Gyawu Atiko - Symbol of Valor

Gyawu Atiko - Symbol of Valor
100% silk twill scarf (90 x 90 cm) 
Color: tea rose/spanish red/sugar plum/smokey black/

Designed by Yaw Tony
Ref. : 001-2316-935F1F

Name/Theme: Gyawu Atiko/ Valour
Literal Translation: the back of Gyawu’s head (Rattray, 1959: 265)
Meaning: Gyawu was a brave and self-confident sub-chief of Bantama who at the annual Odwira ceremony was said to have had his hair shaved in this fashion; ‘atiko’ refers to the hind head (backside of the head). Gyawu atiko, therefore, means the hind head of Gyawu.  
Background: valor or courage is a virtue required by every society in any man, especially in the face of war or battle. The chief warrior of Asante being the chief of Bantama was identified as custom demanded to shave this symbol on its head. Hair-do is a very important form of art. A person’s social status especially in the royal palace was symbolically shown in his or her hair-do. Some of the hairstyles were; Nhwete, worn by treasury bag bearers, tipa, suame or nkwondwa soafopuaa worn by stool bearers, Nkwantanan worn by key bearers and topi worn by porters of the chief’s palanquin. Shaved hair strands were not discarded but stacked in a crack of a wall so that, should one die far away from home, the funeral rites may be performed using the kept shaved hair strands. This symbol was a hairstyle shaved at the back of the Bantama chief’s head. Kwatakye was also a war captain of one of the Asante kings; at the Odwira ceremony, he is said to have cut his hair after the fashion shown in fig 41a which is often mistaken for Gyawu Atiko (Rattray, 1959: 267).
Moral Value: The symbol encourages people to affirm their belief in their ability to undertake difficult tasks where others express doubt. It also urges people to be a little adventurous. This is a symbol of valour.

Extract from Cultural Symbolism in Asante Traditional Textiles by ABRAHAM EKOW ASMAH

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Preserve the integrity and beauty of your silk by storing it flat and untied. Avoid contact with rain, water and other chemicals such as petroleum-based cleaners (synthetic/neutral detergent), and entrust it to a professional dry cleaner only. Press lightly on the back of the silk with a cool iron.
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