The Nwagụ Aneke Script is a syllabary for the Umuleri dialect of Igbo. It was developed in late 1950s by Ogbuevi Nwagụ Aneke, an illiterate land owner and diviner from Umuleri, a village in Anambra State in the southeast of Nigeria. He claimed that spirits of his ancestors revealed the symbols to him.
Ogbuevi Nwagụ Aneke apparently wandered the forests for many weeks collecting leaves from the trees. Then started marking symbols on the leaves, encouraged by the spirits. Eventually he came up with a way to write his own dialect of Igbo, Umuleri. This consisted of separate symbols for each syllable of the language, plus some symbols to represent whole words. Some of the symbols resemble Nsibidi, a type of pictographic / ideographic writing used by the Igbo, Ibibio, Efik and Ekoi peoples of Nigeria in pre-colonial times.
Ogbuevi Nwagụ Aneke used the script to write many diary entries and books. For three years before his death in 1991, he was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Nigeria. He spent his time there writing messages from the spirits in his script.
Information about the Nwagụ Anemke Syllabary
Azuonye, Chukwuma, "The Nwagu Aneke Igbo Script: Its Origins, Features and Potentials as a Medium of Alternative Literacy in African Languages" (1992). Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series. 13
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