. 


“A person who wears this symbol suggests they have endured many adversities and outlasted” - The Adinkra Dictionary by W. Bruce Willis.

This month’s African Symbol is an adinkra symbol called Aya. This symbol represents a fern and is a symbol of “endurance, independence, defiance against difficulties, hardiness, perseverance, and resourcefulness.” 

We selected this symbol especially for this month as August 1st commemorates Emancipation day in many English speaking Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda to name a few as well as some US cities. In 1834, slavery was abolished in former British colonies while the apprenticeship system was abolished in 1838.

Thousands of Africans, who were kidnapped from the continent, fought and rebelled the slavery system for years. Their defiance and resilience to achieve their freedom played a crucial role to their emancipation and in turn, the life many of us from the African diaspora enjoy today.

We pay tribute to them by acknowledging their struggle and highlighting their perseverance that helped bring about Emancipation with the Aya symbol.

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.

Credit - The Heritage and Cultural society of Africa

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