Sankofa, an Akan word that literally means to “go back and fetch it” (“san” - to return; “ko” - to go; “fa” - to look, to seek and take), teaches us that we must go back and reclaim our past, and we can understand why and how we came to be who we are today, so we can move forward to a better future.
The Akan people of Ghana use an Adinkra symbol to represent Sankofa. One version is based on a mythical bird that flies forward with its head turned backwards. This reflects the Akan belief that the past serves as a guide for planning the future, or the wisdom in learning from the past in building the future.
The Akans believe that there must be movement with times, but as the forward march proceeds, the gems must be picked from behind and carried forward on the march.