How to pronounce Nsaa
The meaning and philosophical significance of Nsaa
Nsaa is a type of woven cloth renowned for its quality. It is a symbol of excellence, genuineness, authenticity; from the Akan proverb “Nea onnim nsaa na oto n’ago,” to wit, he who does not know quality nsaa will buy the fakes.
Craftsmanship is an indispensable quality in the weaving of cloth. Whether Kente or some other fabric, the traditional methods of weaving involve a laborious process of joining yarns together thread by thread to form thin strips which are then sewn together. Modern technology has afforded us the opportunity to be able to generate similitudes of authentic woven cloths at scale but their value cannot surpass that of the woven cloth. The infusion of human effort in the creation of the fabric amplifies its value. It shows an appreciation for craftsmanship, effort, authenticity, and thoughtfulness in the creation of the cloth. It confirms the tacit contract between the creator and the customer—an implied understanding that they share common tastes and values.
The uncritical and uninitiated or those uneducated in the principles of quality may not be able to distinguish the genuine from the fake but not so with the discerning. They can tell quality miles away.
Kente weaving at Bonwire and Ephraim Amu’s iconic kente song
Kente weaving at Bonwire has gained worldwide acclaim for the skill of its craftsmen. Ephram Amu’s iconic song has reverberated over the decades with rhythms extolling their skill and virtue. The first verse is the following:
Akyinakyin akyinkyin ama mahu nneema
Akyinakyin akyinkyin ama mate nsem a
Asante Bonwire kente nwene minhunuu bi da o
Asante Bonwire kente nwene mentee bi da o
Kwame dee onim adee ye kente nwene abo ne gye
Ne nsa, ne nan, ne nsateaa se egyegye nie
Kro kro kro kro hi hi hi hi
Kro hi kro hi kro kro kro hi hi kro kro kro hi hi kro hi kro kro hi kro na aye me de o aye me de o
Bonwire kente nwene no aye me de o abo me gye
The Harmonious Choral orchestra also has a beautiful rendition of this song:
Logos with Nsaa
ICGC theme logo for 2020 “The year of excellence.”
Akan Proverbs related to quality, authenticity, and excellence
- Ohohoo na oware obaa kwadwofoo (lazy woman)
- Ohohoo na owe dwanfunu
- Nea yennim no awia no yenso kanea nhwe n’anim anadwo
- Obi mfa ne koree-ntakra nkosesa opete-ntakra
- Ahwene pa nkasa
The image of the symbol was taken from the Kasahorow Adinkra Library.