Ancient Manding Script

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1162
  • Published : June 25, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
It has been assumed that West Africa had been introduced to writing by the Arabs. This is evidently untrue because of the demands of trade; scripts were invented by African trader groups. This especially held true for the Mande/Manding speaking groups who are now recognized as the inventors of several scripts. They were derived from a proto-Mande script invented thousands of years ago by the ancestors of the Mande when they lived in Sahara at the time it was fertile. This proto-Mande script was used by the ancient Mande to write or engrave inscriptions throughout the Western Sahara. This script was a syllabary similar to the Vai script. Mande scripts were invented by traders to keep their business records. These scripts were created by the demands of long distance trade. They were created by merchants to help them keep records of their business transactions and were later used as a means of preserving religious doctrines and writing obituaries. Evidence suggests that copper and gold were the early items offered in trade by the Mande. The Mande language consists of two groups: Mande Tan and Mande Fu. The speakers of the Mande Tan group live mainly in the north. The second group, Mande Fu, includes the Malinke-Bambara-Dyula cluster. There are still debates concerning the age of the Mande language. The Mande speakers were part of the ancient Maa or Fish Confederation. The Maa confederation consisted of the ancient Egyptians, Elamites, Sumerians and Dravidians, in addition to the Mande and other Niger-Congo groups. During the proto-Saharan period, they had domesticated cattle in the Western Sahara. This was as early as 5,000 BC, indicated by the appearance of painted slabs portraying cattle with rope around their necks. The proto-Mande occupied an area extending from the Western Sahara to the Fezzan in southern Libya. Mande speakers were generally established early in the southern Sahara and around 3,000 BC, Mande speakers spread into Eastern and...
tracking img