Bese Saka - Sack of cola nuts - affluence, abundance, unity
100% silk twill scarf (90 x 90 cm)
Designed by Yaw Tony
Ref. : 001-2316-F39120
Name/Theme: Bese saka (Bunch of cola nuts)
Literal Translation: “Bese” means “Cola nut” “saka” means bunch.
Meaning: it is the food for the weary, the food for greatness, a stimulant for power and achievements (Glover, 1969). This symbol is also used for the production of adinkra cloth with other adinkra symbols.
Background: cola nuts is a one-seeded fruit, are about 2.5 cm (1 in) long, developed from a compound ovary, that has external walls hardened to a woody consistency, and that is indehiscent. They have a mottled brown or reddish-grey colour, the taste of the fresh seeds is bitter, but as the nuts age and they become slightly aromatic. The seeds contain caffeine, tannin, and theo-bromine, and are used extensively in the manufacture of cola drinks. Cola nut is enjoyed by chewing and purposely for its stimulating effect, making you active. It is mostly patronized and used by the farmers mostly from the Northern tribes of Ghana. It is also served to visitors as they welcome them to their homes to refresh their strength and to accept them into their fold. This magical and mysterious seed used by most people could not have evaded the attention of the Asantes.
Moral Value: They have learnt that the road to achievement is sometimes bitter but it turns to strengthen one’s life for great success. Little achievements give strength for one to carry on even when tiredness sets in. It is a symbol of power and wealth.
Originator: Opanin Kofi Maanu an indigene of Asante-Ntonso is believed to have originated the symbol (Nana Agya Bedu-2007 a Master Artisan at Ntonso). The year of its origination is unknown but it is believed to be during the reign of Nana Opoku Ware I who ruled Ashanti kingdom from (1719-1750).
Idea development: This motive was developed from the cross-section of a cola nut. It is like twins found in one womb. The conception of power or achievement in life is the element of strength and hard work. Like twins constituting two different people, are conceived by the same parents, almost at the same time.
Extract from Cultural Symbolism in Asante Traditional Textiles by ABRAHAM EKOW ASMAH
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