Nsibidi is a writing system commonly used in current day southeastern Nigeria and Cameroon. It is the oldest form of writing in Africa, with the exception of hieroglyphics, and the symbols refer to abstract concepts or actions rather than specific words.In the Ekoid language, primarily spoken in southeastern Nigeria, nsibidi literally means "cruel letters." While the origin of the symbol is generally unknown, one theory states that the symbol was associated with leopard societies in Calabar;these societies acted as a source of legislative power before the European colonized the area and enforced their own legal system. The specific nsibidi symbol depicted in the African Burial Ground reminds us of the journey of the African Diaspora from the Middle Passage to the America as well as that has affected all the world's continents.
Last updated: November 10, 2015