Ashanti people worked out a whole alphabet of symbols representing life and society´s aspects, and which are used to decorate fabrics and garments according to some established rules.
Apart from the symbols, background colors are important as well in clothes making, while symbols are extraordinarily fit for tattooing: they are simple, often very decorative, and have universal meanings.
Adinkra symbols are usually connected with personal qualities, but they are often representative of changes and things that happen to a person due to external events impacting on his life.
Here are the meanings of the symbols above. More detailed descriptions and new symbols will be added over time in the African tattoos section and in the search engine by searching "adinkra".