The symbols reproduced in these notecards, excerpted from Saki Mafundikwa’s Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika (Mark Batty Publisher, 2004), are from the living languages of four major Afrikan* cultures. Spoken and understood, written and read by millions, these languages--like every language worldwide--have evolved to meet the needs of the people they serve.
Sensibilities shape languages and languages shape sensibilities: if there has never been snow in your people’s country, there won’t be a word for it, and if there is no word for it, the whole concept of snow will be impossible to grasp without resorting to another language. Someone unfamiliar with crocodile behavior, or with the Adinkra language, wouldn’t grasp that the ideograph funtunfunefu denkyemfunefu—literally, “Siamese crocodiles”—stands for “unity through diversity,” i.e., “democracy.”
But with understanding comes the recognition that humans are more alike than they are different: akoma ntoaso, “linked hearts,” could stand for “understanding” or “agreement” in any language on the planet, just as it does among the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast.
* No Afrikan language spells Africa with a c or its equivalent.
Contains Adinkra symbols (Ghana/Ivory Coast), Bantu symbols (South Africa), Vai syllabary (Liberia), and Loma syllabary (Liberia). Twenty 5 x 7" blank notecards (five each of four styles) with white envelopes in a decorative box. ISBN 0-7649-3730-8.