Join us for a prayerful journey with
The Adinkra Project
at Trinity-St John's Church
where we embrace the rich tapestry of Asante wisdom, virtue, and strength through the art of making Adinkra Cloth.
The Adinkra Project is a program of Trinity-St. John's Church that explores virtues and values of the Asante and Bono peoples from present day Ghana and Ivory Coast. These virtues and values are expressed in an array of beautiful symbols. By exploring the significance and meaning of these symbols, participants rediscover the importance of their own Christian virtues and values by understanding them in context with another culture with whom our own has had a difficult past.
Once participants are familiar with both a selected grouping of Adinkra symbols and west African history especially from the Atlantic slave trade era, Adinkra Cloth will be made in a prayerful space during a quiet day at Trinity-St. Johns on January 20, 2024 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The purpose of the cloth made during this time will differ from person to person, group to group, and church to church, but in the end, it is to be valued as something sacred regardless of faith.
All are welcome to participate regardless of faith or tradition.
However, all are obligated to attend an Orientation Session.
See above Registration link or go the end of the webpage.
Like the widely known Kente Cloth, Adinkra Cloth is one of several cloths from Ghana. It is made by stamping symbols that possess profound wisdom, virtue, and strength onto woven cloth. These symbols express metaphors of virtues that are shared by Christians.
These shared values feel obscured in today’s society. Expressing humanity and being relevant to contemporary struggles, Adinkra symbols have the power to connect us all to an ancient culture while simultaneously underscoring Christian virtues and values., Traditionally, the stamped cloth is made into clothing that expresses a message by the wearer - a message conveyed without words - wisdom without speaking. Symbols are also made into many other things like jewelry and corporate logos, but it is the cloth that holds a certain significance for the Akan descendants
Asante boys going to a dance in Adinkra robes, 1973, Accra. Color is important in Adinkra garments; darker hues are reserved for funerary dress, while white or brightly colored garments are used for festive occasions.
The Adinkra Project's objective is to create a prayerful space where Adinkra Cloth is made. The cloth made by Trinity-St. John's will be used to make altar frontals/church hangings for worship. However, all are invited to make the cloth for your own purposes as long as it is regarded as something sacred.
At Trinity-St. John's, after some education, worshippers will upon contemplating the symbols they see in the cloth - cloth made by their community - they will then connect them to the values and virtues shared by both the Bono and Asante peoples, Christians, and much of humanity.
The centerpiece of this unique initiative is understanding cultural appropriation. With the help of many, The Adinkra Project is a profound walk alongside a culture that has thrived through the trials of slavery, empire, and poverty. These symbols speak to us in wisdom about virtues that persist despite adversity and suffering.
Traditional Adinkra Cloth is worn during times of grief which can last for years.
Colorful Adinkra Cloth is worn as formal attire offering messages of wisdom in the symbols.
All people and faith communities are invited to make Adinkra Cloth for their own uses in churches, homes, or for connecting to their heritage through the wisdom of the ancestors. All cloth made is to be held as sacred.
Red Adinkra is worn by close members of the deceased's family. Red cloth without symbols is called Kobene .
The first step in this journey is to understand Ghanaian/West African history and Adinkra symbology more fully. By signing up and attending an Orientation gathering on Zoom, sensitivity around this culture is raised. The Orientation meetings on Zoom assist in understanding the historical/cultural context of Adinkra and the spiritual connections to the symbols. The prayerful process of making Adinkra Cloth requires knowledge and wisdom from Orientation.
Orientation is offered during the next month at no cost and is exclusively presented on Zoom - times accommodate many different schedules. A Zoom meeting link will be emailed to you immediately after you register and again just prior to the Orientation.
Go to www.TrinityStJohns.org to the Adinkra Project for more Information
Later in the Spring, a children's Adinkra Program will be offered.
The Adinkra Project is currently available only for people 16 years and older.