Hand and Fingers
Education often crops up in conjunction with other more traditional African themes. A pattern called Hands and Fingers shows the upturned palm of a hand surrounded by rows of detached fingers, with the hand holding twelve pennies. This design is very old, with some sources dating it as far back as 1895, and has been available in various forms from several companies ever since.
The education theme is expressed by the twelve pennies, which make up one shilling. In Africa, or for that matter anywhere, what could be more educational than how to add up your pennies?
Digging deeper into the Hands and Fingers design we find another universal theme: interdependence. This theme works on multiple levels, from the national and tribe all the way down to the village,
the compound and the family. Just as the hand is useless without
the fingers, the ruler or village elder cannot function without the support of the people.