Man’s Wrapper (Adinkra)

Akan group, Ghana, African

20th century

The designs on adinkra cloth are printed on either hand- or machine-woven textiles using stamps carved from calabashes, and a thick black dye made from bark and iron slag. Large cloths serve as men’s robes and are worn draped over one shoulder. This type of printed textile was originally produced to be worn at funerals or during the mourning period. Each stamped shape has symbolic meaning or refers to a proverb or saying.