- Shuri is the princess of Wakanda and a vital super-genius in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- In a new video with Vanity Fair , “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth Carter revealed the way Shuri’s first costume indicated her importance.
- Shuri’s shirt had the Adinkra symbol for “purpose” on it.
- Her royal status already lent to Shuri’s place in the story, but as “Black Panther” revealed she’s also the smartest character in the MCU and vital to the future movies.
New revelations about “Black Panther” have continued surfacing as the movie continues breaking records (and rising on the list of highest-grossing films of all time ). Now costume designer Ruth Carter has revealed fascinating design secrets behind the outfits seen in “Black Panther,” including the revelation that Shuri’s first costume had a symbol for “purpose” on it.
In a new installment of Vanity Fair’s “Notes on a Scene,” Carter explained the various design elements in Shuri’s costumes. The outfit Shuri is wearing features an Adinkra symbol (cultural visual symbols from the Asante/Ghana region of Africa) on it.
“This Adinkra symbol means ‘purpose,'” Carter said. “And she certainly has a purpose in Wakanda.”
The exact symbol appears to be the “Wawa” motif. According to several online resources , it “literally means the ‘seed of the wawa tree,’ which is a symbol of hardness, toughness and perseverance.”
Watch the full video below (the section of Shuri’s shirt starts at about 1:30).
We knew Shuri was an important character simply from her status as a princess of Wakanda. But over the course of “Black Panther” (after her initial introduction with the shirt Carter was discussing), we’re shown how essential she is to the country’s technological advances. Every weapon and innovation seen in Wakanda is the result of Shuri’s personal laboratory.
She’s smarter and more scientifically creative than Tony Stark and Bruce Banner — two characters previously celebrated as the tech titans of the Marvel Cinematic universe.
By the time we see her again in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” we know her purpose in the cinematic universe is much larger than first trailers for “Black Panther” let on.