Our Designs & Inspirations

To find out more about Adinkra or any of the other historical designs we have used please see below

 

Pan-Africa:

Pan-Africanism represents the complexities of black political and intellectual thought over two hundred years. Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent.

Based upon a common fate going back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans, with a substantial support base among the African diaspora in the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. It is based on the understanding that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent.

The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is "a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny"

Pan-African Colours

 Red: The blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation

Black: The people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag

Green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to Garvey as “the first man, on a mass scale, to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny.”

Over the course of his life, Garvey rose to international recognition as a Black nationalist and Pan-Africanist leader. Garvey advocated for the return of African descendants in the Diaspora to their ancestral lands: the African continent.

He founded multiple organisations with members Approximately one million people globally at the height..

In 1919, Garvey launched the Black Star Line, the first shipping company owned and operated by an all Black crew. The Black Star Line had three ships by 1920 and focused on trade and moving Black passengers between the Americas (largely the United States and the Caribbean) and Africa.

Garvey insisted that "a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." As such, the Black Star Line encouraged contact and communication across the African diaspora and Africa.

 

Adinkra

Adinkra are visual symbols with historical and philosophical significance originally printed on cloth which Asante royals wore to important ceremonies. Originating from the Asantes of Ghana, the symbols have assumed global importance and are now found on objects like furniture, sculpture, earthenware pots and casual wear.

 

The Akan people (of what is now Ghana & Côte d'Ivoire) had developed significant skills in weaving by the sixteenth century.

Adinkra, originally produced by the Gyaaman clans of the Brong region, was the exclusive right of royalty and spiritual leaders, and only used for important ceremonies such as funerals. Adinkra means goodbye.

During a military conflict at the beginning of the nineteenth century, caused by the Gyaaman trying to copy the neighboring Asante's golden stool (the symbol of the Asante nation), the Gyaaman king was killed.

His adinkra robe was taken by the Asante Hene (King), as a trophy.

 

Over time the Asante further developed adinkra symbology, incorporating their own philosophies, folk tales, and culture.

Olmec Heads:

The first known civilisation of the Americas is called the Olmec.

The Olmec were an early people of Mesoamerica who settled the Mexican Gulf Coast. 

It is not known for sure where the Olmec came from but their sculptures, especially the colossal heads, seems to reveal an ancient African presence in the Americas.

What today is known as Olmec civilization flourished in the present Mexican states of Vera Cruz and Tabasco.

From what is known the highpoint of Olmec civilization from about 1200 BC to about 400 BC.

It is not thought that the Olmec were an African civilization. It is believed that the Olmec were Mesoamerican civilization in which Africans entered at a pivotal period and exerted an influence that can only be described as dramatic.

There are at least seventeen of these heads and all of them seem to have the features of Africans.

However we do not know for certain who the people depicted in the form of these heads are.

Each of the heads were carved from single blocks of stone.

There is so much to learn on this topic about this civilisation and about the ancient connections between Africa & America not to mention the rest of the world. 

If the above topic interests you be sure to research 1310 and 1311 Malian Empire:

Much evidence points to an African emperor who ruled Mali in the 14th century discovering America nearly 200 years before Christopher Columbus.

Abubakari II ruled what was arguably the richest and largest empire on earth - covering nearly all of West Africa.

Dahomey Warriors:

A band of female terminators, by the outside world they were known as the Dahomey Amazons but they called themselves N’Nonmiton meaning “our mothers”.

Protecting their king on the bloodiest of battlefields, they emerged as an elite fighting force in the Kingdom of Dahomey in, the present-day Republic of Benin. Described as untouchable, swift decapitation was their trademark.

At their height, they made up around a third of the entire Dahomey army; 6,000 strong, it seems they were consistently judged to be superior to the male soldiers in effectiveness and bravery.

Only the strongest, healthiest and most courageous women were recruited for the meticulous training that would turn them into highly efficient and effective warriors.

From the start, they were trained to be strong, fast, ruthless and able to withstand great pain. To prove themselves, they had to be twice as tough as the men. Often seen as the last standing in battle, unless ordered to retreat by their King, the Dahomey women fought to the death – defeat was never an option.

The female soldiers were said to be structured in parallel with the army as a whole, with a central elite wing acting as the king’s bodyguards, flanked on both sides, each under separate female commanders. Some accounts even say that each male soldier in the army had a N’Nonmiton counterpart. They had also been given the name “Black Sparta”.

The women learnt survival skills, discipline and mercilessness. Insensitivity training was a key part of becoming a soldier for the King.

Even after French colonisation of Africa was in full swing in the 1890s the Dahomey people continued their reign of fear resisting the colonising power. French soldiers who forcibly took Dahomey women to bed were often found dead in the morning, their throats slit open.

The French only prevailed after bringing in the Foreign Legion, armed with machine guns. The last of the King’s force to surrender, almost all the “Amazons” died in the 23 battles fought during the second war.

Said to be the most feared women to walk the earth, they would also change how women were seen and respected in Africa and beyond

Edo Warriors Benin:

The original name of the Benin Kingdom, at its creation was Igodomigodo, as its inhabitants called it.

Their ruler was called Ogiso.

Nearly 36 known Ogiso are accounted for as rulers of this initial incarnation of the state.

The Kingdom of Benin, eventually gained political strength and ascendancy over much of what is now modern-day Nigeria. It is confirmed that the Edo people did have a writing system, their art work which had let the historians discover their true history. Including the armor, magnificent drawing skills.

Military operations relied on a well-trained disciplined force.

At the head of the host stood the Oba of Benin.

A Metropolitan Regiment based in the capital, and a Royal Regiment made up of hand-picked warriors that also served as bodyguards.

Benin's Queen Mother also retained her own regiment, the "Queen's Own".

The Metropolitan and Royal regiments were relatively stable semi-permanent or permanent formations.

The Village Regiments provided the bulk of the fighting force and were mobilized as needed, sending contingents of warriors upon the command of the king and his generals. Formations were broken down into sub-units under designated commanders. Foreign observers often commented favorably on Benin's discipline and organization.

Benin's tactics were well organized, with preliminary plans weighed by the Oba and his sub-commanders. Movement of troops via canoes was critically important in the lagoons, creeks and rivers of the Niger Delta, a key area of Benin's domination. Tactics in the field seem to have evolved over time

Benin's military earthworks are the largest of such structures in the world, and Benin's rivals also built extensively.

 

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