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Sylvester James Gates was one of the co-discoverers of Adinkras. These are graphical representations of susy (supersymmetry) algebras.

They are named after a West African people — the Akan of Ghana and the Gyamen of the Côte d'Ivoire. They are visual symbols called by the same name and represent concepts or aphorisms, which in itself sounds like a fascinating idea.

This suggested to me that perhaps Gayes had some direct link to the Akan or Gyamen people. However, I couldn't find any information on this.

Q. Why did Sylvester James Gates choose this name for these graphs?

Obviously this is to celebrate his African heritage. But why this as opposed to many other things he could have chosen?

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    $\begingroup$ Gates, in a 2012 article - Symbols of Power: Adinkras and the Nature of Reality states that Adinkra are "symbols that represent wise sayings in West African culture", though he does not state exactly why he chose this name. $\endgroup$
    – nwr
    Sep 2, 2020 at 23:43

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Because the symmetrical Adinkra symbols used by the Asante people of Africa have the intent of visualizing the indescribable some and also vaguely resemble some of his graphical supersymmetry representations. From the actual research paper:

The use of symbols to connote ideas which defy simple verbalization is perhaps one of the oldest of human traditions. The Asante people of West Africa have long been accustomed to using simple yet elegant motifs known as Adinkra symbols, to serve just this purpose. With a nod to this tradition, we christen our graphical symbols as “Adinkras.”

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