blaykyi kenyah


I am an artist and writer from Accra, Ghana, with a nomadic practice. I am fundamentally curious about the ontology and potential of art—what art is and what art can do—and I try to use my photography, sculpture, and conceptual work to investigate and reflect on this and many other interests. I was most recently a participant in the Irish Musuem of Modern Art’s Art and Politics Summer School. 

Art

Adinkra
Akan Proverbs

Books I’ve Read

About
CV (August 2020)

+233 596 035 876
blay.kenyah@gmail.com
Instagram



Blaykyi Kenyah © 2020
blaykyi-kenyah/adinkra

ADINKRA SYMBOLS

A repository of Akan adinkra symbols, updated reguarly



Wo nsa da mu a
Your hand(s) is/are in (the dish)
A symbol of democracy and pluralism (from the saying, wonsa da mu a, wɔnni nnya wo, meaning 'if your hand(s) is/are in the dish, you're not left behind in the eating')



Gye Nyame
But for God
A statement of faith in, hope in, or appreciation of God


Aya
Fern
A symbol of creativity


Ɔdɔ nyera fie kwan
Love does not lose its way home
Love finds its way. Also a proberb.


Adinkrahene
King of the adinkra
A symbol of authority and leadership



Dawnnini mmɛn
Ram horns
A symbol of strength and humility


Sankɔfa
Go back and take
A symbol of retrieving and cherishing heritage


Nkyinkyin
Twists and turns
A symbol of the turtuous path of life


Aban
Fortress
A symbol of durability and reliability


Woforo Dua Pa A
When you climb a good tree
A symbol of supporting worthwhile causes. This is from the proverb, “woforo dua pa, na yepia wo”, meaning, it is when you climb a good tree that you are pushed



Funtumfunefu ne Dɛnkyɛmfunafu
The name of a mythological creature
A symbol of a struggling towards a common goal


Wawa Aba
The seed of the Wawa tree
A symbol of toughness and hardiness



UAC Nkanea
UAC LIghts
A symbol of technological innovation, but a statement of colonialism. UAC is the United Africa Company, later absorbed by Unilever



Tamfo Bɛbrɛ
Enemies will suffer
A symbol that counters jealousy, or motivates success in the face of emnity


Ɔkɔdeɛ Mmɔrewɛ
Eagle talons
A symbol of strength and leadership. The eagle is the totem clan of the Asante royal family, the Oyokoɔ


Sesa wo suban
Change your character
A symbol of advice to the recalcitrant going down the wrong path


Nyansapɔ
Knot of Wisdom/Wisdom knot
A symbol of the ability of wise people to untangle delicate situations. From the proverb “Nyansapɔ, wɔsane no badwemma”, discussed in the proverbs section .



Owuo atwedeɛ
Death’s ladder
A symbol of the inevitability of death. From the proverb, “Owuo atwedeɛ, baakofoɔ mforo”, meaning Death’s ladder is not climbed by only one person.


Pempamsie
Sew and save aside
A symbol of preparedness 


Ɔsram ne Nsoromma
Moon and star
A symbol of faithfulness, love, and harmony


Nyame Dua
God’s tree
A symbol of divine presence and protection. The nyamedua is an actual tree native to tropical West Africa. Known for its fine grain, it is ideal for detailed carving, and is considered sacred in some Akan communities.


Nteaseɛ
Understanding
A symbol of understanding and cooperation



Nyame nwu na mawu
God won’t die, so I will not
A symbol of hope in the divine, especially for the preservation of one’s life


Okuafo pa 
Good farmer
A symbol of diligence and entrepreneurship


Sepɔw
Executioner’s knife
A symbol of justice





Nyame Biribi Wo Soro
God’s thing is in heaven
A symbol of hope in the divine


Nteaseɛ
Understanding
A symbol of understanding and cooperation



Nyame nwu na mawu
God won’t die, so I will not
A symbol of hope in the divine, especially for the preservation of one’s life


Okuafo pa
Good farmer
A symbol of diligence and entrepreneurship


Sepɔw
Executioner’s knife
A symbol of justice