Meaning

Fihankra is an enclosed or secured compound house. It is a symbol of brotherhood, safety, security, completeness, and solicarity.

Significance

Communal living among the Akans is the default. “It takes a village to raise a child” is not just figuratively true but literally lived. The underlying concept is that of the common humanity of all mankind. In the olden days, the severest punishment for an offending member of society was banishment. The expression is “twa n’asu” to wit, “Cast him across the river.” To do that is to ostracize the person, publicly repudiating his action to deter others.

Safety and security come at a cost and every citizen must be raised and equipped to contribute to his quota. One entrance and one exit for the compound house guarantees that the movement of members of the society are public knowledge. This facilitates the socialization and integration of every member of the household into the family unit, and, by extention, the broader society as there is a societal check on people’s behavior.

Further, this architecture ensures that there is interaction as people cannot go to and fro without encountering others.

It also reduces the probability of breaches–the single source of of weakness can be carefully guarded. Besides, the safety in numbers works to the advantage of the household. You are unlikely to be attacked or robbed if you live in a traditional compound house–there’s always someone to come to your rescue. Neither will you go hungry if you a a well-integrated member of society.

Bibliography

  1. The meaning of the symbol was taken from The Adinkra Dictionary by W. Bruce Willis.

More Adinkra Symbols

Gye Nyame icon Sankofa icon Sankofa icon Adinkrahene icon Dwennimmen icon Funtumfunefu Denkyemfunefu icon Nkyinkyim icon Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan icon Denkyem icon Aban icon Abe Dua icon Adwo icon Agyindawuru icon Akoben icon Akofena icon Akoko Nan icon Akoma Ntoaso icon Akoma icon Ananse Ntentan icon Ani Bere A Enso Gya icon Asase Ye Duru icon Aya icon Bese Saka icon Bi Nka Bi icon Dame-Dame icon Dono Ntoaso icon Dono icon Duafe icon Eban icon Epa icon Ese ne Tekrema icon Fafanto icon Fihankra icon Fofo icon Gyawu Atiko icon Hwehwemudua icon Hye Wo Nhye icon Kramo Bone Amma Yeanhu Kramo Pa icon Kuronti ne Akwamu icon Kwatakye Atiko icon Mako icon Menso Wo Kenten icon Mframadan icon Mmere Dane icon Mpatapo icon Mpuannum icon Nea Onnim icon Nkonsonkonson icon Nsaa icon Nsoromma icon Nteasee icon Nyame Biribi Wo Soro icon Nyame Dua icon Nyame Nwu Na Mawu icon Okuafo Pa icon Osram ne Nsoromma icon Owuo Atwedee icon Sepow icon Tamfo Bebre icon UAC Nkanea icon Wawa Aba icon Woforo Dua Pa A icon