Tuesday, 19 February 2008


A formerly secret ritual and contemplative tool used by the Adinkrahen esoteric society in Kumasi,Ghana.

A perspective on its significance describes each tip of the two quadrilaterals as representing a vertex,a dimensional interface.

It is rumoured that this device was used by Asamfo Anokye,with Osei Tutu I,one of the founders of the Asante nation, in his disappearance from Asante.

Within this perspective,the space between the two quadrilaterals is a non-dimensional space into which the would be inter-dimensional voyager projects themselves mentally.The consequent alignment of the coordinates of consciousness with the points of each quadrilateral,simultaneous with the positioning within the null space of the centre between the quadrilaterals, leads to a cancelling out of what the Akan understood as Nsanmo,the state of being that makes possible perceivable existence.

The design is understood by the uninitiated as Epa,an Adinkra symbol representing captivity.Its is perceived as a stylised depiction of a pair of handcuffs.The initiate,however,understands that captivity not to represent only a material bondage but any form of bondage that prevents the complete actualisation of the self,the fulfillment of the full potential of the self as realised in the intersection between the material self and the kra,the inner self that predates birth and outlives death.

The Twi proverb which is described at http://www.africawithin.com/tour/ghana/adinkra_symbols.htm,as related to this symbol,Onii a n epa da wo nsa no, ne akowa ne wo " You are the slave of him whose handcuffs you wear",suggests,to the initiate not a bondage over physical faculties,but a captivity of the ignorance that traps the individual in the artificial constructions of values that often constitute human society.

To the initiate,the symbol of captivity also embodies the conception of freedom from captivity.The aerodynamic styling of the design evokes ideas of flight,of unfettered freedom yet directed by disciplined intelligence.

The use of this symbol went hand in hand with sophisticated mathematical procedures through which the initiate calculated relative positions in relation to the dimensional interfaces through which they travelled.Their ideas suggest relationships to Riemannian non-Euclidean geometry which contradicts the classical Euclidean conception that parallel lines can never meet. On the other hand,the quantitative values of the Adinkra symbol are meant to aid in constructing,within an accuracy of 1.00000 ,the points of intersection of the lines that,moving in parallel lines,converge at points that constitute the constellation of particular dimensional coordinates.

An opposing perspective on the significance of the Adinkra symbol Epa as an inter-dimensional vehicle as a blind created by the Adinkrahen to conceal its true function as an inter-dimensional enabler,but one which works through transformations of consciousnes that facilitates a split second conjunction between human consciousness and the coordinates that constitute the framework of the universe.

I would tend to give credence to this view because my experience with the symbol suggests that its consistent contemplation could lead to a dissociation of consciousness that creates a space between the boundaries of dream,vision and ordinary alertness that enables a participation in modes of being that are otherwise sensed but not experienced directly.

Some would describe these attributions of symbolic value as self invented ideas.I leave those sceptics to their conclusions.