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THE SYMBOL WE CHOSE to represent positively AFRICA is Obi nka obie (pronounced “o-bee in-ka bee”),  a Twi word of the Akan people from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The literal translation is “bite not one another” and it is a stylized image of two fish biting each other.

Obi nka obie is a powerful and meaningful representation for positively AFRICA because it symbolizes harmony, unity and peacefulness.

It is one of many Adinkra motifs which are more than four hundred years old and still used in pottery, woodwork, metal and cloth.  They are examples of African proto-writing and a visual representation of thought relating to history, philosophy and religious beliefs.

A fascinating resource for information about Adinkra symbols and other pictographs and scripts devised by Africans can be found in Saki Makundikwa’s book Afrikan Alphabets – the story of writing in Afrika, Mark Batty Publisher 2007.


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Obinkaobie

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