Adinkra is a technique in which symbols are
stamped on a cloth in a grid pattern. There are
hundreds of adinkra symbols, so each cloth carries
its own message based on the combination of
symbols used. The technique originated in Ghana
and was traditionally used for funerals (adinkra
means “goodbye”). Adinkra cloth is now used for a
variety of occasions.
Lisa's Approach to Adinkra
"I always create adinkra cloth with a sacred
intention. I start with a meditation in which I focus on
the purpose of the cloth, its recipient, and the
intended message. Then I choose symbols reflecting
that message. With my intention in mind, I prepare
white fabric for dyeing. I make deliberate choices
regarding colors and patterns to further support the
message. While creating the cloth, I hold the
recipient in my mind and work with a sense of love
and reverence. I have created cloth with a healing
message for sick friends, as a blessing for a new
home or baby, and with thoughts of love for a
wedding or funeral. I have also created adinkra cloth
that helps me accept and make sense of disturbing
events, both personal and in the larger world. These
adinkra cloths allow me to express my thoughts of
hope for the future and our world."
Lisa shares her interest in adinkra with others through workshops in which participants create a personal
adinkra cloth. They reflect on themselves and their lives and create a cloth with symbols that are
meaningful to them. See the Workshop Schedule for more information about the Adinkra workshop.
Lisa creates adinkra cloth on a commission basis. Typical uses for a commissioned adinkra are wedding or
new home blessings, baby blankets and healing cloths or shawls. Each cloth is a one-of-a-kind adinkra
cloth, created specifically for the intended recipient. Lisa consults with the individual requesting the cloth to
determine which symbols and colors are most appropriate for the intended purpose and recipient. For more
information on commissioned adinkra cloth contact Lisa.
Adinkra: Cloth From the Heart, article written by Lisa Kerpoe for Quilting Arts magazine, June/July 2008.
Adinkra Cloth Symbols, pdf ebook by Aaron Mobley
The Adinkra Dictionary, by W. Bruce Willis, background information about Ghana, adinkra cloth and
descriptions of the most common adinkra symbols.
www.adinkra.org, explanation of a variety of adinkra symbols, downloadable graphics, bookstore, links to
other adinkra resources
View Adinkra Portfolio
© 2013 Lisa Kerpoe All Rights Reserved
All text and photos are copyrighted, please do not reproduce without prior written consent.