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Old 03-28-2019, 02:30 PM
 
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Last edited by Motion; 03-28-2019 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:04 PM
 
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I'm sure many here have heard of the Nsibidi script, developed independently by the Igbo several centuries ago.












https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh-ez9DDJ7w








Magazine cover with Nsibidi writing. Don't know the name of the mag:




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Old 04-04-2019, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cachibatches View Post
Mostly right on.

He mentioned Tichitt and the Nok..also the Djenne-Djenno is one of the most ancient urbanized areas of west Africa. It could also be mentioned that the peopling of the Sahel and forest regions took place very gradually from the Lake Chad area, so there is a massive potential for archeology there. Little is known about the Sao civilization and its precursors.

He might be correct about literacy coming with Arabs, although is should be noted that there were ideographic writing systems such as Nsibidi, Adrinka and others, and I have seen it claimed that there was limited use of Tifinagh.

Academia could start to repair Africa's past immediately and cheaply. Everyone who takes an African history class has read the Epic of Sundiata, which, until relatively recently was part of the oral tradition of the griots. The other great stories of the griots could also be put to paper. There is real potential for someone to be West Africa's Livy, if they cared to do so.

Also, there are massive numbers of ancient books in libraries in Timbuktu, Gao, Djenne. A lot of those books concern Islam, but a number would be histories written in Ajami. I believe people are translating them now, but more work could be done.

A good piece on Djenne-Djenno:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9LkpJdll9A
Why is the Epic of Sundiata an oral epic? One would think that the Mali Empire, with Timbuktu and Djenne in its territory, had long evolved into a literate society.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:20 AM
 
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Bronze art from Benin Kingdom. Dating back to the Medieval period.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp8flCwvoAU





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ydV-Xab-G8
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:35 AM
Status: "They say progress but I see degeneracy." (set 8 days ago)
 
1,255 posts, read 591,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
Bronze art from Benin Kingdom. Dating back to the Medieval period.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp8flCwvoAU





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ydV-Xab-G8
One thing we have to get right is how we view certain things. Those Benin Bronzes weren't art to the people of Benin but they were historical records. The West sees it as art. Pictures of events really are thousands of words.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
Why is the Epic of Sundiata an oral epic? One would think that the Mali Empire, with Timbuktu and Djenne in its territory, had long evolved into a literate society.
Sorry I missed this.

Despite the fact that Mali had libraries and literacy, oral tradition remained an art form and a a form of educational entertainment. The griots, as they were called, put on shows that involved not only telling the story, but incorporating poetry and music.

The epic was not written down until the 60s.
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Old Today, 09:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cachibatches View Post
Sorry I missed this.

Despite the fact that Mali had libraries and literacy, oral tradition remained an art form and a a form of educational entertainment. The griots, as they were called, put on shows that involved not only telling the story, but incorporating poetry and music.

The epic was not written down until the 60s.
Having a tradition of performance shouldn't preclude an important piece of literature from being written down, especially since the Mali had been around for a long time. Homer's epics also started out as oral tradition but were written down, maybe in multiple forms, after a few hundred years of existence.

I tried to learn more about the Mali Empire but all the sources I've read suggest literacy was limited to the Niger river cities and not throughout the empire. The capital city in particular was not known for having libraries or even bureaucratic records. Was the ajami version of the Koran even widely available outside of Timbuktu? Another thing that struck me as odd is that even though Mansa Musa, the 'richest man in the world', had visited Egypt and then Mecca, he didn't bother to bring practices like coinage back to his homeland. As far as I could find it appeared that the Mali used gold dust as a currency. All of these left the impression that the Mali were a conservative society and refused to adopt innovations taken for granted elsewhere.
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