Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nüshu, the 19th-Century Chinese Script Only Women Could Write

Image: CATHY SILBER

Stemming from the southwestern Hunan Province county of Jiangyong, a small group of women in the 19th and 20th centuries practiced a script that no man could read or write. This was a sex-segregated society and it is thought that Nüshu was created in retaliation of women’s exclusion from education. It's elongated lines contrast the squat blocks of Chinese characters.

Women likely began writing it in the early years of the 19th century. The last identified woman to possess genuine knowledge of Nüshu died in 2004, according to China Daily.

Cathy Silber, a professor at Skidmore College in New York, is writing a book about Nüshu and the women in the region.

More: Atlas Obscura

Thanks Bruce!

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