mako nyinaa • solidarity conscious
The solidarity conscious logo is an interpretation of the Adinkra symbol, mako nyinaa (pronounced mah-koh en-yee-nah-ah).
Mako nyinaa mpatu mmere is an expression in the language of the Akan or “first peoples” of Ghana and Ivory Coast. In English it translates roughly as all peppers on the same tree do not ripen at the same time.
For centuries Mako Nyinaa has been a part of the African writing system, Adinkra, and used in messages communicated through the indigenous cloth of the region.
In Adinkra traditional usage, evoking Mako Nyinaa serves as both a public acknowledgment that social inequalities and unequal opportunities exist inside all our communities, and a reminder of our traditional collective responsibilities to address these at all times. In fact, as peoples of Africa, such social conduct is customary and expected.
And where historical processes of our mass incarceration, enslavement, trafficking, colonization, oppression and alienation have cut us off from such beliefs and practices, it is up to us to reclaim them – to act decisively with love and care for one another, rather than reinforce than the very patterns of judgment, punishment and exclusion we wish to be free of ourselves. And it is up to us to act generously to redistribute our resources and wealth, within our means, for the greater health and well-being of the collective.
“solidarity conscious” understands that, although we all exist at different stages of growth, development, awareness, ability and consciousness, we all have the power to act, we have roles to play and actions to take in nurturing and protecting our collective well being and advancement.
The “solidarity conscious” logo is an interpretation of the Adinkra Mako Nyinaa symbol provided in Mobley’s, Adinkra cloth symbols – Asante wisdom. It was designed by LOKI Design, a mulitidisciplinary studio working at the intersection of graphic design and social change, based in Montreal.
References and further online reading on Adinkra
Ansah-Koi, N. A. (2008). Ibi tse yie (some people are better off): Wealth Re-distribution Mechanisms in the Coastal Town Moree, Ghana.
Boateng, B. (2014). Adinkra and Kente Cloth in History, Law, and Life.
Danzy, J. (2009). Adinkra symbols: an ideographic writing system (Doctoral dissertation, The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.).
Delaquis, E. N. (2013). The Adinkra: Re-reading a Discourse within a Discourse (Doctoral dissertation, Ohio University).
Kuwornu-Adjaottor, J. E. T., Appiah, G., & Nartey, M. (2016). The philosophy behind some Adinkra symbols and their communicative values in Akan. Philosophical Papers and Review, 7(3), 22-33.z
Mobley, A. (2014) ‘Adinkra cloth symbols – Asante wisdom’, 21 May. Available at: https://issuu.com/aaronmobley/docs/adinkra_cloth_symbols_-_asante_wisd (Last accessed: 18 April 2019).
Hartford, CT, United States
Aaron Mobley received his BS Degree in Art Education from Central Connecticut State University. He presently is a visual artist who teaches Fine Arts, Computer Graphics, and African Culture at the Artists Collective, Inc., located in Hartford, Connecticut. http://www.artistscollective.org
Adinkra Cloth Symbols: Asante Wisdom by Aaron Mobley
Can be viewed online or downloaded.
Aaron’s work is the most comprehensive and accurate (as far as I can assess) collection of Adinkra symbols I have been able to find through online searches of scholarly and non-academic works.