The Meaning of the Symbolism

of the

Sankofa Bird


The concept of SANKOFA is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Afrika. SANKOFA is expressed in the Akan language as "se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki."

Literally translated it means "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot".

"Sankofa" teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated.

Visually and symbolically "Sankofa" is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth.


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