Perhaps one of the most influential but least known African civilization is the Ejagham, growing up in Jamaica I some times came across designs done
with white chalk on the ground this was mostly in the country side when I inquired I was told not to be nosy or those designs were the work of the
Obeah man (healer priest) in any case mind your own business,years later I came across the book Flash Of The Spirit (highly recommended) and low and
behold child hood memories flashed back the drawings looked the same and the artist had their origins in a civilization called the Ejagham and their
designs called Nisibidi.
The Ekoi believe that the heirs of the first settlers of their present settlement own the land; while newcomers are not allowed to buy land, they are
able to purchase rights of settlement. Ekoi men have traditionally hunted, while women have engaged in agriculture, raising yams, plantains, and corn
(maize). Women also fish, and both men and women participate in weaving.
Ekoi towns are ruled by councils of elders, but townspeople are free to attend meetings. Native courts that were instituted under British
administration provide an appeals system outside of the decision making by the elders. Representatives from various towns sit on the courts.
Wiki Sourced but backed up by the book in hand.
Nisibidi is a writing system of African origins,but it's not the only one there are about 16 different scripts that was in use in Africa,some ancient
some as recent as the late 19th century.
1 Ethiopic Script
2 Egyptian Script
3 Sudan Script
4 Afan Oromo script
5 Bassa Script
6 Vai Script
7 Mende Script
8 Nsibidi Script
9 Edo/Benin Script
10 Tifinagh Script
11 Bamun Script
12 Kukakui Script
13 N'ko Script
14 Mandombe Script
15 Shumom Script
The most influencial African script out side of Egypt in the America's is in my view the Nisibidi,most of it is used by African based secret
sociaties who know their meaning the other great users of this script is used by Grandmas of all types for the purpose of design.
Nsibidi is an ancient system of graphic communication indigenous to the Ejagham peoples of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon in the Cross
River region. It is also used by neighboring Ibibio, Efik and Igbo peoples. Aesthetically compelling and encoded, nsibidi does not correspond to any
one spoken language. It is an ideographic script whose symbols refer to abstract concepts, actions or things and whose use facilitates communication
among peoples speaking different languages.
Nsibidi comprises nearly a thousand symbols that can be drawn in the air (as gestures), on the ground, on skin (as tattoos), on houses and on art
forms, such as masks and textiles. Though it is enjoyed as an artistic practice by the general public, deeper knowledge of the nsibidi symbols is
restricted to members of men's associations, which once controlled trade and maintained social and political order.
Nigerian Leopard Society members have created some of the most brilliant and elaborate displays of nsibidi. On ritual occasions, members create a
dramatic presence with nsibidi-laden ukara cloth. An abundance of signs (leopards, lizards, drums, staffs, geometric and organic shapes) cover the
surface of the cloths that each member ties around his waist to form a long skirt. The nsibidi is created by tightly stitching the design on a white
cloth that is then dyed with indigo. After drying, the stitching and ties are removed to reveal the white nsibidi signs that appear against the deep
blue background, creating a stunning cloth that is immediately recognizable as an emblem of the Leopard Society and a testament to their possession of
knowledge, power, and beauty.
The Leopard societies in Cuba and other parts of the New world is a secret society instigating slave revolts behind the scenes, in Cuba the are called
Abakua or the Leopard people.
Ejagham influence in American quilt making
Made by a white Tennessean of German ancestry in 1792
or this one, made by a white Connecticut woman in 1813?
Please click ^ for more reading
The basis of Malcolm-Woods's dissertation is her conclusion that the cemetery's headstones are engraved with "Nsibidi, an ancient Ejagham writing
system from Nigeria" (dissertation p.2) demonstrating "the existence and survival of an Igbo community despite the subjugation of slavery" and "the
maintenance of African rituals and beliefs in antebellum Virginia" (dissertation p.1) Approvingly citing Hidden in Plain View (so far as to use the
book's title as the heading for Chapter 4 (dissertation p.104), she draws a connection between the "quilt code" symbols and the marks on the
headstones (dissertation p.41).
Now open for contribution and comments.
edit on 25-2-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)