Adinkra Banners

Appropriate for grades: K - 12
Subject areas: History and Social Studies Visual and Performing Arts

Adinkra cloth is a stamped fabric that is made in Ghana, Africa. Symbolic motifs which represent proverbs are carved from calabashes, a type of gourd, and are dipped into a black dye made from the bark of the badie tree. Adinkra artists divide the fabric into squares and then create patterns and repetitive designs using the inked stamps. Adinkra cloth has been used traditionally for funerary occasions, but has grown in popularity and the symbols can be seen on a variety of clothing and objects. Spanish Language Version


Teaching / Learning Goals:

Teachers and students will …


  • Understand the way that adinkra cloth has been used traditionally and how the adinkra stamps are used today (historical and cultural understanding). 
  • Describe and discuss the process of making adinkra cloth, including the use of symbols and their meanings and the materials that are used (perceiving, analyzing and responding).
  • Explore graphic design, pattern, sequence, repetition and printing techniques to make an adinkra banner (creating and performing).

Download Lesson Plan