Friday 27 October 2023

If you think writing began in Africa after 1884, here are 35 societies that had writing

(1). Ancient Egypt - had hieroglyphs and hieratic which inspired Proto-Sinaitic.

(2). Aksumite Empire - Inscriptions on obelisks and other monuments.

(3). The Asante kingdom - used Adinkra symbols on cloths.

(4). Benin Empire - Use of writing on brass plaques and other objects.

(5). Buganda Kingdom - Use of a unique script called "Luganda".

(6). Dahomey Kingdom - Use of writing on commemorative staffs and other objects.

(8). Ethiopia (Solomonic dynasty) - Use of the Ge'ez script in religious texts and other writings.

(9). Ekpe and Ekoi people of Nigeria - had Nsibidi inscriptions. For instance, Nsibidi symbols can be seen on a ritual object, a mask in the shape of a bird's head, from south-eastern Nigeria. Nsibidi is a symbolic system used to decorate gourds, houses, textiles, pottery and other items. It is used both in public spaces and by Ekpe male secret societies.

(10). Ghana Empire - Mention of "scribes" in historical accounts.

(11). Ilorin Kingdom - used Ajami script.

(12). Kanem-Bornu Empire - Use of Arabic script in religious texts and other writings.

(13). Kongo Kingdom - used writing on bark, books and cloths.

(14). Napatan Kushite kingdom - first used pictograms then used hieroglyphs.

(15). Kingdom of Makuria - existed in Southern Egypt / northern Sudan. They wrote in Nubian as well as Greek from the 8th Century to the 15th century; leaving evidence on walls, buildings and manuscripts.

(16). Mali Empire - Mention of "scribes" in historical accounts.

(17). Meroitic Kushite Kingdom: wrote in cursive Meroitic for administrative work and hieroglyphic Meroitic for religious purposes.

(18). Kingdom of Mauretania: wrote in Latin and Tifinagh.

(19). Nobatia - was a kingdom in Nubia that wrote in Coptic. There is a copy of a Coptic inscription in the Temple of Dendur, commemorating the conversion of the temple into a church during the reign of king Eirpanome (mid-6th century).

(20). Nok civilisation - had inscriptions on their terracotta. It has not been decoded yet out of disinterest.

(21). Nubia - Use of the Meroitic script and later, the Coptic script.

(22). Old Kingdom of Egypt - Use of hieroglyphs in tombs and other monuments.

(23). Punt - Use of hieroglyphs in Egyptian inscriptions.

(24). San - Use of rock art to convey information and stories.

(25). Songhai Empire - Mention of "scribes" in historical accounts.

(26). Swahili city-states - Use of Arabic script in written records and other writings.

(27). Tifinagh-speaking Berber societies - Use of the Tifinagh script in written records and other writings.

(28). Timbuktu - Existence of numerous written texts and manuscripts.

(29). Wagadu Empire - Mention of "scribes" in historical accounts.

(31). Yoruba Kingdoms - Use of a unique script in religious and other writings. This fell out of use and Latin script was adopted prior to colonisation. Scribes were called Akọ̀wé.

(32). The Zagwe Dynasty (10th-13th century AD): A medieval dynasty that ruled over a large part of the Ethiopian Highlands. It was founded by Mara Takla Haymanot, a descendant of the Aksumite kings. They wrote in Ge’ez.

(33). Zimbabwe Kingdom - Use of writing on stone and pottery objects.

(34). Zulu Kingdom - Use of beadwork to convey information and stories.

(35). Efik People - the Elite of the Efik people wrrr literate, based on evidence we have of written correspondence between Europeans and the rulers of the Efik people.

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