Anaforuana and Abakwa: what are they?

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Jarhead
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Anaforuana and Abakwa: what are they?

Post by Jarhead » 24 Mar 2014 10:30

After listening to a talk about the African writing heritage, I remained very impressed by a certain kind of writing the speaker had displayed, because it looked like some kind of nonlinear, maybe pictographic alphabet (?) that he called Abakwa. Little research on google shows (I think) that Abakwa is a secret society originating in Africa, which uses that writing system, called Anaforuana, for ritual purposes.

This is what it looks like:
Image

Now. I strongly recommend you don't look up Abakwa before reading this. Looking for information on it shows they are a mutual help kind of thing, and no mention of brutality is ever made. However, looking it up on google shows an absurd number of visually intense, gory imagery of torture and murder, and it's something I really wouldn't suggest to anyone. If you want to read the Wikipedia article on Abakwa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abakuá . This is perfectly safe for children and makes no mention of Anaforuana or violence. You need to copy paste the URL because the board code is having trouble processing the final accented á I think.

Anyways, I've gotten really curious about this whole thing and I was hoping some of you knew something more about the Anaforuana writing system, and maybe, on a side note, even what's up with all this Abakwa thing.
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

Nortaneous
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Re: Anaforuana and Abakwa: what are they?

Post by Nortaneous » 28 Mar 2014 07:53

it's some secret society thing, probably related to religious rituals. google says it's descended from nsibidi and related to veve, a set of religious symbols in haiti. there's a book on it in spanish, but you might have better luck searching for nsibidi -- that seems to be more publicly known.

nsibidi is allegedly ideographic, with a library of only a few thousand symbols. no idea how it got from there to that or veve, but none of them are fully functional writing systems.

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Jarhead
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Re: Anaforuana and Abakwa: what are they?

Post by Jarhead » 30 Mar 2014 23:06

Mh. Thank you for taking the time to actually respond. I will try looking that up and see if I can make out something more about these things!
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

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