New in the Adinkra Bookstore: Highlife Music

The Highlife AllStars
Highlife, the signature music of Ghana, is a joyous and complex genre that has had a profound influence on African and world music over the last 70 years. If you are ever feeling down, this music will pick you up and make you dance!

Adinkra Guides and Graphics


The Adinkra dictionary : A Visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra
by W. Bruce Willis
($22-$25, depending on condition; 314 pages)
The most comprehensive guide to adinkra available, with detailed information and alternative versions of each symbol, plus the history of Ghana, the development of Ashanti culture, and a brief intro to the Twi language--all in 314 pages! No longer available from the publisher; I bought this used on Amazon for about $25, and it is really worth it, if you are interested in adinkra and Ghana in general.

If you don't see a copy available at a reasonable price on Amazon, check back again. The supply of books depends on the secondhand book dealers that work through Amazon.


African Designs from Traditional Sources
by Geoffrey Williams
($10.36; 200 pages; 378 illustrations)
A wide range of designs and symbols from African tribes including the Ashanti that can be reproduced or enlarged for use in art and design projects.


Traditional African Designs
by Gregory Mirow
($6.95; 43 pages, 200 illustrations)
A inexpensive book of clip art, which includes adinkra among other African traditional designs, which can be used in a wide variety of craft and design projects.


African Designs of the Congo, Nigeria, the Cameroons and the Guinea Coast
by Caren Caraway
($11.17; 144 pages)
Copyright-free art from some of Ghana's neighboring countries, which can be used for graphic treatments, craft designs, and interior or exterior decoration.


West African Symbols: Adinkra: 31 Rubber Stamps
by Mimi Robinson
($19.95; 31 stamps plus 24 page booklet)
I've given these as Christmas presents. It's a nice set for kids who like arts and crafts. However, the stamps are small, and the little booklet that comes with them is not very informative. It's a bit overpriced (it used to be discounted 30% but Amazon has discontinued the discount for some reason), but it's the only thing out there like it.

For Children


Ananse and the Lizard: A West African Tale
by Pat Cummings
($11.87, 40 pages, hardcover)
Ananse, the spider, is the trickster in West African tales. In this story, Ananse hopes to win the chief's daughter -- unless Lizard spoils his plan. Mixed-media paintings beautiful illustrate these wily characters.


The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth
by Margaret Musgrove, illustrated by Julia Cairns
($11.87, 40 pages, hardcover)
The story of how two weavers stumble upon an amazing spider web, the origin of the world-renowned Kente weaving tradition. Stunning watercolor illustrations.

Books on Ghana


All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
by Maya Angelou
($8.80; 208 pages)
I love this book!! I bought it after I found out I was going to Ghana, and after reading it, I couldn't wait to get there. Angelou really conveys some of the atmosphere of daily life, although she lived there in mid-1960s. It is fascinating to read about her life as one of many African-American expatriates in Ghana during an exciting and tumultuous time for politics in Ghana and the U.S.


Bradt Ghana
by Philip Briggs
($13.27; 368 pages; 2nd edition: Sept. 2001)
This is the best single travel book about Ghana. If you are planning to go there, get it.



Wrapped in Pride:
Ghanaian Kente and African-American Identity

by Doran H. Ross, et al.
($31.50, 347 pages, hundreds of full-color photos throughout, oversize 12" x 9" format)
Like adinkra, kente cloth is from Ghana and its patterns represent a complex system of symbolism. This extensive study of kente's history and meaning and its influence on African-American culture is illustrated with many, many photos of kente cloth in Africa and in the U.S. It is the best kind of scholarly book that will appeal to anyone interested in Ghanaian culture.


Master Weaver from Ghana
by Gilbert Ahiagble, Louise Meyer, photos by Nestor Hernandez
African Studies Association: 1999 Best Book for Young Children

Kente Colors
by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate, Illustrations by John Ward

Kofi and His Magic
by Maya Angelou, photos by Margaret Courtney-Clarke

Ghanaian and West African Cuisine

Authentic African Cuisine from Ghana
by David and Tamminay Otoo

"My Cooking" West-African Cookbook
by Dokpe Lillian Ogunsanya

South of the Sahara:Traditional Cooking from the Lands of West Africa
by Lillian A. Jackson

Ghanaian Fiction

Changes: A Love Story
by Ama Ata Aidoo

No Sweetness Here and Other Stories
by Ama Ata Aidoo


Thank you for shopping at the bookstore.
Revenue from book sales will support this site's mission to add more adinkra symbols to the index and to offer high-quality graphics files at no charge for use in personal projects.

Some of the books listed are out-of-print, but are available used through Amazon.



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