In the beginning of the movie, when Black Panther goes back home and is greeted by his mother and sister Shuri, she is wearing a shirt with what looks like a Green Lantern symbol.

enter image description here
(source: thisisinsider.com)

But Green Lantern is DC, so there's no logical reason to have that symbol since there's no chance of a crossover. Is there any special meaning to that symbol?

  • 2
    It doesn't really look like the Green Lantern symbol. The Green Lantern symbol is a circle with straight lines above and below. There are no lines crossing the circle or curled appendages.
    – jpmc26
    May 10, 2018 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


This is one of the Adinkra Symbols denoting different concepts or aphorisms.

enter image description here

It is called WAWA ABA, seed of the wawa tree. It is a symbol of hardiness, toughness and perseverance.

From above linked page,

The seed of the wawa tree is extremely hard. In Akan culture, it is a symbol of someone who is strong and tough. It inspires the individual to persevere through hardship.

This might depict virtues of Shuri who is strong, brave and intelligent which we have seen in the movie.

From this interview with Ruth Carter (costume designer),

I have to ask about the details. I noticed the adinkra symbol, which I believe means "cooperation,” stamped across W'Kabi's (played by Daniel Kaluuya) blanket and other symbols in the movie. How did you come up with that, and who would wear what?

Ah! You caught that. Very good! Yes, there was a Ghanaian Adinkra symbol on W'Kabi's blanket, as well as on Shuri's blouse when you first see her in the film. There are symbols everywhere, actually. T'challa also wears a different symbol in his throne room, Killmonger's mask is a dogon piece, and N'kiya and her father of course has the most prominent traditional symbol with his lip plate.

  • Per Ruth Carter, this symbol means "purpose": youtu.be/mmP1aHJjJ-U?t=1m32s May 9, 2018 at 18:46
  • @Gallifreyan I provided a more authentic source for the meaning of this symbol.
    – A J
    May 14, 2018 at 12:28
  • Misinformed or not, she's the costume designer, and she put the symbol there based on the meaning she thought it had, and her vision of it is important. May 14, 2018 at 12:30

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