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Any use of the symbols created in this project should first be checked through contact with this email: odensibiri@gmail.com.

Showing posts with label Old characters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Old characters. Show all posts

28 April 2011


The nsibidi signs for numbers are from the representations of the amount of certain objects, the most common of these objects were rods, which were used as money in the days before European contact. The '5' was from an early source for nsibidi, as many of you probably know, this is a common way of writing down numbers amongst most world cultures. To differentiate numbers from rods, the bars at the end of the lines were removed. The characters pretty much explain themselves.

EDIT: Everyday numbers will be in Hindu Arabic script. 1234567890. The numbers posted here are just for special occasions and to preserve the original numbers.

17 March 2011


Middle + Fire/energy + Top + Land/Life = Chí

Note - 18 March 2011:
I understand that 'Chí' is a very abstract concept in Igbo culture (among many things), and this character was created to capture the basic "idea" of Chi. Many concepts in Igbo culture may not be able to be explained with words. The characters that will be created do not intend to add any meaning to the concepts, but to create a character that is, in a basic form, relevant to the concept as has been done with old nsibidi. Nsibidi characters used to import words into nsibidi writing will not attempt to explain the complete purpose of the concept it represents, but, instead, to roughly rationalise its use as a representative of that word. A circle with strokes around it will not explain the role of the sun in photosynthesis. Thanks for bringing this to my attention so I could explain.

Character Sheet 2

I will be uploading more and more of these character sheets.

11 March 2011

Character Sheet 1

Many of the characters I have created so far will change as I try to simplify nsibidi (most won't change). Apart from this, the following will probably no change.

Break down
'Market' - The character on the left (a straight line with a bar on top and on the bottom) is a very common nsibidi radical. Depending on the context it can mean anything from human to a pillar. In this context it is one of its other uses, this time a house. The character on the left is the old nsibidi sign for 'trade' probably used frequently in public. Together it is understood as 'trade house', 'market'.

'Entrance' - The top character is the old nsibidi for 'door', the bottom character is a woman or just a general person. The compound character (njíkọ) is understood as 'door of people', 'entrance'.

'Beauty' - The old characters for 'woman' (big left-facing curve) and 'mirror' together make 'beauty'.

'Chief' - Old character for a chief.

'Feather' - Old character for feather.

'House' - The straight line with bars can be a house in nsibidi writing, so can a square or an oval.

'Leopard' - From nsibidi motifs representing the leopard.

'Water' - From water depicted in nsibidi documents.

All derived from 20th century sources.