Bamum Script

Bamum Script is a syllabic script created by Sultan Njoya and Bamun scribes to notate the Bamun language in 1896. The Bamun Language belongs to the Benu-Congo language of the Niger Congo family. Bamun lies in a region close to where Nsibidi symbols is used.

The script is written from left to right. Bamun has 80 basic characters. Two of the symbols uses diacritics. It has six punctuation marks. A total of 88 characters make up the syllabic script. The Bamun Script in use today is from the 1918 revision called akauka (alphabet), from five previous revision. Early Bamum Script displayed logographic features, but gradually developed into a syllabic script. The last ten base characters are numbers. 0 replaced 10 as the last character in the syllabary, after the decimal system was introduced. The script has five punctuation marks, corresponding to the English marks.

The script was used to create a calendar, document Bamum plant medicines, transcribe Bamun History, and keep records and laws of the Bamum Kingdom. Under the French, in 1919, many texts in Bamum were destroyed, printing press stopped, and the script banned. Sultan Njoya's son, Seidou Njimoluh, collected remaining text in 1960 and placed it in his father's museum.  On December 6, 2012, Bamum King El Hadj Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya announced the opening of an archive in the  royal palace to house  2730 searchable page inventory and 13,473 searchable digital images.