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Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika Hardcover – October 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; First Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972424067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972424066
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Saki Mafundikwa is a graphic designer, typographer and teacher. He holds an MFA from Yale University and has worked and taught in New York City. Returning to Zimbabwe, he founded the country's first graphic design and new media college, the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts. The college opened in 1999 and continues to operate under extremely difficult conditions as the country goes through its most challenging era since independence.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Afrikan Alphabets: The Story Of Writing In Afrika is the impressive result of author Saki Mafundikwa's 20-year effort to collect information on writing systems throughout Africa. Pictographs, mnemonic devices, syllabaries and alphabets are all graphically presented with pronounciation guides, and color photographs of people, art and documents, and brief essays concering the histories of various writing scripts. A superb reference guide and a fascinating linguistic history.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Sesh on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic in covering the history of indigenous African scripts, a subject many are unaware of. However, the author should have begun by discussing the beginning of African writing which took place in Ancient Kemet (Egypt). He did not discuss it at all. Perhaps one could claim that it is because the script is no longer in use, but then why did the author discuss some contemporary scripts that are not in use? The only other reason I could think of is because Egypt is already so well known and he wanted to focus on the Sub-Saharan groups that are more disregarded. Fair enough, but then the author should have discussed the Meroitic script of the ancient Nubians of Kush and noted the lack of global interest in deciphering this ancient alphabet.

Otherwise, the book is fantastic and the Zimbabwean author a blessing to the global community of people of African descent. His understanding of the unity of our people is unsurpassed and refreshing in light of the separatism we are taught to practice among ourselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T S on August 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
cool. good quality, good info. extensive stuff on the symbolic level. I liked that. The encoding of meaning in shapes, and the manifestations of meaning in sound. yum stuff.
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