The Hanunó'o or Mangyan script is one of a number of closely related
scripts used in the Philippines until the 17th Century. It is thought
to have descended from the Kawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which
in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian
scripts derived from Brahmi.
Hanunó'o writing is used mainly to write love songs or
ʼambāhan, and also for correspondence. About 70%
of the Hanunó'o are able to read and write their language, and there
is at least one person in each family who is literate.
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet in which each consonant has an inherent
vowel [a]. Other vowels are indicated by diacritics.
Syllable final consonants are not written and readers have to use context
to work out which final consonants are intended.
Direction of writing: traditionally written with the point of a knife on bamboo
in vertical columns from bottom to top and left to right. Though it is usually
read from left to right in horizontal lines.
Used to write
Hanunó'o, an Austronesian language spoken in the southern
part of the Philippine island of Mindoro by about 10,000 to 12,000 people. Speakers
of this language are known as Hanunó'o or Hanunó'o-Mangyan. The term
Mangyan is the collective name for the eight indigenous peoples of Mindoro.
The letters are all pronunced in the same way as their IPA equivalents, with
the exception of ng = [ŋ] and y = [j].