Nsibidi Ancient Nigerian Writing System

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A lot of people have heard about Nsibidi and seen a few of the symbols but not everybody knows the truth of how expansive Nsibidi or even the origins of the Nsibidi script so today i'll be breaking it down and giving the history of the Nsibidi script as well as more information on the script and it's different forms and uses Furst off what is important to know is that Nsibidi isn't only a script it is actually broken down into three forms Nsibidi writing Nsibidi sign language Nsibidi language And i'll try and break all of these down as much as possible but it must be remembered that most information pertaining to Nsibidi is kept secret by the Ekpe Societies From there the people realized the power of Nsibidi and began to formulate a secret society to guard the power of Nsibidi and this secret society was named the Ekpe society named after the Leopard a symbol of stealth and power among most groups in Ancient Africa. It was through this society that most knowledge of Nsibidi was kept and any and all knowledge of the spoken Nsibidi, Nsibidi sign language and symbols of Nsibidi pertaining to power, war and government were kept secret by this society. But that doesn't mean that the people weren't able to learn Nsibidi there were specific symbols that were made public to the people such as those pertaining to love, friendship and basic pronouns such as man, woman, child, family etc. Although many will disagree with the secrecy of Nsibidi it was actually very useful to the Ekpre Society who also functioned as a sort of policing system in those times because they were able to communicate messages to each other secretly without people knowing it was especially useful in times of war or unrest in which they were able to communicate to each other where to go meanwhile the enemies or the rebels wouldn't know what they were planning or what exactly they were to do next, some historians even attribute the strength of the Aro to the skillfullness of their warriors in communicating with each other whether through symbols or through sign language it was through this that they were able to conquer large swathes of Igbo land very easily. The Ekpe society not only used Nsibidi as a form of communication but they also used it for religious purposes it is believed that only a few people at the top of the Ekpe society were taught the practice of Sigil magic or the magic that can be produced from the writing of very specific Nsibidi symbols on the ground unfortunately not much is known about this practice in its truest form due to the secrecy of the Ekpe society but there are great examples of it in Cuba as members of the society were often kidnapped and sold off in the slave trade and in fear of their knowledge being lost they taught it to other Africans around them and the practice lives on today as Abakua. But the most useful use of Nsibidi was likely for court cases in which it was used to accurately describe the purpose, the attendees and the conclusion of the court case although most of these have not survived as they were often written on the ground with chalk or on tree trunks and artefacts which have been lost to time. But Nsibidi still lives on today not only through the Ekpe Society but also through the Ikom Monoliths, ARtefacts such as Calabashes and bronzes, in shrines dedicated to different deities of the ancestors and probably most famously in Ukara Ekpe the sacred cloth worn by members of the Ekpe Society which often tell stories through the Nsibidi inscriptions on them. To end it off i'll just like to say that Nsibidi isn't like any other script in existence especially due to it's abstract nature whilst most scripts of today are written from left to right or top to bottom Nsibidi is written in an abstract form there is still a form to it but it is often very random to the normal person as can be seen from the two pictures of court cases written in Nsibidi from the 1800s

NB: Stories are shared by community members. The article does NOT represent the official view of NaijaWorld and the author is SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for this article
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