Gye Nyame, meaning “except for God,” symbolizes God’s omnipotence through the knowledge that people should not fear anything except for God. Another interpretation of “except for God” is that no one has seen the beginning of all creations, nor will anyone live to see the end, except for God. Gye Nyame indicates the recognition of the supremacy of God over all beings, and therefore is the one that is feared and revered by all. This is one of the many Adinkra symbols of West Africa, Ghana, and is used by the Akan people in various decorations, clothing, and artwork. Some say that the symbol represents a spiral galaxy, or two hands with different gestures that refer to God being supreme to the simplistic ideals of male and female identifications that are used today. The use of this symbol by the Akan people suggests that the Akan had a highly advanced writing language that transmitted religious and cultural concepts, and also might have had a some what extensive knowledge of astronomy, which shows their intellect and indicates that the Akan were a more advanced civilization.
Last updated: October 22, 2015