Adinkra symbols are symbols mostly used by the Ashantis which has various meanings. Adinkra was derived from an Ivorian king called 'Adin kera' who copied the symbols from the Ashantis and this later evolved into a war between them in which he was killed. Thus the meaning of Adin kera is "goodbye" which is used during funerals to wish the dead person farewell during the olden days. This symbols are usually "wise sayings" which are used to communicate not only to Ashantis but to anyone who understands and is in need of it. Communication here means an interaction between two or more people where understanding is mutual and feedback is given if necessary. Adinkra symbols therefore interact between the king, his elders and people. There is a feedback only when there is an understanding of the symbol. Feedback comes in a form of verbal that is through talking and non verbal that is through the expression on their faces be it sorrow, happiness, anger or disagreement. Parts of the human body ,animals ,fruits,leafs,artworks as well as objects such as pots, guns, wood, and so on are used for adinkra symbols. There are many categories of Adinkra symbols some of which are used to communicate with kings and his elders, during wars, give praises to God as well as give advice to all kinds of people. It is used depending on the event, situation and personality.
Some of the adinkra symbols used by kings are "kontire ne akwam", "ohenetuo", and "ohene aniwa". Firstly, the "kontire ne akwam" symbolises the elders of the state. It means one head doesn't constitute a council. It therefore communicates to the elders. "Ohenetuo" which is in a form of a gun means the kings gun. It stands for the defender or protector of the king. Its an interaction between the king and his bodyguard. It tells the bodyguard to be ready to defend the king at all times even to the point of death. Also, "ohene aniwa" meams the king's eyes. It tells the subjects of the king that he has many eyes and nothing is hidden from him.
Furthermore, adinkra symbols represents war and courage. Some of these symbols are "ako-ben", "epa", and "aya". ''Ako-ben" is a war horn and the sound of it is a battle cry hence it symbolises a call to arm. "Epa" on the other hand represents handcuffs, it gives an interaction between two enemies or two opposing soldiers at war. It means you are the slave of him whose handcuffs you wear. "Aya" also represents the firm it means "i'm not afraid of you". It is another form of interaction between the two opposing soldiers.
Other times adinkra symblos are used to give praises to God. Instances are "nsoroma","nyame dae", and "gye nyame". Nsoroma means a child of the heavens who do not depend on himself and whose illumination is the reflection of God. The "nyame dae" adinkra is used at altars dedicated to God for worship. It therefore tells the people the main purpose of the altar built. The symbol that tells the people of the omnipotence and immortality of God is the "gye nyame" symbol.
Finally, as stated above, adinkra symbols are used to give people advice on various issues of life as well as educate them. An adinkra of a dog licking it's masters lips is an example of such kind. It means if you pet your dog too much it licks your lips. This is a warning or communication to parents against the over pampering and spoiling of their children. Also, an adinkra of a child eating an egg is another example which means "no one teaches a fetish priest's child how to eat an egg". It says children inherit or learn the doings of their parents without being taught. The "sankofa" bird means it is not a taboo to return to fetch something which has been forgotten. In other words, you can always correct your mistakes