Moon Motif Adinkra Cloth
The word “Adinkra” means “goodbye” or “farewell,” and these are typically funerary textiles from the Asante people of West Africa. These would usually be darker colors, and the tradition evolved into being more colorful and worn for celebrations. This example is from the 20th century and is very colorful and bright. The Adinkra cloths contain symbols that all have a proverbial meaning. This particular cloth has the moon and stars motif, called “Osram ne Nsoromma” which symbolizes love, faithfulness, and harmony. It can often be associated with the bond between two people in marriage.
The woven vertical stripes were sewn together with the orange base, then the design was stamped on top of it. A zig zag pattern decorates the ground, filled with patterns of moons, stars, and grids. The grids on this piece were likely drawn using a bamboo comb, and the ink used is vegetable-based. The images are typically applied to the fabric using a stamp carved out of a calabash gourd. The rounded shape allows them to apply the design in a rocking motion.
Circa: 20th Century
Material: Cotton and Silk
Inventory number: TX4548